(1) The commission or, in cases referred to the Division of Administrative Hearings pursuant to s. 106.25(5), the administrative law judge is authorized upon the finding of a violation of this chapter or chapter 104 to impose civil penalties in the form of fines not to exceed $1,000 per count, or, if applicable, to impose a civil penalty as provided in s. 104.271 or s. 106.19.
(2) In determining the amount of such civil penalties, the commission or administrative law judge shall consider, among other mitigating and aggravating circumstances:
(a) The gravity of the act or omission;
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 106.265
- Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
- Division: means the Division of Elections of the Department of State. See Florida Statutes 106.011
- Electioneering communications organization: means any group, other than a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee, whose election-related activities are limited to making expenditures for electioneering communications or accepting contributions for the purpose of making electioneering communications and whose activities would not otherwise require the group to register as a political party or political committee under this chapter. See Florida Statutes 106.011
- Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- Person: means 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. See Florida Statutes 106.011
- Political committee: means :1. See Florida Statutes 106.011(b) Any previous history of similar acts or omissions;(c) The appropriateness of such penalty to the financial resources of the person, political committee, affiliated party committee, electioneering communications organization, or political party; and(d) Whether the person, political committee, affiliated party committee, electioneering communications organization, or political party has shown good faith in attempting to comply with the provisions of this chapter or chapter 104.
(3) If any person, political committee, affiliated party committee, electioneering communications organization, or political party fails or refuses to pay to the commission any civil penalties assessed pursuant to the provisions of this section, the commission shall be responsible for collecting the civil penalties resulting from such action.
(4) Any civil penalty collected pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
(5) Any fine assessed pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
(6) In any case in which the commission determines that a person has filed a complaint against another person with a malicious intent to injure the reputation of the person complained against by filing the complaint with knowledge that the complaint contains one or more false allegations or with reckless disregard for whether the complaint contains false allegations of fact material to a violation of this chapter or chapter 104, the complainant shall be liable for costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in the defense of the person complained against, including the costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in proving entitlement to and the amount of costs and fees. If the complainant fails to pay such costs and fees voluntarily within 30 days following such finding by the commission, the commission shall forward such information to the Department of Legal Affairs, which shall bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the amount of such costs and fees awarded by the commission.