SB 386 First Engrossed 2014386e1 1 A bill to be entitled 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 certain contracts 11 are void as against the public policy of this state; 12 prohibiting a trial court from dismissing an action on 13 the grounds that a satisfactory remedy may be more 14 conveniently sought in a foreign country; providing an 15 exception; providing applicability; providing an 16 effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Section 61.040, Florida Statutes, is created to 21 read: 22 61.040 Application of the law of a foreign country in 23 courts relating to matters arising out of or relating to 24 chapters 61 and 88.— 25 (1) As used in this section, the term “strong public 26 policy” means public policy of sufficient importance to outweigh 27 the policy of protecting freedom of contract. 28 (2) A court may not enforce: 29 (a) A choice of law provision in a contract selecting the 30 law of a foreign country which contravenes strong public policy 31 of this state or that is unjust or unreasonable. 32 (b) A forum selection clause in a contract that selects a 33 forum in a foreign country if the clause is shown to be 34 unreasonable or unjust or if strong public policy would prohibit 35 the enforceability of the clause under the specific facts of the 36 case. 37 (3) Before enforcing a judgment or order of a court of a 38 foreign country, a court must review the judgment or order to 39 ensure that it complies with the rule of comity. A judgment or 40 order of a court of a foreign country is not entitled to comity 41 if the parties were not given adequate notice and the 42 opportunity to be heard, the foreign court did not have 43 jurisdiction, or the judgment or order of the foreign court 44 offends the public policy of this state. As used in this 45 subsection, a “foreign court” or “court of a foreign country” 46 includes any court or tribunal that has jurisdiction under the 47 laws of that nation over the subject of matters governed by 48 chapter 61 or chapter 88. 49 (4) A contract that seeks to apply the law of a foreign 50 country is void as against the public policy of this state if it 51 is injurious to the interest of the public or contravenes some 52 established interest in society. 53 (5) A trial court may not dismiss an action on the grounds 54 that a satisfactory remedy may be more conveniently sought in a 55 foreign country unless the trial court finds in accordance with 56 the applicable rules of civil procedure and this section, that 57 an adequate alternate forum exists. 58 (6) This section applies only to matters governed by or 59 relating to chapter 61 or chapter 88. 60 Section 2. This act shall take effect on October 1, 2014.