2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XLVI CRIMES
Chapter 843 OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE
SECTION 0855Criminal actions under color of law or through use of simulated legal process.
843.0855 Criminal actions under color of law or through use of simulated legal process.—
(1) As used in this section:
(a) The term “legal process” means a document or order issued by a court or filed or recorded with an official court of this state or the United States or with any official governmental entity of this state or the United States for the purpose of exercising jurisdiction or representing a claim against a person or property, or for the purpose of directing a person to appear before a court or tribunal, or to perform or refrain from performing a specified act. “Legal process” includes, but is not limited to, a summons, lien, complaint, warrant, injunction, writ, notice, pleading, subpoena, or order.
(b) The term “person” means an individual, public or private group incorporated or otherwise, legitimate or illegitimate legal tribunal or entity, informal organization, official or unofficial agency or body, or any assemblage of individuals.
(c) The term “public officer or employee” has the same meaning as provided in s. 817.535.
(2) A person who deliberately impersonates or falsely acts as a public officer or employee in connection with or relating to any legal process affecting persons and property, or otherwise takes any action under color of law against persons or property, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. It is the intent of the Legislature that this section applies if a person acts as an officer or employee purporting to supersede or override any legislation or statute of this state, or to supersede or override any action of any court of this state.
(3) A person who simulates legal process, including, but not limited to, actions affecting title to real estate or personal property, indictments, subpoenas, warrants, injunctions, liens, orders, judgments, or any legal documents or proceedings, knowing or having reason to know the contents of any such documents or proceedings or the basis for any action to be fraudulent, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) A person who falsely under color of law attempts in any way to influence, intimidate, harass, retaliate against, or hinder a public officer or employee involving the discharge of his or her official duties by means of, but not limited to, threats of or actual physical abuse or harassment, or through the use of simulated legal process, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(5)(a) This section does not make unlawful any act of any law enforcement officer or legal tribunal which is performed under lawful authority.
(b) This section does not prohibit individuals from assembling freely to express opinions or designate group affiliation or association.
(c) This section does not prohibit or in any way limit a person’s lawful and legitimate access to the courts or prevent a person from instituting or responding to legitimate and lawful legal process.
History.—s. 1, ch. 97-203; s. 2, ch. 2013-228.