Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1868
       By Senator Bean
       4-00942-21                                            20211868__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to privileged communications made to
    3         crime stoppers organizations; amending s. 16.557,
    4         F.S.; providing that the recipient of an illegally
    5         disclosed privileged communication also commits an
    6         offense; providing penalties; providing an exemption
    7         for employees, board members, or volunteers of a crime
    8         stoppers organization in certain circumstances;
    9         providing immunity from civil liability for certain
   10         actions by specified persons concerning privileged
   11         communications; limiting the uses of privileged
   12         communications or evidence of such communications;
   13         providing an effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Section 16.557, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   18  read:
   19         16.557 Crime stoppers organizations; disclosure of
   20  privileged communications or protected information; civil
   21  immunity; use.—
   22         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   23         (a) “Crime stoppers organization” means a private not-for
   24  profit organization that collects and expends donations for
   25  rewards to persons who report to the organization information
   26  concerning criminal activity, and forwards that information to
   27  appropriate law enforcement agencies.
   28         (b) “Privileged communication” means the act of providing
   29  information to a crime stoppers organization for the purpose of
   30  reporting alleged criminal activity.
   31         (c) “Protected information” includes the identity of a
   32  person who engages in privileged communication with a crime
   33  stoppers organization and any records, recordings, oral or
   34  written statements, papers, documents, or other tangible items
   35  provided to or collected by a crime stoppers organization, a law
   36  enforcement crime stoppers coordinator or his or her staff, or a
   37  law enforcement agency in connection with such privileged
   38  communication.
   39         (2)(a) Except pursuant to criminal discovery or as provided
   40  in paragraph (b), a person who discloses a privileged
   41  communication or protected information or any information
   42  concerning a privileged communication or protected information
   43  and the recipient of that disclosure each commit commits a
   44  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.
   45  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
   46         (b) This subsection does not apply to:
   47         1. The person who provides the privileged communication or
   48  protected information; or
   49         2.An employee, board member, or volunteer of a crime
   50  stoppers organization while acting in the course and scope of
   51  the person’s duties or functions; or
   52         3.2. A law enforcement officer or an employee of a law
   53  enforcement agency or the Department of Legal Affairs when he or
   54  she is acting within the scope of his or her official duties.
   55         (c) This subsection does not limit the right of any
   56  criminal defendant to criminal discovery.
   57         (3)A person in the course and scope of his or her duties
   58  or functions who receives, forwards, or acts on a privileged
   59  communication is immune from civil liability for damages
   60  resulting from an act or omission in the performance of his or
   61  her duties or functions unless the act or omission was
   62  intentionally, willfully, or wantonly negligent, or done with
   63  conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of
   64  others.
   65         (4)(a)Evidence of a privileged communication, and
   66  information contained within a privileged communication, from an
   67  anonymous source to a crime stoppers organization may not be:
   68         1.Relied upon, or considered in determining whether
   69  probable cause exists to issue either an arrest or search
   70  warrant.
   71         2.Admissible or subject to discovery in any court
   72  proceeding.
   73         (b)A privileged communication may only be used to assist a
   74  law enforcement agency in directing an investigation of alleged
   75  criminal activity.
   76         Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2021.