Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1140
       By Senator Hutson
       7-01360-19                                            20191140__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to attorney fees and costs; creating
    3         s. 57.112, F.S.; waiving the sovereign immunity of
    4         local governments for liability for certain attorney
    5         fees and costs; defining the term “attorney fees and
    6         costs”; providing for award of attorney fees and costs
    7         and damages in successful civil actions challenging
    8         local ordinances as being preempted by the State
    9         Constitution or state law; prohibiting an award of
   10         attorney fees and costs under certain circumstances;
   11         providing construction; providing applicability;
   12         providing retroactive application; providing an
   13         effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Section 57.112, Florida Statutes, is created to
   18  read:
   19         57.112 Attorney fees and costs and damages; preempted local
   20  actions.—
   21         (1) In accordance with s. 13, Art. X of the State
   22  Constitution, sovereign immunity for local governments is waived
   23  for liability for attorney fees and costs awarded pursuant to
   24  this section. There is no limit to the amount of attorney fees
   25  and costs a court may award pursuant to this section.
   26         (2) As used in this section, the term “attorney fees and
   27  costs” means the reasonable and necessary attorney fees and
   28  costs incurred for all preparations, motions, hearings, trials,
   29  and appeals in a proceeding.
   30         (3) If a civil action is filed against a local government
   31  to challenge the adoption or enforcement of a local ordinance on
   32  the grounds that it is preempted by the State Constitution or by
   33  state law, the court shall assess and award reasonable attorney
   34  fees and costs and damages, including prejudgment interest and
   35  costs, against the local government if the court determines that
   36  the ordinance was preempted.
   37         (4) Attorney fees and costs may not be awarded pursuant to
   38  this section if the local government withdraws or repeals the
   39  ordinance within 21 days after the earlier of:
   40         (a) The local government’s receipt of a written claim that
   41  the ordinance, as proposed or adopted, is preempted by the State
   42  Constitution or by state law; or
   43         (b) A motion being filed seeking attorney fees and costs
   44  pursuant to this section.
   45         (5) The provisions in this section are supplemental to all
   46  other sanctions or remedies available under law or court rule.
   47         (6) This section does not apply to ordinances relating to
   48  growth management.
   49         Section 2. This act is intended to be remedial in nature
   50  and applies retroactively to all cases pending or commenced on
   51  or after July 1, 2019.
   52         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.