Florida Senate - 2018 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SB 750 Ì510198=Î510198 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House . . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Committee on Judiciary (Perry) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 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. 47 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.