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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Secretary's Office
Bureau of Legal Services

General Counsel Louis A. Vargas
General Counsel
(850) 488-2326
SunCom 278-2326

Additional Contact Information

The Bureau of Legal Services provides legal advice to the department heads and staff regarding, among other things, personnel matters, rule promulgation, bids, contracts, sentence structure, early release, gaintime, public records, subpoenas and legislation. This bureau also represents the department in judicial and administrative tribunals, and provides training to staff.

Accomplishments in 1997-98

  • Completed and submitted to the Governor and Legislature the rule review project and reports mandated by s. 120.536, FS and s. 120.74, FS. These reports reflect that the department has complied with statutory mandates for the deletion of certain categories of rules and has corrected deficiencies in the remaining rules.
  • Kalway v. Dept. of Corrections In this administrative proceeding, the inmate attempted to invoke the constitutional $1,000 homestead exemption to avoid paying filing fees for litigation under the state's new indigency statutes (s. 57.085) which require inmates to pay litigation filing fees and costs through liens on inmate bank funds. The First District Court of Appeal upheld the Secretary's Agency Order declaring the $1,000 homestead exemption inapplicable to prisoner indigency determinations under s. 57.085. The prisoner indigency statute is an important mechanism for reducing frivolous litigation.