During the 2016 Legislative Session, House Bill 889 and Senate Bill 1044 were filed to modify the civil asset forfeiture process through the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act (Sections 932.701 – 932.706, Florida Statutes). One of the changes in the legislation that passed amends Section 932.704(4), Florida Statutes, requiring that a $1,500 bond must be deposited with the clerk of the court when a law enforcement agency files a forfeiture proceeding/complaint in the circuit court. The bond must be payable to the claimant if the claimant prevails in the forfeiture proceeding, and in any appeal. The effective date of this change is July 1, 2016.
Our good friends at the Florida Sheriffs Insurance Agency, LLC (FSIA) / Florida Sheriffs Risk Management Fund (FSRMF) helped develop a new surety bond product with Western Surety Company (CNA) that provides the necessary coverage. However, FSIA’s customer base is limited to Sheriff Offices only and they have asked Hunt Insurance Group to help other law enforcement agencies in Florida comply with the new statute.
When filing forfeiture complaints, a separate bond will be required for each complaint, as the specific complainant information will be included on each bond. We feel that the minimal cost of securing the surety bonds is an effective way to comply with the new requirement, while not tying up funds from your budget for an indefinite period of time. You will be required to pay the $1,500 to the claimant within 30 days, should your agency not be successful in the forfeiture proceeding.
In order to obtain coverage, please complete the attached application HERE
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otherwise reach out to the contact below for further assistance)
Submit your completed application to:
Property & Casualty
Fax:+1 850 893-7245