WHEREAS, § 828.03, Florida Statutes, provides for the custody and disposition of neglected or mistreated animals, and
WHEREAS, § 828.073, Florida Statutes, provides for the means for removal of neglected or mistreated animals from their present custody, or made the subject of an order to provide care, and
WHEREAS, § 828.073, Florida Statutes, provides for a county court civil judge to preside over such proceedings, and
WHEREAS, § 828.073, Florida Statutes, provides that no filing fee shall be charged for the filing of a petition and the service of the papers, and
WHEREAS, the establishment of a uniform method for resolving issues related to the custody and disposition of neglected or mistreated animals is necessary;
NOW THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM A. PARSONS, Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, hereby order that the following procedures and related forms shall be used in cases concerning the custody and disposition of neglected or mistreated animals in Volusia County:
1. The person taking custody of any such neglected or mistreated animal must file an original and duplicate copies of a petition for hearing (PDF) in the office of the Clerk of the Court, Civil Division, setting forth the petitioner’s name, agency, address and telephone number as well as a description of the animal, the date and place of seizure, the name and address of the animal’s owner or custodian, a description of the neglect or cruel treatment causing the seizure and the place where the animal is being kept.
2. The clerk may not charge for receiving and filing such a petition. The clerk will create a file, assign it to a county judge in the same manner as other civil cases, and promptly transmit the file to the assigned judge.
3. The judge will prepare a notice of hearing (PDF) and forward it to the clerk for filing. The clerk will forward copies of the notice to the petitioner.
4. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to transmit proper papers to the Sheriff of Volusia County, Florida for service upon the animal’s owner or custodian not less than five days before the hearing. The Sheriff will make his/her return upon the certified copy of the notice of hearing as in other cases and promptly file with the Civil Division of the office of the Clerk of the Court. The Sheriff may not charge for serving said notice.
5. Witness subpoenas are to be issued and served as in other civil cases without charge.
6. A hearing must be conducted as in other civil cases, and upon its conclusion, the judge will make findings of fact and enter an order (PDF) as required by § 828.073, Florida Statutes.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that County Court Administrative Order G-89-005 is hereby rescinded.
TO BE RECORDED in Volusia County, Florida.
DONE AND ORDERED in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida this 1st day of December 2006.
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