Florida Senate - 2017                              CS for SB 972
       By the Committee on Criminal Justice; and Senator Bracy
       591-03907-17                                           2017972c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to victims of human trafficking;
    3         creating s. 787.061, F.S.; providing a short title;
    4         creating s. 787.062, F.S.; defining terms; creating s.
    5         787.063, F.S.; providing legislative findings;
    6         creating a civil cause of action for victims of human
    7         trafficking, or for the Statewide Council on Human
    8         Trafficking on their behalves, against a trafficker or
    9         facilitator; providing procedures and requirements for
   10         bringing a claim; requiring a court to impose a civil
   11         penalty against a defendant if a victim, or the
   12         council on the victim’s behalf, prevails; requiring a
   13         court to impose a civil penalty and award it equitably
   14         to one or more law enforcement agencies under certain
   15         circumstances; providing that such actions are not
   16         subject to a statute of limitations; creating s.
   17         787.064, F.S.; requiring the council to issue an
   18         annual report to the Legislature which includes
   19         specified information, by a specified date; amending
   20         s. 16.617, F.S.; adding functions and duties for the
   21         council; providing for administration of the trust
   22         fund by the council; providing appropriations;
   23         providing an effective date.
   25  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   27         Section 1. Section 787.061, Florida Statutes, is created to
   28  read:
   29         787.061Short title.—Sections 787.061-787.065 may be cited
   30  as the “Civil Action for Victims of Human Trafficking and
   31  Prevention of Human Trafficking Act.”
   32         Section 2. Section 787.062, Florida Statutes, is created to
   33  read:
   34         787.062Definitions for the Civil Action for Victims of
   35  Human Trafficking and Prevention of Human Trafficking Act.—As
   36  used in ss. 787.061-787.065 the term:
   37         (1)“Council” means the Statewide Council on Human
   38  Trafficking within the Department of Legal Affairs, as created
   39  in s. 16.617.
   40         (2)“Facilitator” means a person who knowingly, or in
   41  willful blindness, assists or provides goods or services to a
   42  trafficker which assist or enable the trafficker to carry out
   43  human trafficking.
   44         (3)“Human trafficking” has the same meaning as provided in
   45  s. 787.06.
   46         (4)“Trafficker” means any person who knowingly engages in
   47  human trafficking, attempts to engage in human trafficking, or
   48  benefits financially by receiving anything of value from
   49  participation in a venture that has subjected a person to human
   50  trafficking.
   51         (5)“Trust fund” means the Trust Fund for Victims of Human
   52  Trafficking and Prevention created in s. 787.0611.
   53         (6) “Venture” means any group of two or more individuals
   54  associated in fact, whether or not a legal entity.
   55         (7) “Victim of human trafficking” means a person subjected
   56  to coercion, as defined in s. 787.06, for the purpose of being
   57  used in human trafficking, a child under 18 years of age
   58  subjected to human trafficking, or an individual subjected to
   59  human trafficking as defined by federal law.
   60         (8)“Willful blindness” occurs when a person’s suspicions
   61  are aroused about a particular fact and, while he or she
   62  realizes its probability, he or she deliberately refrains from
   63  obtaining confirmation of or acting on the fact because he or
   64  she wants to remain in ignorance, such that knowledge of the
   65  fact avoided can reasonably and fairly be imputed to the person
   66  who avoided confirming it.
   67         Section 3. Section 787.063, Florida Statutes, is created to
   68  read:
   69         787.063Civil action for victims of human trafficking.—
   70         (1)FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that, to achieve the
   71  state’s goals relating to human trafficking set forth in s.
   72  787.06(1)(d), it is necessary to provide a civil cause of action
   73  for the recovery of compensatory and punitive damages.
   74         (2)CIVIL CAUSE OF ACTION.—
   75         (a)A victim of human trafficking has a civil cause of
   76  action against the trafficker or facilitator of human
   77  trafficking who victimized her or him, and may recover damages
   78  for such victimization as provided in this section.
   79         (b)The council, with the consent of the victim, may bring
   80  a civil cause of action against a trafficker or facilitator of
   81  human trafficking who victimizes a person in this state.
   82         (c) If the council prevails in any action, the trust fund
   83  shall hold moneys awarded to the victim for distribution to the
   84  victim or her or his parent, legal guardian, or estate. However,
   85  if the victim’s parent or legal guardian knowingly, or through
   86  willful blindness, participated in the human trafficking, such
   87  person is not entitled to any distribution or benefit from the
   88  trust fund. If there is no person or estate to appropriately
   89  receive the funds, they must remain in the trust fund and be
   90  used for purposes of the trust fund, as described in s.
   91  787.0611.
   92         (d)The action may be brought in any court of competent
   93  jurisdiction and the standard of proof is a preponderance of the
   94  evidence.
   95         (e)A victim, or the council on behalf of the victim, who
   96  prevails in any such action is entitled to recover economic and
   97  noneconomic damages, penalties, punitive damages, reasonable
   98  attorney fees, reasonable investigative expenses, and costs.
   99         1. The measure of economic damages for services or labor
  100  coerced from the victim of human trafficking shall be the
  101  greater of the fair market value of the labor or services
  102  provided or the amount realized by the trafficker. For purposes
  103  of this subparagraph, the terms “labor” and “services” have the
  104  same meanings as provided in s. 787.06.
  105         2. The measure of economic damages for every day that the
  106  human trafficking was ongoing shall be calculated as a daily
  107  amount of the compensation payable to a person under s.
  108  961.06(1)(a).
  109         3. Economic damages also include past and future medical
  110  and mental health expenses; repatriation expenses, when a victim
  111  elects repatriation; and all other reasonable costs and expenses
  112  incurred by the victim in the past or estimated to be incurred
  113  by the victim in the future as a result of the human
  114  trafficking.
  115         4. Noneconomic damages shall be calculated as in a tort
  116  action.
  117         (f)The remedies provided in this section are in addition
  118  to and cumulative with other legal and administrative remedies
  119  available to victims of human trafficking, except that a victim
  120  may not recover under both this section and s. 772.104(2).
  121         (g)If a victim or the council, on behalf of the victim,
  122  prevails in an action under this section, in addition to any
  123  other award imposed, the court must award a civil penalty
  124  against the defendant in the amount of $100,000. This penalty is
  125  in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other damage award. The
  126  civil penalty must be assessed by the court and may not be
  127  disclosed to the jury. Proceeds from the civil penalty must be
  128  deposited into the trust fund.
  129         (h)If one or more law enforcement agencies rescued the
  130  victim or located the property upon which the abuse or
  131  exploitation of a victim or victims had occurred, the court must
  132  impose a civil penalty against the defendant in the amount of
  133  $50,000 and award the penalty to the law enforcement agencies to
  134  fund future efforts to combat human trafficking. The court must
  135  equitably distribute the civil penalty among the law enforcement
  136  agencies.
  137         (i) The court shall have specific authority to consolidate
  138  civil actions for the same trafficker or facilitator for the
  139  purpose of case resolution and aggregate jurisdiction.
  140         (3)STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.—There is no statute of
  141  limitations for actions brought pursuant to this section.
  142         Section 4. Section 787.064, Florida Statutes, is created to
  143  read:
  144         787.064Annual Report of the Civil Action for Victims of
  145  Human Trafficking and Prevention of Human Trafficking Act.—The
  146  council shall issue an annual report no later than October 1 of
  147  each year to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the
  148  House of Representatives detailing for the prior fiscal year all
  149  of the following:
  150         (1) The status of the trust fund.
  151         (2) Any actions and outcomes under s. 787.063.
  152         (3) Any information that demonstrates the council’s
  153  fulfillment of the purposes of the trust fund during the prior
  154  fiscal year.
  155         Section 5. Paragraph (f) is added to subsection (4) of
  156  section 16.617, Florida Statutes, to read:
  157         16.617 Statewide Council on Human Trafficking; creation;
  158  membership; duties.—
  159         (4) DUTIES.—The council shall:
  160         (f)Perform the functions and duties as provided in ss.
  161  787.061-787.065 and administer the Trust Fund for Victims of
  162  Human Trafficking and Prevention as created in s. 787.0611.
  163         Section 6. For the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the sums of
  164  $153,000 in recurring funds and $29,000 in nonrecurring funds
  165  from the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund are appropriated to the
  166  Department of Legal Affairs, and three full-time equivalent
  167  positions are authorized, for the purpose of implementing this
  168  act.
  169         Section 7. This act shall take effect October 1, 2017.