ENROLLED 2014 Legislature SB 386, 2nd Engrossed 2014386er 1 2 An act relating to the application of foreign law in 3 courts; creating s. 61.040, F.S.; defining the term 4 “strong public policy”; prohibiting a court from 5 enforcing certain choice of law or forum selection 6 contractual provisions; requiring a court to review 7 judgments and orders of foreign courts for comity 8 before enforcing such orders or judgments; specifying 9 judgments and orders of foreign courts that are not 10 entitled to comity; providing that the attempt to 11 apply the law of a foreign country is void under 12 certain circumstances; prohibiting a trial court from 13 dismissing an action on the grounds that a 14 satisfactory remedy may be more conveniently sought in 15 a foreign country; providing an exception; providing 16 applicability; providing an effective date. 17 18 WHEREAS, the purpose of the courts of this state is to 19 fairly and justly adjudicate disputes, and 20 WHEREAS, the common law and other court interpreted law of 21 this state protects litigants from the application of unfair and 22 unjust laws of foreign countries, and 23 WHEREAS, with respect to the enforceability of choice of 24 law provisions, this act codifies the holdings of Mintz & Fraade 25 P.C., v. Beta Drywall Acquisition, LLC, 59 So.3d 1173, 1176 26 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011); Walls v. Quick & Reilly, Inc., 824 So.2d 27 1016, 1018 (Fla. 5th DCA); and 28 WHEREAS, with respect to the enforceability of forum 29 selection clauses, this act codifies the holdings of Manrique v. 30 Fabbri, 493 So.2d 437, 440 (Fla. 1986) and Illinois Union 31 Insurance Co. v. Co-Free, Inc., 128 So.3d 820 (Fla. 1st DCA 32 2013); and 33 WHEREAS, with respect to the enforceability of a judgment 34 or order of a court of a foreign country, this act codifies the 35 holding of Nahar v. Nahar, 656 So.2d 225, 229 (Fla. 3d DCA 36 1995); and 37 WHEREAS, with respect to the application of the law of a 38 foreign state, this act codifies McNamara v. McNamara, 40 So.3d 39 78, 80 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010); and 40 WHEREAS, with respect to the dismissal of a case on the 41 grounds that a satisfactory remedy may be more conveniently 42 sought in a foreign country, this act codifies the result of 43 Rule 1.061(a)(1), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, NOW, 44 THEREFORE, 45 46 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 47 48 Section 1. Section 61.040, Florida Statutes, is created to 49 read: 50 61.040 Application of the law of a foreign country in 51 courts relating to matters arising out of or relating to 52 chapters 61 and 88.— 53 (1) As used in this section, the term “strong public 54 policy” means public policy of sufficient importance to outweigh 55 the policy of protecting freedom of contract. 56 (2) A court may not enforce: 57 (a) A choice of law provision in a contract selecting the 58 law of a foreign country which contravenes the strong public 59 policy of this state or that is unjust or unreasonable. 60 (b) A forum selection clause in a contract that selects a 61 forum in a foreign country if the clause is shown to be 62 unreasonable or unjust or if strong public policy would prohibit 63 the enforceability of the clause under the specific facts of the 64 case. 65 (3) Before enforcing a judgment or order of a court of a 66 foreign country, a court must review the judgment or order to 67 ensure that it complies with the rule of comity. A judgment or 68 order of a court of a foreign country is not entitled to comity 69 if the parties were not given adequate notice and the 70 opportunity to be heard, the foreign court did not have 71 jurisdiction, or the judgment or order of the foreign court 72 offends the public policy of this state. As used in this 73 subsection, a “foreign court” or “court of a foreign country” 74 includes any court or tribunal that has jurisdiction under the 75 laws of that nation over the subject of matters governed by 76 chapter 61 or chapter 88. 77 (4) Any attempt to apply the law of a foreign country is 78 void if it contravenes the strong public policy of this state or 79 if the law is unjust or unreasonable. 80 (5) A trial court may not dismiss an action on the grounds 81 that a satisfactory remedy may be more conveniently sought in a 82 foreign country unless the trial court finds in accordance with 83 all the applicable rules of civil procedure and this section 84 that an adequate alternate forum exists. 85 (6) This section applies only to matters governed by or 86 relating to chapter 61 or chapter 88. 87 88 The purpose of this section is to codify existing case law, and 89 that intent should guide the interpretation of this section. 90 Section 2. This act shall take effect on October 1, 2014.