Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - September 22, 2015
September 22, 2015 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #51

Department of Juvenile Justice - Detention Cost Share Payments


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Brenda G. Rogers, Director, Community Services Department

Action Requested

Authorize monthly payments, retroactive to include bills received for July 2015 and ongoing, representing 32% of the total annual cost of the State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Juvenile Justice Detention for Manatee County Juveniles and maintain the 68% balance reflected in the invoices in general fund reserves until the outcome of pending litigation. 

Authorize the Chair to sign letter on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners protesting the State Fiscal Year 2016 DJJ funding calculation rules to accompany the July, August, and September 2015 payments, which are currently in arrears.

Enabling/Regulating Authority

F.S. 125; F.S. 985.686

Background Discussion
  • On September 24, 2013, the Board of County Commissioners passed a motion to direct the County Attorney to take all appropriate legal action with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings to intervene in pending litigation against DJJ pertaining to overpayments made by Manatee County to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
  • Manatee County was party to a legal challenge to the rules implemented by DJJ beginning in Fiscal Year 2015 and imposed beginning July 1, 2014.
  • In June 2013 the First District Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that the rules DJJ had implemented for the years 2009 – 2013 were invalid.  During this time frame, Manatee County was paying 75% of the total detention cost to DJJ resulting in overpayment.
  • For Fiscal year 2013 – 14, DJJ corrected their calculation method in compliance with the court ruling and counties were only required to pay 32% of the total detention costs.
  • Subsequently, DJJ drafted proposed rules and in June 2014 the proposed rules were challenged by several counties through outside legal counsel and with the support of the Florida Association of Counties.
  • During the 2014 Legislative Session, no action was taken to reimburse counties for overpayments or to address the rulemaking issues.  All proposed legislation failed, thus a new rule interpretation by DJJ required counties to funding 57% of the costs.
  • On July 29, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners authorized Manatee County to maintain the FY 2014/2015 DJJ payments at 32% rather than the state determined 57%, pending all litigation.
  • On April 22, 2015, a final order was issued in the case, finding that the rule is invalid in part and valid in part.  This Final order is pending appeal.
  • Currently there are three (3) pending cases in which Manatee County is a party against the State; one of which has been abated until December 2015.
  • On July 1, 2015, SB 2502A was passed implementing the 2015-2016 General Appropriations Act.  Sec. 38 (1), also known as the “clawback” provision, authorizes revenue sharing withholding by the Department of Revenue if DJJ determines that a county has not met its obligations
  • Outside Counsel anticipates a future challenge to the Constitutionality of the “clawback” provision in the Appropriations Act without proper legislative amendment.
  • In order for Manatee County to have ‘standing’ in any future challenge of the “clawback” provision, it is outside Counsel’s recommendation that Manatee County continue to pay at a reduced amount. Staff supports a 32/68 % cost share split with the state.   The intent is to not cripple DJJ in withholding the full amount, but to demonstrate good faith in a fair and equitable process.
  • On July 17, 2015, Manatee County received a letter from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice establishing the Secure Detention Cost Sharing Estimate for 2015-16. According to the state, the FY 2015-2016 cost estimates are based on FY 2014/2015 actual costs as dictated in the April 22, 2015, final order; thus eliminating the 57/43 split. The recurring monthly invoice amount of $66,272.01 for Manatee County represents a 52/48 County/State split. 
  • For FY 2015/2016, if Manatee County authorizes Payment at a 32/68 split rather than the 57/43 split required by the rules in dispute and indicated in the July 17, 2015, letter from DJJ, it would result in a reduction in payment of the state’s invoiced amount by $311,952 for FY 2015/2016 state year.  Thus the state could withhold this amount of revenues as indicated in SB 2502A Sec 38 (1).

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other

Former Chief Assistant County Attorney Minix has been involved in discussion with outside counsel and departmental staff regarding the issues of overpayment to DJJ in the past. Assistant County Attorney Christopher De Carlo will be representing Manatee County regarding efforts to secure fair and equitable cost share going forward.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Please send a copy of the approved agenda item to Brenda.rogers@mymanatee.org, Christopher.decarlo@mymanatee.org, jan.brewer@mymanatee.org, ed.hunzeker@mymanatee.org.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
001-0015007 - Juvenile Detention

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
32% = $40,275.99-monthly

Attachment:  July 17 2015 DJJ Letter and County Cost Chart.pdf
Attachment:  BCC Letter for 2015-2016 Payments.pdf