Florida Senate - 2018                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 750
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  02/14/2018           .                                

       The Committee on Judiciary (Perry) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraph (j) is added to subsection (1) of
    6  section 119.07, Florida Statutes, to read:
    7         119.07 Inspection and copying of records; photographing
    8  public records; fees; exemptions.—
    9         (1)
   10         (j)1.If an agency is uncertain as to whether an exemption
   11  is applicable to the record that is the subject of a public
   12  records request, the agency must provide a written statement to
   13  the requester of such determination and notify the requester of
   14  the right to enter into mediation under the public records
   15  mediation program created under s. 16.60 in order to facilitate
   16  a resolution of the public records request. If the requester
   17  declines to enter into mediation with the agency or if the
   18  parties to the mediation fail to reach a mutually acceptable and
   19  voluntary agreement regarding the public records request, the
   20  requester may request that the agency seek a declaratory
   21  interpretation as to whether the requested record is subject to
   22  an exemption. Upon such request, the agency shall file the
   23  petition for the declaratory interpretation in the circuit court
   24  of the county in which the requester resides. Additionally, the
   25  agency may seek a declaratory interpretation regardless of
   26  whether the requester requests that the agency file such a
   27  petition. The requester has standing to participate in any
   28  proceeding regarding the declaratory interpretation, but the
   29  agency is responsible for all court costs and attorney fees as
   30  to the declaratory interpretation petition.
   31         2. An agency may not initiate a civil action against a
   32  requester in response to the request to inspect or copy a public
   33  record, but is not prohibited from responding to a civil action
   34  that is filed against the agency by the requester. This
   35  subparagraph does not impair an agency’s authority to initiate a
   36  civil action against a requester in a matter that is unrelated
   37  to the public records request.
   38         3. Any declaratory interpretation issued pursuant to this
   39  paragraph is binding on the parties to the public records
   40  request but is subject to appeal by either of the parties.
   41         4. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “declaratory
   42  interpretation” means a petition filed with the circuit court in
   43  which an agency seeks the opinion of the court as to the
   44  applicability of an exemption to a record that is requested for
   45  inspection or copying.
   46         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.
   48  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   49  And the title is amended as follows:
   50         Delete everything before the enacting clause
   51  and insert:
   52                        A bill to be entitled                      
   53         An act relating to public records; amending s. 119.07,
   54         F.S.; requiring an agency to provide a certain written
   55         statement to a person seeking to inspect or copy a
   56         record if the agency is uncertain as to whether the
   57         requested record is subject to a public records
   58         exemption; authorizing the requester of the record to
   59         request that the agency seek a declaratory
   60         interpretation, under specified circumstances;
   61         requiring the agency to file a petition for a
   62         declaratory interpretation upon receiving such
   63         request; authorizing the agency to seek a declaratory
   64         interpretation, regardless of whether having received
   65         a request; providing that the requester has standing
   66         to participate in any proceeding regarding the
   67         declaratory interpretation; specifying that the agency
   68         is responsible for court costs and attorney fees
   69         regarding the petition for a declaratory
   70         interpretation; prohibiting an agency from initiating
   71         a civil action against a requester in response to a
   72         public records request; providing for construction;
   73         specifying that a declaratory interpretation is
   74         binding on the parties but is subject to appeal;
   75         defining the term “declaratory interpretation”;
   76         providing an effective date.