2023 Florida Statutes

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SECTION 368Responsibilities of the clerk of the circuit court.

744.368 Responsibilities of the clerk of the circuit court.
(1) In addition to the duty to serve as the custodian of the guardianship files, the clerk shall review each initial and annual guardianship report to ensure that it contains information about the ward addressing, as appropriate:
(a) Physical and mental health care;
(b) Personal and social services;
(c) The residential setting;
(d) The application of insurance, private benefits, and government benefits;
(e) The physical and mental health examinations; and
(f) The initial verified inventory or the annual accounting.
(2) The clerk shall, within 30 days after the date of filing of the initial or annual report of the guardian of the person, complete his or her review of the report.
(3) Within 90 days after the filing of the verified inventory and accountings by a guardian of the property, the clerk shall audit the verified inventory and the accountings. The clerk shall advise the court of the results of the audit.
(4) The clerk shall report to the court when a report is not timely filed.
(5) If the clerk has reason to believe further review is appropriate, the clerk may request and review records and documents that reasonably impact guardianship assets, including, but not limited to, the beginning inventory balance and any fees charged to the guardianship. As a part of this review, the clerk may conduct audits and may cause the initial and annual guardianship reports to be audited. The clerk shall advise the court of the results of any such audit. Any fee or cost incurred by the guardian in responding to the review or audit may not be paid or reimbursed by the ward’s assets if there is a finding of wrongdoing by the court.
(6) If a guardian fails to produce records and documents to the clerk upon request, the clerk may request the court to enter an order pursuant to s. 744.3685(2) by filing an affidavit that identifies the records and documents requested and shows good cause as to why the documents and records requested are needed to complete the audit.
(7) Upon application to the court supported by an affidavit pursuant to subsection (6), the clerk may issue subpoenas to nonparties to compel production of books, papers, and other documentary evidence. Before issuance of a subpoena by affidavit, the clerk must serve notice on the guardian and the ward, unless the ward is a minor or totally incapacitated, of the intent to serve subpoenas to nonparties.
(a) The clerk must attach the affidavit and the proposed subpoena to the notice to the guardian and, if appropriate, to the ward, and must:
1. State the time, place, and method for production of the documents or items, and the name and address of the person who is to produce the documents or items, if known, or, if not known, a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs.
2. Include a designation of the items to be produced.
3. State that the person who will be asked to produce the documents or items has the right to object to the production under this section and that the person is not required to surrender the documents or items.
(b) A copy of the notice and proposed subpoena may not be furnished to the person upon whom the subpoena is to be served.
(c) If the guardian or ward serves an objection to production under this subsection within 10 days after service of the notice, the documents or items may not be required to be produced until resolution of the objection. If an objection is not made within 10 days after service of the notice, the clerk may issue the subpoena to the nonparty. The court may shorten the period within which a guardian or ward is required to file an objection upon a showing by the clerk by affidavit that the ward’s property is in imminent danger of being wasted, misappropriated, or lost unless immediate action is taken.
(8) Within 10 business days after the court imposes any sanctions on a professional guardian, including, but not limited to, contempt of court or removal of the professional guardian, the clerk shall report such actions to the Office of Public and Professional Guardians.
History.s. 53, ch. 89-96; s. 36, ch. 90-271; s. 1089, ch. 97-102; s. 19, ch. 2006-178; s. 3, ch. 2014-124; s. 2, ch. 2018-68; s. 7, ch. 2023-259.

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