2017 Legislature                            CS for CS for SB 886
    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 Children and Families, without
   41  charge.
   42         (j) The Department of Corrections, without charge, if the
   43  respondent is committed or is to be returned to the custody of
   44  the Department of Corrections from the Department of Children
   45  and Families.
   46         (k) A person or entity authorized to view records upon a
   47  court order for good cause. In determining if there is good
   48  cause for the disclosure of records, the court must weigh the
   49  person or entity’s need for the information against potential
   50  harm to the respondent from the disclosure.
   51         (2) This section does not preclude the clerk of the court
   52  from submitting the information required by s. 790.065 to the
   53  Department of Law Enforcement.
   54         (3) The clerk of the court may not publish personal
   55  identifying information on a court docket or in a publicly
   56  accessible file.
   57         (4) A person or entity receiving information pursuant to
   58  this section shall maintain that information as confidential and
   59  exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
   60  Constitution.
   61         (5) The exemption under this section applies to all
   62  documents filed with a court before, on, or after July 1, 2017.
   63         (6) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset
   64  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed
   65  on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal
   66  through reenactment by the Legislature.
   67         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   68  necessity that petitions for involuntary assessment and
   69  stabilization and related court orders and records that are
   70  filed with or by a court under part V of chapter 397, Florida
   71  Statutes, and the personal identifying information of a
   72  substance abuse impaired person which is published on a court
   73  docket and maintained by the clerk of the court under part V of
   74  chapter 397, Florida Statutes, be made confidential and exempt
   75  from disclosure under s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s.
   76  24(a), Article I of the State Constitution. A person’s health
   77  and sensitive, personal information regarding his or her actual
   78  or alleged substance abuse impairment are intensely private
   79  matters. The media have obtained, and published information
   80  from, such records without the affected person’s consent. The
   81  content of such records or personal identifying information
   82  should not be made public merely because they are filed with or
   83  by a court or placed on a docket. Making such petitions, orders,
   84  records, and identifying information confidential and exempt
   85  from disclosure will protect such persons from the release of
   86  sensitive, personal information which could damage their and
   87  their families’ reputations. The publication of personal
   88  identifying information on a physical or virtual docket,
   89  regardless of whether any other record is published, defeats the
   90  purpose of protections otherwise provided. Further, the
   91  knowledge that such sensitive, personal information is subject
   92  to disclosure could have a chilling effect on a person’s
   93  willingness to seek out and comply with substance abuse
   94  treatment services.
   95         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.