Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1748
       By Senator Jones
       35-00889-21                                           20211748__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s. 83.626,
    3         F.S.; exempting a defendant’s name that has been
    4         removed from the progress docket and certain sealed
    5         records relating to eviction proceedings from public
    6         records requirements; providing a statement of public
    7         necessity; providing a contingent effective date.
    9  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         Section 1. Subsection (6) is added to section 83.626,
   12  Florida Statutes, as created by SB ___, 2021 Regular Session, to
   13  read:
   14         83.626 Court records of eviction proceedings.—
   15         (6)A defendant’s name that is removed from the progress
   16  docket pursuant to this section and any records sealed under
   17  this section are confidential and exempt from s. 24(a), Art. I
   18  of the State Constitution.
   19         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   20  necessity that certain court records and information relating to
   21  eviction proceedings be made exempt from s. 24(a), Article I of
   22  the State Constitution. Florida has the third-highest homeless
   23  population in the United States. Defendants in eviction
   24  proceedings are frequently blacklisted by landlords and unable
   25  to find affordable housing, regardless of whether a judgment was
   26  ever entered against the defendant. This results in increased
   27  homelessness and negatively affects this state’s economy and the
   28  public health of its residents. Therefore, it is necessary that
   29  certain court records and information relating to eviction
   30  proceedings be protected to ensure that the negative health and
   31  economic impacts of defendants being blacklisted from renting
   32  housing are not exacerbated.
   33         Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that
   34  SB ____ or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation
   35  is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension
   36  thereof and becomes a law.