Florida Senate - 2015                                     SB 766
       By Senator Hukill
       8-00033D-15                                            2015766__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to surveillance by a drone; amending
    3         s. 934.50, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting a person,
    4         a state agency, or a political subdivision from using
    5         a drone to capture an image of privately owned real
    6         property or of the owner, tenant, or occupant of such
    7         property with the intent to conduct surveillance
    8         without his or her written consent if a reasonable
    9         expectation of privacy exists; specifying when a
   10         reasonable expectation of privacy may be presumed;
   11         providing that an owner, tenant, or occupant may
   12         initiate a civil action for compensatory damages or
   13         seek injunctive relief against a person, a state
   14         agency, or a political subdivision that violates the
   15         act; providing for the recovery of attorney fees and
   16         punitive damages; specifying that remedies provided by
   17         the act are cumulative to other remedies; providing an
   18         effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 934.50, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   23  read:
   24         934.50 Searches and seizure using a drone.—
   25         (1) SHORT TITLE.—This act may be cited as the “Freedom from
   26  Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”
   27         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, the term:
   28         (a) “Drone” means a powered, aerial vehicle that:
   29         1. Does not carry a human operator;
   30         2. Uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift;
   31         3. Can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely;
   32         4. Can be expendable or recoverable; and
   33         5. Can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.
   34         (b)“Image” means a record of thermal, infrared,
   35  ultraviolet, visible light, or other electromagnetic waves;
   36  sound waves; odors; or other physical phenomena which captures
   37  conditions existing on or about real property or an individual
   38  located on that property.
   39         (c)“Imaging device” means a mechanical, digital, or
   40  electronic viewing device; still camera; camcorder; motion
   41  picture camera; or any other instrument, equipment, or format
   42  capable of recording, storing, or transmitting an image.
   43         (d)(b) “Law enforcement agency” means a lawfully
   44  established state or local public agency that is responsible for
   45  the prevention and detection of crime, local government code
   46  enforcement, and the enforcement of penal, traffic, regulatory,
   47  game, or controlled substance laws.
   48         (3) PROHIBITED USE OF DRONES.—
   49         (a) A law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather
   50  evidence or other information.
   51         (b) A person, a state agency, or a political subdivision as
   52  defined in s. 11.45 may not use a drone equipped with an imaging
   53  device to record an image of privately owned or occupied real
   54  property or of the owner, tenant, or occupant of such property
   55  with the intent to conduct surveillance on the individual or
   56  property captured in the image in violation of such person’s
   57  reasonable expectation of privacy without his or her written
   58  consent. For purposes of this section, a person is presumed to
   59  have a reasonable expectation of privacy on his or her privately
   60  owned or occupied real property if he or she is not observable
   61  by persons located at ground level in a place where they have a
   62  legal right to be, regardless of whether he or she is observable
   63  from the air with the use of a drone.
   64         (4) EXCEPTIONS.—This act does not prohibit the use of a
   65  drone:
   66         (a) To counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a
   67  specific individual or organization if the United States
   68  Secretary of Homeland Security determines that credible
   69  intelligence indicates that there is such a risk.
   70         (b) If the law enforcement agency first obtains a search
   71  warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use of a drone.
   72         (c) If the law enforcement agency possesses reasonable
   73  suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is
   74  needed to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to
   75  property, to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the
   76  destruction of evidence, or to achieve purposes including, but
   77  not limited to, facilitating the search for a missing person.
   78         (5) REMEDIES FOR VIOLATION.—
   79         (a) An aggrieved party may initiate a civil action against
   80  a law enforcement agency to obtain all appropriate relief in
   81  order to prevent or remedy a violation of this act.
   82         (b) The owner, tenant, or occupant of privately owned or
   83  occupied real property may initiate a civil action for
   84  compensatory damages for violations of this section and may seek
   85  injunctive relief to prevent future violations of this section
   86  against a person, state agency, or political subdivision that
   87  violates paragraph (3)(b). In such action, the prevailing party
   88  is entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees from the
   89  nonprevailing party based on the actual and reasonable time
   90  expended by his or her attorney billed at an appropriate hourly
   91  rate and, in cases in which the payment of such a fee is
   92  contingent on the outcome, without a multiplier, unless the
   93  action is tried to verdict, in which case a multiplier of up to
   94  twice the actual value of the time expended may be awarded in
   95  the discretion of the trial court.
   96         (c) Punitive damages under this section may be sought
   97  against a person subject to other requirements and limitations
   98  of law, including, but not limited to, part II of chapter 768
   99  and case law.
  100         (d) The remedies provided by this section are cumulative to
  101  other existing remedies.
  102         (6) PROHIBITION ON USE OF EVIDENCE.—Evidence obtained or
  103  collected in violation of this act is not admissible as evidence
  104  in a criminal prosecution in any court of law in this state.
  105         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.