Updates on New Public Notice Bill
What Type of Notices Can Be Published on the Publicly Accessible Website Option in HB 7049 (s. 50.0311, F.S.)?
Questions have been raised about what type of legal ads and public notices can run on the new publicly accessible (county) website option?
The short answer is that arguably the website option is only available to those notices that authorize use of that website in the various substantive notice provisions in the statutes. These are basically the 18 notices that were listed in the older bill, HB 35. While the list of those notices was deleted in the newer bill, HB 7049, the various changes to the substantive notices were not changed, except to reflect that the newspaper-only website option had been replaced with the county website option. These 18 notices should continue to be available to be placed on the county website, if such website meets the requirements of s. 50.0311.
Conversely, if a notice still requires newspaper publication, the website option is not available. For example, many non-governmental-type notices such as those relating to probate, storage units, automobile lien sales, and fictitious names require newspaper notice and should continue to be published in that manner. One caveat is that the new bill does recognize certain judicial sales procedures be posted to the county websites. However, hosting such notices on the county website would raise other due process and county liability concerns.
An (even) longer answer to the question is contained in a memorandum by Sam Morley which is also found on the FPA website public notice resource page.
Other PN Resources for Members
Here is a August 30, 2022 letter from the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce objecting to the County proposed adoption of the “publicly accessible website” option in HB 7049. The letter outlines some arguments that members might find useful when interfacing with their county officials.
Also, here is the FPA latest public notice talking points that we used during the last legislative session that might help as you lobby your local officials.
Finally, here (again) are the Q and As regarding the new bill.