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CS/SB 256 — Public Records/Forensic Behavioral Health Evaluation

by Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee; and Senator Garcia

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Criminal Justice Committee (CJ)

This bill creates s. 916.1065, F.S., to make forensic behavioral health evaluations filed with the court pursuant to ch. 916, F.S., confidential and exempt from public records disclosure requirements. 

The term “forensic behavioral health evaluation” is defined in the bill as meaning any record, including supporting documentation, derived from a competency, substance abuse, psychosexual, psychological, psychiatric, psychosocial, cognitive impairment, sanity, or other mental health evaluation of an individual. 

This bill would increase judicial economy by reducing the number of motion hearings necessary when defendants’ mental health records were filed with the court.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2014.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 118-0