Florida Senate - 2017                                     SB 886
       By Senator Powell
       30-01194-17                                            2017886__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s.
    3         397.6815, F.S.; providing an exemption from public
    4         records requirements for petitions for involuntary
    5         assessment and stabilization, court orders, related
    6         records, and personal identifying information
    7         regarding substance abuse impaired persons; providing
    8         exceptions authorizing the release of such petitions,
    9         orders, records, and identifying information to
   10         certain persons and entities; providing for
   11         retroactive application; providing a statement of
   12         public necessity; providing an effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Section 397.6815, Florida Statutes, is amended
   17  to read:
   18         397.6815 Involuntary assessment and stabilization; public
   19  records exemption; procedure.—
   20         (1)Petitions for involuntary assessment and stabilization,
   21  court orders, and related records that are filed with or by a
   22  court under this part are confidential and exempt from s.
   23  119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
   24         (2)Personal identifying information published on a court
   25  docket and maintained by the clerk of the court under this part
   26  is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art.
   27  I of the State Constitution.
   28         (3)Notwithstanding paragraph (4)(a), such petitions,
   29  orders, records, and identifying information shall be released
   30  upon request to:
   31         (a)Any person responsible for ensuring the continuity of
   32  the respondent’s health care, upon approval by the respondent,
   33  the respondent’s guardian, or, in the case of a minor, the
   34  respondent’s parent, guardian, legal custodian, or guardian
   35  advocate.
   36         (b)Any agency or individual who has obtained a court order
   37  finding good cause for releasing such petitions, orders,
   38  records, or identifying information. In determining whether
   39  there is good cause for disclosure, the court shall weigh the
   40  need for disclosure against the possible harm of disclosure to
   41  the respondent.
   42         (c)The Department of Corrections, if the respondent is
   43  committed to the department or scheduled to be returned to the
   44  custody of the department from the custody of the Department of
   45  Children and Families. When the Department of Corrections
   46  requests such information, the service charge shall be waived.
   47         (4) Upon receipt and filing of the petition for the
   48  involuntary assessment and stabilization of a substance abuse
   49  impaired person by the clerk of the court, the court shall
   50  ascertain whether the respondent is represented by an attorney,
   51  and if not, whether, on the basis of the petition, an attorney
   52  should be appointed; and shall:
   53         (a)(1) Provide a copy of the petition and notice of hearing
   54  to the respondent; the respondent’s parent, guardian, or legal
   55  custodian, or guardian advocate, in the case of a minor; the
   56  respondent’s attorney, if known; the petitioner; the
   57  respondent’s spouse or guardian, if applicable; and such other
   58  persons as the court may direct pursuant to paragraph (3)(b),
   59  and have such petition and notice personally delivered to the
   60  respondent if he or she is a minor. The court shall also issue a
   61  summons to the person whose admission is sought and conduct a
   62  hearing within 10 days; or
   63         (b)(2) Without the appointment of an attorney and, relying
   64  solely on the contents of the petition, enter an ex parte order
   65  authorizing the involuntary assessment and stabilization of the
   66  respondent. The court may order a law enforcement officer or
   67  other designated agent of the court to take the respondent into
   68  custody and deliver him or her to the nearest appropriate
   69  licensed service provider.
   70         (5)The exemption provided in subsection (1) applies
   71  retroactively.
   72         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   73  necessity that petitions for involuntary assessment and
   74  stabilization and related court orders and records that are
   75  filed with or by a court under part V of chapter 397, Florida
   76  Statutes, and the personal identifying information of a
   77  substance abuse impaired person which is published on a court
   78  docket and maintained by the clerk of the court under part V of
   79  chapter 397, Florida Statutes, be made confidential and exempt
   80  from disclosure under s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s.
   81  24(a), Article I of the State Constitution. A person’s health
   82  and sensitive, personal information regarding his or her actual
   83  or alleged substance abuse impairment are intensely private
   84  matters. The media have obtained, and published information
   85  from, such records without the affected persons’ consent. The
   86  content of such records or personal identifying information
   87  should not be made public merely because they are filed with or
   88  by a court or placed on a docket. Making such petitions, orders,
   89  records, and identifying information confidential and exempt
   90  from disclosure will protect such persons from the release of
   91  sensitive, personal information which could damage their and
   92  their families’ reputations. The publication of personal
   93  identifying information on a physical or virtual docket,
   94  regardless of whether any other record is published, defeats the
   95  purpose of protections otherwise provided. Further, the
   96  knowledge that such sensitive, personal information is subject
   97  to disclosure could have a chilling effect on a person’s
   98  willingness to seek out and comply with substance abuse
   99  treatment services.
  100         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.