Florida Small Claims Court Limits raised to $8,000.00 for 2020 and the details are available at the following link.
Urgent Notice to all Florida Notice to Owner Customers
On June 7, 2019, Governor Desantis signed HB 1247 (Chapter 2019-94, Laws of Florida). The bill mandates a new statutory form for a Notice of Nonpayment on both public and private bonded projects.
In order to preserve and protect your right to a claim against a payment bond, beginning October 1, 2019, YOU MUST USE THE NEW STATUTORY FORM! Failure to do so could severely impact your ability to have a bond claim in the event you are not paid.
What has changed?
The new Notice of Nonpayment has more detail about what you are owed, what you have been paid, and what you may be expecting to be paid in the future on the job. It is a SWORN statement that carries penalties if you knowingly and willfully make fraudulent statements, including loss of your bond rights.
What is considered fraudulent?
Willfully exaggerating the amount due, willfully including a claim for work not performed or materials not furnished, or preparing a notice with such willful or gross negligence as to amount to a willful exaggeration would be considered fraudulent.
What is not considered fraudulent?
A minor mistake or error is not fraudulent, and the negligent inclusion or omission of any information that did not prejudice the contractor or the surety (as determined by a court) is not fraudulent.
You can get the new forms here in PDF or Word format, just remember the form is only a template and you will need to customize the form for your own use. The form has spaces for addressing the NNP to the contractor and surety but we recommend modifying the form and copying all parties listed on the original NTO, plus any new parties involved in the project that you are now aware of, and sending the letters by certified mail, return receipt requested.
NACM South Atlantic Members,
I thought our members would be interested in reading the attached Florida Supreme Court case which is absolutely definitive as the fact that an unlicensed contractor has no rights to defend or recover under its contract, even when the other party to the contract is aware of or condones the fact that the contractor does not hold the requisite license.
While this case will not directly effect our members who are not required to be a licensed contractor, it could very well effect the ability of one of your customers to enforce its contract which in turn could impact its ability to pay you, unless you have the ability to enforce a construction lien or bond claim right on our own.
While the case is yet to be declared “final”, since the time period to move for rehearing has not yet run, I think you can fairly well consider this issue resolved with the filing or granting of rehearing being doubtful.
Robert B. Worman, Esq. Worman & Sheffler, P.A.
2707 West Fairbanks AvenueSuite 200
Winter Park, Florida (32789)
P.O. Box 1764 Orlando, Florida 32802
Phone: (407) 843-5353
Fax: (407) 841-9516
By Deborah Lawson, Governmental Affairs Consultant
Best estimates are that 40-50 percent of all bonds for public construction projects are not properly recorded in the public records as required by statute. The 2012 Legislature acknowledged this deficiency and imposed a penalty on the general contractor for failure to record the payment and performance bond(s). HB 897 by Moraitis provides that the public entity may not make payment to the contractor until the contractor has delivered a certified copy of the recorded bond to the public entity. This provision applies regardless of other laws or contractual provisions regarding the timing of payment to the contractor, and applies to all contracts entered into on or after October 1, 2012. See, s. 255.05(1)(b), Florida Statutes 2012. Why is this important? The bond information is critical to all subcontractors and suppliers working on your public projects. The payment bond is their only protection if payment is not properly made by the general contractor. A side-benefit for public entities — if payment bonds are properly recorded and available in the public records, direct requests to public entities for copies of bonds should be substantially reduced, benefiting all involved. Section 255.05(1), Florida Statutes, sets forth the requirements for contractors to obtain payment and performance bonds, record them, and provide them to the public entity. The section also sets forth in detail what information must be contained on the front page of the bond which includes correct names, phone numbers and addresses for the owner, contractor and surety; the contract number assigned by the public entity; the bond number; a descriptions of the project and the improvement; and a legal description or street address for the property being improved. This information is intended to aid subcontractors and suppliers in identifying the correct bond for the correct project. Florida law still requires public entities to provide copies of bonds upon request, but it is our hope that this will become less and less necessary and recording of bonds in a timely manner becomes the norm.
Deborah Lawson is a governmental affairs consultant who lives and works in Tallahassee, Florida. She specializes in representing construction subcontractors and material suppliers before the Florida Legislature and State agencies and represents the Florida Improved Construction Practices Committee and NACM South Atlantic
Brace yourself; did you know there are eleven amendments on the November ballot? Two deal with religious freedom, two address veterans issues, one on public funding of abortions, one on health services, one on the state courts, four dealing with taxes and homestead exemptions and one on the college/university system. All of the amendments were placed on the ballot by the Florida legislature. For a measure to pass, it must be approved by 60% of those voting.
Provided below are three websites you can visit to get a nonpartisan view of all eleven constitutional amendments
You can also go to the Florida Division of Elections website as well.
Remember to vote early or absentee. It will be much easier to vote by absentee or early voting with eleven constitutional amendments on the ballot. Most supervisors of elections are estimating it will take you 20-25 minutes just to read the amendments.
It is important to note that this information only applies to state amendments. Accordingly, voters should be aware of amendments to their respective local, county or city governing structures.
Bruce Kershner, Lobbyist for the Florida Improved Construction Practices Committee and NACM South Atlantic