Florida Senate - 2017                              CS for SB 886
       By the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and
       Senator Powell
       586-02389-17                                           2017886c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; creating s.
    3         397.6760, 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 applicability;
   11         prohibiting a clerk of court from publishing personal
   12         identifying information on a court docket or in a
   13         publicly accessible file; providing for retroactive
   14         application; providing for future legislative review
   15         and repeal of the exemption; providing a statement of
   16         public necessity; providing an effective date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Section 397.6760, Florida Statutes, is created
   21  to read:
   22         397.6760 Court records; confidentiality.—
   23         (1) All petitions for involuntary assessment and
   24  stabilization, court orders, and related records that are filed
   25  with or by a court under this part are confidential and exempt
   26  from s. 119.071(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
   27  Constitution. Pleadings and other documents made confidential
   28  and exempt by this section may be disclosed by the clerk of the
   29  court, upon request, to any of the following:
   30         (a) The petitioner.
   31         (b) The petitioner’s attorney.
   32         (c) The respondent.
   33         (d) The respondent’s attorney.
   34         (e) The respondent’s guardian or guardian advocate, if
   35  applicable.
   36         (f) In the case of a minor respondent, the respondent’s
   37  parent, guardian, legal custodian, or guardian advocate.
   38         (g) The respondent’s treating health care practitioner.
   39         (h) The respondent’s health care surrogate or proxy.
   40         (i) The Department of Corrections, without charge and upon
   41  request if the respondent is committed or is to be returned to
   42  the custody of the Department of Corrections from the Department
   43  of Children and Families.
   44         (j) A person or entity authorized to view records upon a
   45  court order for good cause. In determining if there is good
   46  cause for the disclosure of records, the court must weigh the
   47  person or entity’s need for the information against potential
   48  harm to the respondent from the disclosure.
   49         (2) This section does not preclude the clerk of the court
   50  from submitting the information required by s. 790.065 to the
   51  Department of Law Enforcement.
   52         (3) The clerk of the court may not publish personal
   53  identifying information on a court docket or in a publicly
   54  accessible file.
   55         (4) A person or entity receiving information pursuant to
   56  this section shall maintain such information as confidential and
   57  exempt from s. 119.07(1).
   58         (5) The exemption under this section applies to all
   59  documents filed with a court before, on, or after July 1, 2017.
   60         (6) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset
   61  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed
   62  on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal
   63  through reenactment by the Legislature.
   64         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   65  necessity that petitions for involuntary assessment and
   66  stabilization and related court orders and records that are
   67  filed with or by a court under part V of chapter 397, Florida
   68  Statutes, and the personal identifying information of a
   69  substance abuse impaired person which is published on a court
   70  docket and maintained by the clerk of the court under part V of
   71  chapter 397, Florida Statutes, be made confidential and exempt
   72  from disclosure under s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s.
   73  24(a), Article I of the State Constitution. A person’s health
   74  and sensitive, personal information regarding his or her actual
   75  or alleged substance abuse impairment are intensely private
   76  matters. The media have obtained, and published information
   77  from, such records without the affected person’s consent. The
   78  content of such records or personal identifying information
   79  should not be made public merely because they are filed with or
   80  by a court or placed on a docket. Making such petitions, orders,
   81  records, and identifying information confidential and exempt
   82  from disclosure will protect such persons from the release of
   83  sensitive, personal information which could damage their and
   84  their families’ reputations. The publication of personal
   85  identifying information on a physical or virtual docket,
   86  regardless of whether any other record is published, defeats the
   87  purpose of protections otherwise provided. Further, the
   88  knowledge that such sensitive, personal information is subject
   89  to disclosure could have a chilling effect on a person’s
   90  willingness to seek out and comply with substance abuse
   91  treatment services.
   92         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.