ENROLLED 2017 Legislature CS for CS for SB 886 2017886er 1 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. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 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.