Florida Senate - 2013 CS for CS for SB 58 By the Committees on Governmental Oversight and Accountability; and Judiciary; and Senators Hays and Evers 585-02865-13 201358c2 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to application of foreign law in 3 certain cases; creating s. 45.022, F.S.; providing 4 intent; defining the term “foreign law, legal code, or 5 system”; clarifying that the public policies expressed 6 in the act apply to violations of a natural person’s 7 fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges 8 guaranteed by the State Constitution or the United 9 States Constitution in certain proceedings or actions 10 brought after the act becomes a law; providing that 11 the act does not apply to a corporation, partnership, 12 or other form of business association, except when 13 necessary to provide effective relief in actions or 14 proceedings under or relating to chapters 61 and 88, 15 F.S.; specifying the public policy of this state in 16 applying the choice of a foreign law, legal code, or 17 system under certain circumstances in proceedings 18 brought under or relating to chapters 61 and 88, F.S., 19 which relate to dissolution of marriage, support, 20 time-sharing, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction 21 and Enforcement Act, and the Uniform Interstate Family 22 Support Act; declaring that certain decisions rendered 23 under such laws, codes, or systems are void; declaring 24 that certain choice of venue or forum provisions in a 25 contract are void; providing for the construction of a 26 waiver by a natural person of the person’s fundamental 27 liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed by the 28 State Constitution or the United States Constitution; 29 declaring that claims of forum non conveniens or 30 related claims must be denied under certain 31 circumstances; providing that the act may not be 32 construed to require or authorize any court to 33 adjudicate, or prohibit any religious organization 34 from adjudicating, ecclesiastical matters in violation 35 of specified constitutional provisions or to conflict 36 with any federal treaty or other international 37 agreement to which the United States is a party to a 38 specified extent; providing for severability; 39 providing a directive to the Division of Law Revision 40 and Information; providing an effective date. 41 42 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 43 44 Section 1. Section 45.022, Florida Statutes, is created to 45 read: 46 45.022 Application of foreign law contrary to public policy 47 in certain cases.— 48 (1) While the Legislature fully recognizes the right to 49 contract freely under the laws of this state, it also recognizes 50 that this right may be reasonably and rationally circumscribed 51 pursuant to the state’s interest to protect and promote 52 liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the State 53 Constitution or the United States Constitution. 54 (2) As used in this section, the term “foreign law, legal 55 code, or system” means any law, legal code, or system of a 56 foreign country, or a state, nation, or subdivision thereof, 57 outside of the United States or its territories, including, but 58 not limited to, a foreign or international organization claiming 59 the status of a country, state, or nation or asserting legal 60 authority to act on behalf of one or more foreign countries, 61 states, nations, or any other similar international organization 62 or tribunal, which is applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, 63 administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals. 64 The term does not include the common law and statute laws of 65 England as described in s. 2.01 or any laws of the Native 66 American tribes in this state. 67 (3)(a) This section applies only to actual or foreseeable 68 denials of a natural person’s fundamental liberties, rights, and 69 privileges guaranteed by the State Constitution or the United 70 States Constitution from the application of a foreign law, legal 71 code, or system in actions or proceedings brought under, 72 pursuant to, or pertaining to the subject matter of chapter 61 73 or chapter 88 and filed after the effective date of this act. 74 (b) Except as necessary to provide effective relief in 75 actions or proceedings brought under, pursuant to, or pertaining 76 to the subject matter of chapter 61 or chapter 88, this section 77 does not apply to a corporation, partnership, or other form of 78 business association. 79 (4) Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative 80 agency ruling or decision violates the public policy of this 81 state and is void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, 82 tribunal, or administrative agency bases its ruling or decision 83 in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any foreign law, 84 legal code, or system that does not grant the parties affected 85 by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, 86 rights, and privileges guaranteed by the State Constitution or 87 the United States Constitution. 88 (5)(a) A contract or contractual provision, if severable, 89 that provides for the choice of a foreign law, legal code, or 90 system to govern some or all of the disputes between the parties 91 to be adjudicated by a court of law or by an arbitration panel 92 arising from the contract violates the public policy of this 93 state and is void and unenforceable if the foreign law, legal 94 code, or system chosen includes or incorporates any substantive 95 or procedural law, as applied to the dispute at issue, which 96 would not grant the parties the same fundamental liberties, 97 rights, and privileges guaranteed by the State Constitution or 98 the United States Constitution. 99 (b) This subsection does not limit the right of a natural 100 person in this state to voluntarily restrict or limit his or her 101 fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed by the 102 State Constitution or the United States Constitution by contract 103 or specific waiver consistent with constitutional principles, 104 but the language of any such contract or other waiver must be 105 strictly construed in favor of preserving such liberties, 106 rights, and privileges. 107 (6)(a) A contract or contractual provision, if severable, 108 that provides for the choice of venue or choice of forum outside 109 a state or territory of the United States violates the public 110 policy of this state and is void and unenforceable if the 111 enforcement of the choice of venue or forum provision would 112 result in a violation of any fundamental liberties, rights, and 113 privileges guaranteed by the State Constitution or the United 114 States Constitution. 115 (b) If a natural person who is subject to personal 116 jurisdiction in this state seeks to maintain litigation, 117 arbitration, agency, or similarly binding proceedings in this 118 state and the courts of this state find that granting a claim of 119 forum non conveniens or a related claim denies or would likely 120 lead to the denial of any fundamental liberties, rights, and 121 privileges guaranteed by the State Constitution or the United 122 States Constitution of the nonclaimant in the foreign forum with 123 respect to the matter in dispute, it is the public policy of 124 this state that the claim be denied. 125 (7) This section may not be construed to: 126 (a) Require or authorize any court to adjudicate, or 127 prohibit any religious organization from adjudicating, 128 ecclesiastical matters, including, but not limited to, the 129 election, appointment, calling, discipline, dismissal, removal, 130 or excommunication of a member, officer, official, priest, nun, 131 monk, pastor, rabbi, imam, or member of the clergy of the 132 religious organization, or determination or interpretation of 133 the doctrine of the religious organization, if such adjudication 134 or prohibition would violate s. 3, Art. I of the State 135 Constitution or the First Amendment to the United States 136 Constitution; or 137 (b) Conflict with any federal treaty or other international 138 agreement to which the United States is a party to the extent 139 that such federal treaty or international agreement preempts or 140 is superior to state law on the matter at issue. 141 (8) If any provision of this section or its application to 142 any natural person or circumstance is held invalid, the 143 invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of 144 this section which can be given effect, and to that end the 145 provisions of this section are severable. 146 Section 2. The Division of Law Revision and Information is 147 directed to replace the phrase “the effective date of this act” 148 wherever it occurs in this act with the date this act becomes a 149 law. 150 Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.