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440.33 Powers of judges of compensation claims.
(1) The judge of compensation claims may preserve and enforce order during any such proceeding; issue subpoenas for, administer oaths or affirmations to, and compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, or the production of books, papers, documents, and other evidence, or the taking of depositions before any designated individual competent to administer oaths; examine witnesses; and do all things conformable to law which may be necessary to enable the judge effectively to discharge the duties of her or his office. Whenever a law requires an order of a court of competent jurisdiction for the obtention of medical or hospital records, an order of a judge of compensation claims entered for such purposes shall be deemed to be an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) If any person in proceedings before the judge of compensation claims disobeys or resists any lawful order or process, or misbehaves during a hearing or so near the place thereof as to obstruct the hearing, or neglects to produce, after having been ordered to do so, any pertinent book, paper, or document, or refuses to appear after having been subpoenaed, or upon appearing refuses to take oath or affirmation as a witness, or after having taken the oath refuses to be examined according to law, the judge of compensation claims shall certify the facts to the court having jurisdiction in the place in which it is sitting, which shall thereupon in a summary manner hear the evidence as to the acts complained of and, if the evidence so warrants, punish such person in the same manner and to the same extent as for a contempt committed before the court, or commit such person upon the same conditions as if the doing of the forbidden act had occurred with reference to the process of or in the presence of the court.
(3) Before adjudicating a claim for permanent total disability benefits, the judge of compensation claims may request an evaluation pursuant to s. 440.491(6) for the purpose of assisting the judge of compensation claims in the determination of whether there is a reasonable probability that, with appropriate training or education, the employee may be rehabilitated to the extent that such employee can achieve suitable gainful employment and whether it is in the best interest of the employee to undertake such training or education.
History. s. 33, ch. 17481, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 5966(33); ss. 17, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 17, ch. 75-209; s. 23, ch. 78-300; ss. 26, 124, ch. 79-40; s. 21, ch. 79-312; s. 13, ch. 80-236; s. 11, ch. 83-305; ss. 18, 43, ch. 89-289; s. 56, ch. 90-201; s. 52, ch. 91-1; s. 10, ch. 91-46; s. 119, ch. 97-103; s. 64, ch. 2004-5.