Two Differences Between the Florida RICO Statute and the Federal RICO Statute
Under the Florida RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act, a plaintiff can bring a civil claim to seek financial damages caused by a “pattern” of racketeering activity. Florida’s RICO law shares many similarities with the federal RICO statute. In fact, Florida legislators mirrored the state RICO law after the federal statute.
That being said, state and federal law is not identical. As many civil RICO plaintiffs simultaneously assert both federal and state causes of action, it is important to know the difference between the laws. In this article, our Miami RICO claims lawyers highlight two key differences between federal RICO law and Florida RICO law.
- Florida’s Statute of Limitations is Longer
The statute of limitations always matter. If a legal claim is not filed before the statutory deadline expires, then the case may simply be dismissed without a review on the merits. The statute of limitations is one of the most significant differences between federal RICO law and Florida state RICO law. Here is what you need to know:
- Federal Civil RICO Statute of Limitations: The Federal RICO statute does not include a specific statute of limitations. Though, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that a federal civil RICO lawsuit must be filed within four years of the date the plaintiff discovered the harm.
- Florida Civil RICO Statute of Limitations: In contrast, Florida’s RICO statute does include an explicit statute of limitations. A Florida civil RICO lawsuit must be filed within five years of the date the cause of action accrues.
Plaintiffs considering filing a civil RICO lawsuit should always be proactive. You do not want to have your claim dismissed without a hearing. Nonetheless, it is important to know that Florida’s state statute of limitations is somewhat less restrictive than federal law.
- The Standard of Proof is Not the Same
Another important difference between federal RICO law and Florida RICO law is that the legal standard of proof is not identical. It is actually somewhat easier to prove a RICO violation under federal law than it is under Florida law. Here is an overview of the difference:
- Federal RICO Cases Use the ‘Preponderance of the Evidence’ Standard: The ‘preponderance of evidence’ standard is sometimes referred to as the ‘more likely than not’ standard.
- Florida RICO Cases Use the ‘Clear and Convincing Evidence’ Standard: In contrast to federal law, Florida uses the more strict ‘clear and convincing evidence’ standard for civil RICO claims. Under this legal standard, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that their case is highly and substantially more likely to be true than untrue.
Call Our Florida RICO Claims Lawyers for Immediate Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida civil RICO attorneys have the experience and expertise that you can trust for results. If you have any questions about the intersection between federal and state RICO laws, we are here to help. Call us right away for a confidential evaluation of your case. We provide legal services to individuals and businesses throughout South Florida, including in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Miami Beach.