§ 106.26 Powers of commission; rights and responsibilities of parties; findings by commission.
Overview of Statute
This statute governs the process by which the Elections Commission handles sworn complaints and how the Commission conducts hearings to consider the complaints.
(1) The commission shall, pursuant to rules adopted and published in accordance with chapter 120, consider all sworn complaints filed with it and all matters reported to it by the Division of Elections. In order to carry out the responsibilities prescribed by this chapter, the commission is empowered to subpoena and bring before it, or its duly authorized representatives, any person in the state, or any person doing business in the state, or any person who has filed or is required to have filed any application, document, papers, or other information with an office or agency of this state or a political subdivision thereof and to require the production of any papers, books, or other records relevant to any investigation, including the records and accounts of any bank or trust company doing business in this state. Duly authorized representatives of the commission are empowered to administer all oaths and affirmations in the manner prescribed by law to witnesses who shall appear before them concerning any relevant matter. Should any witness fail to respond to the lawful subpoena of the commission or, having responded, fail to answer all lawful inquiries or to turn over evidence that has been subpoenaed, the commission may file a complaint in the circuit court where the witness resides setting up such failure on the part of the witness. On the filing of such complaint, the court shall take jurisdiction of the witness and the subject matter of said complaint and shall direct the witness to respond to all lawful questions and to produce all documentary evidence in the witness’s possession which is lawfully demanded. The failure of any witness to comply with such order of the court shall constitute a direct and criminal contempt of court, and the court shall punish said witness accordingly. However, the refusal by a witness to answer inquiries or turn over evidence on the basis that such testimony or material will tend to incriminate such witness shall not be deemed refusal to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The sheriffs in the several counties shall make such service and execute all process or orders when required by the commission. Sheriffs shall be paid for these services by the commission as provided for in s. 30.231. Any person who is served with a subpoena to attend a hearing of the commission also shall be served with a general statement informing him or her of the subject matter of the commission’s investigation or inquiry and a notice that he or she may be accompanied at the hearing by counsel of his or her own choosing.
s. 26, ch. 73-128; s. 12, ch. 74-200; s. 60, ch. 77-175; s. 4, ch. 78-403; s. 64, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 21, ch. 89-256; ss. 6, 14, 15, ch. 90-338; s. 74, ch. 91-45; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 94-170; s. 1396, ch. 95-147; s. 50, ch. 97-13; s. 35, ch. 98-129; s. 71, ch. 2011-40.
1. Definition for Issue
A proposition that is required by the State Constitution, by law or resolution of the Legislature, or by the charter, ordinance, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state to be submitted to the electors for their approval or rejection at an election, or a proposition for which a petition is circulated in order to have such proposition placed on the ballot at an election. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(13).
2. Definition for Person
An individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term includes a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(14).
3. Definition for Division
The Division of Elections of the Department of State. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(8).
4. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
Case Name: Florida Elections Commission v. Blair
Citation: 52 So.3d 9
Case Summary: Florida Elections Commission v. Blair held that the Commission did not exceed its grant of authority in adopting a rule defining the words "willful" and "willfully" for a campaign finance statute, and the adoption of the rule did not contravene the language in the law being implemented.
Regulations & Guidance
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 212, By Florida Elections Commission-Procedure
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 216, False swearing or declaration
Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:106, Special state issues