Florida Senate - 2021 CS for SB 1868
By the Committee on Criminal Justice; and Senator Bean
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.; prohibiting a person from knowingly and
5 willfully attempting to obtain, obtaining, or
6 disclosing a privileged communication or protected
7 information; providing a penalty; providing an
8 exemption from criminal liability for employees, board
9 members, or volunteers of a crime stoppers
10 organization in certain circumstances; providing
11 immunity from civil liability for certain actions by
12 specified persons concerning privileged
13 communications; 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
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
39 (2)(a) Except
pursuant to criminal discovery or as provided
40 in paragraph (b), a person who knowingly and willfully attempts
41 to obtain, obtains, or discloses a privileged communication or
42 protected information, or any information concerning a
43 privileged communication or protected information, 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;
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 or .
56 4. A person complying with criminal discovery rules.
57 (c) This subsection does not limit the right of any
58 criminal defendant to criminal discovery.
59 (3) A person in the course and scope of his or her duties
60 or functions who receives, forwards, or acts on a privileged
61 communication is immune from civil liability for damages
62 resulting from an act or omission in the performance of his or
63 her duties or functions unless the act or omission was
64 intentional or grossly negligent.
65 Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2021.