Florida Senate - 2022                             CS for SB 1564
       By the Committee on Commerce and Tourism; and Senator Hutson
       577-02247-22                                          20221564c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to telephone solicitation; amending s.
    3         501.059, F.S.; redefining terms; conforming a
    4         provision to changes made by the act; authorizing the
    5         use of automated telephone dialing systems with live
    6         messages in response to certain inquiries; providing a
    7         limitation; revising provisions for the award of
    8         attorney fees and costs; providing for retroactive
    9         application; providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Paragraphs (g) and (k) of subsection (1),
   14  paragraph (a) of subsection (8), and subsection (11) of section
   15  501.059, Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph (e) is
   16  added to subsection (8) of that section, to read:
   17         501.059 Telephone solicitation.—
   18         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   19         (g) “Prior express written consent” means a written
   20  agreement that:
   21         1. Bears the signature of the called party;
   22         2. Clearly authorizes the person making or allowing the
   23  placement of a telephonic sales call by telephone call, text
   24  message, or voicemail transmission to deliver or cause to be
   25  delivered to the called party a telephonic sales call using an
   26  automated system for the selection and or dialing of telephone
   27  numbers, the playing of a recorded message when a connection is
   28  completed to a number called, the transmission of a text
   29  message, or the transmission of a prerecorded voicemail;
   30         3. Includes the telephone number to which the signatory
   31  authorizes a telephonic sales call to be delivered; and
   32         4. Includes a clear and conspicuous disclosure informing
   33  the called party that:
   34         a. By executing the agreement, the called party authorizes
   35  the person making or allowing the placement of a telephonic
   36  sales call to deliver or cause to be delivered a telephonic
   37  sales call to the called party using an automated system for the
   38  selection and or dialing of telephone numbers or the playing of
   39  a recorded message when a connection is completed to a number
   40  called; and
   41         b. He or she is not required to directly or indirectly sign
   42  the written agreement or to agree to enter into such an
   43  agreement as a condition of purchasing any property, goods, or
   44  services.
   45         (k) “Unsolicited telephonic sales call” means a telephonic
   46  sales call other than a call made:
   47         1. Within 120 days after In response to an express request
   48  of the person called party;
   49         2. Primarily in connection with an existing debt or
   50  contract, if payment or performance of such debt or contract has
   51  not been completed at the time of such call;
   52         3. To a person with whom the telephone solicitor has a
   53  prior or existing business relationship; or
   54         4. By a newspaper publisher or his or her agent or employee
   55  in connection with his or her business; or
   56         5.Limited to polling or soliciting the expression of
   57  ideas, opinions, or votes, including when such polling or
   58  soliciting is made by text message.
   59         (8)(a) A person may not make or knowingly allow a
   60  telephonic sales call to be made if such call involves an
   61  automated system for the selection and or dialing of telephone
   62  numbers or the playing of a recorded message when a connection
   63  is completed to a number called without the prior express
   64  written consent of the called party.
   65         (e)This subsection does not prohibit the use of an
   66  automated telephone dialing system with live messages or text
   67  messages if the call or message is made solely in response to an
   68  inquiry initiated by the called party. However, only two such
   69  calls or messages may be made in response to each inquiry.
   70         (11)(a) In any civil litigation resulting from a
   71  transaction involving a violation of this section, the
   72  prevailing party, after judgment in the trial court and
   73  exhaustion of all appeals, if any, shall receive his or her
   74  reasonable attorney attorney’s fees and costs from the
   75  nonprevailing party.
   76         (b) The attorney for the prevailing party shall submit a
   77  sworn affidavit of his or her time spent on the case and his or
   78  her costs incurred for all the motions, hearings, and appeals to
   79  the trial judge who presided over the civil case.
   80         (c) The trial judge shall award the prevailing party the
   81  sum of reasonable costs incurred in the action plus a reasonable
   82  legal fee for the hours actually spent on the case as sworn to
   83  in an affidavit.
   84         (d) Any award of attorney attorney’s fees or costs shall
   85  become a part of the judgment and subject to execution as the
   86  law allows.
   87         (e) In any civil litigation initiated by the department or
   88  the Department of Legal Affairs, the court may award to the
   89  prevailing party reasonable attorney attorney’s fees and costs
   90  if the court finds that there was a complete absence of a
   91  justiciable issue of either law or fact raised by the losing
   92  party or if the court finds bad faith on the part of the losing
   93  party.
   94         Section 2. The amendments made by this act to s. 501.059,
   95  Florida Statutes, are remedial in nature and apply retroactively
   96  to July 1, 2021, and to any proceeding pending or commenced on
   97  or after July 1, 2021.
   98         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.