ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. PA-CIR-00-14
RE: CONFISCATION OF
PROPERTY AND PRODUCTS PURSUANT TO
SECTION 370.061, FLORIDA STATUTES
In order to provide procedures for the confiscation of property and products pursuant to Section 370.061, Florida Statutes, it is hereby
1. When any gill net, trammel net, stab net or other entangling net is found unattended in or upon the waters of the State of Florida within Pasco County, and the identity of the owner of said net is not known to the officer or is not readily ascertainable, said net shall be declared a nuisance and forfeited to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The net may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of according to the provisions of Section 370.06(1), Florida Statutes.
2. When an arrest is made pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 370 and illegal, perishable products or perishable products illegally taken or landed are apprehended, the law enforcement officer seizing such products shall establish the fair market value of the products by obtaining three bids, when feasible, from licensed wholesale dealers using the highest price obtainable. The defendant shall be informed of the fair market value and be given the option to
a. Post a deposit in the amount payable to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to be deposited into a special escrow account in the State Treasury and held in trust pending the outcome of the trial. The defendant shall have 24-hours from that time to transport said product outside the limits of Florida; or
b. Have the law enforcement officer deliver said products to the highest bidding licensed wholesale dealer and receive a check or draft payable to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to be deposited into a special escrow account in the State Treasury and held in trust pending the outcome of the trial.
3. If the saltwater products
seized are undersized, taken during closed season and/or cannot be lawfully
sold in this state, the law enforcement officer shall indicate such on the Complaint
and may deliver said saltwater products to any charitable or non-profit governmental
organization for their use.
4. The law enforcement officer shall provide all necessary documentation for the State Attorney and submit all required reports along with the Complaint or Information.
5. Upon conviction, the Commission shall deposit any funds held in escrow into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund, which shall constitute confiscation pursuant to Section 370.061(2), Florida Statutes.
6. When an arrest is made pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 370 and illegal, perishable products or perishable products illegally taken or landed are apprehended, the law enforcement officer seizing such products is authorized to destroy minor amounts of perishable saltwater products without obtaining individual court orders for each case. For purpose of this section, minor amounts shall be defined as having no appreciable commercial value.
Pasco Administrative Orders 93-59, 93-60 and 95-29 are hereby rescinded.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida this 20th day of July, 2000.
Susan F. Schaeffer, Chief Judge