Bill Text: FL S0080 | 2017 | Regular Session | Engrossed

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Public Records

Spectrum:

Status: (Passed) 2017-05-24 - Chapter No. 2017-21 [S0080 Detail]

Download: Florida-2017-S0080-Engrossed.html
       CS for CS for SB 80                        First Engrossed (ntc)
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       201780e1
       
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s. 119.12,
    3         F.S.; revising the circumstances under which a court
    4         must assess and award the reasonable costs of
    5         enforcement against an agency in a civil action to
    6         enforce ch. 119, F.S.; specifying circumstances under
    7         which a complainant is not required to provide certain
    8         written notice of a public records request; requiring
    9         a court to determine whether a complainant requested
   10         to inspect or copy a public record or participated in
   11         a civil action for an improper purpose; prohibiting
   12         the assessment and award of the reasonable costs of
   13         enforcement to a complainant who acted with an
   14         improper purpose; requiring the court to assess and
   15         award reasonable costs against the complainant if he
   16         or she is found to have acted with an improper
   17         purpose; defining the term “improper purpose”;
   18         providing for construction and applicability;
   19         providing an effective date.
   20          
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22  
   23         Section 1. Section 119.12, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   24  read:
   25         119.12 Attorney Attorney’s fees.—
   26         (1) If a civil action is filed against an agency to enforce
   27  the provisions of this chapter and if the court determines that
   28  such agency unlawfully refused to permit a public record to be
   29  inspected or copied, the court shall assess and award, against
   30  the agency responsible, the reasonable costs of enforcement,
   31  including reasonable attorney attorneys’ fees, against the
   32  responsible agency if the court determines that:
   33         (a) The agency unlawfully refused to permit a public record
   34  to be inspected or copied; and
   35         (b) The complainant provided written notice identifying the
   36  public record request to the agency’s custodian of public
   37  records at least 5 business days before filing the civil action,
   38  except as provided under subsection (2). The notice period
   39  begins on the day the written notice of the request is received
   40  by the custodian of public records, excluding Saturday, Sunday,
   41  and legal holidays, and runs until 5 business days have elapsed.
   42         (2) The complainant is not required to provide written
   43  notice of the public record request to the agency’s custodian of
   44  public records as provided in paragraph (1)(b) if the agency
   45  does not prominently post the contact information for the
   46  agency’s custodian of public records in the agency’s primary
   47  administrative building in which public records are routinely
   48  created, sent, received, maintained, and requested and on the
   49  agency’s website, if the agency has a website.
   50         (3) The court shall determine whether the complainant
   51  requested to inspect or copy a public record or participated in
   52  the civil action for an improper purpose. If the court
   53  determines there was an improper purpose, the court may not
   54  assess and award the reasonable costs of enforcement, including
   55  reasonable attorney fees, to the complainant, and shall assess
   56  and award against the complainant and to the agency the
   57  reasonable costs, including reasonable attorney fees, incurred
   58  by the agency in responding to the civil action. For purposes of
   59  this subsection, the term “improper purpose” means a request to
   60  inspect or copy a public record or to participate in the civil
   61  action primarily to cause a violation of this chapter or for a
   62  frivolous purpose.
   63         (4) This section does not create a private right of action
   64  authorizing the award of monetary damages for a person who
   65  brings an action to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
   66  Payments by the responsible agency may include only the
   67  reasonable costs of enforcement, including reasonable attorney
   68  fees, directly attributable to a civil action brought to enforce
   69  the provisions of this chapter.
   70         Section 2. This act applies only to public records requests
   71  made on or after the effective date of this act.
   72         Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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