(1) The Department of Agriculture may impose an administrative fine in the Class IV category pursuant to s. 570.971 not to exceed $50,000 for each violation against a licensed citrus fruit dealer who violates this chapter and, in lieu of or in addition to such fine, may revoke or suspend the license of such a dealer when it has been satisfactorily shown that such dealer, in her or his activities as a citrus fruit dealer, has:
(a) Obtained a license by means of fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment;
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 601.67
- Citrus fruit: means all varieties and regulated hybrids of citrus fruit and also means processed citrus products containing 20 percent or more citrus fruit or citrus fruit juice. See Florida Statutes 601.03
- Citrus fruit dealer: means any consignor, commission merchant, consignment shipper, cash buyer, broker, association, cooperative association, express or gift fruit shipper, or person who in any manner makes or attempts to make money or other thing of value on citrus fruit in any manner whatsoever, other than of growing or producing citrus fruit. See Florida Statutes 601.03
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Department: means the Department of Citrus. See Florida Statutes 601.03
- Department of Agriculture: means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. See Florida Statutes 601.03
- Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
- 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 any natural person, partnership, association, corporation, trust, estate, or other legal entity. See Florida Statutes 601.03
- shipping: means to move, or cause to be moved, citrus fruit or the canned or concentrated products thereof in intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce by rail, truck, boat, airplane, or any other means. See Florida Statutes 601.03
(b) Violated or aided or abetted in the violation of any law of this state governing or applicable to citrus fruit dealers or any lawful rules of the Department of Citrus;
(c) Been guilty of a crime against the laws of this or any other state or government involving moral turpitude or dishonest dealing or has become legally incompetent to contract or be contracted with;
(d) Made, printed, published, distributed, or caused, authorized, or knowingly permitted the making, printing, publication, or distribution of false statements, descriptions, or promises of such a character as to reasonably induce a person to act to her or his damage or injury, if such citrus fruit dealer then knew, or by the exercise of reasonable care and inquiry could have known, of the falsity of such statements, descriptions, or promises;
(e) Knowingly committed or been a party to any material fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, conspiracy, collusion, trick, scheme, or device whereby another person lawfully relying upon the word, representation, or conduct of the citrus fruit dealer has acted to her or his injury or damage;
(f) Committed any act or conduct of the same or different character than that enumerated which constitutes fraudulent or dishonest dealing; or
(2) The Department of Agriculture may impose an administrative fine in the Class IV category pursuant to s. 570.971 not to exceed $100,000 for each violation against a person who operates as a citrus fruit dealer without a current citrus fruit dealer license issued by the Department of Agriculture pursuant to s. 601.60. In addition, the Department of Agriculture may order such person to cease and desist operating as a citrus fruit dealer without a license. An administrative order entered by the Department of Agriculture under this subsection may be enforced pursuant to s. 601.73.
(3) The Department of Agriculture shall impose an administrative fine in the Class IV category pursuant to s. 570.971 not to exceed $100,000 for each violation against a licensed citrus fruit dealer and shall suspend, for 60 days during the first available period between September 1 and May 31, the license of a citrus fruit dealer who:
(a) Falsely labels or otherwise misrepresents that a fresh citrus fruit was grown in a specific production area specified in s. 601.091; or
(b) Knowingly, falsely labels or otherwise misrepresents that a processed citrus fruit product was prepared solely with citrus fruit grown in a specific production area specified in s. 601.091.
(4) A fine imposed pursuant to subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3), when paid, shall be deposited by the Department of Agriculture into its General Inspection Trust Fund.
(5) Whenever an administrative order has been made and entered by the Department of Agriculture that imposes a fine pursuant to this section, such order shall specify a time limit for payment of the fine, not exceeding 15 days. The failure of the citrus fruit dealer to pay the fine within that time shall result in the immediate suspension of such citrus fruit dealer’s current license, or any subsequently issued license, until the order has been fully satisfied. An order suspending a citrus fruit dealer’s license shall include a provision that the suspension shall be for a specified period not to exceed 60 days, and such period of suspension may begin at any designated date within the current license period or subsequent license period. Whenever an order has been entered that suspends a citrus fruit dealer’s license for a definite period and that license, by law, expires during the period of suspension, the suspension order shall continue automatically and shall be effective against any subsequent citrus fruit dealer license issued to such dealer until the entire period of suspension has elapsed. Whenever any such administrative order of the Department of Agriculture is sought to be reviewed by the offending dealer involved in a court of competent jurisdiction, if such court proceedings should finally terminate in such administrative order being upheld or not quashed, such order shall, upon the filing with the Department of Agriculture of a certified copy of the mandate or other order of the last court having to do with the matter in the judicial process, become immediately effective and shall then be carried out and enforced notwithstanding such time will be during a new and subsequent shipping season from that during which the administrative order was first originally entered by the Department of Agriculture.