Florida Senate - 2017 CS for CS for SB 550 By the Committees on Judiciary; and Criminal Justice; and Senator Bracy 590-02190-17 2017550c2 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; amending s. 3 119.011, F.S.; providing that the personal identifying 4 information of a witness to a murder remains 5 confidential and exempt for a specified period; 6 amending s. 119.071, F.S.; providing an exemption from 7 public records requirements for criminal intelligence 8 or criminal investigative information that reveals the 9 personal identifying information of a witness to a 10 murder for a specified period; authorizing specified 11 entities and parties to receive the information; 12 providing for future legislative review and repeal of 13 the exemption; amending s. 119.0714, F.S.; providing 14 that the public records exemption applies to personal 15 identifying information of a witness to a murder that 16 is made part of a court file; providing a statement of 17 public necessity; providing an effective date. 18 19 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 20 21 Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of section 22 119.011, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 23 119.011 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term: 24 (3) 25 (c) “Criminal intelligence information” and “criminal 26 investigative information” shall not include: 27 1. The time, date, location, and nature of a reported 28 crime. 29 2. The name, sex, age, and address of a person arrested or 30 of the victim of a crime except as provided in s. 119.071(2)(h). 31 3. The time, date, and location of the incident and of the 32 arrest. 33 4. The crime charged. 34 5. Documents given or required by law or agency rule to be 35 given to the person arrested, except as provided in s. 36 119.071(2)(h) or (2)(m), and, except that the court in a 37 criminal case may order that certain information required by law 38 or agency rule to be given to the person arrested be maintained 39 in a confidential manner and exempt from the provisions of s. 40 119.07(1) until released at trial if it is found that the 41 release of such information would: 42 a. Be defamatory to the good name of a victim or witness or 43 would jeopardize the safety of such victim or witness; and 44 b. Impair the ability of a state attorney to locate or 45 prosecute a codefendant. 46 6. Informations and indictments except as provided in s. 47 905.26. 48 Section 2. Paragraph (m) is added to subsection (2) of 49 section 119.071, Florida Statutes, to read: 50 119.071 General exemptions from inspection or copying of 51 public records.— 52 (2) AGENCY INVESTIGATIONS.— 53 (m)1. Criminal intelligence information or criminal 54 investigative information that reveals the personal identifying 55 information of a witness to a murder, as described in s. 782.04, 56 is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. 57 I of the State Constitution for 2 years after the date on which 58 the murder is observed by the witness. A criminal justice agency 59 may disclose such information: 60 a. In the furtherance of its official duties and 61 responsibilities. 62 b. To assist in locating or identifying the witness if the 63 agency believes the witness to be missing or endangered. 64 c. To another governmental agency for use in the 65 performance of its official duties and responsibilities. 66 d. To the parties in a pending criminal prosecution as 67 required by law. 68 2. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset 69 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed 70 on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 71 through reenactment by the Legislature. 72 Section 3. Paragraph (h) of subsection (1) of section 73 119.0714, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 74 119.0714 Court files; court records; official records.— 75 (1) COURT FILES.—Nothing in this chapter shall be construed 76 to exempt from s. 119.07(1) a public record that was made a part 77 of a court file and that is not specifically closed by order of 78 court, except: 79 (h) Criminal intelligence information or criminal 80 investigative information that is confidential and exempt as 81 provided in s. 119.071(2)(h) or (2)(m). 82 Section 4. The Legislature finds that it is a public 83 necessity that personal identifying information of a witness to 84 a murder, as described in s. 782.04, Florida Statutes, be made 85 confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and 86 s. 24(a), Article I of the State Constitution for 2 years after 87 the date on which the murder is observed by the witness. The 88 judicial system cannot function without the participation of 89 witnesses. Complete cooperation and truthful testimony of 90 witnesses is essential to the determination of the facts of a 91 case. The public disclosure of personal identifying information 92 of a witness to a murder could have an undesirable chilling 93 effect on witnesses stepping forward and providing their 94 eyewitness accounts of murders. A witness to a murder may be 95 unwilling to cooperate fully with law enforcement officers if 96 the witness knows his or her personal identifying information 97 can be made publicly available. A witness may be less likely to 98 call a law enforcement officer and report a murder if his or her 99 personal identifying information is made available in connection 100 with the murder that is being reported or under investigation. 101 The Legislature further finds that a witness could become the 102 subject of intimidation tactics or threats by the perpetrator of 103 the murder if the witness’s personal identifying information is 104 publicly available. For these reasons, the Legislature finds 105 that it is a public necessity that the personal identifying 106 information of a witness to a murder, as described in s. 782.04, 107 Florida Statutes, be made confidential and exempt from public 108 record requirements. 109 Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.