2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title V JUDICIAL BRANCH
Chapter 28 CLERKS OF THE CIRCUIT COURTS
SECTION 36Budget procedure.
28.36 Budget procedure.—There is established a budget procedure for the court-related functions of the clerks of the court.
(1) Only those functions listed in s. 28.35(3)(a) may be funded from fees, service charges, court costs, and fines retained by the clerks of the court.
(2) Each proposed budget shall further conform to the following requirements:
(a) On or before June 1, the proposed budget shall be prepared, summarized, and submitted by the clerk in each county to the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation in the manner and form prescribed by the corporation. The proposed budget must provide detailed information on the anticipated revenues available and expenditures necessary for the performance of the court-related functions listed in s. 28.35(3)(a) of the clerk’s office for the county fiscal year beginning October 1.
(b) The proposed budget must be balanced such that the total of the estimated revenues available equals or exceeds the total of the anticipated expenditures. Such revenues include revenue projected to be received from fees, service charges, court costs, and fines for court-related functions during the fiscal period covered by the budget, plus the total of unspent budgeted funds for court-related functions carried forward by the clerk of the court from the previous county fiscal year and plus the portion of the balance of funds remaining in the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund after the transfer of funds to the General Revenue Fund required pursuant to s. 28.37(4)(b) which has been allocated to each respective clerk of the court by the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “unspent budgeted funds for court-related functions” means undisbursed funds included in the clerk of the courts’ budget for court related functions established pursuant to s. 28.35 and this section. The anticipated expenditures must be itemized as required by the corporation.
(3)(a) The Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation shall establish and manage a reserve for contingencies within the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund which must consist of an amount not to exceed 16 percent of the total budget authority for the clerks of court during the current county fiscal year, to be carried forward at the end of the fiscal year. Funds to be held in reserve include transfers of cumulative excess, as provided in s. 28.37(4)(b), from the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund and may also include revenues provided by law or moneys appropriated by the Legislature.
(b) The corporation shall provide a reporting of the balance and use of these funds during each county fiscal year as part of the corporation’s annual report submitted under s. 28.35(2)(h).
(c) The corporation may use the reserve to ensure the clerks of court can perform the court-related functions as provided in s. 28.35(3)(a). Moneys in the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund which are held in reserve may be used by the corporation under the following circumstances:
1. To offset a current deficit between the revenue available and the original budget authority. A deficit is deemed to occur when the revenue available to the clerks of court falls below the original revenue projection for that county fiscal year.
2. To provide funding for an emergency, as defined in s. 252.34(4). The emergency must have been declared by the Governor, pursuant to s. 252.36, or otherwise declared by law.
3. To provide funds in the development of the total aggregate budget of the clerks of court to ensure that a minimum continuation budget is met. For purposes of this subparagraph, a minimum continuation budget is the budget approved for the current county fiscal year or some lesser amount adopted by the corporation.
(d) To use the reserve, the corporation must request a budget amendment pursuant to s. 216.292.
(4) If a clerk of the court estimates that available funds plus projected revenues from fines, fees, service charges, and costs for court-related services are insufficient to meet the anticipated expenditures for the standard list of court-related functions in s. 28.35(3)(a) performed by his or her office, the clerk must report the revenue deficit to the corporation in the manner and form prescribed by the corporation. The corporation shall verify that the proposed budget is limited to the standard list of court-related functions in s. 28.35(3)(a). If the corporation verifies that a revenue deficit is projected, the corporation shall certify a revenue deficit and notify the Department of Revenue that the clerk is authorized to retain revenues, in an amount necessary to fully fund the projected revenue deficit, which he or she would otherwise be required to remit to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the department’s Clerks of the Court Trust Fund pursuant to s. 28.37. If a revenue deficit is projected for that clerk after retaining all of the projected collections from the court-related fines, fees, service charges, and costs, the corporation shall certify the amount of the revenue deficit to the Executive Office of the Governor and request release authority for funds from the department’s Clerks of the Court Trust Fund. Notwithstanding s. 216.192 relating to the release of funds, the Executive Office of the Governor may approve the release of funds in accordance with the notice, review, and objection procedures set forth in s. 216.177 and shall provide notice to the Department of Revenue and the Chief Financial Officer. The Department of Revenue shall request monthly distributions from the Chief Financial Officer in equal amounts to each clerk certified to have a revenue deficit, in accordance with the releases approved by the Governor.
(5) The corporation may approve increases or decreases to the previously authorized budgets approved for clerks of the court pursuant to s. 28.35 for court-related functions, if:
(a) The additional budget authority is necessary to pay the cost of performing new or additional functions required by changes in law or court rule; or
(b) The additional budget authority is necessary to pay the cost of supporting increases in the number of judges or magistrates authorized by the Legislature or increases in the use of hearing officers and senior judges assigned by the courts.
History.—s. 37, ch. 2003-402; s. 24, ch. 2004-265; s. 3, ch. 2005-2; s. 11, ch. 2005-236; s. 10, ch. 2008-111; s. 4, ch. 2009-204; s. 14, ch. 2010-162; s. 2, ch. 2011-4; s. 7, ch. 2013-44; s. 4, ch. 2017-126; s. 3, ch. 2019-58; s. 9, ch. 2020-2; s. 6, ch. 2021-116.