Florida Senate - 2019 SB 1766 By Senator Gruters 23-00646C-19 20191766__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to crime stoppers programs; creating 3 s. 90.595, F.S.; providing definitions; prohibiting a 4 person who engages in privileged communication, a law 5 enforcement crime stoppers coordinator or his or her 6 staff, or a member of a crime stoppers organization’s 7 board of directors from being required to disclose 8 privileged communications or produce protected 9 information; providing an exception; authorizing a 10 person charged with a criminal offense to petition the 11 court to inspect the protected information under 12 certain circumstances; authorizing a court to disclose 13 all or a portion of the protected information; 14 providing criminal penalties; providing exceptions; 15 amending s. 16.555, F.S.; specifying permissible uses 16 for funds awarded to counties from the Crime Stoppers 17 Trust Fund; authorizing certain unencumbered funds to 18 be reallocated to other judicial circuits after the 19 initial disbursement of funds; providing an effective 20 date. 21 22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 23 24 Section 1. Section 90.595, Florida Statutes, is created to 25 read: 26 90.595 Privileged communication with and the provision of 27 protected information to crime stoppers organizations.— 28 (1) As used in this section, the term: 29 (a) “Crime stoppers organization” means a private not-for 30 profit organization that collects and expends donations for 31 rewards to persons who report to the organization information 32 concerning criminal activity and forwards that information to 33 appropriate law enforcement agencies. 34 (b) “Privileged communication” means the act of providing 35 information to a crime stoppers organization for the purpose of 36 reporting alleged criminal activity. 37 (c) “Protected information” includes the identity of a 38 person who engages in privileged communication with a crime 39 stoppers program and any records, recordings, oral or written 40 statements, papers, documents, or other tangible things provided 41 to or collected by a crime stoppers organization, a law 42 enforcement crime stoppers coordinator or his or her staff, or a 43 law enforcement agency in connection with such privileged 44 communication. 45 (2) A person who engages in privileged communication under 46 this section, a law enforcement crime stoppers coordinator or 47 his or her staff, or a member of a crime stoppers organization’s 48 board of directors may not be required: 49 (a) To disclose, by way of testimony or any other means, a 50 privileged communication or protected information unless such 51 failure to disclose would infringe on the constitutional rights 52 of an accused person. 53 (b) To produce, under subpoena, any records, documentary 54 evidence, opinions, or decisions relating to such privileged 55 communication or protected information: 56 1. In connection with a criminal case, criminal proceeding, 57 or any administrative hearing; or 58 2. By way of any discovery procedure. 59 (3)(a) A person charged with a criminal offense may 60 petition the court for inspection in camera of the protected 61 information. The petition must allege that the protected 62 information meets all of the following criteria: 63 1. Provides evidence favorable to the defendant. 64 2. Is specifically related to the determination of the 65 innocence or guilt of the petitioner. 66 3. Is such that, if it is not disclosed, will cause a 67 deprivation of a constitutional right of the petitioner. 68 (b) If the court determines that all of the criteria 69 specified in paragraph (a) are satisfied, the court may order 70 the production and disclosure of all or any part of the 71 protected information, while, to the fullest extent possible, 72 protecting the identity of the persons who engaged in privileged 73 communication. 74 (4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person who 75 discloses any information related to privileged communication or 76 protected information commits a felony of the third degree, 77 punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. 78 (b) This subsection does not apply to: 79 1. The person who provides the privileged communication; or 80 2. A law enforcement officer or an employee of a law 81 enforcement agency or the Department of Legal Affairs when 82 acting within the scope of his or her official duties. 83 Section 2. Paragraphs (e) and (f) are added to subsection 84 (5) of section 16.555, Florida Statutes, to read: 85 16.555 Crime Stoppers Trust Fund; rulemaking.— 86 (5) 87 (e) A county that is awarded a grant under this section may 88 use such funds to pay rewards for tips that result in any of the 89 following: 90 1. An arrest. 91 2. Recovery of stolen property. 92 3. Recovery of illegal narcotics. 93 4. Recovery of the body of a homicide victim. 94 5. Recovery of a human trafficking victim or a missing 95 person connected to criminal activity. 96 6. Recovery of an illegal firearm or an illegal weapon on a 97 K-12 school campus. 98 7. Prevention of a terrorist act. 99 8. Solving and closing a homicide or other violent felony 100 offense that remains unsolved for 1 year or more after being 101 reported to a law enforcement agency and that has no viable and 102 unexplored investigatory leads. 103 (f) After the initial distribution of funds to the judicial 104 circuit in which they were collected as required under paragraph 105 (b), up to 50 percent of any unencumbered funds returned to the 106 Crime Stoppers Trust Fund from a previous grant year may be 107 reallocated for the subsequent grant year to other judicial 108 circuits to fund special Crime Stoppers initiatives or other 109 Florida Association of Crime Stoppers member programs, as 110 cooperatively determined and prioritized by the department and 111 the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers. 112 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.