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Statutes: Florida

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Statutes: Florida

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

These statutes are current through the 2018 Second Regular Session of the 25th Legislature. To check for further updates, or to read additional statutes, go to the Florida State Legislature webpage.

Title VI. Civil Practice and Procedure

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Chapter 55. Judgments

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

55.503. Recording and status of foreign judgments; fees

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A copy of any foreign judgment certified in accordance with the laws of the United States or of this state may be recorded in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of any county. The clerk shall file, record, and index the foreign judgment in the same manner as a judgment of a circuit or county court of this state. A judgment so recorded shall have the same effect and shall be subject to the same rules of civil procedure, legal and equitable defenses, and proceedings for reopening, vacating, or staying judgments, and it may be enforced, released, or satisfied, as a judgment of a circuit or county court of this state.

(2) Any person recording a foreign judgment shall pay to the clerk of the circuit court a service charge as is required for the recording of an original action demanding the relief or judgment granted in the foreign judgment.

55.505. Notice of recording; prerequisite to enforcement

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) At the time of the recording of a foreign judgment, the judgment creditor shall make and record with the clerk of the circuit court an affidavit setting forth the name, social security number, if known, and last known post office address of the judgment debtor and of the judgment creditor.

(2) Promptly upon the recording of the foreign judgment and the affidavit, the clerk shall mail notice of the recording of the foreign judgment, by registered mail with return receipt requested, to the judgment debtor at the address given in the affidavit and shall make a note of the mailing in the docket. The notice shall include the name and post office address of the judgment creditor and of the judgment creditor's attorney, if any, in this state. In addition, the judgment creditor may mail a notice of the recording of the judgment to the judgment debtor and may record proof of mailing with the clerk. The failure of the clerk to mail notice of recording will not affect the enforcement proceedings if proof of mailing by the judgment creditor has been recorded.

(3) No execution or other process for enforcement of a foreign judgment recorded hereunder shall issue until 30 days after the mailing of notice by the clerk and payment of a service charge of up to $42 to the clerk. When an action authorized in s. 55.509(1) is filed, it acts as an automatic stay of the effect of this section.

55.507. Lien; when effective

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

A foreign judgment does not operate as a lien until 30 days after the mailing of notice by the clerk. When an action authorized in s. 55.509(1) is filed, it acts as an automatic stay of the effect of this section.

Chapter 61. Dissolution of Marriage; Support; Time-Sharing

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Part I. General Provisions

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

61.021. Residence requirements

Updated: 
December 21, 2018




61.052. Dissolution of marriage

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) No judgment of dissolution of marriage shall be granted unless one of the following facts appears, which shall be pleaded generally:

(a) The marriage is irretrievably broken.

(b) Mental incapacity of one of the parties. However, no dissolution shall be allowed unless the party alleged to be incapacitated shall have been adjudged incapacitated according to the provisions of s. 744.331 for a preceding period of at least 3 years. Notice of the proceeding for dissolution shall be served upon one of the nearest blood relatives or guardian of the incapacitated person, and the relative or guardian shall be entitled to appear and to be heard upon the issues. If the incapacitated party has a general guardian other than the party bringing the proceeding, the petition and summons shall be served upon the incapacitated party and the guardian; and the guardian shall defend and protect the interests of the incapacitated party. If the incapacitated party has no guardian other than the party bringing the proceeding, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to defend and protect the interests of the incapacitated party. However, in all dissolutions of marriage granted on the basis of incapacity, the court may require the petitioner to pay alimony pursuant to the provisions of s. 61.08.

(2) Based on the evidence at the hearing, which evidence need not be corroborated except to establish that the residence requirements of s. 61.021 are met which may be corroborated by a valid Florida driver's license, a Florida voter's registration card, a valid Florida identification card issued under s. 322.051, or the testimony or affidavit of a third party, the court shall dispose of the petition for dissolution of marriage when the petition is based on the allegation that the marriage is irretrievably broken as follows:

(a) If there is no minor child of the marriage and if the responding party does not, by answer to the petition for dissolution, deny that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of the marriage if the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

(b) When there is a minor child of the marriage, or when the responding party denies by answer to the petition for dissolution that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may:

1. Order either or both parties to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, rabbi, or any other person deemed qualified by the court and acceptable to the party or parties ordered to seek consultation; or

2. Continue the proceedings for a reasonable length of time not to exceed 3 months, to enable the parties themselves to effect a reconciliation; or

3. Take such other action as may be in the best interest of the parties and the minor child of the marriage.

If, at any time, the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of the marriage. If the court finds that the marriage is not irretrievably broken, it shall deny the petition for dissolution of marriage.

(3) During any period of continuance, the court may make appropriate orders for the support and alimony of the parties; the parenting plan, support, maintenance, and education of the minor child of the marriage; attorney's fees; and the preservation of the property of the parties.

(4) A judgment of dissolution of marriage shall result in each spouse having the status of being single and unmarried. No judgment of dissolution of marriage renders the child of the marriage a child born out of wedlock.

(5) The court may enforce an antenuptial agreement to arbitrate a dispute in accordance with the law and tradition chosen by the parties.

(6) Any injunction for protection against domestic violence arising out of the dissolution of marriage proceeding shall be issued as a separate order in compliance with chapter 741 and shall not be included in the judgment of dissolution of marriage.

(7) In the initial pleading for a dissolution of marriage as a separate attachment to the pleading, each party is required to provide his or her social security number and the full names and social security numbers of each of the minor children of the marriage.

(8) Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. Each party is also required to provide the full name, date of birth, and social security number for each minor child of the marriage. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement.

61.043. Commencement of a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for alimony and child support; dissolution questionnaire

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A proceeding for dissolution of marriage or a proceeding under s. 61.09 shall be commenced by filing in the circuit court a petition entitled "In re the marriage of _____, husband, and _____, wife." A copy of the petition together with a copy of a summons shall be served upon the other party to the marriage in the same manner as service of papers in civil actions generally.

(2) Upon filing for dissolution of marriage, the petitioner must complete and file with the clerk of the circuit court an unsigned anonymous informational questionnaire. For purposes of anonymity, completed questionnaires must be kept in a separate file for later distribution by the clerk to researchers from the Florida State University Center for Marriage and Family. These questionnaires must be made available to researchers from the Florida State University Center for Marriage and Family at their request. The actual questionnaire shall be formulated by researchers from Florida State University who shall distribute them to the clerk of the circuit court in each county.

61.046. Definitions

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

As used in this chapter, the term:

(1) “Business day” means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

(2) “Clerk of Court Child Support Collection System” or “CLERC System” means the automated system established pursuant to s. 61.181(2)(b) 1., integrating all clerks of court and depositories and through which payment data and State Case Registry data is transmitted to the department's automated child support enforcement system.

(3) “Department” means the Department of Revenue.

(4) “Depository” means the central governmental depository established pursuant to s. 61.181, created by special act of the Legislature or other entity established before June 1, 1985, to perform depository functions and to receive, record, report, disburse, monitor, and otherwise handle alimony and child support payments not otherwise required to be processed by the State Disbursement Unit.

(5) “Electronic communication” means contact, other than face-to-face contact, facilitated by tools such as telephones, electronic mail or e-mail, webcams, video-conferencing equipment and software or other wired or wireless technologies, or other means of communication to supplement face-to-face contact between a parent and that parent's minor child.

(6) “Federal Case Registry of Child Support Orders” means the automated registry of support order abstracts and other information established and maintained by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as provided by 42 U.S.C. s. 653(h).

(7) “Health insurance” means coverage under a fee-for-service arrangement, health maintenance organization, or preferred provider organization, and other types of coverage available to either parent, under which medical services could be provided to a dependent child.

(8) “Income” means any form of payment to an individual, regardless of source, including, but not limited to: wages, salary, commissions and bonuses, compensation as an independent contractor, worker's compensation, disability benefits, annuity and retirement benefits, pensions, dividends, interest, royalties, trusts, and any other payments, made by any person, private entity, federal or state government, or any unit of local government. United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits and reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation, as defined in chapter 443, are excluded from this definition of income except for purposes of establishing an amount of support.

(9) “IV-D” means services provided pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 651 et seq.

(10) “Local officer” means an elected or appointed constitutional or charter government official including, but not limited to, the state attorney and clerk of the circuit court.

(11) “National medical support notice” means the notice required under 42 U.S.C. s. 666(a)(19).

(12) “Obligee” means the person to whom payments are made pursuant to an order establishing, enforcing, or modifying an obligation for alimony, for child support, or for alimony and child support.

(13) “Obligor” means a person responsible for making payments pursuant to an order establishing, enforcing, or modifying an obligation for alimony, for child support, or for alimony and child support.

(14) “Parenting plan” means a document created to govern the relationship between the parents relating to decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and child. The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child's education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being. In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parents, including their historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors must be taken into consideration.

(a) The parenting plan must be:

1. Developed and agreed to by the parents and approved by a court; or

2. Established by the court, with or without the use of a court-ordered parenting plan recommendation, if the parents cannot agree to a plan or the parents agreed to a plan that is not approved by the court.

(b) Any parenting plan formulated under this chapter must address all jurisdictional issues, including the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, part II of this chapter, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 11601 et seq., the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, and the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction enacted at the Hague on October 25, 1980.

(c) For purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, part II of this chapter, a judgment or order incorporating a parenting plan under this part is a child custody determination under part II of this chapter.

(d) For purposes of the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 11601 et seq., and the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, enacted at the Hague on October 25, 1980, rights of custody and rights of access are determined pursuant to the parenting plan under this part.

(15) “Parenting plan recommendation” means a nonbinding recommendation concerning one or more elements of a parenting plan made by a court-appointed mental health practitioner or other professional designated pursuant to s. 61.20, s. 61.401, or Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure 12.363.

(16) “Payor” means an employer or former employer or any other person or agency providing or administering income to the obligor.

(17) “Shared parental responsibility” means a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly.

(18) “Sole parental responsibility” means a court-ordered relationship in which one parent makes decisions regarding the minor child.

(19) “State Case Registry” means the automated registry maintained by the Title IV-D agency, containing records of each Title IV-D case and of each support order established or modified in the state on or after October 1, 1998. Such records shall consist of data elements as required by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(20) “State Disbursement Unit” means the unit established and operated by the Title IV-D agency to provide one central address for collection and disbursement of child support payments made in cases enforced by the department pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and in cases not being enforced by the department in which the support order was initially issued in this state on or after January 1, 1994, and in which the obligor's child support obligation is being paid through income deduction order.

(21) “Support order” means a judgment, decree, or order, whether temporary or final, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or administrative agency for the support and maintenance of a child which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages, or past support. When the child support obligation is being enforced by the Department of Revenue, the term “support order” also means a judgment, decree, or order, whether temporary or final, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction for the support and maintenance of a child and the spouse or former spouse of the obligor with whom the child is living which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages, or past support.

(22) “Support,” unless otherwise specified, means:

(a) Child support and, when the child support obligation is being enforced by the Department of Revenue, spousal support or alimony for the spouse or former spouse of the obligor with whom the child is living.

(b) Child support only in cases not being enforced by the Department of Revenue.

(23) “Time-sharing schedule” means a timetable that must be included in the parenting plan that specifies the time, including overnights and holidays, that a minor child will spend with each parent. The time-sharing schedule shall be:

(a) Developed and agreed to by the parents of a minor child and approved by the court; or

(b) Established by the court if the parents cannot agree or if their agreed-upon schedule is not approved by the court.

61.071. Alimony pendente lite; suit money

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

In every proceeding for dissolution of the marriage, a party may claim alimony and suit money in the petition or by motion, and if the petition is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor. If a party in any proceeding for dissolution of marriage claims alimony or suit money in his or her answer or by motion, and the answer or motion is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor.

61.08. Alimony

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party, which alimony may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent in nature or any combination of these forms of alimony. In any award of alimony, the court may order periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both. The court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded. In all dissolution actions, the court shall include findings of fact relative to the factors enumerated in subsection (2) supporting an award or denial of alimony.

(2) In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance. If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony or maintenance and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance, then in determining the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance under subsections (5)-(8), the court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

(a) The standard of living established during the marriage.

(b) The duration of the marriage.

(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.

(d) The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.

(e) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.

(f) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.

(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.

(h) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.

(i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.

(j) Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

(3) To the extent necessary to protect an award of alimony, the court may order any party who is ordered to pay alimony to purchase or maintain a life insurance policy or a bond, or to otherwise secure such alimony award with any other assets which may be suitable for that purpose.

(4) For purposes of determining alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years, and long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater. The length of a marriage is the period of time from the date of marriage until the date of filing of an action for dissolution of marriage.

(5) Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to assist a party by providing support to allow the party to make a transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs, and the length of an award may not exceed 2 years. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony shall not be modifiable in amount or duration.

(6)(a) Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self-support through either:

1. The redevelopment of previous skills or credentials; or

2. The acquisition of education, training, or work experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills or credentials.

(b) In order to award rehabilitative alimony, there must be a specific and defined rehabilitative plan which shall be included as a part of any order awarding rehabilitative alimony.

(c) An award of rehabilitative alimony may be modified or terminated in accordance with s. 61.14 based upon a substantial change in circumstances, upon noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan, or upon completion of the rehabilitative plan.

(7) Durational alimony may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis. An award of durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. The amount of an award of durational alimony may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances in accordance with s. 61.14. However, the length of an award of durational alimony may not be modified except under exceptional circumstances and may not exceed the length of the marriage.

(8) Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (2), following a marriage of moderate duration if such an award is appropriate based upon clear and convincing evidence after consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (2), or following a marriage of short duration if there are written findings of exceptional circumstances. In awarding permanent alimony, the court shall include a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the parties. An award of permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship in accordance with s. 61.14.

(9) The award of alimony may not leave the payor with significantly less net income than the net income of the recipient unless there are written findings of exceptional circumstances.

(10)(a) With respect to any order requiring the payment of alimony entered on or after January 1, 1985, unless the provisions of paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) apply, the court shall direct in the order that the payments of alimony be made through the appropriate depository as provided in s. 61.181.

(b) With respect to any order requiring the payment of alimony entered before January 1, 1985, upon the subsequent appearance, on or after that date, of one or both parties before the court having jurisdiction for the purpose of modifying or enforcing the order or in any other proceeding related to the order, or upon the application of either party, unless the provisions of paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) apply, the court shall modify the terms of the order as necessary to direct that payments of alimony be made through the appropriate depository as provided in s. 61.181.

(c) If there is no minor child, alimony payments need not be directed through the depository.

(d) 1. If there is a minor child of the parties and both parties so request, the court may order that alimony payments need not be directed through the depository. In this case, the order of support shall provide, or be deemed to provide, that either party may subsequently apply to the depository to require that payments be made through the depository. The court shall provide a copy of the order to the depository.

2. If the provisions of subparagraph 1. apply, either party may subsequently file with the depository an affidavit alleging default or arrearages in payment and stating that the party wishes to initiate participation in the depository program. The party shall provide copies of the affidavit to the court and the other party or parties. Fifteen days after receipt of the affidavit, the depository shall notify all parties that future payments shall be directed to the depository.

3. In IV-D cases, the IV-D agency shall have the same rights as the obligee in requesting that payments be made through the depository.

61.09. Alimony and child support unconnected with dissolution

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

If a person having the ability to contribute to the maintenance of his or her spouse and support of his or her minor child fails to do so, the spouse who is not receiving support may apply to the court for alimony and for support for the child without seeking dissolution of marriage, and the court shall enter an order as it deems just and proper.

61.10. Adjudication of obligation to support spouse or minor child unconnected with dissolution; parenting plan

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Except when relief is afforded by some other pending civil action or proceeding, a spouse residing in this state apart from his or her spouse and minor child, whether or not such separation is through his or her fault, may obtain an adjudication of obligation to maintain the spouse and minor child, if any. The court shall adjudicate his or her financial obligations to the spouse and child and shall establish the parenting plan for the parties. Such an action does not preclude either party from maintaining any other proceeding under this chapter for other or additional relief at any time.

61.12. Attachment or garnishment of amounts due for alimony or child support

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) So much as the court orders of the money or other things due to any person or public officer, state or county, whether the head of a family residing in this state or not, when the money or other thing is due for the personal labor or service of the person or otherwise, is subject to attachment or garnishment to enforce and satisfy the orders and judgments of the court of this state for alimony, suit money, or child support, or other orders in proceedings for dissolution, alimony, or child support; when the money or other thing sought to be attached or garnisheed is the salary of a public officer, state or county, the writ of attachment or garnishment shall be served on the public officer whose duty it is to pay the salary, who shall obey the writ as provided by law in other cases. It is the duty of the officer to notify the public officer whose duty it is to audit or issue a warrant for the salary sought to be attached immediately upon service of the writ. A warrant for as much of the salary as is ordered held under the writ shall not issue except pursuant to court order unless the writ is dissolved. No more of the salary shall be retained by virtue of the writ than is provided for in the order.

(2) The provisions of chapter 77 or any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the court may issue a continuing writ of garnishment to an employer to enforce the order of the court for periodic payment of alimony or child support or both. The writ may provide that the salary of any person having a duty of support pursuant to such order be garnisheed on a periodic and continuing basis for so long as the court may determine or until otherwise ordered by the court or a court of competent jurisdiction in a further proceeding. Any disciplinary action against the employee by an employer to whom a writ is issued pursuant to this section solely because such writ is in effect constitutes a contempt of court, and the court may enter such order as it deems just and proper.

61.122. Parenting plan recommendation; presumption of psychologist's good faith; prerequisite to parent's filing suit; award of fees, costs, reimbursement

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A psychologist who has been appointed by the court to develop a parenting plan recommendation in a dissolution of marriage, a case of domestic violence, or a paternity matter involving the relationship of a child and a parent, including time-sharing of children, is presumed to be acting in good faith if the psychologist's recommendation has been reached under standards that a reasonable psychologist would use to develop a parenting plan recommendation.

(2) An administrative complaint against a court-appointed psychologist which relates to a parenting plan recommendation conducted by the psychologist may not be filed anonymously. The individual who files an administrative complaint must include in the complaint his or her name, address, and telephone number.

(3) A parent who desires to file a legal action against a court-appointed psychologist who has acted in good faith in developing a parenting plan recommendation must petition the judge who presided over the dissolution of marriage, case of domestic violence, or paternity matter involving the relationship of a child and a parent, including time-sharing of children, to appoint another psychologist. Upon the parent's showing of good cause, the court shall appoint another psychologist. The court shall determine who is responsible for all court costs and attorney's fees associated with making such an appointment.

(4) If a legal action, whether it be a civil action, a criminal action, or an administrative proceeding, is filed against a court-appointed psychologist in a dissolution of marriage, case of domestic violence, or paternity matter involving the relationship of a child and a parent, including time-sharing of children, the claimant is responsible for all reasonable costs and reasonable attorney's fees associated with the action for both parties if the psychologist is held not liable. If the psychologist is held liable in civil court, the psychologist must pay all reasonable costs and reasonable attorney's fees for the claimant.

61.13. Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) In a proceeding under this chapter, the court may at any time order either or both parents who owe a duty of support to a child to pay support to the other parent or, in the case of both parents, to a third party who has custody in accordance with the child support guidelines schedule in s. 61.30.

1. All child support orders and income deduction orders entered on or after October 1, 2010, must provide:

a. For child support to terminate on a child's 18th birthday unless the court finds or previously found that s. 743.07(2) applies, or is otherwise agreed to by the parties;

b. A schedule, based on the record existing at the time of the order, stating the amount of the monthly child support obligation for all the minor children at the time of the order and the amount of child support that will be owed for any remaining children after one or more of the children are no longer entitled to receive child support; and

c. The month, day, and year that the reduction or termination of child support becomes effective.

2. The court initially entering an order requiring one or both parents to make child support payments has continuing jurisdiction after the entry of the initial order to modify the amount and terms and conditions of the child support payments if the modification is found by the court to be in the best interests of the child; when the child reaches majority; if there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties; if s. 743.07(2) applies; or when a child is emancipated, marries, joins the armed services, or dies. The court initially entering a child support order has continuing jurisdiction to require the obligee to report to the court on terms prescribed by the court regarding the disposition of the child support payments.

(b) Each order for support shall contain a provision for health insurance for the minor child when health insurance is reasonable in cost and accessible to the child. Health insurance is presumed to be reasonable in cost if the incremental cost of adding health insurance for the child or children does not exceed 5 percent of the gross income, as defined in s. 61.30, of the parent responsible for providing health insurance. Health insurance is accessible to the child if the health insurance is available to be used in the county of the child's primary residence or in another county if the parent who has the most time under the time-sharing plan agrees. If the time-sharing plan provides for equal time-sharing, health insurance is accessible to the child if the health insurance is available to be used in either county where the child resides or in another county if both parents agree. The court may require the obligor to provide health insurance or to reimburse the obligee for the cost of health insurance for the minor child when insurance is provided by the obligee. The presumption of reasonable cost may be rebutted by evidence of any of the factors in s. 61.30(11)(a). The court may deviate from what is presumed reasonable in cost only upon a written finding explaining its determination why ordering or not ordering the provision of health insurance or the reimbursement of the obligee's cost for providing health insurance for the minor child would be unjust or inappropriate. In any event, the court shall apportion the cost of health insurance, and any noncovered medical, dental, and prescription medication expenses of the child, to both parties by adding the cost to the basic obligation determined pursuant to s. 61.30(6). The court may order that payment of noncovered medical, dental, and prescription medication expenses of the minor child be made directly to the obligee on a percentage basis. In a proceeding for medical support only, each parent's share of the child's noncovered medical expenses shall equal the parent's percentage share of the combined net income of the parents. The percentage share shall be calculated by dividing each parent's net monthly income by the combined monthly net income of both parents. Net income is calculated as specified by s. 61.30(3) and (4).

1. In a non-Title IV-D case, a copy of the court order for health insurance shall be served on the obligor's union or employer by the obligee when the following conditions are met:

a. The obligor fails to provide written proof to the obligee within 30 days after receiving effective notice of the court order that the health insurance has been obtained or that application for health insurance has been made;

b. The obligee serves written notice of intent to enforce an order for health insurance on the obligor by mail at the obligor's last known address; and

c. The obligor fails within 15 days after the mailing of the notice to provide written proof to the obligee that the health insurance existed as of the date of mailing.

2. a. A support order enforced under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act which requires that the obligor provide health insurance is enforceable by the department through the use of the national medical support notice, and an amendment to the support order is not required. The department shall transfer the national medical support notice to the obligor's union or employer. The department shall notify the obligor in writing that the notice has been sent to the obligor's union or employer, and the written notification must include the obligor's rights and duties under the national medical support notice. The obligor may contest the withholding required by the national medical support notice based on a mistake of fact. To contest the withholding, the obligor must file a written notice of contest with the department within 15 business days after the date the obligor receives written notification of the national medical support notice from the department. Filing with the department is complete when the notice is received by the person designated by the department in the written notification. The notice of contest must be in the form prescribed by the department. Upon the timely filing of a notice of contest, the department shall, within 5 business days, schedule an informal conference with the obligor to discuss the obligor's factual dispute. If the informal conference resolves the dispute to the obligor's satisfaction or if the obligor fails to attend the informal conference, the notice of contest is deemed withdrawn. If the informal conference does not resolve the dispute, the obligor may request an administrative hearing under chapter 120 within 5 business days after the termination of the informal conference, in a form and manner prescribed by the department. However, the filing of a notice of contest by the obligor does not delay the withholding of premium payments by the union, employer, or health plan administrator. The union, employer, or health plan administrator must implement the withholding as directed by the national medical support notice unless notified by the department that the national medical support notice is terminated.

b. In a Title IV-D case, the department shall notify an obligor's union or employer if the obligation to provide health insurance through that union or employer is terminated.

3. In a non-Title IV-D case, upon receipt of the order pursuant to subparagraph 1., or upon application of the obligor pursuant to the order, the union or employer shall enroll the minor child as a beneficiary in the group health plan regardless of any restrictions on the enrollment period and withhold any required premium from the obligor's income. If more than one plan is offered by the union or employer, the child shall be enrolled in the group health plan in which the obligor is enrolled.

4. a. Upon receipt of the national medical support notice under subparagraph 2. in a Title IV-D case, the union or employer shall transfer the notice to the appropriate group health plan administrator within 20 business days after the date on the notice. The plan administrator must enroll the child as a beneficiary in the group health plan regardless of any restrictions on the enrollment period, and the union or employer must withhold any required premium from the obligor's income upon notification by the plan administrator that the child is enrolled. The child shall be enrolled in the group health plan in which the obligor is enrolled. If the group health plan in which the obligor is enrolled is not available where the child resides or if the obligor is not enrolled in group coverage, the child shall be enrolled in the lowest cost group health plan that is accessible to the child.

b. If health insurance or the obligor's employment is terminated in a Title IV-D case, the union or employer that is withholding premiums for health insurance under a national medical support notice must notify the department within 20 days after the termination and provide the obligor's last known address and the name and address of the obligor's new employer, if known.

5. a. The amount withheld by a union or employer in compliance with a support order may not exceed the amount allowed under s. 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 1673(b), as amended. The union or employer shall withhold the maximum allowed by the Consumer Credit Protection Act in the following order:

(I) Current support, as ordered.

(II) Premium payments for health insurance, as ordered.

(III) Past due support, as ordered.

(IV) Other medical support or insurance, as ordered.

b. If the combined amount to be withheld for current support plus the premium payment for health insurance exceed the amount allowed under the Consumer Credit Protection Act,1 and the health insurance cannot be obtained unless the full amount of the premium is paid, the union or employer may not withhold the premium payment. However, the union or employer shall withhold the maximum allowed in the following order:

(I) Current support, as ordered.

(II) Past due support, as ordered.

(III) Other medical support or insurance, as ordered.

6. An employer, union, or plan administrator who does not comply with the requirements in sub-subparagraph 4.a. is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $250 for the first violation and $500 for subsequent violations, plus attorney's fees and costs. The department may file a petition in circuit court to enforce the requirements of this subparagraph.

7. The department may adopt rules to administer the child support enforcement provisions of this section that affect Title IV-D cases.

(c) To the extent necessary to protect an award of child support, the court may order the obligor to purchase or maintain a life insurance policy or a bond, or to otherwise secure the child support award with any other assets which may be suitable for that purpose.

(d) 1. All child support orders shall provide the full name and date of birth of each minor child who is the subject of the child support order.

2. If both parties request and the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child, support payments need not be subject to immediate income deduction. Support orders that are not subject to immediate income deduction may be directed through the depository under s. 61.181 or made payable directly to the obligee. Payments made by immediate income deduction shall be made to the State Disbursement Unit. The court shall provide a copy of the order to the depository.

3. For support orders payable directly to the obligee, any party, or the department in a IV-D case, may subsequently file an affidavit with the depository alleging a default in payment of child support and stating that the party wishes to require that payments be made through the depository. The party shall provide copies of the affidavit to the court and to each other party. Fifteen days after receipt of the affidavit, the depository shall notify all parties that future payments shall be paid through the depository, except that income deduction payments shall be made to the State Disbursement Unit.

(2)(a) The court may approve, grant, or modify a parenting plan, notwithstanding that the child is not physically present in this state at the time of filing any proceeding under this chapter, if it appears to the court that the child was removed from this state for the primary purpose of removing the child from the court's jurisdiction in an attempt to avoid the court's approval, creation, or modification of a parenting plan.

(b) A parenting plan approved by the court must, at a minimum:

1. Describe in adequate detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child;

2. Include the time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent;

3. Designate who will be responsible for:

a. Any and all forms of health care. If the court orders shared parental responsibility over health care decisions, the parenting plan must provide that either parent may consent to mental health treatment for the child.

b. School-related matters, including the address to be used for school-boundary determination and registration.

c. Other activities; and

4. Describe in adequate detail the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.

(c) The court shall determine all matters relating to parenting and time-sharing of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, except that modification of a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule requires a showing of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change of circumstances.

1. It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.

2. The court shall order that the parental responsibility for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. Evidence that a parent has been convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher involving domestic violence, as defined in s. 741. 28 and chapter 775, or meets the criteria of s. 39.806(1)(d), creates a rebuttable presumption of detriment to the child. If the presumption is not rebutted after the convicted parent is advised by the court that the presumption exists, shared parental responsibility, including time-sharing with the child, and decisions made regarding the child, may not be granted to the convicted parent. However, the convicted parent is not relieved of any obligation to provide financial support. If the court determines that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child, it may order sole parental responsibility and make such arrangements for time-sharing as specified in the parenting plan as will best protect the child or abused spouse from further harm. Whether or not there is a conviction of any offense of domestic violence or child abuse or the existence of an injunction for protection against domestic violence, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence or child abuse as evidence of detriment to the child.

a. In ordering shared parental responsibility, the court may consider the expressed desires of the parents and may grant to one party the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child's welfare or may divide those responsibilities between the parties based on the best interests of the child. Areas of responsibility may include education, health care, and any other responsibilities that the court finds unique to a particular family.

b. The court shall order sole parental responsibility for a minor child to one parent, with or without time-sharing with the other parent if it is in the best interests of the minor child.

3. Access to records and information pertaining to a minor child, including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and school records, may not be denied to either parent. Full rights under this subparagraph apply to either parent unless a court order specifically revokes these rights, including any restrictions on these rights as provided in a domestic violence injunction. A parent having rights under this subparagraph has the same rights upon request as to form, substance, and manner of access as are available to the other parent of a child, including, without limitation, the right to in-person communication with medical, dental, and education providers.

(d) The circuit court in the county in which either parent and the child reside or the circuit court in which the original order approving or creating the parenting plan was entered may modify the parenting plan. The court may change the venue in accordance with s. 47.122.

(3) For purposes of establishing or modifying parental responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which governs each parent's relationship with his or her minor child and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or her minor child, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration. A determination of parental responsibility, a parenting plan, or a time-sharing schedule may not be modified without a showing of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination that the modification is in the best interests of the child. Determination of the best interests of the child shall be made by evaluating all of the factors affecting the welfare and interests of the particular minor child and the circumstances of that family, including, but not limited to:

(a) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.

(b) The anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation, including the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties.

(c) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.

(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

(e) The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or against relocation of either parent with a child.

(f) The moral fitness of the parents.

(g) The mental and physical health of the parents.

(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.

(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.

(j) The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child's friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things.

(k) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.

(l) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child.

(m) Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was considered when evaluating the best interests of the child.

(n) Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.

(o) The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent and the division of parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were undertaken by third parties.

(p) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child's school and extracurricular activities.

(q) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.

(r) The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child.

(s) The developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child's developmental needs.

(t) Any other factor that is relevant to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing schedule.

(4)(a) When a parent who is ordered to pay child support or alimony fails to pay child support or alimony, the parent who should have received the child support or alimony may not refuse to honor the time-sharing schedule presently in effect between the parents.

(b) When a parent refuses to honor the other parent's rights under the time-sharing schedule, the parent whose time-sharing rights were violated shall continue to pay any ordered child support or alimony.

(c) When a parent refuses to honor the time-sharing schedule in the parenting plan without proper cause, the court:

1. Shall, after calculating the amount of time-sharing improperly denied, award the parent denied time a sufficient amount of extra time-sharing to compensate for the time-sharing missed, and such time-sharing shall be ordered as expeditiously as possible in a manner consistent with the best interests of the child and scheduled in a manner that is convenient for the parent deprived of time-sharing. In ordering any makeup time-sharing, the court shall schedule such time-sharing in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the child or children and that is convenient for the nonoffending parent and at the expense of the noncompliant parent.

2. May order the parent who did not provide time-sharing or did not properly exercise time-sharing under the time-sharing schedule to pay reasonable court costs and attorney's fees incurred by the nonoffending parent to enforce the time-sharing schedule.

3. May order the parent who did not provide time-sharing or did not properly exercise time-sharing under the time-sharing schedule to attend a parenting course approved by the judicial circuit.

4. May order the parent who did not provide time-sharing or did not properly exercise time-sharing under the time-sharing schedule to do community service if the order will not interfere with the welfare of the child.

5. May order the parent who did not provide time-sharing or did not properly exercise time-sharing under the time-sharing schedule to have the financial burden of promoting frequent and continuing contact when that parent and child reside further than 60 miles from the other parent.

6. May, upon the request of the parent who did not violate the time-sharing schedule, modify the parenting plan if modification is in the best interests of the child.

7. May impose any other reasonable sanction as a result of noncompliance.

(d) A person who violates this subsection may be punished by contempt of court or other remedies as the court deems appropriate.

(5) The court may make specific orders regarding the parenting plan and time-sharing schedule as such orders relate to the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the case and are equitable and provide for child support in accordance with the guidelines schedule in s. 61.30. An order for equal time-sharing for a minor child does not preclude the court from entering an order for child support of the child.

(6) In any proceeding under this section, the court may not deny shared parental responsibility and time-sharing rights to a parent solely because that parent is or is believed to be infected with human immunodeficiency virus, but the court may, in an order approving the parenting plan, require that parent to observe measures approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Public Health Service or by the Department of Health for preventing the spread of human immunodeficiency virus to the child.

(7)(a) Each party to any paternity or support proceeding is required to file with the tribunal as defined in s. 88.1011 and State Case Registry upon entry of an order, and to update as appropriate, information on location and identity of the party, including social security number, residential and mailing addresses, telephone number, driver license number, and name, address, and telephone number of employer. Each party to any paternity or child support proceeding in a non-Title IV-D case shall meet the above requirements for updating the tribunal and State Case Registry.

(b) Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement.

(c) In any subsequent Title IV-D child support enforcement action between the parties, upon sufficient showing that diligent effort has been made to ascertain the location of such a party, the court of competent jurisdiction shall deem state due process requirements for notice and service of process to be met with respect to the party, upon delivery of written notice to the most recent residential or employer address filed with the tribunal and State Case Registry pursuant to paragraph (a). In any subsequent non-Title IV-D child support enforcement action between the parties, the same requirements for service shall apply.

(8) At the time an order for child support is entered, each party is required to provide his or her social security number and date of birth to the court, as well as the name, date of birth, and social security number of each minor child that is the subject of such child support order. Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. All social security numbers required by this section shall be provided by the parties and maintained by the depository as a separate attachment in the file. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement.

(9)(a) A time-sharing plan may not require that a minor child visit a parent who is a resident of a recovery residence, as defined by s. 397.311, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., unless the court makes a specific finding that such visitation is in the best interest of the child. In determining the best interest of the minor child in such cases, the court shall take into account factors including, but not limited to, whether the parent resides in a specialized residence for pregnant women or parents whose children reside with them, the number of adults living in the recovery residence, and the parent's level of recovery.

(b) A time-sharing plan that does not mention a recovery residence may not be interpreted to require that a minor child visit a parent who is a resident of a recovery residence, as defined by s. 397.311, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

(c) A court may not order visitation at a recovery residence if any resident of the recovery residence is currently required to register as a sexual predator under s. 775.21 or as a sexual offender under s. 943.0435.

61.13001. Parental relocation with a child

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Definitions.--As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Child” means any person who is under the jurisdiction of a state court pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act or is the subject of any order granting to a parent or other person any right to time-sharing, residential care, kinship, or custody, as provided under state law.

(b) “Court” means the circuit court in an original proceeding which has proper venue and jurisdiction in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the circuit court in the county in which either parent and the child reside, or the circuit court in which the original action was adjudicated.

(c) “Other person” means an individual who is not the parent, but with whom the child resides pursuant to court order, or who has the right of access to, time-sharing with, or visitation with the child.

(d) “Parent” means any person so named by court order or express written agreement who is subject to court enforcement or a person reflected as a parent on a birth certificate and who is entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child.

(e) “Relocation” means a change in the location of the principal residence of a parent or other person from his or her principal place of residence at the time of the last order establishing or modifying time-sharing, or at the time of filing the pending action to establish or modify time-sharing. The change of location must be at least 50 miles from that residence, and for at least 60 consecutive days not including a temporary absence from the principal residence for purposes of vacation, education, or the provision of health care for the child.

(2) Relocation by agreement.--

(a) If the parents and every other person entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child agree to the relocation of the child, they may satisfy the requirements of this section by signing a written agreement that:

1. Reflects consent to the relocation;

2. Defines an access or time-sharing schedule for the nonrelocating parent and any other persons who are entitled to access or time-sharing; and

3. Describes, if necessary, any transportation arrangements related to access or time-sharing.

(b) If there is an existing cause of action, judgment, or decree of record pertaining to the child's residence or a time-sharing schedule, the parties shall seek ratification of the agreement by court order without the necessity of an evidentiary hearing unless a hearing is requested, in writing, by one or more of the parties to the agreement within 10 days after the date the agreement is filed with the court. If a hearing is not timely requested, it shall be presumed that the relocation is in the best interest of the child and the court may ratify the agreement without an evidentiary hearing.

(3) Petition to relocate.--Unless an agreement has been entered as described in subsection (2), a parent or other person seeking relocation must file a petition to relocate and serve it upon the other parent, and every other person entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child. The pleadings must be in accordance with this section:

(a) The petition to relocate must be signed under oath or affirmation under penalty of perjury and include :

1. A description of the location of the intended new residence, including the state, city, and specific physical address, if known.

2. The mailing address of the intended new residence, if not the same as the physical address, if known.

3. The home telephone number of the intended new residence, if known.

4. The date of the intended move or proposed relocation.

5. A detailed statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation. If one of the reasons is based upon a job offer that has been reduced to writing, the written job offer must be attached to the petition.

6. A proposal for the revised postrelocation schedule for access and time-sharing together with a proposal for the postrelocation transportation arrangements necessary to effectuate time-sharing with the child. Absent the existence of a current, valid order abating, terminating, or restricting access or time-sharing or other good cause predating the petition, failure to comply with this provision renders the petition to relocate legally insufficient.

7. Substantially the following statement, in all capital letters and in the same size type, or larger, as the type in the remainder of the petition :

A RESPONSE TO THE PETITION OBJECTING TO RELOCATION MUST BE MADE IN WRITING, FILED WITH THE COURT, AND SERVED ON THE PARENT OR OTHER PERSON SEEKING TO RELOCATE WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER SERVICE OF THIS PETITION TO RELOCATE. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO THE RELOCATION, THE RELOCATION WILL BE ALLOWED, UNLESS IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD, WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE AND WITHOUT A HEARING.

(b) The petition to relocate must be served on the other parent and on every other person entitled to access to and time-sharing with the child. If there is a pending court action regarding the child, service of process may be according to court rule. Otherwise, service of process shall be according to chapters 48 and 49 or via certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested.

(c) A parent or other person seeking to relocate has a continuing duty to provide current and updated information required by this section when that information becomes known.

(d) If the other parent and any other person entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child fails to timely file a response objecting to the petition to relocate, it is presumed that the relocation is in the best interest of the child and that the relocation should be allowed, and the court shall, absent good cause, enter an order specifying that the order is entered as a result of the failure to respond to the petition and adopting the access and time-sharing schedule and transportation arrangements contained in the petition. The order may be issued in an expedited manner without the necessity of an evidentiary hearing. If a response is timely filed, the parent or other person may not relocate, and must proceed to a temporary hearing or trial and obtain court permission to relocate.

(e) Relocating the child without complying with the requirements of this subsection subjects the party in violation to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child and may be taken into account by the court in any initial or postjudgment action seeking a determination or modification of the parenting plan or the access or time-sharing schedule as:

1. A factor in making a determination regarding the relocation of a child.

2. A factor in determining whether the parenting plan or the access or time-sharing schedule should be modified.

3. A basis for ordering the temporary or permanent return of the child.

4. Sufficient cause to order the parent or other person seeking to relocate the child to pay reasonable expenses and attorney's fees incurred by the party objecting to the relocation.

5. Sufficient cause for the award of reasonable attorney's fees and costs, including interim travel expenses incident to access or time-sharing or securing the return of the child.

(4) Applicability of public records law.--If the parent or other person seeking to relocate a child, or the child, is entitled to prevent disclosure of location information under a public records exemption, the court may enter any order necessary to modify the disclosure requirements of this section in compliance with the public records exemption.

(5) Objection to relocation.--An answer objecting to a proposed relocation must be verified and include the specific factual basis supporting the reasons for seeking a prohibition of the relocation, including a statement of the amount of participation or involvement the objecting party currently has or has had in the life of the child.

(6) Temporary order.--

(a) The court may grant a temporary order restraining the relocation of a child, order the return of the child, if a relocation has previously taken place, or order other appropriate remedial relief, if the court finds:

1. That the petition to relocate does not comply with subsection (3);

2. That the child has been relocated without a written agreement of the parties or without court approval; or

3. From an examination of the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing that there is a likelihood that upon final hearing the court will not approve the relocation of the child.

(b) The court may grant a temporary order permitting the relocation of the child pending final hearing, if the court finds:

1. That the petition to relocate was properly filed and is otherwise in compliance with subsection (3); and

2. From an examination of the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing, that there is a likelihood that on final hearing the court will approve the relocation of the child, which findings must be supported by the same factual basis as would be necessary to support approving the relocation in a final judgment.

(c) If the court has issued a temporary order authorizing a party seeking to relocate or move a child before a final judgment is rendered, the court may not give any weight to the temporary relocation as a factor in reaching its final decision.

(d) If temporary relocation of a child is approved, the court may require the person relocating the child to provide reasonable security, financial or otherwise, and guarantee that the court-ordered contact with the child will not be interrupted or interfered with by the relocating party.

(7) No presumption; factors to determine contested relocation.--A presumption in favor of or against a request to relocate with the child does not arise if a parent or other person seeks to relocate and the move will materially affect the current schedule of contact, access, and time-sharing with the nonrelocating parent or other person. In reaching its decision regarding a proposed temporary or permanent relocation, the court shall evaluate all of the following :

(a) The nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child's relationship with the parent or other person proposing to relocate with the child and with the nonrelocating parent, other persons, siblings, half-siblings, and other significant persons in the child's life.

(b) The age and developmental stage of the child, the needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child's physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child.

(c) The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating parent or other person and the child through substitute arrangements that take into consideration the logistics of contact, access, and time-sharing, as well as the financial circumstances of the parties; whether those factors are sufficient to foster a continuing meaningful relationship between the child and the nonrelocating parent or other person; and the likelihood of compliance with the substitute arrangements by the relocating parent or other person once he or she is out of the jurisdiction of the court.

(d) The child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child.

(e) Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for both the parent or other person seeking the relocation and the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefits or educational opportunities.

(f) The reasons each parent or other person is seeking or opposing the relocation.

(g) The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent or other person and whether the proposed relocation is necessary to improve the economic circumstances of the parent or other person seeking relocation of the child.

(h) That the relocation is sought in good faith and the extent to which the objecting parent has fulfilled his or her financial obligations to the parent or other person seeking relocation, including child support, spousal support, and marital property and marital debt obligations.

(i) The career and other opportunities available to the objecting parent or other person if the relocation occurs.

(j) A history of substance abuse or domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28 or which meets the criteria of s. 39.806(1)(d) by either parent, including a consideration of the severity of such conduct and the failure or success of any attempts at rehabilitation.

(k) Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child or as set forth in s. 61.13.

(8) Burden of proof.--The parent or other person wishing to relocate has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that relocation is in the best interest of the child. If that burden of proof is met, the burden shifts to the nonrelocating parent or other person to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the proposed relocation is not in the best interest of the child.

(9) Order regarding relocation.--If relocation is approved :

(a) The court may, in its discretion, order contact with the nonrelocating parent or other person, including access, time-sharing, telephone, Internet, webcam, and other arrangements sufficient to ensure that the child has frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with the nonrelocating parent or other person, if contact is financially affordable and in the best interest of the child.

(b) If applicable, the court shall specify how the transportation costs are to be allocated between the parents and other persons entitled to contact, access, and time-sharing and may adjust the child support award, as appropriate, considering the costs of transportation and the respective net incomes of the parents in accordance with the state child support guidelines schedule.

(10) Priority for hearing or trial.--An evidentiary hearing or nonjury trial on a pleading seeking temporary or permanent relief filed under this section shall be accorded priority on the court's calendar. If a motion seeking a temporary relocation is filed, absent good cause, the hearing must occur no later than 30 days after the motion for a temporary relocation is filed. If a notice to set the matter for a nonjury trial is filed, absent good cause, the nonjury trial must occur no later than 90 days after the notice is filed.

(11) Applicability.--

(a) This section applies:

1. To orders entered before October 1, 2009, if the existing order defining custody, primary residence, the parenting plan, time-sharing, or access to or with the child does not expressly govern the relocation of the child.

2. To an order, whether temporary or permanent, regarding the parenting plan, custody, primary residence, time-sharing, or access to the child entered on or after October 1, 2009.

3. To any relocation or proposed relocation, whether permanent or temporary, of a child during any proceeding pending on October 1, 2009, wherein the parenting plan, custody, primary residence, time-sharing, or access to the child is an issue.

(b) To the extent that a provision of this section conflicts with an order existing on October 1, 2009, this section does not apply to the terms of that order which expressly govern relocation of the child or a change in the principal residence address of a parent or other person.

61.14. Enforcement and modification of support, maintenance, or alimony agreements or orders

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) When the parties enter into an agreement for payments for, or instead of, support, maintenance, or alimony, whether in connection with a proceeding for dissolution or separate maintenance or with any voluntary property settlement, or when a party is required by court order to make any payments, and the circumstances or the financial ability of either party changes or the child who is a beneficiary of an agreement or court order as described herein reaches majority after the execution of the agreement or the rendition of the order, either party may apply to the circuit court of the circuit in which the parties, or either of them, resided at the date of the execution of the agreement or reside at the date of the application, or in which the agreement was executed or in which the order was rendered, for an order decreasing or increasing the amount of support, maintenance, or alimony, and the court has jurisdiction to make orders as equity requires, with due regard to the changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties or the child, decreasing, increasing, or confirming the amount of separate support, maintenance, or alimony provided for in the agreement or order. A finding that medical insurance is reasonably available or the child support guidelines schedule in s. 61.30 may constitute changed circumstances. Except as otherwise provided in s. 61.30(11)(c), the court may modify an order of support, maintenance, or alimony by increasing or decreasing the support, maintenance, or alimony retroactively to the date of the filing of the action or supplemental action for modification as equity requires, giving due regard to the changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties or the child.

(b) 1. The court may reduce or terminate an award of alimony upon specific written findings by the court that since the granting of a divorce and the award of alimony a supportive relationship has existed between the obligee and a person with whom the obligee resides. On the issue of whether alimony should be reduced or terminated under this paragraph, the burden is on the obligor to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a supportive relationship exists.

2. In determining whether an existing award of alimony should be reduced or terminated because of an alleged supportive relationship between an obligee and a person who is not related by consanguinity or affinity and with whom the obligee resides, the court shall elicit the nature and extent of the relationship in question. The court shall give consideration, without limitation, to circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following, in determining the relationship of an obligee to another person:

a. The extent to which the obligee and the other person have held themselves out as a married couple by engaging in conduct such as using the same last name, using a common mailing address, referring to each other in terms such as “my husband” or “my wife,” or otherwise conducting themselves in a manner that evidences a permanent supportive relationship.

b. The period of time that the obligee has resided with the other person in a permanent place of abode.

c. The extent to which the obligee and the other person have pooled their assets or income or otherwise exhibited financial interdependence.

d. The extent to which the obligee or the other person has supported the other, in whole or in part.

e. The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other.

f. The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other's company or employer.

g. Whether the obligee and the other person have worked together to create or enhance anything of value.

h. Whether the obligee and the other person have jointly contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property.

i. Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an express agreement regarding property sharing or support.

j. Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an implied agreement regarding property sharing or support.

k. Whether the obligee and the other person have provided support to the children of one another, regardless of any legal duty to do so.

3. This paragraph does not abrogate the requirement that every marriage in this state be solemnized under a license, does not recognize a common law marriage as valid, and does not recognize a de facto marriage. This paragraph recognizes only that relationships do exist that provide economic support equivalent to a marriage and that alimony terminable on remarriage may be reduced or terminated upon the establishment of equivalent equitable circumstances as described in this paragraph. The existence of a conjugal relationship, though it may be relevant to the nature and extent of the relationship, is not necessary for the application of the provisions of this paragraph.

(c) For each support order reviewed by the department as required by s. 409.2564(11), if the amount of the child support award under the order differs by at least 10 percent but not less than $25 from the amount that would be awarded under s. 61.30, the department shall seek to have the order modified and any modification shall be made without a requirement for proof or showing of a change in circumstances.

(d) The department shall have authority to adopt rules to implement this section.

(2) When an order or agreement is modified pursuant to subsection (1), the party having an obligation to pay shall pay only the amount of support, maintenance, or alimony directed in the new order, and the agreement or earlier order is modified accordingly. No person may commence an action for modification of a support, maintenance, or alimony agreement or order except as herein provided. No court has jurisdiction to entertain any action to enforce the recovery of separate support, maintenance, or alimony other than as herein provided.

(3) This section is declaratory of existing public policy and of the laws of this state.

(4) If a party applies for a reduction of alimony or child support and the circumstances justify the reduction, the court may make the reduction of alimony or child support regardless of whether or not the party applying for it has fully paid the accrued obligations to the other party at the time of the application or at the time of the order of modification.

(5)(a) When a court of competent jurisdiction enters an order for the payment of alimony or child support or both, the court shall make a finding of the obligor's imputed or actual present ability to comply with the order. If the obligor subsequently fails to pay alimony or support and a contempt hearing is held, the original order of the court creates a presumption that the obligor has the present ability to pay the alimony or support and to purge himself or herself from the contempt. At the contempt hearing, the obligor shall have the burden of proof to show that he or she lacks the ability to purge himself or herself from the contempt. This presumption is adopted as a presumption under s. 90.302(2) to implement the public policy of this state that children shall be maintained from the resources of their parents and as provided for in s. 409.2551, and that spouses be maintained as provided for in s. 61.08. The court shall state in its order the reasons for granting or denying the contempt.

(b) In a proceeding in circuit court to enforce a support order under this chapter, chapter 88, chapter 409, or chapter 742, or any other provision of law, if the court finds that payments due under the support order are delinquent or overdue and that the obligor is unemployed, underemployed, or has no income but is able to work or participate in job training, the court may order the obligor to:

1. Seek employment.

2. File periodic reports with the court, or with the department if the department is providing Title IV-D services, detailing the obligor's efforts to seek and obtain employment during the reporting period.

3. Notify the court or the department, as appropriate, upon obtaining employment, income, or property.

4. Participate in job training, job placement, work experience, or other work programs that may be available pursuant to chapter 445, chapter 446, or any other source.

An obligor who willfully fails to comply with a court order to seek work or participate in other work-related activities may be held in contempt of court. This paragraph is in furtherance of the public policy of the state of ensuring that children are maintained from the resources of their parents to the extent possible.

(6)(a) 1. When support payments are made through the local depository or through the State Disbursement Unit, any payment or installment of support which becomes due and is unpaid under any support order is delinquent; and this unpaid payment or installment, and all other costs and fees herein provided for, become, after notice to the obligor and the time for response as set forth in this subsection, a final judgment by operation of law, which has the full force, effect, and attributes of a judgment entered by a court in this state for which execution may issue. No deduction shall be made by the local depository from any payment made for costs and fees accrued in the judgment by operation of law process under paragraph (b) until the total amount of support payments due the obligee under the judgment has been paid.

2. A certified statement by the local depository evidencing a delinquency in support payments constitute evidence of the final judgment under this paragraph.

3. The judgment under this paragraph is a final judgment as to any unpaid payment or installment of support which has accrued up to the time either party files a motion with the court to alter or modify the support order, and such judgment may not be modified by the court. The court may modify such judgment as to any unpaid payment or installment of support which accrues after the date of the filing of the motion to alter or modify the support order. This subparagraph does not prohibit the court from providing relief from the judgment pursuant to Rule 1.540, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b) 1. When an obligor is 15 days delinquent in making a payment or installment of support and the amount of the delinquency is greater than the periodic payment amount ordered by the court, the local depository shall serve notice on the obligor informing him or her of:

a. The delinquency and its amount.

b. An impending judgment by operation of law against him or her in the amount of the delinquency and all other amounts which thereafter become due and are unpaid, together with costs and a service charge of up to $25, for failure to pay the amount of the delinquency.

c. The obligor's right to contest the impending judgment and the ground upon which such contest can be made.

d. The local depository's authority to release information regarding the delinquency to one or more credit reporting agencies.

2. The local depository shall serve the notice by mailing it by first class mail to the obligor at his or her last address of record with the local depository. If the obligor has no address of record with the local depository, service shall be by publication as provided in chapter 49.

3. When service of the notice is made by mail, service is complete on the date of mailing.

(c) Within 15 days after service of the notice is complete, the obligor may file with the court that issued the support order, or with the court in the circuit where the local depository which served the notice is located, a motion to contest the impending judgment. An obligor may contest the impending judgment only on the ground of a mistake of fact regarding an error in whether a delinquency exists, in the amount of the delinquency, or in the identity of the obligor.

(d) The court shall hear the obligor's motion to contest the impending judgment within 15 days after the date of filing of the motion. Upon the court's denial of the obligor's motion, the amount of the delinquency and all other amounts that become due, together with costs and a service charge of up to $25, become a final judgment by operation of law against the obligor. The depository shall charge interest at the rate established in s. 55.03 on all judgments for support. Payments on judgments shall be applied first to the current child support due, then to any delinquent principal, and then to interest on the support judgment.

(e) If the obligor fails to file a motion to contest the impending judgment within the time limit prescribed in paragraph (c) and fails to pay the amount of the delinquency and all other amounts which thereafter become due, together with costs and a service charge of up to $25, such amounts become a final judgment by operation of law against the obligor at the expiration of the time for filing a motion to contest the impending judgment.

(f) 1. Upon request of any person, the local depository shall issue, upon payment of a service charge of up to $25, a payoff statement of the total amount due under the judgment at the time of the request. The statement may be relied upon by the person for up to 30 days from the time it is issued unless proof of satisfaction of the judgment is provided.

2. When the depository records show that the obligor's account is current, the depository shall record a satisfaction of the judgment upon request of any interested person and upon receipt of the appropriate recording fee. Any person shall be entitled to rely upon the recording of the satisfaction.

3. The local depository, at the direction of the department, or the obligee in a non-IV-D case, may partially release the judgment as to specific real property, and the depository shall record a partial release upon receipt of the appropriate recording fee.

4. The local depository is not liable for errors in its recordkeeping, except when an error is a result of unlawful activity or gross negligence by the clerk or his or her employees.

(g) The local depository shall send the department monthly by electronic means a list of all Title IV-D and non-Title IV-D cases in which a judgment by operation of law has been recorded during the month for which the data is provided. At a minimum, the depository shall provide the names of the obligor and obligee, social security numbers of the obligor and obligee, if available, and depository number.

(7) When modification of an existing order of support is sought, the proof required to modify a settlement agreement and the proof required to modify an award established by court order shall be the same.

(8)(a) When an employee and an employer reach an agreement for a lump-sum settlement under s. 440.20(11), no proceeds of the settlement shall be disbursed to the employee, nor shall any attorney's fees be disbursed, until after a judge of compensation claims reviews the proposed disbursement and enters an order finding the settlement provides for appropriate recovery of any support arrearage. The employee, or the employee's attorney if the employee is represented, shall submit a written statement from the department that indicates whether the employee owes unpaid support and, if so, the amount owed. In addition, the judge of compensation claims may require the employee to submit a similar statement from a local depository established under s. 61.181. A sworn statement by the employee that all existing support obligations have been disclosed is also required. If the judge finds the proposed allocation of support recovery insufficient, the parties may amend the allocation of support recovery within the settlement agreement to make the allocation of proceeds sufficient. The Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims shall adopt procedural rules to implement this paragraph.

(b) In accordance with the provisions of s. 440.22, any compensation due or that may become due an employee under chapter 440 is exempt from garnishment, attachment, execution, and assignment of income, except for the purposes of enforcing child or spousal support obligations.

(9) Unless otherwise ordered by the court or agreed to by the parties, the obligation to pay the current child support for that child is terminated when the child reaches 18 years of age or the disability of nonage is removed. The termination of the current child support obligation does not otherwise terminate the obligation to pay any arrearage, retroactive support, delinquency, or costs owed by the obligor.

(10)(a) In a Title IV-D case, if an obligation to pay current child support is terminated due to the emancipation of the child and the obligor owes an arrearage, retroactive support, delinquency, or costs, the obligor shall continue to pay at the same rate in effect immediately prior to emancipation until all arrearages, retroactive support, delinquencies, and costs are paid in full or until the amount of the order is modified. Any income-deducted amount or amount paid by the obligor which is in excess of the obligation to pay current support shall be credited against the arrearages, retroactive support, delinquency, and costs owed by the obligor.

(b) In a Title IV-D case, if an obligation to pay current child support for multiple children is reduced due to the emancipation of one child and the obligor owes an arrearage, retroactive support, delinquency, or costs, the obligor shall continue to pay at the same rate in effect immediately prior to emancipation until all arrearages, retroactive support, delinquencies, and costs are paid in full or until the amount of the order is modified. Any income-deducted amount or amount paid by the obligor which is in excess of the obligation to pay current support shall be credited against the arrearages, retroactive support, delinquency, and costs owed by the obligor. If an obligation to pay current support for more than one child is not reduced when a child is emancipated because the order does not allocate support per child, this paragraph does not apply.

(c) Paragraphs (a) and (b) provide an additional remedy for collection of unpaid support and apply to cases in which a support order was entered before, on, or after July 1, 2004.

(11)(a) A court may, upon good cause shown, and without a showing of a substantial change of circumstances, modify, vacate, or set aside a temporary support order before or upon entering a final order in a proceeding.

(b) The modification of the temporary support order may be retroactive to the date of the initial entry of the temporary support order; to the date of filing of the initial petition for dissolution of marriage, initial petition for support, initial petition determining paternity, or supplemental petition for modification; or to a date prescribed in paragraph (1)(a) or s. 61.30(11)(c) or (17), as applicable.

61.17. Alimony and child support; additional method for enforcing orders and judgments; costs, expenses.

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) An order or judgment for the payment of alimony or child support or either entered by any court of this state may be enforced by another chancery court in this state in the following manner:

(a) The person to whom such alimony or child support is payable or for whose benefit it is payable may procure a certified copy of the order or judgment and file it with a complaint for enforcement in the circuit court for the county in which the person resides or in the county where the person charged with the payment of the alimony or child support resides or is found.

(b) If the pleadings seek a change in the amount of the alimony or child support money, the court has jurisdiction to adjudicate the application and change the order or judgment. In such event the clerk of the circuit court in which the order is entered changing the original order or judgment shall transmit a certified copy thereof to the court of original jurisdiction, and the new order shall be recorded and filed in the original action and become a part thereof. If the pleadings ask for a modification of the order or judgment, the court may determine that the action should be tried by the court entering the original order or judgment and shall then transfer the action to that court for determination as a part of the original action.

(c) Enforcement of a case certified under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act under this section shall grant to the registering court jurisdiction to address only those issues allowed and reimbursable under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

(2) The court in which such an action is brought has jurisdiction to award costs and expenses as are equitable, including the cost of certifying and recording the judgment entered in the action in the court of original jurisdiction and reasonable attorney's fees.

(3) The entry of a judgment for arrearages for child support, alimony, or attorney's fees and costs does not preclude a subsequent contempt proceeding or certification of a IV-D case for intercept, by the United States Internal Revenue Service, for failure of an obligor to pay the child support, alimony, attorney's fees, or costs for which the judgment was entered.

61.18. Alimony and child support; default in undertaking of bond posted to ensure payment.

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) When there is a breach of the condition of any bond posted to ensure the payment of alimony or child support, either temporary or permanent, for a party or minor children of the parties, the court in which the order was issued may order payment to the party entitled thereto of the principal of the bond or the part thereof necessary to cure the existing default without further notice from time to time where the amount is liquidated.

(2) The sureties on the bond, or the sheriff or clerk holding a cash bond, shall be ordered to pay into the registry of court, or to any party the court may direct, the sum necessary to cure the default.

(3) If the principal or sureties or sheriff or clerk fails to pay within the time and as required by the order, the court may enforce the payment by contempt against the principal or sureties on the bond or sheriff or clerk without further notice, or may issue an execution against the principal, sureties, sheriff, or clerk for the amount unpaid under any prior order or orders, but no sureties on the bond are liable for more than the penalty of the bond.

61.20. Social investigation and recommendations when child custody is in issue.

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) In any action where the parenting plan is at issue because the parents are unable to agree, the court may order a social investigation and study concerning all pertinent details relating to the child and each parent when such an investigation has not been done and the study therefrom provided to the court by the parties or when the court determines that the investigation and study that have been done are insufficient. The agency, staff, or person conducting the investigation and study ordered by the court pursuant to this section shall furnish the court and all parties of record in the proceeding a written study containing recommendations, including a written statement of facts found in the social investigation on which the recommendations are based. The court may consider the information contained in the study in making a decision on the parenting plan, and the technical rules of evidence do not exclude the study from consideration.

(2) A social investigation and study, when ordered by the court, shall be conducted by qualified staff of the court; a child-placing agency licensed pursuant to s. 409.175; a psychologist licensed pursuant to chapter 490; or a clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health counselor licensed pursuant to chapter 491. If a certification of indigence based on an affidavit filed with the court pursuant to s. 57.081 is provided by an adult party to the proceeding and the court does not have qualified staff to perform the investigation and study, the court may request that the Department of Children and Families conduct the investigation and study.

(3) Except as to persons who obtain certification of indigence as specified in subsection (2), for whom no costs are incurred, the parents involved in a proceeding to determine a parenting plan where the court has ordered the performance of a social investigation and study are responsible for paying the costs of the investigation and study. Upon submitting the study to the court, the agency, staff, or person performing the study shall include a bill for services, which shall be taxed and ordered paid as costs in the proceeding.

61.21. Parenting course authorized; fees; required attendance authorized; contempt.

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Legislative findings; purpose.--It is the finding of the Legislature that:

(a) A large number of children experience the separation or divorce of their parents each year. Parental conflict related to divorce is a societal concern because children suffer potential short-term and long-term detrimental economic, emotional, and educational effects during this difficult period of family transition. This is particularly true when parents engage in lengthy legal conflict.

(b) Parents are more likely to consider the best interests of their children when determining parental arrangements if courts provide families with information regarding the process by which courts make decisions on issues affecting their children and suggestions as to how parents may ease the coming adjustments in family structure for their children.

(c) It has been found to be beneficial to parents who are separating or divorcing to have available an educational program that will provide general information regarding:

1. The issues and legal procedures for resolving time-sharing and child support disputes.

2. The emotional experiences and problems of divorcing adults.

3. The family problems and the emotional concerns and needs of the children.

4. The availability of community services and resources.

(d) Parents who are separating or divorcing are more likely to receive maximum benefit from a program if they attend such program at the earliest stages of their dispute, before extensive litigation occurs and adversarial positions are assumed or intensified.

(2) The Department of Children and Families shall approve a parenting course which shall be a course of a minimum of 4 hours designed to educate, train, and assist divorcing parents in regard to the consequences of divorce on parents and children.

(a) The parenting course referred to in this section shall be named the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course and may include, but need not be limited to, the following topics as they relate to court actions between parents involving custody, care, time-sharing, and support of a child or children:

1. Legal aspects of deciding child-related issues between parents.

2. Emotional aspects of separation and divorce on adults.

3. Emotional aspects of separation and divorce on children.

4. Family relationships and family dynamics.

5. Financial responsibilities to a child or children.

6. Issues regarding spousal or child abuse and neglect.

7. Skill-based relationship education that may be generalized to parenting, workplace, school, neighborhood, and civic relationships.

(b) Information regarding spousal and child abuse and neglect shall be included in every parent education and family stabilization course. A list of local agencies that provide assistance with such issues shall also be provided.

(c) The parent education and family stabilization course shall be educational in nature and shall not be designed to provide individual mental health therapy for parents or children, or individual legal advice to parents or children.

(d) Course providers shall not solicit participants from the sessions they conduct to become private clients or patients.

(e) Course providers shall not give individual legal advice or mental health therapy.

(3) Each course provider offering a parenting course pursuant to this section must be approved by the Department of Children and Families.

(a) The Department of Children and Families shall provide each judicial circuit with a list of approved course providers and sites at which the parent education and family stabilization course may be completed. Each judicial circuit must make information regarding all course providers approved for their circuit available to all parents.

(b) The Department of Children and Families shall include on the list of approved course providers and sites for each circuit at least one site in that circuit where the parent education and family stabilization course may be completed on a sliding fee scale, if available.

(c) The Department of Children and Families shall include on the list of approved course providers, without limitation as to the area of the state for which the course is approved, a minimum of one statewide approved course to be provided through the Internet and one statewide approved course to be provided through correspondence. The purpose of the Internet and correspondence courses is to ensure that the parent education and stabilization course is available in the home county of each state resident and to those out-of-state persons subject to this section.

(d) The Department of Children and Families may remove a provider who violates this section, or its implementing rules, from the list of approved court providers.

(e) The Department of Children and Families shall adopt rules to administer subsection (2) and this subsection.

(4) All parties to a dissolution of marriage proceeding with minor children or a paternity action that involves issues of parental responsibility shall be required to complete the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course prior to the entry by the court of a final judgment. The court may excuse a party from attending the parenting course, or from completing the course within the required time, for good cause.

(5) All parties required to complete a parenting course under this section shall begin the course as expeditiously as possible. For dissolution of marriage actions, unless excused by the court pursuant to subsection (4), the petitioner must complete the course within 45 days after the filing of the petition, and all other parties must complete the course within 45 days after service of the petition. For paternity actions, unless excused by the court pursuant to subsection (4), the petitioner must complete the course within 45 days after filing the petition, and any other party must complete the course within 45 days after an acknowledgment of paternity by that party, an adjudication of paternity of that party, or an order granting time-sharing to or support from that party. Each party to a dissolution or paternity action shall file proof of compliance with this subsection with the court prior to the entry of the final judgment.

(6) All parties to a modification of a final judgment involving a parenting plan or a time-sharing schedule may be required to complete a court-approved parenting course prior to the entry of an order modifying the final judgment.

(7) A reasonable fee may be charged to each parent attending the course.

(8) Information obtained or statements made by the parties at any educational session required under this statute shall not be considered in the adjudication of a pending or subsequent action, nor shall any report resulting from such educational session become part of the record of the case unless the parties have stipulated in writing to the contrary.

(9) The court may hold any parent who fails to attend a required parenting course in contempt, or that parent may be denied shared parental responsibility or time-sharing or otherwise sanctioned as the court deems appropriate.

(10) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the parties to a dissolution of marriage to attend a court-approved parenting course together.

(11) The court may, without motion of either party, prohibit the parenting course from being taken together, if there is a history of domestic violence between the parties.

61.30. Child support guidelines; retroactive child support

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) The child support guideline amount as determined by this section presumptively establishes the amount the trier of fact shall order as child support in an initial proceeding for such support or in a proceeding for modification of an existing order for such support, whether the proceeding arises under this or another chapter. The trier of fact may order payment of child support which varies, plus or minus 5 percent, from the guideline amount, after considering all relevant factors, including the needs of the child or children, age, station in life, standard of living, and the financial status and ability of each parent. The trier of fact may order payment of child support in an amount which varies more than 5 percent from such guideline amount only upon a written finding explaining why ordering payment of such guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate. Notwithstanding the variance limitations of this section, the trier of fact shall order payment of child support which varies from the guideline amount as provided in paragraph (11)(b) whenever any of the children are required by court order or mediation agreement to spend a substantial amount of time with either parent. This requirement applies to any living arrangement, whether temporary or permanent.

(b) The guidelines may provide the basis for proving a substantial change in circumstances upon which a modification of an existing order may be granted. However, the difference between the existing monthly obligation and the amount provided for under the guidelines shall be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.

(c) For each support order reviewed by the department as required by s. 409.2564(11), if the amount of the child support award under the order differs by at least 10 percent but not less than $25 from the amount that would be awarded under this section, the department shall seek to have the order modified and any modification shall be made without a requirement for proof or showing of a change in circumstances.

(2) Income shall be determined on a monthly basis for each parent as follows:

(a) Gross income shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Salary or wages.

2. Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.

3. Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. “Business income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.

4. Disability benefits.

5. All workers' compensation benefits and settlements.

6. Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation.

7. Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.

8. Social security benefits.

9. Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.

10. Interest and dividends.

11. Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.

12. Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.

13. Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.

14. Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.

(b) Monthly income shall be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed parent if such unemployment or underemployment is found by the court to be voluntary on that parent's part, absent a finding of fact by the court of physical or mental incapacity or other circumstances over which the parent has no control. In the event of such voluntary unemployment or underemployment, the employment potential and probable earnings level of the parent shall be determined based upon his or her recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community if such information is available. If the information concerning a parent's income is unavailable, a parent fails to participate in a child support proceeding, or a parent fails to supply adequate financial information in a child support proceeding, income shall be automatically imputed to the parent and there is a rebuttable presumption that the parent has income equivalent to the median income of year-round full-time workers as derived from current population reports or replacement reports published by the United States Bureau of the Census. However, the court may refuse to impute income to a parent if the court finds it necessary for that parent to stay home with the child who is the subject of a child support calculation or as set forth below:

1. In order for the court to impute income at an amount other than the median income of year-round full-time workers as derived from current population reports or replacement reports published by the United States Bureau of the Census, the court must make specific findings of fact consistent with the requirements of this paragraph. The party seeking to impute income has the burden to present competent, substantial evidence that:

a. The unemployment or underemployment is voluntary; and

b. Identifies the amount and source of the imputed income, through evidence of income from available employment for which the party is suitably qualified by education, experience, current licensure, or geographic location, with due consideration being given to the parties' time-sharing schedule and their historical exercise of the time-sharing provided in the parenting plan or relevant order.

2. Except as set forth in subparagraph 1., income may not be imputed based upon:

a. Income records that are more than 5 years old at the time of the hearing or trial at which imputation is sought; or

b. Income at a level that a party has never earned in the past, unless recently degreed, licensed, certified, relicensed, or recertified and thus qualified for, subject to geographic location, with due consideration of the parties' existing time-sharing schedule and their historical exercise of the time-sharing provided in the parenting plan or relevant order.

(c) Public assistance as defined in s. 409.2554 shall be excluded from gross income.

(3) Net income is obtained by subtracting allowable deductions from gross income. Allowable deductions shall include:

(a) Federal, state, and local income tax deductions, adjusted for actual filing status and allowable dependents and income tax liabilities.

(b) Federal insurance contributions or self-employment tax.

(c) Mandatory union dues.

(d) Mandatory retirement payments.

(e) Health insurance payments, excluding payments for coverage of the minor child.

(f) Court-ordered support for other children which is actually paid.

(g) Spousal support paid pursuant to a court order from a previous marriage or the marriage before the court.

(4) Net income for each parent shall be computed by subtracting allowable deductions from gross income.

(5) Net income for each parent shall be added together for a combined net income.

(6) The following guidelines schedule shall be applied to the combined net income to determine the minimum child support need:

[NOTE FROM WOMENSLAW: WE COULD NOT PASTE THE CHART WITH INCOME GUIDELINES - PLEASE TALK TO AN ATTORNEY FOR INFORMATION ON THIS]

(a) If the obligor parent's net income is less than the amount in the guidelines schedule:

1. The parent should be ordered to pay a child support amount, determined on a case-by-case basis, to establish the principle of payment and lay the basis for increased support orders should the parent's income increase.

2. The obligor parent's child support payment shall be the lesser of the obligor parent's actual dollar share of the total minimum child support amount, as determined in subparagraph 1., and 90 percent of the difference between the obligor parent's monthly net income and the current poverty guidelines as periodically updated in the Federal Register by the United States Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s. 9902(2) for a single individual living alone.

(b) For combined monthly net income greater than the amount in the guidelines schedule, the obligation is the minimum amount of support provided by the guidelines schedule plus the following percentages multiplied by the amount of income over $10,000:

Child or Children

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

5.0%

7.5%

9.5%

11.0%

12.0%

12.5%

(7) Child care costs incurred due to employment, job search, or education calculated to result in employment or to enhance income of current employment of either parent shall be added to the basic obligation. After the child care costs are added, any moneys prepaid by a parent for child care costs for the child or children of this action shall be deducted from that parent's child support obligation for that child or those children. Child care costs may not exceed the level required to provide quality care from a licensed source.

(8) Health insurance costs resulting from coverage ordered pursuant to s. 61.13(1)(b), and any noncovered medical, dental, and prescription medication expenses of the child, shall be added to the basic obligation unless these expenses have been ordered to be separately paid on a percentage basis. After the health insurance costs are added to the basic obligation, any moneys prepaid by a parent for health-related costs for the child or children of this action shall be deducted from that parent's child support obligation for that child or those children.

(9) Each parent's percentage share of the child support need shall be determined by dividing each parent's net monthly income by the combined net monthly income.

(10) Each parent's actual dollar share of the total minimum child support need shall be determined by multiplying the minimum child support need by each parent's percentage share of the combined monthly net income.

(11)(a) The court may adjust the total minimum child support award, or either or both parents' share of the total minimum child support award, based upon the following deviation factors:

1. Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses.

2. Independent income of the child, not to include moneys received by a child from supplemental security income.

3. The payment of support for a parent which has been regularly paid and for which there is a demonstrated need.

4. Seasonal variations in one or both parents' incomes or expenses.

5. The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children.

6. Special needs, such as costs that may be associated with the disability of a child, that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though fulfilling those needs will cause the support to exceed the presumptive amount established by the guidelines.

7. Total available assets of the obligee, obligor, and the child.

8. The impact of the Internal Revenue Service Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and dependency exemption and waiver of that exemption. The court may order a parent to execute a waiver of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption if the paying parent is current in support payments.

9. An application of the child support guidelines schedule that requires a person to pay another person more than 55 percent of his or her gross income for a child support obligation for current support resulting from a single support order.

10. The particular parenting plan, a court-ordered time-sharing schedule, or a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties, such as where the child spends a significant amount of time, but less than 20 percent of the overnights, with one parent, thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the other parent; or the refusal of a parent to become involved in the activities of the child.

11. Any other adjustment that is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt. Such expense or debt may include, but is not limited to, a reasonable and necessary expense or debt that the parties jointly incurred during the marriage.

(b) Whenever a particular parenting plan, a court-ordered time-sharing schedule, or a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties provides that each child spend a substantial amount of time with each parent, the court shall adjust any award of child support, as follows:

1. In accordance with subsections (9) and (10), calculate the amount of support obligation apportioned to each parent without including day care and health insurance costs in the calculation and multiply the amount by 1.5.

2. Calculate the percentage of overnight stays the child spends with each parent.

3. Multiply each parent's support obligation as calculated in subparagraph 1. by the percentage of the other parent's overnight stays with the child as calculated in subparagraph 2.

4. The difference between the amounts calculated in subparagraph 3. shall be the monetary transfer necessary between the parents for the care of the child, subject to an adjustment for day care and health insurance expenses.

5. Pursuant to subsections (7) and (8), calculate the net amounts owed by each parent for the expenses incurred for day care and health insurance coverage for the child.

6. Adjust the support obligation owed by each parent pursuant to subparagraph 4. by crediting or debiting the amount calculated in subparagraph 5. This amount represents the child support which must be exchanged between the parents.

7. The court may deviate from the child support amount calculated pursuant to subparagraph 6. based upon the deviation factors in paragraph (a), as well as the obligee parent's low income and ability to maintain the basic necessities of the home for the child, the likelihood that either parent will actually exercise the time-sharing schedule set forth in the parenting plan, a court-ordered time-sharing schedule, or a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties, and whether all of the children are exercising the same time-sharing schedule.

8. For purposes of adjusting any award of child support under this paragraph, “substantial amount of time” means that a parent exercises time-sharing at least 20 percent of the overnights of the year.

(c) A parent's failure to regularly exercise the time-sharing schedule set forth in the parenting plan, a court-ordered time-sharing schedule, or a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties not caused by the other parent which resulted in the adjustment of the amount of child support pursuant to subparagraph (a)10. or paragraph (b) shall be deemed a substantial change of circumstances for purposes of modifying the child support award. A modification pursuant to this paragraph is retroactive to the date the noncustodial parent first failed to regularly exercise the court-ordered or agreed time-sharing schedule.

(12)(a) A parent with a support obligation may have other children living with him or her who were born or adopted after the support obligation arose. If such subsequent children exist, the court, when considering an upward modification of an existing award, may disregard the income from secondary employment obtained in addition to the parent's primary employment if the court determines that the employment was obtained primarily to support the subsequent children.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a), the existence of such subsequent children should not as a general rule be considered by the court as a basis for disregarding the amount provided in the guidelines schedule. The parent with a support obligation for subsequent children may raise the existence of such subsequent children as a justification for deviation from the guidelines schedule. However, if the existence of such subsequent children is raised, the income of the other parent of the subsequent children shall be considered by the court in determining whether or not there is a basis for deviation from the guideline amount.

(c) The issue of subsequent children under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) may only be raised in a proceeding for an upward modification of an existing award and may not be applied to justify a decrease in an existing award.

(13) If the recurring income is not sufficient to meet the needs of the child, the court may order child support to be paid from nonrecurring income or assets.

(14) Every petition for child support or for modification of child support shall be accompanied by an affidavit which shows the party's income, allowable deductions, and net income computed in accordance with this section. The affidavit shall be served at the same time that the petition is served. The respondent, whether or not a stipulation is entered, shall make an affidavit which shows the party's income, allowable deductions, and net income computed in accordance with this section. The respondent shall include his or her affidavit with the answer to the petition or as soon thereafter as is practicable, but in any case at least 72 hours prior to any hearing on the finances of either party.

(15) For purposes of establishing an obligation for support in accordance with this section, if a person who is receiving public assistance is found to be noncooperative as defined in s. 409.2572, the department may submit to the court an affidavit or written declaration signed under penalty of perjury as specified in s. 92.525(2) attesting to the income of that parent based upon information available to the department.

(16) The Legislature shall review the guidelines schedule established in this section at least every 4 years beginning in 1997.

(17) In an initial determination of child support, whether in a paternity action, dissolution of marriage action, or petition for support during the marriage, the court has discretion to award child support retroactive to the date when the parents did not reside together in the same household with the child, not to exceed a period of 24 months preceding the filing of the petition, regardless of whether that date precedes the filing of the petition. In determining the retroactive award in such cases, the court shall consider the following:

(a) The court shall apply the guidelines schedule in effect at the time of the hearing subject to the obligor's demonstration of his or her actual income, as defined by subsection (2), during the retroactive period. Failure of the obligor to so demonstrate shall result in the court using the obligor's income at the time of the hearing in computing child support for the retroactive period.

(b) All actual payments made by a parent to the other parent or the child or third parties for the benefit of the child throughout the proposed retroactive period.

(c) The court should consider an installment payment plan for the payment of retroactive child support.

61.45. Court-ordered parenting plan; risk of violation; bond

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) In any proceeding in which the court enters a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, including in a modification proceeding, upon the presentation of competent substantial evidence that there is a risk that one party may violate the court's parenting plan by removing a child from this state or country or by concealing the whereabouts of a child, upon stipulation of the parties, upon the motion of another individual or entity having a right under the law of this state, or if the court finds evidence that establishes credible risk of removal of the child, the court may:

(a) Order that a parent may not remove the child from this state without the notarized written permission of both parents or further court order;

(b) Order that a parent may not remove the child from this country without the notarized written permission of both parents or further court order;

(c) Order that a parent may not take the child to a country that has not ratified or acceded to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction unless the other parent agrees in writing that the child may be taken to the country;

(d) Require a parent to surrender the passport of the child or require that:

1. The petitioner place the child's name in the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program of the United States Department of State;

2. The respondent surrender to the court or the petitioner's attorney any United States or foreign passport issued in the child's name, including a passport issued in the name of both the parent and the child; and

3. The respondent not apply on behalf of the child for a new or replacement passport or visa; or

(e) Require that a party post bond or other security in an amount sufficient to serve as a financial deterrent to abduction, the proceeds of which may be used to pay the reasonable expenses of recovery of the child, including reasonable attorney's fees and costs, if the child is abducted.

(2) If the court enters a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, including in a modification proceeding, that includes a provision entered under paragraph (1)(b) or paragraph (1)(c), a certified copy of the order should be sent by the parent who requested the restriction to the Passport Services Office of the United States Department of State requesting that they not issue a passport to the child without their signature or further court order.

(3) If the court enters an order under paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b) to prevent the removal of the child from this state or country, the order may include one or more of the following:

(a) An imposition of travel restrictions that require that a party traveling with the child outside a designated geographic area provide the other party with the following:

1. The travel itinerary of the child.

2. A list of physical addresses and telephone numbers at which the child can be reached at specified times.

3. Copies of all travel documents.

(b) A prohibition of the respondent directly or indirectly:

1. Removing the child from this state or country or another specified geographic area without permission of the court or the petitioner's written consent;

2. Removing or retaining the child in violation of a child custody determination;

3. Removing the child from school or a child care or similar facility; or

4. Approaching the child at any location other than a site designated for supervised visitation.

(c) A requirement that a party register the order in another state as a prerequisite to allowing the child to travel to that state.

(d) As a prerequisite to exercising custody or visitation, a requirement that the respondent provide the following:

1. An authenticated copy of the order detailing passport and travel restrictions for the child to the Office of Children's Issues within the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the United States Department of State and the relevant foreign consulate or embassy.

2. Proof to the court that the respondent has provided the information in subparagraph 1.

3. An acknowledgment to the court in a record from the relevant foreign consulate or embassy that no passport application has been made, or passport issued, on behalf of the child.

4. Proof to the petitioner and court of registration with the United States embassy or other United States diplomatic presence in the destination country and with the destination country's central authority for the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, if that convention is in effect between this country and the destination country, unless one of the parties objects.

5. A written waiver under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. s. 552a, as amended, with respect to any document, application, or other information pertaining to the child or the respondent authorizing its disclosure to the court.

6. A written waiver with respect to any document, application, or other information pertaining to the child or the respondent in records held by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services authorizing its disclosure to the court.

7. Upon the court's request, a requirement that the respondent obtain an order from the relevant foreign country containing terms identical to the child custody determination issued in this country.

8. Upon the court's request, a requirement that the respondent be entered in the Prevent Departure Program of the United States Department of State or a similar federal program designed to prevent unauthorized departures to foreign countries.

(e) The court may impose conditions on the exercise of custody or visitation that limit visitation or require that visitation with the child by the respondent be supervised until the court finds that supervision is no longer necessary and orders the respondent to pay the costs of supervision.

(4) In assessing the need for a bond or other security, the court may consider any reasonable factor bearing upon the risk that a party may violate a parenting plan by removing a child from this state or country or by concealing the whereabouts of a child, including but not limited to whether:

(a) A court has previously found that a party previously removed a child from Florida or another state in violation of a parenting plan, or whether a court had found that a party has threatened to take a child out of Florida or another state in violation of a parenting plan;

(b) The party has strong family and community ties to Florida or to other states or countries, including whether the party or child is a citizen of another country;

(c) The party has strong financial reasons to remain in Florida or to relocate to another state or country;

(d) The party has engaged in activities that suggest plans to leave Florida, such as quitting employment; sale of a residence or termination of a lease on a residence, without efforts to acquire an alternative residence in the state; closing bank accounts or otherwise liquidating assets; applying for a passport or visa; or obtaining travel documents for the respondent or the child;

(e) Either party has had a history of domestic violence as either a victim or perpetrator, child abuse or child neglect evidenced by criminal history, including but not limited to, arrest, an injunction for protection against domestic violence issued after notice and hearing under s. 741.30, medical records, affidavits, or any other relevant information;

(f) The party has a criminal record;

(g) The party is likely to take the child to a country that:

1. Is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and does not provide for the extradition of an abducting parent or for the return of an abducted child;

2. Is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, but:

a. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is not in force between this country and that country;

b. Is noncompliant or demonstrating patterns of noncompliance according to the most recent compliance report issued by the United States Department of State; or

c. Lacks legal mechanisms for immediately and effectively enforcing a return order under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;

3. Poses a risk that the child's physical or emotional health or safety would be endangered in the country because of specific circumstances relating to the child or because of human rights violations committed against children;

4. Has laws or practices that would:

a. Enable the respondent, without due cause, to prevent the petitioner from contacting the child;

b. Restrict the petitioner from freely traveling to or exiting from the country because of the petitioner's gender, nationality, marital status, or religion; or

c. Restrict the child's ability to legally leave the country after the child reaches the age of majority because of a child's gender, nationality, or religion;

5. Is included by the United States Department of State on a current list of state sponsors of terrorism;

6. Does not have an official United States diplomatic presence in the country; or

7. Is engaged in active military action or war, including a civil war, to which the child may be exposed;

(h) The party is undergoing a change in immigration or citizenship status that would adversely affect the respondent's ability to remain in this country legally;

(i) The party has had an application for United States citizenship denied;

(j) The party has forged or presented misleading or false evidence on government forms or supporting documents to obtain or attempt to obtain a passport, a visa, travel documents, a social security card, a driver's license, or other government-issued identification card or has made a misrepresentation to the United States government;

(k) The party has used multiple names to attempt to mislead or defraud;

(l) The party has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder that the court considers relevant to the risk of abduction; or

(m) The party has engaged in any other conduct that the court considers relevant to the risk of abduction.

(5) The court must consider the party's financial resources prior to setting the bond amount under this section. Under no circumstances may the court set a bond that is unreasonable.

(6) Any deficiency of bond or security does not absolve the violating party of responsibility to pay the full amount of damages determined by the court.

(7)(a) Upon a material violation of any parenting plan by removing a child from this state or country or by concealing the whereabouts of a child, the court may order the bond or other security forfeited in whole or in part.

(b) This section, including the requirement to post a bond or other security, does not apply to a parent who, in a proceeding to order or modify a parenting plan or time-sharing schedule, is determined by the court to be a victim of an act of domestic violence or provides the court with reasonable cause to believe that he or she is about to become the victim of an act of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28. An injunction for protection against domestic violence issued pursuant to s. 741.30 for a parent as the petitioner which is in effect at the time of the court proceeding shall be one means of demonstrating sufficient evidence that the parent is a victim of domestic violence or is about to become the victim of an act of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and shall exempt the parent from this section, including the requirement to post a bond or other security. A parent who is determined by the court to be exempt from the requirements of this section must meet the requirements of s. 787.03(6) if an offense of interference with the parenting plan or time-sharing schedule is committed.

(8)(a) Upon an order of forfeiture, the proceeds of any bond or other security posted pursuant to this subsection may only be used to:

1. Reimburse the nonviolating party for actual costs or damages incurred in upholding the court's parenting plan.

2. Locate and return the child to the residence as set forth in the parenting plan.

3. Reimburse reasonable fees and costs as determined by the court.

(b) Any remaining proceeds shall be held as further security if deemed necessary by the court, and if further security is not found to be necessary; applied to any child support arrears owed by the parent against whom the bond was required, and if no arrears exists; all remaining proceeds will be allocated by the court in the best interest of the child.

(9) At any time after the forfeiture of the bond or other security, the party who posted the bond or other security, or the court on its own motion may request that the party provide documentation substantiating that the proceeds received as a result of the forfeiture have been used solely in accordance with this subsection. Any party using such proceeds for purposes not in accordance with this section may be found in contempt of court.

(10) A violation of this section may subject the party committing the violation to civil or criminal penalties or a federal or state warrant under federal or state laws, including the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act, and may subject the violating parent to apprehension by a law enforcement officer.

61.13003. Court-ordered electronic communication between a parent and a child

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) In connection with proceedings under this chapter, a court may order electronic communication between a parent and a child. Before ordering electronic communication, a court must consider:

1. Whether electronic communication is in a child's best interests;

2. Whether communication equipment and technology to provide electronic communication is reasonably available, accessible, and affordable;

3. Each parent's history of substance abuse or domestic violence; and

4. Any other factor that the court considers material.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a rebuttable presumption is created providing that it is in the best interests of a child for a parent and child to have reasonable telephone communication. Unless this presumption is rebutted, the court shall order telephone communication.

(c) The court may set safeguards or guidelines for electronic communication.

(2) If the court finds that one or both parents will incur additional costs in order to implement electronic communication with the child, the court shall allocate such expenses arising solely from the electronic communication between the parents after considering the respective parent's financial circumstances.

(3) If the court enters an order granting electronic communication, each parent shall furnish the other parent with the access information necessary to facilitate electronic communication. Each parent shall notify the other parent of any change in the access information within 7 days after the change.

(4) Electronic communication may be used only to supplement a parent's face-to-face contact with his or her minor child. Electronic communication may not be used to replace or as a substitute for face-to-face contact.

(5) A party to a child custody order that does not prohibit electronic communication may move a court to order electronic communication. Such a party need not prove a substantial change in circumstances.

(6) The court may not consider the availability of electronic communication as the sole determinative factor when considering relocation.

(7) The extent or amount of time that electronic communication with the child is ordered under s. 61.13 may not be used as a factor when the court calculates child support.

(8) This section does not apply to any judgment or order issued before October 1, 2007.

Part II. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

61.528. Registration of child custody determination

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A child custody determination issued by a court of another state may be registered in this state, with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending to the circuit court of the county where the petitioner or respondent resides or where a simultaneous request for enforcement is sought:

(a) A letter or other document requesting registration;

(b) Two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination sought to be registered and a statement under penalty of perjury that, to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking registration, the order has not been modified; and

(c) Except as otherwise provided in s. 61.522, the name and address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the child custody determination sought to be registered.

(2) On receipt of the documents required by subsection (1), the registering court shall:

(a) Cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form; and

(b) Serve notice upon the persons named pursuant to paragraph (1)(c) and provide them with an opportunity to contest the registration in accordance with this section.

(3) The notice required by paragraph (2)(b) must state that:

(a) A registered determination is enforceable as of the date of the registration in the same manner as a determination issued by a court of this state;

(b) A hearing to contest the validity of the registered determination must be requested within 20 days after service of notice; and

(c) Failure to contest the registration will result in confirmation of the child custody determination and preclude further contest of that determination with respect to any matter that could have been asserted.

(4) A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered order must request a hearing within 20 days after service of the notice. At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless the person contesting registration establishes that:

(a) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.523;

(b) The child custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under ss. 61.514-61.523; or

(c) The person contesting registration was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of s. 61.509 in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which registration is sought.

(5) If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of the registration is not made, the registration is confirmed as a matter of law and the person requesting registration and all persons served must be notified of the confirmation.

(6) Confirmation of a registered order, whether by operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of registration.

61.529. Enforcement of registered determination

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A court of this state may grant any relief normally available under the laws of this state to enforce a registered child custody determination made by a court of another state.

(2) A court of this state shall recognize and enforce but may not modify, except in accordance with ss. 61.514-61.523, a registered child custody determination of another state.

61.503. Definitions

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

As used in this part, the term:

(1) "Abandoned" means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.

(2) "Child" means an individual who has not attained 18 years of age.

(3) "Child custody determination" means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, residential care, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.

(4) "Child custody proceeding" means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, residential care, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear. The term does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under ss. 61.524-61.540.

(5) "Commencement" means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

(6) "Court" means an entity authorized under the laws of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination.

(7) "Home state" means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least 6 consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding. In the case of a child younger than 6 months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.

(8) "Initial determination" means the first child custody determination concerning a particular child.

(9) "Issuing court" means the court that makes a child custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this part.

(10) "Issuing state" means the state in which a child custody determination is made.

(11) "Modification" means a child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, regardless of whether it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

(12) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, or government; governmental subdivision, agency, instrumentality, or public corporation; or any other legal or commercial entity.

(13) "Person acting as a parent" means a person, other than a parent, who:

(a) Has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of 6 consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within 1 year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding; and

(b) Has been awarded a child-custody determination by a court or claims a right to a child-custody determination under the laws of this state.

(14) "Physical custody" means the physical care and supervision of a child.

(15) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(16) "Tribe" means an Indian tribe, or band, or Alaskan Native village that is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.

(17) "Warrant" means an order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

61.514. Initial child custody jurisdiction

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Except as otherwise provided in s. 61.517, a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:

(a) This state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state;

(b) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under paragraph (a), or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the grounds that this state is the more appropriate forum under s. 61.520 or s. 61.521, and:

1. The child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this state other than mere physical presence; and

2. Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships;

(c) All courts having jurisdiction under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the grounds that a court of this state is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under s. 61.520 or s. 61.521; or

(d) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c).

(2) Subsection (1) is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child custody determination by a court of this state.

(3) Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody determination.

61.515. Exclusive, continuing jurisdiction

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Except as otherwise provided in s. 61.517, a court of this state which has made a child custody determination consistent with s. 61.514 or s. 61.516 has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over the determination until:

(a) A court of this state determines that the child, the child's parents, and any person acting as a parent do not have a significant connection with this state and that substantial evidence is no longer available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships; or

(b) A court of this state or a court of another state determines that the child, the child's parent, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in this state.

(2) A court of this state which has made a child custody determination and does not have exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under this section may modify that determination only if it has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under s. 61.514.

61.517. Temporary emergency jurisdiction

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A court of this state has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.

(2) If there is no previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this part, and a child custody proceeding has not been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.516, a child custody determination made under this section remains in effect until an order is obtained from a court of a state having jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.516. If a child custody proceeding has not been or is not commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.516, a child custody determination made under this section becomes a final determination if it so provides and this state becomes the home state of the child.

(3) If there is a previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this part, or a child custody proceeding has been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.516, any order issued by a court of this state under this section must specify in the order a period that the court considers adequate to allow the person seeking an order to obtain an order from the state having jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.516. The order issued in this state remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other state within the period specified or the period expires.

(4) A court of this state which has been asked to make a child custody determination under this section, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child custody determination has been made by, a court of a state having jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.516, shall immediately communicate with the other court. A court of this state which is exercising jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.516, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child custody determination has been made by, a court of another state under a statute similar to this section shall immediately communicate with the court of that state to resolve the emergency, protect the safety of the parties and the child, and determine a period for the duration of the temporary order.

Title VII. Evidence

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Chapter 92. Witnesses, Records, and Documents

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

92.57. Termination of employment of witness prohibited

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

A person who testifies in a judicial proceeding in response to a subpoena may not be dismissed from employment because of the nature of the person's testimony or because of absences from employment resulting from compliance with the subpoena. In any civil action arising out of a violation of this section, the court may award attorney's fees and punitive damages to the person unlawfully dismissed, in addition to actual damages suffered by such person.

Title X. Public Officers, Employees and Records

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Chapter 119. Public Records

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

119.071. General exemption from inspection or copying of public records

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Agency administration.--
(a) Examination questions and answer sheets of examinations administered by a governmental agency for the purpose of licensure, certification, or employment are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. A person who has taken such an examination has the right to review his or her own completed examination.
(b) 1. For purposes of this paragraph, “competitive solicitation” means the process of requesting and receiving sealed bids, proposals, or replies in accordance with the terms of a competitive process, regardless of the method of procurement.
2. Sealed bids, proposals, or replies received by an agency pursuant to a competitive solicitation are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitutionuntil such time as the agency provides notice of an intended decision or until 30 days after opening the bids, proposals, or final replies, whichever is earlier.
3. If an agency rejects all bids, proposals, or replies submitted in response to a competitive solicitation and the agency concurrently provides notice of its intent to reissue the competitive solicitation, the rejected bids, proposals, or replies remain exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until such time as the agency provides notice of an intended decision concerning the reissued competitive solicitation or until the agency withdraws the reissued competitive solicitation. A bid, proposal, or reply is not exempt for longer than 12 months after the initial agency notice rejecting all bids, proposals, or replies.
(c) Any financial statement that an agency requires a prospective bidder to submit in order to prequalify for bidding or for responding to a proposal for a road or any other public works project is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(d) 1. A public record that was prepared by an agency attorney (including an attorney employed or retained by the agency or employed or retained by another public officer or agency to protect or represent the interests of the agency having custody of the record) or prepared at the attorney's express direction, that reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the agency, and that was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative proceedings, or that was prepared in anticipation of imminent civil or criminal litigation or imminent adversarial administrative proceedings, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitutionuntil the conclusion of the litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings. For purposes of capital collateral litigation as set forth in s. 27.7001, the Attorney General's office is entitled to claim this exemption for those public records prepared for direct appeal as well as for all capital collateral litigation after direct appeal until execution of sentence or imposition of a life sentence.
2. This exemption is not waived by the release of such public record to another public employee or officer of the same agency or any person consulted by the agency attorney. When asserting the right to withhold a public record pursuant to this paragraph, the agency shall identify the potential parties to any such criminal or civil litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings. If a court finds that the document or other record has been improperly withheld under this paragraph, the party seeking access to such document or record shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and costs in addition to any other remedy ordered by the court.
(e) Any videotape or video signal that, under an agreement with an agency, is produced, made, or received by, or is in the custody of, a federally licensed radio or television station or its agent is exempt from s. 119.07(1).
(f) Data processing software obtained by an agency under a licensing agreement that prohibits its disclosure and which software is a trade secret, as defined in s. 812.081, and agency-produced data processing software that is sensitive are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. The designation of agency-produced software as sensitive does not prohibit an agency head from sharing or exchanging such software with another public agency. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(2) Agency investigations.--
(a) All criminal intelligence and criminal investigative information received by a criminal justice agency prior to January 25, 1979, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(b) Whenever criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information held by a non-Florida criminal justice agency is available to a Florida criminal justice agency only on a confidential or similarly restricted basis, the Florida criminal justice agency may obtain and use such information in accordance with the conditions imposed by the providing agency.
(c) 1. Active criminal intelligence information and active criminal investigative information are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
2. a. A request made by a law enforcement agency to inspect or copy a public record that is in the custody of another agency and the custodian's response to the request, and any information that would identify whether a law enforcement agency has requested or received that public record are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, during the period in which the information constitutes active criminal intelligence information or active criminal investigative information.
b. The law enforcement agency that made the request to inspect or copy a public record shall give notice to the custodial agency when the criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information is no longer active so that the request made by the law enforcement agency, the custodian's response to the request, and information that would identify whether the law enforcement agency had requested or received that public record are available to the public.
c. This exemption is remedial in nature, and it is the intent of the Legislature that the exemption be applied to requests for information received before, on, or after the effective date of this paragraph.
(d) Any information revealing surveillance techniques or procedures or personnel is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Any comprehensive inventory of state and local law enforcement resources compiled pursuant to part I, chapter 23, and any comprehensive policies or plans compiled by a criminal justice agency pertaining to the mobilization, deployment, or tactical operations involved in responding to an emergency, as defined in s. 252.34, are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and unavailable for inspection, except by personnel authorized by a state or local law enforcement agency, the office of the Governor, the Department of Legal Affairs, the Department of Law Enforcement, or the Division of Emergency Management as having an official need for access to the inventory or comprehensive policies or plans.
(e) Any information revealing the substance of a confession of a person arrested is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, until such time as the criminal case is finally determined by adjudication, dismissal, or other final disposition.
(f) Any information revealing the identity of a confidential informant or a confidential source is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(g) 1. All complaints and other records in the custody of any agency which relate to a complaint of discrimination relating to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status in connection with hiring practices, position classifications, salary, benefits, discipline, discharge, employee performance, evaluation, or other related activities are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until a finding is made relating to probable cause, the investigation of the complaint becomes inactive, or the complaint or other record is made part of the official record of any hearing or court proceeding.
a. This exemption does not affect any function or activity of the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
b. Any state or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such complaints or records by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of such agency's statutory duties.
2. If an alleged victim chooses not to file a complaint and requests that records of the complaint remain confidential, all records relating to an allegation of employment discrimination are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(h) 1. The following criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution:
a. Any information that reveals the identity of the victim of the crime of child abuse as defined by chapter 827 or that reveals the identity of a person under the age of 18 who is the victim of the crime of human trafficking proscribed in s. 787.06(3)(a).
b. Any information that may reveal the identity of a person who is a victim of any sexual offense, including a sexual offense proscribed in s. 787.06(3)(b), (d), (f), or (g), chapter 794, chapter 796, chapter 800, chapter 827, or chapter 847.
c. A photograph, videotape, or image of any part of the body of the victim of a sexual offense prohibited under s. 787.06(3)(b), (d), (f), or (g), chapter 794, chapter 796, chapter 800, s. 810.145, chapter 827, or chapter 847, regardless of whether the photograph, videotape, or image identifies the victim.
2. Criminal investigative information and criminal intelligence information made confidential and exempt under this paragraph may be disclosed by a law enforcement agency:
a. In the furtherance of its official duties and responsibilities.
b. For print, publication, or broadcast if the law enforcement agency determines that such release would assist in locating or identifying a person that such agency believes to be missing or endangered. The information provided should be limited to that needed to identify or locate the victim and not include the sexual nature of the offense committed against the person.
c. To another governmental agency in the furtherance of its official duties and responsibilities.
3. This exemption applies to such confidential and exempt criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information held by a law enforcement agency before, on, or after the effective date of the exemption.
4. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15, and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(i) Any criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information that reveals the personal assets of the victim of a crime, other than property stolen or destroyed during the commission of the crime, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(j) 1. Any document that reveals the identity, home or employment telephone number, home or employment address, or personal assets of the victim of a crime and identifies that person as the victim of a crime, which document is received by any agency that regularly receives information from or concerning the victims of crime, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Any information not otherwise held confidential or exempt from s. 119.07(1) which reveals the home or employment telephone number, home or employment address, or personal assets of a person who has been the victim of sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, aggravated stalking, harassment, aggravated battery, or domestic violence is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, upon written request by the victim, which must include official verification that an applicable crime has occurred. Such information shall cease to be exempt 5 years after the receipt of the written request. Any state or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such documents by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of such agency's statutory duties, notwithstanding this section.
2. a. Any information in a videotaped statement of a minor who is alleged to be or who is a victim of sexual battery, lewd acts, or other sexual misconduct proscribed in chapter 800 or in s. 794.011, s. 827.071, s. 847.012, s. 847.0125, s. 847.013, s. 847.0133, or s. 847.0145, which reveals that minor's identity, including, but not limited to, the minor's face; the minor's home, school, church, or employment telephone number; the minor's home, school, church, or employment address; the name of the minor's school, church, or place of employment; or the personal assets of the minor; and which identifies that minor as the victim of a crime described in this subparagraph, held by a law enforcement agency, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Any governmental agency that is authorized to have access to such statements by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of the agency's statutory duties, notwithstanding the provisions of this section.
b. A public employee or officer who has access to a videotaped statement of a minor who is alleged to be or who is a victim of sexual battery, lewd acts, or other sexual misconduct proscribed in chapter 800 or in s. 794.011, s. 827.071, s. 847.012, s. 847.0125, s. 847.013, s. 847.0133, or s. 847.0145 may not willfully and knowingly disclose videotaped information that reveals the minor's identity to a person who is not assisting in the investigation or prosecution of the alleged offense or to any person other than the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or a person specified in an order entered by the court having jurisdiction of the alleged offense. A person who violates this provision commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(k) 1. A complaint of misconduct filed with an agency against an agency employee and all information obtained pursuant to an investigation by the agency of the complaint of misconduct is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until the investigation ceases to be active, or until the agency provides written notice to the employee who is the subject of the complaint, either personally or by mail, that the agency has either:
a. Concluded the investigation with a finding not to proceed with disciplinary action or file charges; or
b. Concluded the investigation with a finding to proceed with disciplinary action or file charges.
2. Subparagraph 1. is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2018, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(l) 1. As used in this paragraph, the term:
a. “Body camera” means a portable electronic recording device that is worn on a law enforcement officer's body and that records audio and video data in the course of the officer performing his or her official duties and responsibilities.
b. “Law enforcement officer” has the same meaning as provided in s. 943.10.
c. “Personal representative” means a parent, a court-appointed guardian, an attorney, or an agent of, or a person holding a power of attorney for, a person recorded by a body camera. If a person depicted in the recording is deceased, the term also means the personal representative of the estate of the deceased person; the deceased person's surviving spouse, parent, or adult child; the deceased person's attorney or agent; or the parent or guardian of a surviving minor child of the deceased. An agent must possess written authorization of the recorded person to act on his or her behalf.
2. A body camera recording, or a portion thereof, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution if the recording:
a. Is taken within the interior of a private residence;
b. Is taken within the interior of a facility that offers health care, mental health care, or social services; or
c. Is taken in a place that a reasonable person would expect to be private.
3. Notwithstanding subparagraph 2., a body camera recording may be disclosed by a law enforcement agency:
a. In furtherance of its official duties and responsibilities; or
b. To another governmental agency in the furtherance of its official duties and responsibilities.
4. A body camera recording, or a portion thereof, shall be disclosed by a law enforcement agency:
a. To a person recorded by a body camera; however, a law enforcement agency may disclose only those portions that are relevant to the person's presence in the recording;
b. To the personal representative of a person recorded by a body camera; however, a law enforcement agency may disclose only those portions that are relevant to the represented person's presence in the recording;
c. To a person not depicted in a body camera recording if the recording depicts a place in which the person lawfully resided, dwelled, or lodged at the time of the recording; however, a law enforcement agency may disclose only those portions that record the interior of such a place.
d. Pursuant to a court order.
(I) In addition to any other grounds the court may consider in determining whether to order that a body camera recording be disclosed, the court shall consider whether:
(A) Disclosure is necessary to advance a compelling interest;
(B) The recording contains information that is otherwise exempt or confidential and exempt under the law;
(C) The person requesting disclosure is seeking to obtain evidence to determine legal issues in a case in which the person is a party;
(D) Disclosure would reveal information regarding a person that is of a highly sensitive personal nature;
(E) Disclosure may harm the reputation or jeopardize the safety of a person depicted in the recording;
(F) Confidentiality is necessary to prevent a serious and imminent threat to the fair, impartial, and orderly administration of justice;
(G) The recording could be redacted to protect privacy interests; and
(H) There is good cause to disclose all or portions of a recording.
(II) In any proceeding regarding the disclosure of a body camera recording, the law enforcement agency that made the recording shall be given reasonable notice of hearings and shall be given an opportunity to participate.
5. A law enforcement agency must retain a body camera recording for at least 90 days.
6. The exemption provided in subparagraph 2. applies retroactively.
7. This exemption does not supersede any other public records exemption that existed before or is created after the effective date of this exemption. Those portions of a recording which are protected from disclosure by another public records exemption shall continue to be exempt or confidential and exempt.
8. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(m) 1. Criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information that reveals the personal identifying information of a witness to a murder, as described in s. 782.04, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for 2 years after the date on which the murder is observed by the witness. A criminal justice agency may disclose such information:
a. In the furtherance of its official duties and responsibilities.
b. To assist in locating or identifying the witness if the agency believes the witness to be missing or endangered.
c. To another governmental agency for use in the performance of its official duties and responsibilities.
d. To the parties in a pending criminal prosecution as required by law.
2. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(n) Personal identifying information of the alleged victim in an allegation of sexual harassment is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Such information may be disclosed to another governmental entity in the furtherance of its official duties and responsibilities. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(3) Security.--
(a) 1. As used in this paragraph, the term “security system plan” includes all:
a. Records, information, photographs, audio and visual presentations, schematic diagrams, surveys, recommendations, or consultations or portions thereof relating directly to the physical security of the facility or revealing security systems;
b. Threat assessments conducted by any agency or any private entity;
c. Threat response plans;
d. Emergency evacuation plans;
e. Sheltering arrangements; or
f. Manuals for security personnel, emergency equipment, or security training.
2. A security system plan or portion thereof for:
a. Any property owned by or leased to the state or any of its political subdivisions; or
b. Any privately owned or leased property
held by an agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption is remedial in nature, and it is the intent of the Legislature that this exemption apply to security system plans held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this paragraph.
3. Information made confidential and exempt by this paragraph may be disclosed:
a. To the property owner or leaseholder;
b. In furtherance of the official duties and responsibilities of the agency holding the information;
c. To another local, state, or federal agency in furtherance of that agency's official duties and responsibilities; or
d. Upon a showing of good cause before a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) 1. Building plans, blueprints, schematic drawings, and diagrams, including draft, preliminary, and final formats, which depict the internal layout and structural elements of a building, arena, stadium, water treatment facility, or other structure owned or operated by an agency are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
2. This exemption applies to building plans, blueprints, schematic drawings, and diagrams, including draft, preliminary, and final formats, which depict the internal layout and structural elements of a building, arena, stadium, water treatment facility, or other structure owned or operated by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this act.
3. Information made exempt by this paragraph may be disclosed:
a. To another governmental entity if disclosure is necessary for the receiving entity to perform its duties and responsibilities;
b. To a licensed architect, engineer, or contractor who is performing work on or related to the building, arena, stadium, water treatment facility, or other structure owned or operated by an agency; or
c. Upon a showing of good cause before a court of competent jurisdiction.
4. The entities or persons receiving such information shall maintain the exempt status of the information.
(c) 1. Building plans, blueprints, schematic drawings, and diagrams, including draft, preliminary, and final formats, which depict the internal layout or structural elements of an attractions and recreation facility, entertainment or resort complex, industrial complex, retail and service development, office development, or hotel or motel development, which records are held by an agency are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
2. This exemption applies to any such records held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this act.
3. Information made exempt by this paragraph may be disclosed to another governmental entity if disclosure is necessary for the receiving entity to perform its duties and responsibilities; to the owner or owners of the structure in question or the owner's legal representative; or upon a showing of good cause before a court of competent jurisdiction.
4. This paragraph does not apply to comprehensive plans or site plans, or amendments thereto, which are submitted for approval or which have been approved under local land development regulations, local zoning regulations, or development-of-regional-impact review.
5. As used in this paragraph, the term:
a. “Attractions and recreation facility” means any sports, entertainment, amusement, or recreation facility, including, but not limited to, a sports arena, stadium, racetrack, tourist attraction, amusement park, or pari-mutuel facility that:
(I) For single-performance facilities:
(A) Provides single-performance facilities; or
(B) Provides more than 10,000 permanent seats for spectators.
(II) For serial-performance facilities:
(A) Provides parking spaces for more than 1,000 motor vehicles; or
(B) Provides more than 4,000 permanent seats for spectators.
b. “Entertainment or resort complex” means a theme park comprised of at least 25 acres of land with permanent exhibitions and a variety of recreational activities, which has at least 1 million visitors annually who pay admission fees thereto, together with any lodging, dining, and recreational facilities located adjacent to, contiguous to, or in close proximity to the theme park, as long as the owners or operators of the theme park, or a parent or related company or subsidiary thereof, has an equity interest in the lodging, dining, or recreational facilities or is in privity therewith. Close proximity includes an area within a 5-mile radius of the theme park complex.
c. “Industrial complex” means any industrial, manufacturing, processing, distribution, warehousing, or wholesale facility or plant, as well as accessory uses and structures, under common ownership that:
(I) Provides onsite parking for more than 250 motor vehicles;
(II) Encompasses 500,000 square feet or more of gross floor area; or
(III) Occupies a site of 100 acres or more, but excluding wholesale facilities or plants that primarily serve or deal onsite with the general public.
d. “Retail and service development” means any retail, service, or wholesale business establishment or group of establishments which deals primarily with the general public onsite and is operated under one common property ownership, development plan, or management that:
(I) Encompasses more than 400,000 square feet of gross floor area; or
(II) Provides parking spaces for more than 2,500 motor vehicles.
e. “Office development” means any office building or park operated under common ownership, development plan, or management that encompasses 300,000 or more square feet of gross floor area.
f. “Hotel or motel development” means any hotel or motel development that accommodates 350 or more units.
(4) Agency personnel information.--
(a) 1. The social security numbers of all current and former agency employees which are held by the employing agency are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
2. The social security numbers of current and former agency employees may be disclosed by the employing agency:
a. If disclosure of the social security number is expressly required by federal or state law or a court order.
b. To another agency or governmental entity if disclosure of the social security number is necessary for the receiving agency or entity to perform its duties and responsibilities.
c. If the current or former agency employee expressly consents in writing to the disclosure of his or her social security number.
(b) 1. Medical information pertaining to a prospective, current, or former officer or employee of an agency which, if disclosed, would identify that officer or employee is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, such information may be disclosed if the person to whom the information pertains or the person's legal representative provides written permission or pursuant to court order.
2. a. Personal identifying information of a dependent child of a current or former officer or employee of an agency, which dependent child is insured by an agency group insurance plan, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. For purposes of this exemption, “dependent child” has the same meaning as in s. 409.2554.
b. This exemption is remedial in nature and applies to such personal identifying information held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption.
(c) Any information revealing undercover personnel of any criminal justice agency is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(d) 1. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “telephone numbers” includes home telephone numbers, personal cellular telephone numbers, personal pager telephone numbers, and telephone numbers associated with personal communications devices.
2. a. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of active or former sworn or civilian law enforcement personnel, including correctional and correctional probation officers, personnel of the Department of Children and Families whose duties include the investigation of abuse, neglect, exploitation, fraud, theft, or other criminal activities, personnel of the Department of Health whose duties are to support the investigation of child abuse or neglect, and personnel of the Department of Revenue or local governments whose responsibilities include revenue collection and enforcement or child support enforcement; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, photographs, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
b. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former nonsworn investigative personnel of the Department of Financial Services whose duties include the investigation of fraud, theft, workers' compensation coverage requirements and compliance, other related criminal activities, or state regulatory requirement violations; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
c. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former nonsworn investigative personnel of the Office of Financial Regulation's Bureau of Financial Investigations whose duties include the investigation of fraud, theft, other related criminal activities, or state regulatory requirement violations; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
d. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former firefighters certified in compliance with s. 633.408; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, photographs, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such firefighters; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such firefighters are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15, and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
e. The home addresses, dates of birth, and telephone numbers of current or former justices of the Supreme Court, district court of appeal judges, circuit court judges, and county court judges; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of current or former justices and judges; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of current or former justices and judges are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
f. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, photographs, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
g. The home addresses, dates of birth, and telephone numbers of general magistrates, special magistrates, judges of compensation claims, administrative law judges of the Division of Administrative Hearings, and child support enforcement hearing officers; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of general magistrates, special magistrates, judges of compensation claims, administrative law judges of the Division of Administrative Hearings, and child support enforcement hearing officers; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of general magistrates, special magistrates, judges of compensation claims, administrative law judges of the Division of Administrative Hearings, and child support enforcement hearing officers are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
h. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former human resource, labor relations, or employee relations directors, assistant directors, managers, or assistant managers of any local government agency or water management district whose duties include hiring and firing employees, labor contract negotiation, administration, or other personnel-related duties; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
i. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former code enforcement officers; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
j. The home addresses, telephone numbers, places of employment, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former guardians ad litem, as defined in s. 39.820; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such persons; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such persons are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
k. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former juvenile probation officers, juvenile probation supervisors, detention superintendents, assistant detention superintendents, juvenile justice detention officers I and II, juvenile justice detention officer supervisors, juvenile justice residential officers, juvenile justice residential officer supervisors I and II, juvenile justice counselors, juvenile justice counselor supervisors, human services counselor administrators, senior human services counselor administrators, rehabilitation therapists, and social services counselors of the Department of Juvenile Justice; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
l. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former public defenders, assistant public defenders, criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, and assistant criminal conflict and civil regional counsel; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such defenders or counsel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such defenders or counsel are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
m. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former investigators or inspectors of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such current or former investigators and inspectors; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such current or former investigators and inspectors are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
n. The home addresses, telephone numbers, and dates of birth of county tax collectors; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such tax collectors; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such tax collectors are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
o. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former personnel of the Department of Health whose duties include, or result in, the determination or adjudication of eligibility for social security disability benefits, the investigation or prosecution of complaints filed against health care practitioners, or the inspection of health care practitioners or health care facilities licensed by the Department of Health; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
p. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former impaired practitioner consultants who are retained by an agency or current or former employees of an impaired practitioner consultant whose duties result in a determination of a person's skill and safety to practice a licensed profession; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such consultants or their employees; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such consultants or employees are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
q. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former emergency medical technicians or paramedics certified under chapter 401; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such emergency medical technicians or paramedics; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such emergency medical technicians or paramedics are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
r. The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former personnel employed in an agency's office of inspector general or internal audit department whose duties include auditing or investigating waste, fraud, abuse, theft, exploitation, or other activities that could lead to criminal prosecution or administrative discipline; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
3. An agency that is the custodian of the information specified in subparagraph 2. and that is not the employer of the officer, employee, justice, judge, or other person specified in subparagraph 2. shall maintain the exempt status of that information only if the officer, employee, justice, judge, other person, or employing agency of the designated employee submits a written request for maintenance of the exemption to the custodial agency.
4. The exemptions in this paragraph apply to information held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of the exemption.
(5) Other personal information.--
(a) 1. a. The Legislature acknowledges that the social security number was never intended to be used for business purposes but was intended to be used solely for the administration of the federal Social Security System. The Legislature is further aware that over time this unique numeric identifier has been used extensively for identity verification purposes and other legitimate consensual purposes.
b. The Legislature recognizes that the social security number can be used as a tool to perpetuate fraud against an individual and to acquire sensitive personal, financial, medical, and familial information, the release of which could cause great financial or personal harm to an individual.
c. The Legislature intends to monitor the use of social security numbers held by agencies in order to maintain a balanced public policy.
2. a. An agency may not collect an individual's social security number unless the agency has stated in writing the purpose for its collection and unless it is:
(I) Specifically authorized by law to do so; or
(II) Imperative for the performance of that agency's duties and responsibilities as prescribed by law.
b. An agency shall identify in writing the specific federal or state law governing the collection, use, or release of social security numbers for each purpose for which the agency collects the social security number, including any authorized exceptions that apply to such collection, use, or release. Each agency shall ensure that the collection, use, or release of social security numbers complies with the specific applicable federal or state law.
c. Social security numbers collected by an agency may not be used by that agency for any purpose other than the purpose provided in the written statement.
3. An agency collecting an individual's social security number shall provide that individual with a copy of the written statement required in subparagraph 2. The written statement also shall state whether collection of the individual's social security number is authorized or mandatory under federal or state law.
4. Each agency shall review whether its collection of social security numbers is in compliance with subparagraph 2. If the agency determines that collection of a social security number is not in compliance with subparagraph 2., the agency shall immediately discontinue the collection of social security numbers for that purpose.
5. Social security numbers held by an agency are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption applies to social security numbers held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption. This exemption does not supersede any federal law prohibiting the release of social security numbers or any other applicable public records exemption for social security numbers existing prior to May 13, 2002, or created thereafter.
6. Social security numbers held by an agency may be disclosed if any of the following apply:
a. The disclosure of the social security number is expressly required by federal or state law or a court order.
b. The disclosure of the social security number is necessary for the receiving agency or governmental entity to perform its duties and responsibilities.
c. The individual expressly consents in writing to the disclosure of his or her social security number.
d. The disclosure of the social security number is made to comply with the USA Patriot Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-56, or Presidential Executive Order 13224.
e. The disclosure of the social security number is made to a commercial entity for the permissible uses set forth in the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994, 18 U.S.C. ss. 2721 et seq.; the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1681 et seq.; or the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, 15 U.S.C. ss. 6801 et seq.,provided that the authorized commercial entity complies with the requirements of this paragraph.
f. The disclosure of the social security number is for the purpose of the administration of health benefits for an agency employee or his or her dependents.
g. The disclosure of the social security number is for the purpose of the administration of a pension fund administered for the agency employee's retirement fund, deferred compensation plan, or defined contribution plan.
h. The disclosure of the social security number is for the purpose of the administration of the Uniform Commercial Code by the office of the Secretary of State.
7. a. For purposes of this subsection, the term:
(I) “Commercial activity” means the permissible uses set forth in the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994, 18 U.S.C. ss. 2721 et seq.; the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1681 et seq.; or the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, 15 U.S.C. ss. 6801 et seq., or verification of the accuracy of personal information received by a commercial entity in the normal course of its business, including identification or prevention of fraud or matching, verifying, or retrieving information. It does not include the display or bulk sale of social security numbers to the public or the distribution of such numbers to any customer that is not identifiable by the commercial entity.
(II) “Commercial entity” means any corporation, partnership, limited partnership, proprietorship, sole proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, or association that performs a commercial activity in this state.
b. An agency may not deny a commercial entity engaged in the performance of a commercial activity access to social security numbers, provided the social security numbers will be used only in the performance of a commercial activity and provided the commercial entity makes a written request for the social security numbers. The written request must:
(I) Be verified as provided in s. 92.525;
(II) Be legibly signed by an authorized officer, employee, or agent of the commercial entity;
(III) Contain the commercial entity's name, business mailing and location addresses, and business telephone number; and
(IV) Contain a statement of the specific purposes for which it needs the social security numbers and how the social security numbers will be used in the performance of a commercial activity, including the identification of any specific federal or state law that permits such use.
c. An agency may request any other information reasonably necessary to verify the identity of a commercial entity requesting the social security numbers and the specific purposes for which the numbers will be used.
8. a. Any person who makes a false representation in order to obtain a social security number pursuant to this paragraph, or any person who willfully and knowingly violates this paragraph, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
b. Any public officer who violates this paragraph commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 per violation.
9. Any affected person may petition the circuit court for an order directing compliance with this paragraph.
(b) Bank account numbers and debit, charge, and credit card numbers held by an agency are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption applies to bank account numbers and debit, charge, and credit card numbers held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption.
(c) 1. For purposes of this paragraph, the term:
a. “Child” means any person younger than 18 years of age.
b. “Government-sponsored recreation program” means a program for which an agency assumes responsibility for a child participating in that program, including, but not limited to, after-school programs, athletic programs, nature programs, summer camps, or other recreational programs.
2. Information that would identify or locate a child who participates in a government-sponsored recreation program is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
3. Information that would identify or locate a parent or guardian of a child who participates in a government-sponsored recreation program is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
4. This exemption applies to records held before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption.
(d) All records supplied by a telecommunications company, as defined by s. 364.02, to an agency which contain the name, address, and telephone number of subscribers are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(e) Any information provided to an agency for the purpose of forming ridesharing arrangements, which information reveals the identity of an individual who has provided his or her name for ridesharing, as defined in s. 341.031, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(f) Medical history records and information related to health or property insurance provided to the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, a county, a municipality, or a local housing finance agency by an applicant for or a participant in a federal, state, or local housing assistance program are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Governmental entities or their agents shall have access to such confidential and exempt records and information for the purpose of auditing federal, state, or local housing programs or housing assistance programs. Such confidential and exempt records and information may be used in any administrative or judicial proceeding, provided such records are kept confidential and exempt unless otherwise ordered by a court.
(g) Biometric identification information held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. As used in this paragraph, the term “biometric identification information” means:
1. Any record of friction ridge detail;
2. Fingerprints;
3. Palm prints; and
4. Footprints.
(h) 1. Personal identifying information of an applicant for or a recipient of paratransit services which is held by an agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
2. This exemption applies to personal identifying information of an applicant for or a recipient of paratransit services which is held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption.
3. Confidential and exempt personal identifying information shall be disclosed:
a. With the express written consent of the applicant or recipient or the legally authorized representative of such applicant or recipient;
b. In a medical emergency, but only to the extent that is necessary to protect the health or life of the applicant or recipient;
c. By court order upon a showing of good cause; or
d. To another agency in the performance of its duties and responsibilities.
(i) 1. For purposes of this paragraph, “identification and location information” means the:
a. Home address, telephone number, and photograph of a current or former United States attorney, assistant United States attorney, judge of the United States Courts of Appeal, United States district judge, or United States magistrate;
b. Home address, telephone number, photograph, and place of employment of the spouse or child of such attorney, judge, or magistrate; and
c. Name and location of the school or day care facility attended by the child of such attorney, judge, or magistrate.
2. Identification and location information held by an agency is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution if such attorney, judge, or magistrate submits to an agency that has custody of the identification and location information:
a. A written request to exempt such information from public disclosure; and
b. A written statement that he or she has made reasonable efforts to protect the identification and location information from being accessible through other means available to the public.
(j) Any information furnished by a person to an agency for the purpose of being provided with emergency notification by the agency is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption applies to information held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption.
(k) 1. For purposes of this paragraph, the term:
a. “Identification and location information” means the:
(I) Home address, telephone number, and date of birth of a servicemember, and the telephone number associated with a servicemember's personal communication device.
(II) Home address, telephone number, date of birth, and place of employment of the spouse or dependent of a servicemember, and the telephone number associated with such spouse's or dependent's personal communication device.
(III) Name and location of a school attended by the spouse of a servicemember or a school or day care facility attended by a dependent of a servicemember.
b. “Servicemember” means a current or former member of the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, or the National Guard, who served after September 11, 2001.
2. Identification and location information held by an agency is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution if a servicemember submits to an agency that has custody of the identification and location information:
a. A written request to exempt the identification and location information from public disclosure; and
b. A written statement that he or she has made reasonable efforts to protect the identification and location information from being accessible through other means available to the public.
3. This exemption applies to identification and location information held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption.
4. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

Title XLIII. Domestic Relations

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Chapter 741. Chapter 741 Marriage; Domestic Violence

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

741.28. Domestic violence; definitions

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) "Department" means the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

(2) "Domestic violence" means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

(3) "Family or household member" means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

(4) "Law enforcement officer" means any person who is elected, appointed, or employed by any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof who meets the minimum qualifications established in s. 943.13 and is certified as a law enforcement officer under s. 943.1395.

741.281. Court to order batterers' intervention program attendance

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

If a person is found guilty of, has adjudication withheld on, or pleads nolo contendere to a crime of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, that person shall be ordered by the court to a minimum term of 1 year's probation and the court shall order that the defendant attend and complete a batterers' intervention program as a condition of probation. The court must impose the condition of the batterers' intervention program for a defendant under this section, but the court, in its discretion, may determine not to impose the condition if it states on the record why a batterers' intervention program might be inappropriate. The court must impose the condition of the batterers' intervention program for a defendant placed on probation unless the court determines that the person does not qualify for the batterers' intervention program pursuant to s. 741.325. The imposition of probation under this section does not preclude the court from imposing any sentence of imprisonment authorized by s. 775.082.

741.283. Minimum term of imprisonment for domestic violence

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), if a person is adjudicated guilty of a crime of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and the person has intentionally caused bodily harm to another person, the court shall order the person to serve a minimum of 10 days in the county jail for a first offense, 15 days for a second offense, and 20 days for a third or subsequent offense as part of the sentence imposed, unless the court sentences the person to a nonsuspended period of incarceration in a state correctional facility.
(b) If a person is adjudicated guilty of a crime of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and the person has intentionally caused bodily harm to another person, and the crime of domestic violence takes place in the presence of a child under 16 years of age who is a family or household member, as defined in s. 741.28, of the victim or the perpetrator, the court shall order the person to serve a minimum of 15 days in the county jail for a first offense, 20 days for a second offense, and 30 days for a third or subsequent offense as part of the sentence imposed, unless the court sentences the person to a nonsuspended period of incarceration in a state correctional facility.
(2) This section does not preclude the court from sentencing the person to probation, community control, or an additional period of incarceration.

741.29. Domestic violence; investigation of incidents; notice to victims of legal rights and remedies; reporting.

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Any law enforcement officer who investigates an alleged incident of domestic violence shall assist the victim to obtain medical treatment if such is required as a result of the alleged incident to which the officer responds. Any law enforcement officer who investigates an alleged incident of domestic violence shall advise the victim of such violence that there is a domestic violence center from which the victim may receive services. The law enforcement officer shall give the victim immediate notice of the legal rights and remedies available on a standard form developed and distributed by the department. As necessary, the department shall revise the Legal Rights and Remedies Notice to Victims to include a general summary of s. 741.30 using simple English as well as Spanish, and shall distribute the notice as a model form to be used by all law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The notice shall include:

(a) The resource listing, including telephone number, for the area domestic violence center designated by the Department of Children and Families; and

(b) A copy of the following statement: “IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, you may ask the state attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence which may include, but need not be limited to, provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse; direct the abuser to leave your household; prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment; award you custody of your minor child or children; and direct the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so.”

(2) When a law enforcement officer investigates an allegation that an incident of domestic violence has occurred, the officer shall handle the incident pursuant to the arrest policy provided in s. 901.15(7), and as developed in accordance with subsections (3), (4), and (5). Whether or not an arrest is made, the officer shall make a written police report that is complete and clearly indicates the alleged offense was an incident of domestic violence. Such report shall be given to the officer's supervisor and filed with the law enforcement agency in a manner that will permit data on domestic violence cases to be compiled. Such report must include:

(a) A description of physical injuries observed, if any.

(b) If a law enforcement officer decides not to make an arrest or decides to arrest two or more parties, the officer shall include in the report the grounds for not arresting anyone or for arresting two or more parties.

(c) A statement which indicates that a copy of the legal rights and remedies notice was given to the victim.

Whenever possible, the law enforcement officer shall obtain a written statement from the victim and witnesses concerning the alleged domestic violence. The officer shall submit the report to the supervisor or other person to whom the employer's rules or policies require reports of similar allegations of criminal activity to be made. The law enforcement agency shall, without charge, send a copy of the initial police report, as well as any subsequent, supplemental, or related report, which excludes victim/witness statements or other materials that are part of an active criminal investigation and are exempt from disclosure under chapter 119, to the nearest locally certified domestic violence center within 24 hours after the agency's receipt of the report. The report furnished to the domestic violence center must include a narrative description of the domestic violence incident.

(3) Whenever a law enforcement officer determines upon probable cause that an act of domestic violence has been committed within the jurisdiction the officer may arrest the person or persons suspected of its commission and charge such person or persons with the appropriate crime. The decision to arrest and charge shall not require consent of the victim or consideration of the relationship of the parties.

(4)(a) When complaints are received from two or more parties, the officers shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine whether there is probable cause for arrest.

(b) If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that two or more persons have committed a misdemeanor or felony, or if two or more persons make complaints to the officer, the officer shall try to determine who was the primary aggressor. Arrest is the preferred response only with respect to the primary aggressor and not the preferred response with respect to a person who acts in a reasonable manner to protect or defend oneself or another family or household member from domestic violence.

(5) No law enforcement officer shall be held liable, in any civil action, for an arrest based on probable cause, enforcement in good faith of a court order, or service of process in good faith under this chapter arising from an alleged incident of domestic violence brought by any party to the incident.

(6) A person who willfully violates a condition of pretrial release provided in s. 903.047, when the original arrest was for an act of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and shall be held in custody until his or her first appearance.

741.2901. Domestic violence cases; prosecutors; legislative intent; investigation; duty of circuits; first appearance

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Each state attorney shall develop special units or assign prosecutors to specialize in the prosecution of domestic violence cases, but such specialization need not be an exclusive area of duty assignment. These prosecutors, specializing in domestic violence cases, and their support staff shall receive training in domestic violence issues.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that domestic violence be treated as a criminal act rather than a private matter. For that reason, criminal prosecution shall be the favored method of enforcing compliance with injunctions for protection against domestic violence as both length and severity of sentence for those found to have committed the crime of domestic violence can be greater, thus providing greater protection to victims and better accountability of perpetrators. This provision shall not preclude such enforcement by the court through the use of indirect criminal contempt. The state attorney in each circuit shall adopt a pro-prosecution policy for acts of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and an intake policy and procedures coordinated with the clerk of court for violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence. The filing, nonfiling, or diversion of criminal charges, and the prosecution of violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence by the state attorney, shall be determined by these specialized prosecutors over the objection of the victim, if necessary.

(3) Prior to a defendant's first appearance in any charge of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28, the State Attorney's Office shall perform a thorough investigation of the defendant's history, including, but not limited to: prior arrests for domestic violence, prior arrests for nondomestic charges, prior injunctions for protection against domestic and repeat violence filed listing the defendant as respondent and noting history of other victims, and prior walk-in domestic complaints filed against the defendant. This information shall be presented at first appearance, when setting bond, and when passing sentence, for consideration by the court. When a defendant is arrested for an act of domestic violence, the defendant shall be held in custody until brought before the court for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903. In determining bail, the court shall consider the safety of the victim, the victim's children, and any other person who may be in danger if the defendant is released.

741.2902. Domestic violence; legislative intent with respect to judiciary's role

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) It is the intent of the Legislature, with respect to domestic violence cases, that at the first appearance the court shall consider the safety of the victim, the victim's children, and any other person who may be in danger if the defendant is released, and exercise caution in releasing defendants.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature, with respect to injunctions for protection against domestic violence, issued pursuant to s. 741.30, that the court shall:

(a) Recognize that the petitioner's safety may require immediate removal of the respondent from their joint residence and that there can be inherent danger in permitting the respondent partial or periodic access to the residence.

(b) Ensure that the parties have a clear understanding of the terms of the injunction, the penalties for failure to comply, and that the parties cannot amend the injunction verbally, in writing, or by invitation to the residence.

(c) Ensure that the parties have knowledge of legal rights and remedies including, but not limited to, visitation, child support, retrieving property, counseling, and enforcement or modification of the injunction.

(d) Consider temporary child support when the pleadings raise the issue and in the absence of other support orders.

(e) Consider supervised visitation, withholding visitation, or other arrangements for visitation that will best protect the child and petitioner from harm.

(f) Enforce, through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, a violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence.

(g) Consider requiring the perpetrator to complete a batterers' intervention program. It is preferred that such program meet the requirements specified in s. 741.325.

741.30. Domestic violence; injunction; powers and duties of court and clerk; petition; notice and hearing; temporary injunction; issuance of injunction; statewide verification system; enforcement; public records exemption

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) There is created a cause of action for an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
(a) Any person described in paragraph (e), who is either the victim of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28 or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence, has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
(b) This cause of action for an injunction may be sought whether or not any other cause of action is currently pending between the parties. However, the pendency of any such cause of action shall be alleged in the petition.
(c) In the event a subsequent cause of action is filed under chapter 61, any orders entered therein shall take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of an injunction issued under this section which addresses matters governed by chapter 61.
(d) A person's right to petition for an injunction shall not be affected by such person having left a residence or household to avoid domestic violence.
(e) This cause of action for an injunction may be sought by family or household members. No person shall be precluded from seeking injunctive relief pursuant to this chapter solely on the basis that such person is not a spouse.
(f) This cause of action for an injunction shall not require that either party be represented by an attorney.
(g) Notwithstanding any other law, attorney fees may not be awarded in any proceeding under this section.
(h) Any person, including an officer of the court, who offers evidence or recommendations relating to the cause of action must either present the evidence or recommendations in writing to the court with copies to each party and their attorney, or must present the evidence under oath at a hearing at which all parties are present.
(i) Nothing in this section shall affect the title to any real estate.
(j) The court is prohibited from issuing mutual orders of protection. This does not preclude the court from issuing separate injunctions for protection against domestic violence where each party has complied with the provisions of this section. Compliance with the provisions of this section cannot be waived.
(k) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 47, a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence may be filed in the circuit where the petitioner currently or temporarily resides, where the respondent resides, or where the domestic violence occurred. There is no minimum requirement of residency to petition for an injunction for protection.
(2)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the assessment of a filing fee for a petition for protection against domestic violence is prohibited effective October 1, 2002. However, subject to legislative appropriation, the clerk of the circuit court may, on a quarterly basis, submit to the Office of the State Courts Administrator a certified request for reimbursement for petitions for protection against domestic violence issued by the court, at the rate of $40 per petition. The request for reimbursement shall be submitted in the form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State Courts Administrator. From this reimbursement, the clerk shall pay any law enforcement agency serving the injunction the fee requested by the law enforcement agency; however, this fee shall not exceed $20.
(b) No bond shall be required by the court for the entry of an injunction.
(c) 1. The clerk of the court shall assist petitioners in seeking both injunctions for protection against domestic violence and enforcement for a violation thereof as specified in this section.
2. All clerks' offices shall provide simplified petition forms for the injunction, any modifications, and the enforcement thereof, including instructions for completion.
3. The clerk of the court shall advise petitioners of the opportunity to apply for a certificate of indigence in lieu of prepayment for the cost of the filing fee, as provided in paragraph (a).
4. The clerk of the court shall ensure the petitioner's privacy to the extent practical while completing the forms for injunctions for protection against domestic violence.
5. The clerk of the court shall provide petitioners with a minimum of two certified copies of the order of injunction, one of which is serviceable and will inform the petitioner of the process for service and enforcement.
6. Clerks of court and appropriate staff in each county shall receive training in the effective assistance of petitioners as provided or approved by the Florida Association of Court Clerks.
7. The clerk of the court in each county shall make available informational brochures on domestic violence when such brochures are provided by local certified domestic violence centers.
8. The clerk of the court in each county shall distribute a statewide uniform informational brochure to petitioners at the time of filing for an injunction for protection against domestic or repeat violence when such brochures become available. The brochure must include information about the effect of giving the court false information about domestic violence.
(3)(a) The sworn petition shall allege the existence of such domestic violence and shall include the specific facts and circumstances upon the basis of which relief is sought.
(b) The sworn petition shall be in substantially the following form:
PETITION FOR
INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION
AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared Petitioner (Name) , who has been sworn and says that the following statements are true:
(a) Petitioner resides at: (address)
(Petitioner may furnish address to the court in a separate confidential filing if, for safety reasons, the petitioner requires the location of the current residence to be confidential.)
(b) Respondent resides at: (last known address)
(c) Respondent's last known place of employment: (name of business and address)
(d) Physical description of respondent: _____
Race_____
Sex_____
Date of birth_____
Height_____
Weight_____
Eye color_____
Hair color_____
Distinguishing marks or scars_____
(e) Aliases of respondent: _____
(f) Respondent is the spouse or former spouse of the petitioner or is any other person related by blood or marriage to the petitioner or is any other person who is or was residing within a single dwelling unit with the petitioner, as if a family, or is a person with whom the petitioner has a child in common, regardless of whether the petitioner and respondent are or were married or residing together, as if a family.
(g) The following describes any other cause of action currently pending between the petitioner and respondent:
The petitioner should also describe any previous or pending attempts by the petitioner to obtain an injunction for protection against domestic violence in this or any other circuit, and the results of that attempt

Case numbers should be included if available.
(h) Petitioner is either a victim of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence because respondent has (mark all sections that apply and describe in the spaces below the incidents of violence or threats of violence, specifying when and where they occurred, including, but not limited to, locations such as a home, school, place of employment, or visitation exchange):
_____committed or threatened to commit domestic violence defined in s. 741.28, Florida Statutes, as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another. With the exception of persons who are parents of a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
_____previously threatened, harassed, stalked, or physically abused the petitioner.
_____attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.
_____threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner's child or children.
_____intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
_____used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.
_____physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
_____a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence (if known).
_____another order of protection issued against him or her previously or from another jurisdiction (if known).
_____destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.
_____engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
(i) Petitioner alleges the following additional specific facts: (mark appropriate sections)
_____A minor child or minor children reside with the petitioner whose names and ages are as follows:
_____Petitioner needs the exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share.
_____Petitioner is unable to obtain safe alternative housing because:
_____Petitioner genuinely fears that respondent imminently will abuse, remove, or hide the minor child or children from petitioner because:
(j) Petitioner genuinely fears imminent domestic violence by respondent.
(k) Petitioner seeks an injunction: (mark appropriate section or sections)
_____Immediately restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence.
_____Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence.
_____Awarding to the petitioner the temporary exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share or excluding the respondent from the residence of the petitioner.
_____Providing a temporary parenting plan, including a temporary time-sharing schedule, with regard to the minor child or children of the parties which might involve prohibiting or limiting time-sharing or requiring that it be supervised by a third party.
_____Establishing temporary support for the minor child or children or the petitioner.
_____Directing the respondent to participate in a batterers' intervention program or other treatment pursuant to s. 39.901, Florida Statutes.
_____Providing any terms the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of domestic violence, or any minor children of the victim, including any injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies.
(c) Every petition for an injunction against domestic violence shall contain, directly above the signature line, a statement in all capital letters and bold type not smaller than the surrounding text, as follows:
I HAVE READ EVERY STATEMENT MADE IN THIS PETITION AND EACH STATEMENT IS TRUE AND CORRECT. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE STATEMENTS MADE IN THIS PETITION ARE BEING MADE UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, PUNISHABLE AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 837.02, FLORIDA STATUTES.
(initials)
(d) If the sworn petition seeks to determine a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule with regard to the minor child or children of the parties, the sworn petition shall be accompanied by or shall incorporate the allegations required by s. 61.522 of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
(4) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall set a hearing to be held at the earliest possible time. The respondent shall be personally served with a copy of the petition, financial affidavit, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act affidavit, if any, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, prior to the hearing.
(5)(a) If it appears to the court that an immediate and present danger of domestic violence exists, the court may grant a temporary injunction ex parte, pending a full hearing, and may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction:
1. Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence.
2. Awarding to the petitioner the temporary exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share or excluding the respondent from the residence of the petitioner.
3. On the same basis as provided in s. 61.13, providing the petitioner a temporary parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which may award the petitioner up to 100 percent of the time-sharing. The temporary parenting plan remains in effect until the order expires or an order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in a pending or subsequent civil action or proceeding affecting the placement of, access to, parental time with, adoption of, or parental rights and responsibilities for the minor child.
(b) Except as provided in s. 90.204, in a hearing ex parte for the purpose of obtaining such ex parte temporary injunction, no evidence other than verified pleadings or affidavits shall be used as evidence, unless the respondent appears at the hearing or has received reasonable notice of the hearing. A denial of a petition for an ex parte injunction shall be by written order noting the legal grounds for denial. When the only ground for denial is no appearance of an immediate and present danger of domestic violence, the court shall set a full hearing on the petition for injunction with notice at the earliest possible time. Nothing herein affects a petitioner's right to promptly amend any petition, or otherwise be heard in person on any petition consistent with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
(c) Any such ex parte temporary injunction shall be effective for a fixed period not to exceed 15 days. A full hearing, as provided by this section, shall be set for a date no later than the date when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. The court may grant a continuance of the hearing before or during a hearing for good cause shown by any party, which shall include a continuance to obtain service of process.Any injunction shall be extended if necessary to remain in full force and effect during any period of continuance.
(6)(a) Upon notice and hearing, when it appears to the court that the petitioner is either the victim of domestic violence as defined by s. 741.28 or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction:
1. Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence.
2. Awarding to the petitioner the exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share or excluding the respondent from the residence of the petitioner.
3. On the same basis as provided in chapter 61, providing the petitioner with 100 percent of the time-sharing in a temporary parenting plan that remains in effect until the order expires or an order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in a pending or subsequent civil action or proceeding affecting the placement of, access to, parental time with, adoption of, or parental rights and responsibilities for the minor child.
4. On the same basis as provided in chapter 61, establishing temporary support for a minor child or children or the petitioner. An order of temporary support remains in effect until the order expires or an order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in a pending or subsequent civil action or proceeding affecting child support.
5. Ordering the respondent to participate in treatment, intervention, or counseling services to be paid for by the respondent. When the court orders the respondent to participate in a batterers' intervention program, the court, or any entity designated by the court, must provide the respondent with a list of batterers' intervention programs from which the respondent must choose a program in which to participate.
6. Referring a petitioner to a certified domestic violence center. The court must provide the petitioner with a list of certified domestic violence centers in the circuit which the petitioner may contact.
7. Ordering such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of domestic violence, including injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies, as provided in this section.
(b) In determining whether a petitioner has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court shall consider and evaluate all relevant factors alleged in the petition, including, but not limited to:
1. The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse.
2. Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.
3. Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner's child or children.
4. Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
5. Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.
6. Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
7. Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence.
8. The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction.
9. Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communications equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.
10. Whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
In making its determination under this paragraph, the court is not limited to those factors enumerated in subparagraphs 1.-10.
(c) The terms of an injunction restraining the respondent under subparagraph (a)1. or ordering other relief for the protection of the victim under subparagraph (a)7. shall remain in effect until modified or dissolved. Either party may move at any time to modify or dissolve the injunction. No specific allegations are required. Such relief may be granted in addition to other civil or criminal remedies.
(d) A temporary or final judgment on injunction for protection against domestic violence entered pursuant to this section shall, on its face, indicate that:
1. The injunction is valid and enforceable in all counties of the State of Florida.
2. Law enforcement officers may use their arrest powers pursuant to s. 901.15(6) to enforce the terms of the injunction.
3. The court had jurisdiction over the parties and matter under the laws of Florida and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person's right to due process.
4. The date respondent was served with the temporary or final order, if obtainable.
(e) An injunction for protection against domestic violence entered pursuant to this section, on its face, may order that the respondent attend a batterers' intervention program as a condition of the injunction. Unless the court makes written factual findings in its judgment or order which are based on substantial evidence, stating why batterers' intervention programs would be inappropriate, the court shall order the respondent to attend a batterers' intervention program if:
1. It finds that the respondent willfully violated the ex parte injunction;
2. The respondent, in this state or any other state, has been convicted of, had adjudication withheld on, or pled nolo contendere to a crime involving violence or a threat of violence; or
3. The respondent, in this state or any other state, has had at any time a prior injunction for protection entered against the respondent after a hearing with notice.
(f) The fact that a separate order of protection is granted to each opposing party shall not be legally sufficient to deny any remedy to either party or to prove that the parties are equally at fault or equally endangered.
(g) A final judgment on injunction for protection against domestic violence entered pursuant to this section must, on its face, indicate that it is a violation of s. 790.233, and a first degree misdemeanor, for the respondent to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition.
(h) All proceedings under this subsection shall be recorded. Recording may be by electronic means as provided by the Rules of Judicial Administration.
(7) The court shall allow an advocate from a state attorney's office, an advocate from a law enforcement agency, or an advocate from a certified domestic violence center who is registered under s. 39.905 to be present with the petitioner or respondent during any court proceedings or hearings related to the injunction for protection, provided the petitioner or respondent has made such a request and the advocate is able to be present.
(8)(a) 1. The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of the petition, financial affidavit, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act affidavit, if any, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, to the sheriff or a law enforcement agency of the county where the respondent resides or can be found, who shall serve it upon the respondent as soon thereafter as possible on any day of the week and at any time of the day or night. When requested by the sheriff, the clerk of the court may transmit a facsimile copy of an injunction that has been certified by the clerk of the court, and this facsimile copy may be served in the same manner as a certified copy. Upon receiving a facsimile copy, the sheriff must verify receipt with the sender before attempting to serve it upon the respondent. In addition, if the sheriff is in possession of an injunction for protection that has been certified by the clerk of the court, the sheriff may transmit a facsimile copy of that injunction to a law enforcement officer who shall serve it in the same manner as a certified copy. The clerk of the court shall be responsible for furnishing to the sheriff such information on the respondent's physical description and location as is required by the department to comply with the verification procedures set forth in this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the chief judge of each circuit, in consultation with the appropriate sheriff, may authorize a law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction to effect service. A law enforcement agency serving injunctions pursuant to this section shall use service and verification procedures consistent with those of the sheriff.
2. When an injunction is issued, if the petitioner requests the assistance of a law enforcement agency, the court may order that an officer from the appropriate law enforcement agency accompany the petitioner and assist in placing the petitioner in possession of the dwelling or residence, or otherwise assist in the execution or service of the injunction. A law enforcement officer shall accept a copy of an injunction for protection against domestic violence, certified by the clerk of the court, from the petitioner and immediately serve it upon a respondent who has been located but not yet served.
3. All orders issued, changed, continued, extended, or vacated subsequent to the original service of documents enumerated under subparagraph 1., shall be certified by the clerk of the court and delivered to the parties at the time of the entry of the order. The parties may acknowledge receipt of such order in writing on the face of the original order. In the event a party fails or refuses to acknowledge the receipt of a certified copy of an order, the clerk shall note on the original order that service was effected. If delivery at the hearing is not possible, the clerk shall mail certified copies of the order to the parties at the last known address of each party. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. When an order is served pursuant to this subsection, the clerk shall prepare a written certification to be placed in the court file specifying the time, date, and method of service and shall notify the sheriff.
If the respondent has been served previously with the temporary injunction and has failed to appear at the initial hearing on the temporary injunction, any subsequent petition for injunction seeking an extension of time may be served on the respondent by the clerk of the court by certified mail in lieu of personal service by a law enforcement officer.
(b) There shall be created a Domestic and Repeat Violence Injunction Statewide Verification System within the Department of Law Enforcement. The department shall establish, implement, and maintain a statewide communication system capable of electronically transmitting information to and between criminal justice agencies relating to domestic violence injunctions and repeat violence injunctions issued by the courts throughout the state. Such information must include, but is not limited to, information as to the existence and status of any injunction for verification purposes.
(c) 1. Within 24 hours after the court issues an injunction for protection against domestic violence or changes, continues, extends, or vacates an injunction for protection against domestic violence, the clerk of the court must forward a certified copy of the injunction for service to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner. The injunction must be served in accordance with this subsection.
2. Within 24 hours after service of process of an injunction for protection against domestic violence upon a respondent, the law enforcement officer must forward the written proof of service of process to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner.
3. Within 24 hours after the sheriff receives a certified copy of the injunction for protection against domestic violence, the sheriff must make information relating to the injunction available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the department.
4. Within 24 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer has made service upon the respondent and the sheriff has been so notified, the sheriff must make information relating to the service available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the department.
5. a. Subject to available funding, the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers shall develop an automated process by which a petitioner may request notification of service of the injunction for protection against domestic violence and other court actions related to the injunction for protection. The automated notice shall be made within 12 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer serves the injunction upon the respondent. The notification must include, at a minimum, the date, time, and location where the injunction for protection against domestic violence was served. When a petitioner makes a request for notification, the clerk must apprise the petitioner of her or his right to request in writing that the information specified in sub-subparagraph b. be held exempt from public records requirements for 5 years. The Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers may apply for any available grants to fund the development of the automated process.
b. Upon implementation of the automated process, information held by clerks and law enforcement agencies in conjunction with the automated process developed under sub-subparagraph a. which reveals the home or employment telephone number, cellular telephone number, home or employment address, electronic mail address, or other electronic means of identification of a petitioner requesting notification of service of an injunction for protection against domestic violence and other court actions related to the injunction for protection is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, upon written request by the petitioner. Such information shall cease to be exempt 5 years after the receipt of the written request. Any state or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such documents by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of such agency's statutory duties, notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2018, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
6. Within 24 hours after an injunction for protection against domestic violence is vacated, terminated, or otherwise rendered no longer effective by ruling of the court, the clerk of the court must notify the sheriff receiving original notification of the injunction as provided in subparagraph 2. That agency shall, within 24 hours after receiving such notification from the clerk of the court, notify the department of such action of the court.
(9)(a) The court may enforce a violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, or the state attorney may prosecute it as a criminal violation under s. 741.31. The court may enforce the respondent's compliance with the injunction through any appropriate civil and criminal remedies, including, but not limited to, a monetary assessment or a fine. The clerk of the court shall collect and receive such assessments or fines. On a monthly basis, the clerk shall transfer the moneys collected pursuant to this paragraph to the State Treasury for deposit in the Domestic Violence Trust Fund established in s. 741.01.
(b) If the respondent is arrested by a law enforcement officer under s. 901.15(6) or for a violation of s. 741.31, the respondent shall be held in custody until brought before the court as expeditiously as possible for the purpose of enforcing the injunction and for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903 and the applicable rules of criminal procedure, pending a hearing.
(10) The petitioner or the respondent may move the court to modify or dissolve an injunction at any time.

741.31. Violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) In the event of a violation of the injunction for protection against domestic violence when there has not been an arrest, the petitioner may contact the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The clerk shall either assist the petitioner in the preparation of an affidavit in support of the violation or direct the petitioner to the office operated by the court within the circuit that has been designated by the chief judge of that circuit as the central intake point for injunction violations and where the petitioner can receive assistance in the preparation of the affidavit in support of the violation.

(2) The affidavit shall be immediately forwarded by the office assisting the petitioner to the state attorney of that circuit and to such court or judge as the chief judge of that circuit determines to be the recipient of affidavits of violation. If the affidavit alleges a crime has been committed, the office assisting the petitioner shall also forward a copy of the petitioner's affidavit to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. No later than 20 days after receiving the initial report, the local law enforcement agency shall complete their investigation and forward the report to the state attorney. The policy adopted by the state attorney in each circuit under s. 741.2901(2), shall include a policy regarding intake of alleged violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence under this section. The intake shall be supervised by a prosecutor who, pursuant to s. 741.2901(1), has been designated and assigned to handle domestic violence cases. The state attorney shall determine within 30 working days whether its office will proceed to file criminal charges, or prepare a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in criminal contempt, or prepare both as alternative findings, or file notice that the case remains under investigation or is pending subject to some other action.

(3) If the court has knowledge, based on its familiarity with the case, that the petitioner, the children of the petitioner, or another person is in immediate danger if the court fails to act prior to the decision of the state attorney to prosecute, it should immediately issue an order of appointment of the state attorney to file a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in contempt. If the court does not issue an order of appointment of the state attorney, it shall immediately notify the state attorney that the court is proceeding to enforce the violation through criminal contempt.

(4)(a) A person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against domestic violence issued pursuant to s. 741.30, or a foreign protection order accorded full faith and credit pursuant to s. 741.315, by:

1. Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;

2. Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;

3. Committing an act of domestic violence against the petitioner;

4. Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;

5. Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;

6. Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner's motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;

7. Defacing or destroying the petitioner's personal property, including the petitioner's motor vehicle; or

8. Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court

commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, except as provided in paragraph (c).

(b) 1. It is a violation of s. 790.233, and a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for a person to violate a final injunction for protection against domestic violence by having in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition.

2. It is the intent of the Legislature that the disabilities regarding possession of firearms and ammunition are consistent with federal law. Accordingly, this paragraph shall not apply to a state or local officer as defined in s. 943.10(14), holding an active certification, who receives or possesses a firearm or ammunition for use in performing official duties on behalf of the officer's employing agency, unless otherwise prohibited by the employing agency.

(c) A person who has two or more prior convictions for violation of an injunction or foreign protection order, and who subsequently commits a violation of any injunction or foreign protection order against the same victim, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083 or s. 775.084. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “conviction” means a determination of guilt which is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.

(5) Whether or not there is a criminal prosecution under subsection (4), the court shall order the respondent to attend a batterers' intervention program if it finds a willful violation of a domestic violence injunction, unless the court makes written factual findings in its judgment or order which are based on substantial evidence, stating why a batterers' intervention program would be inappropriate.

(6) Any person who suffers an injury and/or loss as a result of a violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence may be awarded economic damages for that injury and/or loss by the court issuing the injunction. Damages includes costs and attorneys' fees for enforcement of the injunction.

741.313. Unlawful action against employees seeking protection

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Domestic violence” means domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, or any crime the underlying factual basis of which has been found by a court to include an act of domestic violence.

(b) “Employee” has the same meaning as in s. 440.02(15).

(c) “Employer” has the same meaning as in s. 440.02(16).

(d) “Family or household member” has the same meaning as in s. 741.28.

(e) “Sexual violence” means sexual violence, as defined in s. 784.046, or any crime the underlying factual basis of which has been found by a court to include an act of sexual violence.

(f) “Victim” means an individual who has been subjected to domestic violence or sexual violence.

(2)(a) An employer shall permit an employee to request and take up to 3 working days of leave from work in any 12-month period if the employee or a family or household member of an employee is the victim of domestic violence or sexual violence. This leave may be with or without pay, at the discretion of the employer.

(b) This section applies if an employee uses the leave from work to:

1. Seek an injunction for protection against domestic violence or an injunction for protection in cases of repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence;

2. Obtain medical care or mental health counseling, or both, for the employee or a family or household member to address physical or psychological injuries resulting from the act of domestic violence or sexual violence;

3. Obtain services from a victim services organization, including, but not limited to, a domestic violence shelter or program or a rape crisis center as a result of the act of domestic violence or sexual violence;

4. Make the employee's home secure from the perpetrator of the domestic violence or sexual violence or to seek new housing to escape the perpetrator; or

5. Seek legal assistance in addressing issues arising from the act of domestic violence or sexual violence or to attend and prepare for court-related proceedings arising from the act of domestic violence or sexual violence.

(3) This section applies to an employer who employs 50 or more employees and to an employee who has been employed by the employer for 3 or more months.

(4)(a) Except in cases of imminent danger to the health or safety of the employee, or to the health or safety of a family or household member, an employee seeking leave from work under this section must provide to his or her employer appropriate advance notice of the leave as required by the employer's policy along with sufficient documentation of the act of domestic violence or sexual violence as required by the employer.

(b) An employee seeking leave under this section must, before receiving the leave, exhaust all annual or vacation leave, personal leave, and sick leave, if applicable, that is available to the employee, unless the employer waives this requirement.

(c) 1. A private employer must keep all information relating to the employee's leave under this section confidential.

2. An agency, as defined in s. 119.011, must keep information relating to the employee's leave under this section confidential and exempt from disclosure to the extent authorized by subsection (7).

(5)(a) An employer may not interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or any attempt by an employee to exercise any right provided under this section.

(b) An employer may not discharge, demote, suspend, retaliate, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee for exercising his or her rights under this section.

(c) An employee has no greater rights to continued employment or to other benefits and conditions of employment than if the employee was not entitled to leave under this section. This section does not limit the employer's right to discipline or terminate any employee for any reason, including, but not limited to, reductions in work force or termination for cause or for no reason at all, other than exercising his or her rights under this section.

(6) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the sole remedy for any person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of this section is to bring a civil suit for damages or equitable relief, or both, in circuit court. The person may claim as damages all wages and benefits that would have been due the person up to and including the date of the judgment had the act violating this section not occurred, but the person may not claim wages or benefits for a period of leave granted without pay as provided in paragraph (2)(a). However, this section does not relieve the person from the obligation to mitigate his or her damages.

(7)(a) Personal identifying information that is contained in records documenting an act of domestic violence or sexual violence submitted by an agency employee to an agency, as defined in chapter 119, under the requirements of this section is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(b) A written request for leave that is submitted by an agency employee under the requirements of this section and any agency time sheet that reflects such a request are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until 1 year after the leave has been taken.

741.315. Recognition of foreign protection orders

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term “court of a foreign state” means a court of competent jurisdiction of a state of the United States, other than Florida; the District of Columbia; an Indian tribe; or a commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(2) Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. s. 2265, an injunction for protection against domestic violence issued by a court of a foreign state must be accorded full faith and credit by the courts of this state and enforced by a law enforcement agency as if it were the order of a Florida court issued under s. 741.30, s. 741.31, s. 784.046, s. 784.047, s. 784.0485, or s. 784.0487, and provided that the court had jurisdiction over the parties and the matter and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person's right to due process. Ex parte foreign injunctions for protection are not eligible for enforcement under this section unless notice and opportunity to be heard have been provided within the time required by the foreign state or tribal law, and in any event within a reasonable time after the order is issued, sufficient to protect the respondent's due process rights.

(3) Notwithstanding s. 55.505 or any other provision to the contrary, neither residence in this state nor registration of foreign injunctions for protection shall be required for enforcement of this order by this state and failure to register the foreign order shall not be an impediment to its enforcement. The following registration procedure shall be available to protected persons who hold orders from a court of a foreign state.

(a) A protected person shall present a certified copy of a foreign order of protection to any sheriff in this state and request that the same be registered in the injunction registry. However, nothing in this section shall operate to preclude the enforcement of any order of protection determined by the law enforcement officer to be valid even if the protected person does not have a certified copy of the foreign protection order. It is not necessary that the protected person register the foreign order in the protected person's county of residence. Venue is proper throughout the state. The protected person must swear by affidavit, that to the best of the protected person's knowledge and belief, the attached certified copy of the foreign order, docket number __________, issued in the state of __________ on __________ is currently in effect as written and has not been superseded by any other order and that the respondent has been given a copy of it.

(b) The sheriff shall examine the certified copy of the foreign order and register the order in the injunction registry, noting that it is a foreign order of protection. If not apparent from the face of the certified copy of the foreign order, the sheriff shall use best efforts to ascertain whether the order was served on the respondent. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement shall develop a special notation for foreign orders of protection. The sheriff shall assign a case number and give the protected person a receipt showing registration of the foreign order in this state. There shall be no fee for registration of a foreign order.

(c) The foreign order may also be registered by local law enforcement agencies upon receipt of the foreign order and any accompanying affidavits in the same manner described in paragraphs (a) and (b).

(4)(a) Law enforcement officers shall enforce foreign orders of protection as if they were entered by a court of this state. Upon presentation of a foreign protection order by a protected person, a law enforcement officer shall assist in enforcement of all of its terms, pursuant to federal law, except matters related to child custody, visitation, and support. As to those provisions only, enforcement may be obtained upon domestication of the foreign order pursuant to ss. 55.501-55.509 unless the foreign order is a “pickup order” or “order of bodily attachment” requiring the immediate return of a child.

(b) Before enforcing a foreign protection order, a law enforcement officer should confirm the identity of the parties present and review the order to determine that, on its face, it has not expired. Presentation of a certified or true copy of the protection order shall not be required as a condition of enforcement, provided that a conflicting certified copy is not presented by the respondent or the individual against whom enforcement is sought.

(c) A law enforcement officer shall use reasonable efforts to verify service of process.

(d) Service may be verified as follows:

1. By petitioner: Petitioner may state under oath that to the best of petitioner's knowledge, respondent was served with the order of protection because petitioner was present at time of service; respondent told petitioner he or she was served; another named person told petitioner respondent was served; or respondent told petitioner he or she knows of the content of the order and date of the return hearing.

2. By respondent: Respondent states under oath that he or she was or was not served with the order.

(e) Enforcement and arrest for violation of a foreign protection order shall be consistent with the enforcement of orders issued in this state.

(f) A law enforcement officer acting in good faith under this section and the officer's employing agency shall be immune from all liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed by reason of the officer's or agency's actions in carrying out the provisions of this section.

(g) Law enforcement shall not require petitioner to sign a registration affidavit as a condition of enforcement.

(h) A foreign order of protection shall remain in effect until the date of expiration on its face; or, if there is no expiration date on its face, a foreign order of protection shall remain in effect until expiration. If the order of protection states on its face that it is a permanent order, then there is no date of expiration.

(5) Any person who acts under this section and intentionally provides a law enforcement officer with a copy of an order of protection known by that person to be false or invalid, or who denies having been served with an order of protection when that person has been served with such order, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(6) In the event 18 U.S.C. s. 2265 is held to be unconstitutional, this section shall be null and void.

741.316. Domestic violence fatality review teams; definition; membership; duties; report by the Department of Law Enforcement

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term “domestic violence fatality review team” means an organization that includes, but is not limited to, representatives from the following agencies or organizations:

(a) Law enforcement agencies.

(b) The state attorney.

(c) The medical examiner.

(d) Certified domestic violence centers.

(e) Child protection service providers.

(f) The office of court administration.

(g) The clerk of the court.

(h) Victim services programs.

(i) Child death review teams.

(j) Members of the business community.

(k) County probation or corrections agencies.

(l) Any other persons who have knowledge regarding domestic violence fatalities, nonlethal incidents of domestic violence, or suicide, including research, policy, law, and other matters connected with fatal incidents.

(m) Other representatives as determined by the review team.

(2) A domestic violence fatality review team may be established at a local, regional, or state level in order to review fatal and near-fatal incidents of domestic violence, related domestic violence matters, and suicides. The review may include a review of events leading up to the domestic violence incident, available community resources, current laws and policies, actions taken by systems and individuals related to the incident and the parties, and any information or action deemed relevant by the team, including a review of public records and records for which public records exemptions are granted. The purpose of the teams is to learn how to prevent domestic violence by intervening early and improving the response of an individual and the system to domestic violence. The structure and activities of a team shall be determined at the local level. The team may determine the number and type of incidents it wishes to review and shall make policy and other recommendations as to how incidents of domestic violence may be prevented.

(3)(a) There may not be any monetary liability on the part of, and a cause of action for damages may not arise against, any member of a domestic violence fatality review team or any person acting as a witness to, incident reporter to, or investigator for a domestic violence fatality review team for any act or proceeding undertaken or performed within the scope of the functions of the team, unless such person acted in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.

(b) This subsection does not affect the provisions of s. 768.28.

(4) All information and records acquired by a domestic violence fatality review team are not subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal action or administrative or disciplinary proceeding by any department or employing agency if the information or records arose out of matters that are the subject of evaluation and review by the domestic violence fatality review team. However, information, documents, and records otherwise available from other sources are not immune from discovery or introduction into evidence solely because the information, documents, or records were presented to or reviewed by such a team. A person who has attended a meeting of a domestic violence fatality review team may not testify in any civil, criminal, administrative, or disciplinary proceedings as to any records or information produced or presented to the team during meetings or other activities authorized by this section. This subsection does not preclude any person who testifies before a team or who is a member of a team from testifying as to matters otherwise within his or her knowledge.

(5) The domestic violence fatality review teams are assigned to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence for administrative purposes.

741.3165. Certain information exempt from disclosure

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) Any information that is confidential or exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and that is obtained by a domestic violence fatality review team conducting activities as described in s. 741.316 shall retain its confidential or exempt status when held by a domestic violence fatality review team.

(b) Any information contained in a record created by a domestic violence fatality review team pursuant to s. 741.316 that reveals the identity of a victim of domestic violence or the identity of the children of the victim is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

(2) Portions of meetings of any domestic violence fatality review team regarding domestic violence fatalities and their prevention, during which confidential or exempt information, the identity of the victim, or the identity of the children of the victim is discussed, are exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution.

741.32. Certification of batterers' intervention programs

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

The Legislature finds that the incidence of domestic violence in this state is disturbingly high and that, despite the efforts of many to curb this violence, one person dies at the hands of a spouse, ex-spouse, or cohabitant approximately every 3 days. Further, a child who witnesses the perpetration of this violence becomes a victim as he or she hears or sees it occurring. This child is at high risk of also being the victim of physical abuse by the parent who is perpetrating the violence and, to a lesser extent, by the parent who is the victim. These children are also at a high risk of perpetrating violent crimes as juveniles and, later, becoming perpetrators of the same violence that they witnessed as children. The Legislature finds that there should be standardized programming available to the justice system to protect victims and their children and to hold the perpetrators of domestic violence accountable for their acts. Finally, the Legislature recognizes that in order for batterers' intervention programs to be successful in protecting victims and their children, all participants in the justice system as well as social service agencies and local and state governments must coordinate their efforts at the community level.

741.325. Requirements for batterers' intervention programs

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A batterers' intervention program must meet the following requirements :

(a) The primary purpose of the program shall be victim safety and the safety of children, if present.

(b) The batterer shall be held accountable for acts of domestic violence.

(c) The program shall be at least 29 weeks in length and include 24 weekly sessions, plus appropriate intake, assessment, and orientation programming.

(d) The program content shall be based on a psychoeducational model that addresses tactics of power and control by one person over another.

(e) The program shall be funded by user fees paid by the batterers who attend the program, which allows them to take responsibility for their acts of violence. An exception shall be made for local, state, or federal programs that fund batterers' intervention programs in whole or in part.

(2) The requirements of this section apply only to programs that address the perpetration of violence between intimate partners, spouses, ex-spouses, or those who share a child in common or who are cohabitants in intimate relationships for the purpose of exercising power and control by one over the other. It will endanger victims if courts and other referral agencies refer family and household members who are not perpetrators of the type of domestic violence encompassed by these requirements. Accordingly, the court and others who make referrals should refer perpetrators only to programming that appropriately addresses the violence committed.

741.327. Certification and monitoring of batterers' intervention programs; fees.

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Pursuant to s. 741.32, the Department of Children and Family Services is authorized to assess and collect:

(a) An annual certification fee not to exceed $300 for the certification and monitoring of batterers' intervention programs.

(b) An annual certification fee not to exceed $200 for the certification and monitoring of assessment personnel providing direct services to persons who:

1. Are ordered by the court to participate in a domestic violence prevention program;

2. Are adjudged to have committed an act of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28;

3. Have an injunction entered for protection against domestic violence; or

4. Agree to attend a program as part of a diversion or pretrial intervention agreement by the offender with the state attorney.

(2) All persons required by the court to attend domestic violence programs certified by the Department of Children and Family Services' Office for Certification and Monitoring of Batterers' Intervention Programs shall pay an additional $30 fee for each 29-week program to the Department of Children and Family Services.

(3) The fees assessed and collected under this section shall be deposited in the Executive Office of the Governor's Domestic Violence Trust Fund established in s. 741.01 and directed to the Department of Children and Family Services to fund the cost of certifying and monitoring batterers' intervention programs.

741.401. Legislative findings; purpose

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

The Legislature finds that persons attempting to escape from actual or threatened domestic violence frequently establish new addresses in order to prevent their assailants or probable assailants from finding them. The purpose of ss. 741.401-741.409 is to enable state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the location of a victim of domestic violence, to enable interagency cooperation with the Attorney General in providing address confidentiality for victims of domestic violence, and to enable state and local agencies to accept a program participant's use of an address designated by the Attorney General as a substitute mailing address.

741.402. Definitions; ss. 741.401-741.409

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, as used in ss. 741.401-741.409, the term:

(1) "Address" means a residential street address, school address, or work address of an individual, as specified on the individual's application to be a program participant under ss. 741.401-741.409.

(2) "Program participant" means a person certified as a program participant under s. 741.403.

(3) "Domestic violence" means an act as defined in s. 741.28 and includes a threat of such acts committed against an individual in a domestic situation, regardless of whether these acts or threats have been reported to law enforcement officers.

741.403. Address confidentiality program; application; certification

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) An adult person, a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor, or a guardian acting on behalf of a person adjudicated incapacitated under chapter 744 may apply to the Attorney General to have an address designated by the Attorney General serve as the person's address or the address of the minor or incapacitated person. To the extent possible within funds appropriated for this purpose, the Attorney General shall approve an application if it is filed in the manner and on the form prescribed by the Attorney General and if it contains all of the following:

(a) A sworn statement by the applicant that the applicant has good reason to believe that the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic violence, and that the applicant fears for his or her safety or his or her children's safety or the safety of the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made.

(b) A designation of the Attorney General as agent for purposes of service of process and for the purpose of receipt of mail.

(c) The mailing address where the applicant can be contacted by the Attorney General, and the phone number or numbers where the applicant can be called by the Attorney General.

(d) A statement that the new address or addresses that the applicant requests must not be disclosed for the reason that disclosure will increase the risk of domestic violence.

(e) The signature of the applicant and of any individual or representative of any office designated in writing under s. 741.408 who assisted in the preparation of the application, and the date on which the applicant signed the application.

(2) Applications must be filed with the Office of the Attorney General. An application fee may not be charged.

(3) Upon filing a properly completed application, the Attorney General shall certify the applicant as a program participant. Applicants shall be certified for 4 years following the date of filing unless the certification is withdrawn or invalidated before that date. The Attorney General shall by rule establish a renewal procedure.

(4) A person who falsely attests in an application that disclosure of the applicant's address would endanger the applicant's safety or the safety of the applicant's children or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, or who knowingly provides false or incorrect information upon making an application, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5) Any person who attempts to gain access to a program participant's actual address through fraud commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(6) Any person who knowingly enters the address confidentiality program to evade prosecution of criminal laws or civil liability commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

741.404. Certification cancellation

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) If the program participant obtains a name change, he or she loses certification as a program participant.

(2) The Attorney General may cancel a program participant's certification if there is a change in the residential address from the one listed on the application, unless the program participant provides the Attorney General with 14 days' prior notice of the change of address.

(3) The Attorney General may cancel certification of a program participant if mail forwarded by the Attorney General to the program participant's address is returned and is undeliverable or if service of process documents are returned to the Attorney General.

(4) The Attorney General shall cancel certification of a program participant who applies using false information.

741.405. Agency use of designated address

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A program participant may request that state and local agencies or other governmental entities use the address designated by the Attorney General as his or her address. When creating a new public record, state and local agencies or other governmental entities shall accept the address designated by the Attorney General as a program participant's substitute address, unless the Attorney General has determined that:

(a) The agency or entity has a bona fide statutory or administrative requirement for the use of the address that would otherwise be confidential under ss. 741.401-741.409;

(b) This address will be used only for those statutory and administrative purposes;

(c) The agency or entity has identified the specific program participant's record for which the waiver is requested;

(d) The agency or entity has identified the individuals who will have access to the record; and

(e) The agency or entity has explained how its acceptance of a substitute address will prevent the agency from meeting its obligations under the law and why it cannot meet its statutory or administrative obligation by a change in its internal procedures.

(2) During the review, evaluation, and appeal of an agency's request, the agency shall accept the use of a program participant's substitute address.

(3) The Attorney General's determination to grant or withhold a requested waiver must be based on, but not limited to, an evaluation of information provided under subsection (1).

(4) If the Attorney General determines that an agency or entity has a bona fide statutory or administrative need for the actual address and that the information will be used only for that purpose, the Attorney General may issue the actual address to the agency or entity. When granting a waiver, the Attorney General shall notify and require the agency or entity to:

(a) Maintain the confidentiality of a program participant's address information;

(b) Limit the use of and access to that address;

(c) Designate an address disposition date after which the agency or entity may no longer maintain the record of the address; and

(d) Comply with any other provisions and qualifications determined appropriate by the Attorney General.

(5) The Attorney General's denial of an agency's or entity's waiver request must be made in writing and include a statement of specific reasons for denial. Acceptance or denial of an agency's or entity's waiver request shall constitute final agency action.

(6) Pursuant to chapter 120, an agency or entity may appeal the denial of its request.

(7) A program participant may use the address designated by the Attorney General as his or her work address.

(8) The Office of the Attorney General shall forward all first class mail to the appropriate program participants at no charge.

741.406. Voting by program participant; use of designated address by supervisor of elections

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

A program participant who is otherwise qualified to vote may request a vote-by-mail ballot pursuant to s. 101.62. The program participant shall automatically receive vote-by-mail ballots for all elections in the jurisdictions in which that individual resides in the same manner as vote-by-mail voters. The supervisor of elections shall transmit the vote-by-mail ballot to the program participant at the address designated by the participant in his or her application as a vote-by-mail voter. The name, address, and telephone number of a program participant may not be included in any list of registered voters available to the public.

741.408. Assistance for program applicants

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

The Attorney General shall designate state and local agencies and nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and shelter services to victims of domestic violence to assist persons applying to be program participants. Assistance and counseling rendered by the Office of the Attorney General or its designees to applicants does not constitute legal advice.

741.409. Adoption of rules

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

The Attorney General may adopt rules to facilitate the administration of this chapter by state and local agencies and other governmental entities.

741.465. Public records exemption for the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) The addresses, corresponding telephone numbers, and social security numbers of program participants in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence held by the Office of the Attorney General are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except the information may be disclosed under the following circumstances: to a law enforcement agency for purposes of assisting in the execution of a valid arrest warrant; if directed by a court order, to a person identified in the order; or if the certification has been canceled. For purposes of this section, the term “address” means a residential street address, school address, or work address, as specified on the individual's application to be a program participant in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence.

(2) The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of participants in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence contained in voter registration and voting records held by the supervisor of elections and the Department of State are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except the information may be disclosed under the following circumstances: to a law enforcement agency for purposes of assisting in the execution of an arrest warrant or, if directed by a court order, to a person identified in the order. This exemption applies to information made exempt by this subsection before, on, or after the effective date of the exemption.

Chapter 742. Determination of Parentage

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

742.12. Scientific testing to determine paternity

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) In any proceeding to establish paternity, the court on its own motion may require the child, mother, and alleged fathers to submit to scientific tests that are generally acceptable within the scientific community to show a probability of paternity. The court shall direct that the tests be conducted by a qualified technical laboratory.

(2) In any proceeding to establish paternity, the court may, upon request of a party providing a sworn statement or written declaration as provided by s. 92.525(2) alleging paternity and setting forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of the requisite sexual contact between the parties or providing a sworn statement or written declaration denying paternity and setting forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of the nonexistence of sexual contact between the parties, require the child, mother, and alleged fathers to submit to scientific tests that are generally acceptable within the scientific community to show a probability of paternity. The court shall direct that the tests be conducted by a qualified technical laboratory.

(3) The test results, together with the opinions and conclusions of the test laboratory, shall be filed with the court. Any objection to the test results must be made in writing and must be filed with the court at least 10 days prior to the hearing. If no objection is filed, the test results shall be admitted into evidence without the need for predicate to be laid or third-party foundation testimony to be presented. Nothing in this paragraph prohibits a party from calling an outside expert witness to refute or support the testing procedure or results, or the mathematical theory on which they are based. Upon the entry of the order for scientific testing, the court must inform each person to be tested of the procedure and requirements for objecting to the test results and of the consequences of the failure to object.

(4) Test results are admissible in evidence and should be weighed along with other evidence of the paternity of the alleged father unless the statistical probability of paternity equals or exceeds 95 percent. A statistical probability of paternity of 95 percent or more creates a rebuttable presumption, as defined by s. 90.304, that the alleged father is the biological father of the child. If a party fails to rebut the presumption of paternity which arose from the statistical probability of paternity of 95 percent or more, the court may enter a summary judgment of paternity. If the test results show the alleged father cannot be the biological father, the case shall be dismissed with prejudice.

(5) Subject to the limitations in subsection (3), if the test results or the expert analysis of the inherited characteristics is disputed, the court, upon reasonable request of a party, shall order that an additional test be made by the same laboratory or an independent laboratory at the expense of the party requesting additional testing.

(6) Verified documentation of the chain of custody of the blood or other specimens is competent evidence to establish the chain of custody.

(7) The fees and costs for scientific tests shall be paid by the parties in proportions and at times determined by the court unless the parties reach a stipulated agreement which is adopted by the court.

Chapter 751. Temporary Custody of Minor Children by Extended Family

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

751.02. Determination of temporary custody proceedings; jurisdiction

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) The following individuals may bring proceedings in the circuit court to determine the temporary or concurrent custody of a minor child:

(a) Any extended family member who has the signed, notarized consent of the child's legal parents; or

(b) Any extended family member who is caring full time for the child in the role of a substitute parent and with whom the child is presently living.

(2) In addition to the requirements of subsection (1), an individual seeking concurrent custody must:

(a) Currently have physical custody of the child and have had physical custody of the child for at least 10 days in any 30-day period within the last 12 months; and

(b) Not have signed, written documentation from a parent which is sufficient to enable the custodian to do all of the things necessary to care for the child which are available to custodians who have an order issued under s. 751.05.

751.05. Order granting temporary custody

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) At the hearing on the petition for temporary or concurrent custody, the court must hear the evidence concerning a minor child's need for care by the petitioner, all other matters required to be set forth in the petition, and the objections or other testimony of the child's parents, if present.

(2) Unless the minor child's parents object, the court shall award temporary or concurrent custody of the child to the petitioner if it is in the best interest of the child.

(3) If one of the minor child's parents objects to:

(a) The petition for concurrent custody, in writing, the court may not grant the petition even if the other parent consents, in writing, to the entry of the order. The court shall give the petitioner the option of converting the petition to a petition for temporary custody. If the petitioner so elects, the court shall set the matter for further hearing, provide notice to the parent or parents, and proceed pursuant to paragraph (b). If the petition is not converted into a petition for temporary custody, it shall be dismissed without prejudice.

(b) The petition for temporary custody, the court shall grant the petition only upon a finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that the child's parent or parents are unfit to provide for the care and control of the child. In determining that a parent is unfit, the court must find that the parent has abused, abandoned, or neglected the child, as defined in chapter 39.

(4) The order granting:

(a) Concurrent custody of the minor child may not eliminate or diminish the custodial rights of the child's parent or parents. The order must expressly state that the grant of custody does not affect the ability of the child's parent or parents to obtain physical custody of the child at any time.

(b) Temporary custody of the minor child to the petitioner may also grant visitation rights to the child's parent or parents, if it is in the best interest of the child.

(5) The order granting temporary or concurrent custody of the minor child to the petitioner:

(a) May not include an order for the support of the child unless the parent has received personal or substituted service of process, the petition requests an order for the support of the child, and there is evidence of the parent's ability to pay the support ordered.

(b) May redirect all or part of an existing child support obligation to be paid to the extended family member who is granted temporary or concurrent custody of the child. If the court redirects an existing child support obligation, the order granting temporary or concurrent custody must include, if possible, the determination of arrearages owed to the obligee and the person awarded temporary or concurrent custody and must order payment of the arrearages. The clerk of the circuit court in which the order is entered shall transmit a certified copy to the court originally entering the child support order. The temporary or concurrent custody order shall be recorded and filed in the original action in which child support was determined and become a part thereof. A copy of the temporary or concurrent custody order shall also be filed with the depository that serves as the official recordkeeper for support payments due under the support order. The depository must maintain separate accounts and separate account numbers for individual obligees.

(6) At any time, either or both of the child's parents may petition the court to modify or terminate the order granting temporary custody. The court shall terminate the order upon a finding that the parent is a fit parent, or by consent of the parties. The court may modify an order granting temporary custody if the parties consent or if modification is in the best interest of the child.

(7) At any time, the petitioner or either or both of the child's parents may move the court to terminate the order granting concurrent custody. The court shall terminate the order upon a finding that either or both of the child's parents object to the order. The fact that an order for concurrent custody has been terminated does not preclude any person who is otherwise eligible to petition for temporary custody from filing such petition.

(8) At any time, the petitioner or either or both of the child's parents may move the court to modify the existing child support order pursuant to chapter 61. The court may modify an existing order granting child support if the parties consent and if modification is in the best interest of the child. Any order modifying child support in a concurrent custody proceeding shall be copied and placed in the related family court files.

751.011. Definitions

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

As used in this chapter, the term:

(1) “Concurrent custody” means that an eligible extended family member is awarded custodial rights to care for a child concurrently with the child's parent or parents.

(2) “Extended family member” means a person who is:

(a) A relative of a minor child within the third degree by blood or marriage to the parent; or

(b) The stepparent of a minor child if the stepparent is currently married to the parent of the child and is not a party in a pending dissolution, separate maintenance, domestic violence, or other civil or criminal proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction involving one or both of the child's parents as an adverse party.

Chapter 752. Grandparental Visitation Rights

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

752.011 Petition for grandparent visitation with a minor child

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

A grandparent of a minor child whose parents are deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state, or whose one parent is deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state and whose other parent has been convicted of a felony or an offense of violence evincing behavior that poses a substantial threat of harm to the minor child's health or welfare, may petition the court for court-ordered visitation with the grandchild under this section.

(1) Upon the filing of a petition by a grandparent for visitation, the court shall hold a preliminary hearing to determine whether the petitioner has made a prima facie showing of parental unfitness or significant harm to the child. Absent such a showing, the court shall dismiss the petition and may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to be paid by the petitioner to the respondent.

(2) If the court finds that there is prima facie evidence that a parent is unfit or that there is significant harm to the child, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem and shall refer the matter to family mediation as provided in s. 752.015. If family mediation does not successfully resolve the issue of grandparent visitation, the court shall proceed with a final hearing.

(3) After conducting a final hearing on the issue of visitation, the court may award reasonable visitation to the grandparent with respect to the minor child if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that a parent is unfit or that there is significant harm to the child, that visitation is in the best interest of the minor child, and that the visitation will not materially harm the parent-child relationship.

(4) In assessing the best interest of the child under subsection (3), the court shall consider the totality of the circumstances affecting the mental and emotional well-being of the minor child, including:

(a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the minor child and the grandparent, including those resulting from the relationship that had been previously allowed by the child's parent.

(b) The length and quality of the previous relationship between the minor child and the grandparent, including the extent to which the grandparent was involved in providing regular care and support for the child.

(c) Whether the grandparent established ongoing personal contact with the minor child before the death of the parent, before the onset of the parent's persistent vegetative state, or before the parent was missing.

(d) The reasons cited by the respondent parent in ending contact or visitation between the minor child and the grandparent.

(e) Whether there has been significant and demonstrable mental or emotional harm to the minor child as a result of the disruption in the family unit, whether the child derived support and stability from the grandparent, and whether the continuation of such support and stability is likely to prevent further harm.

(f) The existence or threat to the minor child of mental injury as defined in s. 39.01.

(g) The present mental, physical, and emotional health of the minor child.

(h) The present mental, physical, and emotional health of the grandparent.

(i) The recommendations of the minor child's guardian ad litem, if one is appointed.

(j) The result of any psychological evaluation of the minor child.

(k) The preference of the minor child if the child is determined to be of sufficient maturity to express a preference.

(l) A written testamentary statement by the deceased parent regarding visitation with the grandparent. The absence of a testamentary statement is not deemed to provide evidence that the deceased or missing parent or parent in a persistent vegetative state would have objected to the requested visitation.

(m) Other factors that the court considers necessary to making its determination.

(5) In assessing material harm to the parent-child relationship under subsection (3), the court shall consider the totality of the circumstances affecting the parent-child relationship, including:

(a) Whether there have been previous disputes between the grandparent and the parent over childrearing or other matters related to the care and upbringing of the minor child.

(b) Whether visitation would materially interfere with or compromise parental authority.

(c) Whether visitation can be arranged in a manner that does not materially detract from the parent-child relationship, including the quantity of time available for enjoyment of the parent-child relationship and any other consideration related to disruption of the schedule and routine of the parent and the minor child.

(d) Whether visitation is being sought for the primary purpose of continuing or establishing a relationship with the minor child with the intent that the child benefit from the relationship.

(e) Whether the requested visitation would expose the minor child to conduct, moral standards, experiences, or other factors that are inconsistent with influences provided by the parent.

(f) The nature of the relationship between the child's parent and the grandparent.

(g) The reasons cited by the parent in ending contact or visitation between the minor child and the grandparent which was previously allowed by the parent.

(h) The psychological toll of visitation disputes on the minor child.

(i) Other factors that the court considers necessary in making its determination.

(6) Part II of chapter 61 applies to actions brought under this section.

(7) If actions under this section and s. 61.13 are pending concurrently, the courts are strongly encouraged to consolidate the actions in order to minimize the burden of litigation on the minor child and the other parties.

(8) An order for grandparent visitation may be modified upon a showing by the person petitioning for modification that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred and that modification of visitation is in the best interest of the minor child.

(9) An original action requesting visitation under this section may be filed by a grandparent only once during any 2-year period, except on good cause shown that the minor child is suffering, or may suffer, significant and demonstrable mental or emotional harm caused by a parental decision to deny visitation between a minor child and the grandparent, which was not known to the grandparent at the time of filing an earlier action.

(10) This section does not provide for grandparent visitation with a minor child placed for adoption under chapter 63 except as provided in s. 752.071 with respect to adoption by a stepparent or close relative.

(11) Venue shall be in the county where the minor child primarily resides, unless venue is otherwise governed by chapter 39, chapter 61, or chapter 63.

Title XLVI. Crimes

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Chapter 775. Definitions; General Penalties; Registration of Criminals

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

775.08. Classes and definitions of offenses

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

When used in the laws of this state:

(1) The term “felony” shall mean any criminal offense that is punishable under the laws of this state, or that would be punishable if committed in this state, by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary. “State penitentiary” shall include state correctional facilities. A person shall be imprisoned in the state penitentiary for each sentence which, except an extended term, exceeds 1 year.

(2) The term “misdemeanor” shall mean any criminal offense that is punishable under the laws of this state, or that would be punishable if committed in this state, by a term of imprisonment in a county correctional facility, except an extended term, not in excess of 1 year. The term “misdemeanor” shall not mean a conviction for any noncriminal traffic violation of any provision of chapter 316 or any municipal or county ordinance.

(3) The term “noncriminal violation” shall mean any offense that is punishable under the laws of this state, or that would be punishable if committed in this state, by no other penalty than a fine, forfeiture, or other civil penalty. A noncriminal violation does not constitute a crime, and conviction for a noncriminal violation shall not give rise to any legal disability based on a criminal offense. The term “noncriminal violation” shall not mean any conviction for any violation of any municipal or county ordinance. Nothing contained in this code shall repeal or change the penalty for a violation of any municipal or county ordinance.

(4) The term “crime” shall mean a felony or misdemeanor.

775.082. Penalties; applicability of sentencing structures; mandatory minimum sentences for certain reoffenders previously released from prison

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person who has been convicted of a capital felony shall be punished by death if the proceeding held to determine sentence according to the procedure set forth in s. 921.141 results in a determination that such person shall be punished by death, otherwise such person shall be punished by life imprisonment and shall be ineligible for parole.
(b) 1. A person who actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim and who is convicted under s. 782.04 of a capital felony, or an offense that was reclassified as a capital felony, which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age shall be punished by a term of imprisonment for life if, after a sentencing hearing conducted by the court in accordance with s. 921.1401, the court finds that life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence. If the court finds that life imprisonment is not an appropriate sentence, such person shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of at least 40 years. A person sentenced pursuant to this subparagraph is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(a).
2. A person who did not actually kill, intend to kill, or attempt to kill the victim and who is convicted under s. 782.04 of a capital felony, or an offense that was reclassified as a capital felony, which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age may be punished by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of years equal to life if, after a sentencing hearing conducted by the court in accordance with s. 921.1401, the court finds that life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence. A person who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 15 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(c).
3. The court shall make a written finding as to whether a person is eligible for a sentence review hearing under s. 921.1402(2)(a) or (c). Such a finding shall be based upon whether the person actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim. The court may find that multiple defendants killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim.
(2) In the event the death penalty in a capital felony is held to be unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, the court having jurisdiction over a person previously sentenced to death for a capital felony shall cause such person to be brought before the court, and the court shall sentence such person to life imprisonment as provided in subsection (1). No sentence of death shall be reduced as a result of a determination that a method of execution is held to be unconstitutional under the State Constitution or the Constitution of the United States.
(3) A person who has been convicted of any other designated felony may be punished as follows:
(a) 1. For a life felony committed before October 1, 1983, by a term of imprisonment for life or for a term of at least 30 years.
2. For a life felony committed on or after October 1, 1983, by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 40 years.
3. Except as provided in subparagraph 4., for a life felony committed on or after July 1, 1995, by a term of imprisonment for life or by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.
4. a. Except as provided in sub-subparagraph b., for a life felony committed on or after September 1, 2005, which is a violation of s. 800.04(5)(b), by:
(I) A term of imprisonment for life; or
(II) A split sentence that is a term of at least 25 years' imprisonment and not exceeding life imprisonment, followed by probation or community control for the remainder of the person's natural life, as provided in s. 948.012(4).
b. For a life felony committed on or after July 1, 2008, which is a person's second or subsequent violation of s. 800.04(5)(b), by a term of imprisonment for life.
5. Notwithstanding subparagraphs 1.-4., a person who is convicted under s. 782.04 of an offense that was reclassified as a life felony which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age may be punished by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of years equal to life imprisonment if the judge conducts a sentencing hearing in accordance with s. 921.1401 and finds that life imprisonment or a term of years equal to life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence.
a. A person who actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 25 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(b).
b. A person who did not actually kill, intend to kill, or attempt to kill the victim and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 15 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(c).
c. The court shall make a written finding as to whether a person is eligible for a sentence review hearing under s. 921.1402(2)(b) or (c). Such a finding shall be based upon whether the person actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim. The court may find that multiple defendants killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim.
6. For a life felony committed on or after October 1, 2014, which is a violation of s. 787.06(3)(g), by a term of imprisonment for life.
(b) 1. For a felony of the first degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 30 years or, when specifically provided by statute, by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.
2. Notwithstanding subparagraph 1., a person convicted under s. 782.04 of a first degree felony punishable by a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment, or an offense that was reclassified as a first degree felony punishable by a term of years not exceeding life, which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age may be punished by a term of years equal to life imprisonment if the judge conducts a sentencing hearing in accordance with s. 921.1401 and finds that a term of years equal to life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence.
a. A person who actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 25 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(b).
b. A person who did not actually kill, intend to kill, or attempt to kill the victim and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 15 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(c).
c. The court shall make a written finding as to whether a person is eligible for a sentence review hearing under s. 921.1402(2)(b) or (c). Such a finding shall be based upon whether the person actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim. The court may find that multiple defendants killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), a person convicted of an offense that is not included in s. 782.04 but that is an offense that is a life felony or is punishable by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment, or an offense that was reclassified as a life felony or an offense punishable by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment, which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age may be punished by a term of imprisonment for life or a term of years equal to life imprisonment if the judge conducts a sentencing hearing in accordance with s. 921.1401 and finds that life imprisonment or a term of years equal to life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence. A person who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 20 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(d).
(d) For a felony of the second degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 years.
(e) For a felony of the third degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.
(4) A person who has been convicted of a designated misdemeanor may be sentenced as follows:
(a) For a misdemeanor of the first degree, by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year;
(b) For a misdemeanor of the second degree, by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days.
(5) Any person who has been convicted of a noncriminal violation may not be sentenced to a term of imprisonment nor to any other punishment more severe than a fine, forfeiture, or other civil penalty, except as provided in chapter 316 or by ordinance of any city or county.
(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the operation of any statute of this state authorizing a trial court, in its discretion, to impose a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period within minimum and maximum limits as provided by law, except as provided in subsection (1).
(7) This section does not deprive the court of any authority conferred by law to decree a forfeiture of property, suspend or cancel a license, remove a person from office, or impose any other civil penalty. Such a judgment or order may be included in the sentence.
(8)(a) The sentencing guidelines that were effective October 1, 1983, and any revisions thereto, apply to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1983, and before January 1, 1994, and to all felonies, except capital felonies and life felonies, committed before October 1, 1983, when the defendant affirmatively selects to be sentenced pursuant to such provisions.
(b) The 1994 sentencing guidelines, that were effective January 1, 1994, and any revisions thereto, apply to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after January 1, 1994, and before October 1, 1995.
(c) The 1995 sentencing guidelines that were effective October 1, 1995, and any revisions thereto, apply to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1995, and before October 1, 1998.
(d) The Criminal Punishment Code applies to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1998. Any revision to the Criminal Punishment Code applies to sentencing for all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after the effective date of the revision.
(e) Felonies, except capital felonies, with continuing dates of enterprise shall be sentenced under the sentencing guidelines or the Criminal Punishment Code in effect on the beginning date of the criminal activity.
(9)(a) 1. “Prison releasee reoffender” means any defendant who commits, or attempts to commit:
a. Treason;
b. Murder;
c. Manslaughter;
d. Sexual battery;
e. Carjacking;
f. Home-invasion robbery;
g. Robbery;
h. Arson;
i. Kidnapping;
j. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon;
k. Aggravated battery;
l. Aggravated stalking;
m. Aircraft piracy;
n. Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb;
o. Any felony that involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against an individual;
p. Armed burglary;
q. Burglary of a dwelling or burglary of an occupied structure; or
r. Any felony violation of s. 790.07, s. 800.04, s. 827.03, s. 827.071, or s. 847.0135(5);
within 3 years after being released from a state correctional facility operated by the Department of Corrections or a private vendor or within 3 years after being released from a correctional institution of another state, the District of Columbia, the United States, any possession or territory of the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction, following incarceration for an offense for which the sentence is punishable by more than 1 year in this state.
2. “Prison releasee reoffender” also means any defendant who commits or attempts to commit any offense listed in sub-subparagraphs (a)1.a.-r. while the defendant was serving a prison sentence or on escape status from a state correctional facility operated by the Department of Corrections or a private vendor or while the defendant was on escape status from a correctional institution of another state, the District of Columbia, the United States, any possession or territory of the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction, following incarceration for an offense for which the sentence is punishable by more than 1 year in this state.
3. If the state attorney determines that a defendant is a prison releasee reoffender as defined in subparagraph 1., the state attorney may seek to have the court sentence the defendant as a prison releasee reoffender. Upon proof from the state attorney that establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant is a prison releasee reoffender as defined in this section, such defendant is not eligible for sentencing under the sentencing guidelines and must be sentenced as follows:
a. For a felony punishable by life, by a term of imprisonment for life;
b. For a felony of the first degree, by a term of imprisonment of 30 years;
c. For a felony of the second degree, by a term of imprisonment of 15 years; and
d. For a felony of the third degree, by a term of imprisonment of 5 years.
(b) A person sentenced under paragraph (a) shall be released only by expiration of sentence and shall not be eligible for parole, control release, or any form of early release. Any person sentenced under paragraph (a) must serve 100 percent of the court-imposed sentence.
(c) Nothing in this subsection shall prevent a court from imposing a greater sentence of incarceration as authorized by law, pursuant to s. 775.084 or any other provision of law.
(d) 1. It is the intent of the Legislature that offenders previously released from prison who meet the criteria in paragraph (a) be punished to the fullest extent of the law and as provided in this subsection, unless the state attorney determines that extenuating circumstances exist which preclude the just prosecution of the offender, including whether the victim recommends that the offender not be sentenced as provided in this subsection.
2. For every case in which the offender meets the criteria in paragraph (a) and does not receive the mandatory minimum prison sentence, the state attorney must explain the sentencing deviation in writing and place such explanation in the case file maintained by the state attorney.
(10) If a defendant is sentenced for an offense committed on or after July 1, 2009, which is a third degree felony but not a forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08, and excluding any third degree felony violation under chapter 810, and if the total sentence points pursuant to s. 921.0024 are 22 points or fewer, the court must sentence the offender to a nonstate prison sanction. However, if the court makes written findings that a nonstate prison sanction could present a danger to the public, the court may sentence the offender to a state correctional facility pursuant to this section.
(11) The purpose of this section is to provide uniform punishment for those crimes made punishable under this section and, to this end, a reference to this section constitutes a general reference under the doctrine of incorporation by reference.

775.083. Fines

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A person who has been convicted of an offense other than a capital felony may be sentenced to pay a fine in addition to any punishment described in s. 775.082; when specifically authorized by statute, he or she may be sentenced to pay a fine in lieu of any punishment described in s. 775.082. A person who has been convicted of a noncriminal violation may be sentenced to pay a fine. Fines for designated crimes and for noncriminal violations shall not exceed:
(a) $15,000, when the conviction is of a life felony.
(b) $10,000, when the conviction is of a felony of the first or second degree.
(c) $5,000, when the conviction is of a felony of the third degree.
(d) $1,000, when the conviction is of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(e) $500, when the conviction is of a misdemeanor of the second degree or a noncriminal violation.
(f) Any higher amount equal to double the pecuniary gain derived from the offense by the offender or double the pecuniary loss suffered by the victim.
(g) Any higher amount specifically authorized by statute.
Fines imposed in this subsection shall be deposited by the clerk of the court in the fine and forfeiture fund established pursuant to s. 142.01. If a defendant is unable to pay a fine, the court may defer payment of the fine to a date certain. As used in this subsection, the term “convicted” or “conviction” means a determination of guilt which is the result of a trial or the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.
(2) In addition to the fines set forth in subsection (1), court costs shall be assessed and collected in each instance a defendant pleads nolo contendere to, or is convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for, a felony, a misdemeanor, or a criminal traffic offense under state law, or a violation of any municipal or county ordinance if the violation constitutes a misdemeanor under state law. The court costs imposed by this section shall be $50 for a felony and $20 for any other offense and shall be deposited by the clerk of the court into an appropriate county account for disbursement for the purposes provided in this subsection. A county shall account for the funds separately from other county funds as crime prevention funds. The county, in consultation with the sheriff, must expend such funds for crime prevention programs in the county, including safe neighborhood programs under ss. 163.501-163.523.
(3) The purpose of this section is to provide uniform penalty authorization for criminal offenses and, to this end, a reference to this section constitutes a general reference under the doctrine of incorporation by reference.

Chapter 784. Assault, Battery, Culpable Negligence

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

784.011. Assault

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) An “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

(2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

784.021. Aggravated assault

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:

(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or

(b) With an intent to commit a felony.

(2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

784.03. Battery; felony battery

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:

1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or

2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who commits battery commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) A person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.

784.041. Felony battery; domestic battery by strangulation

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A person commits felony battery if he or she:

(a) Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; and

(b) Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.

(2)(a) A person commits domestic battery by strangulation if the person knowingly and intentionally, against the will of another, impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member or of a person with whom he or she is in a dating relationship, so as to create a risk of or cause great bodily harm by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person. This paragraph does not apply to any act of medical diagnosis, treatment, or prescription which is authorized under the laws of this state.

(b) As used in this subsection, the term:

1. “Family or household member” has the same meaning as in s. 741.28.

2. “Dating relationship” means a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.

(3) A person who commits felony battery or domestic battery by strangulation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

784.045. Aggravated battery

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:

1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or

2. Uses a deadly weapon.

(b) A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.

(2) Whoever commits aggravated battery shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

784.0487. Violation of an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) If the injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking has been violated and the respondent has not been arrested, the petitioner may contact the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The clerk shall assist the petitioner in preparing an affidavit in support of reporting the violation or directing the petitioner to the office operated by the court that has been designated by the chief judge of that circuit as the central intake point for violations of injunctions for protection where the petitioner can receive assistance in the preparation of the affidavit in support of the violation.

(2) The affidavit shall be immediately forwarded by the office assisting the petitioner to the state attorney of that circuit and to such judge as the chief judge determines to be the recipient of affidavits of violations of an injunction. If the affidavit alleges that a crime has been committed, the office assisting the petitioner shall also forward a copy of the petitioner's affidavit to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. No later than 20 days after receiving the initial report, the local law enforcement agency shall complete its investigation and forward a report to the state attorney. The policy adopted by the state attorney in each circuit under s. 741.2901(2) shall include a policy regarding intake of alleged violations of injunctions for protection against stalking or cyberstalking under this section. The intake shall be supervised by a state attorney who has been designated and assigned to handle stalking or cyberstalking cases. The state attorney shall determine within 30 working days whether his or her office will file criminal charges or prepare a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in criminal contempt, or prepare both as alternative findings, or file notice that the case remains under investigation or is pending subject to some other action.

(3) If the court has knowledge that the petitioner or another person is in immediate danger if the court does not act before the decision of the state attorney to proceed, the court shall immediately issue an order of appointment of the state attorney to file a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in contempt. If the court does not issue an order of appointment of the state attorney, it shall immediately notify the state attorney that the court is proceeding to enforce the violation through criminal contempt.

(4) A person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking issued pursuant to s. 784.0485, or a foreign protection order accorded full faith and credit pursuant to s. 741.315, by:

(a) Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner;

(b) Committing an act of stalking against the petitioner;

(c) Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;

(d) Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;

(e) Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner's motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;

(f) Defacing or destroying the petitioner's personal property, including the petitioner's motor vehicle; or

(g) Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court,

commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5) A person who suffers an injury or loss as a result of a violation of an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking may be awarded economic damages for that injury or loss by the court issuing the injunction. Damages includes costs and attorney fees for enforcement of the injunction.

784.046. Action by victim of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence for protective injunction; dating violence investigations, notice to victims, and reporting; pretrial release violations; public records exemption

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person against any other person.

(b) “Repeat violence” means two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner's immediate family member.

(c) “Sexual violence” means any one incident of:

1. Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794;

2. A lewd or lascivious act, as defined in chapter 800, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age;

3. Luring or enticing a child, as described in chapter 787;

4. Sexual performance by a child, as described in chapter 827; or

5. Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted,

regardless of whether criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced, or dismissed by the state attorney.

(d) “Dating violence” means violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the consideration of the following factors:

1. A dating relationship must have existed within the past 6 months;

2. The nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties; and

3. The frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.

The term does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who only have engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.

(2) There is created a cause of action for an injunction for protection in cases of repeat violence, there is created a separate cause of action for an injunction for protection in cases of dating violence, and there is created a separate cause of action for an injunction for protection in cases of sexual violence.

(a) Any person who is the victim of repeat violence or the parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home and who seeks an injunction for protection against repeat violence on behalf of the minor child has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against repeat violence.

(b) Any person who is the victim of dating violence and has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence, or any person who has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an act of dating violence, or the parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home and who seeks an injunction for protection against dating violence on behalf of that minor child, has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against dating violence.

(c) A person who is the victim of sexual violence or the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home who is the victim of sexual violence has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against sexual violence on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the minor child if:

1. The person has reported the sexual violence to a law enforcement agency and is cooperating in any criminal proceeding against the respondent, regardless of whether criminal charges based on the sexual violence have been filed, reduced, or dismissed by the state attorney; or

2. The respondent who committed the sexual violence against the victim or minor child was sentenced to a term of imprisonment in state prison for the sexual violence and the respondent's term of imprisonment has expired or is due to expire within 90 days following the date the petition is filed.

(d) A cause of action for an injunction may be sought whether or not any other petition, complaint, or cause of action is currently available or pending between the parties.

(e) A cause of action for an injunction does not require that the petitioner be represented by an attorney.

(3)(a) The clerk of the court shall provide a copy of this section, simplified forms, and clerical assistance for the preparation and filing of such a petition by any person who is not represented by counsel.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the clerk of the court may not assess a fee for filing a petition for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence. However, subject to legislative appropriation, the clerk of the court may, each quarter, submit to the Office of the State Courts Administrator a certified request for reimbursement for petitions for protection issued by the court under this section at the rate of $40 per petition. The request for reimbursement shall be submitted in the form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State Courts Administrator. From this reimbursement, the clerk shall pay the law enforcement agency serving the injunction the fee requested by the law enforcement agency; however, this fee may not exceed $20.

(c) No bond shall be required by the court for the entry of an injunction.

(d) The clerk of the court shall provide the petitioner with a certified copy of any injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence entered by the court.

(4)(a) The sworn petition shall allege the incidents of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence and shall include the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis upon which relief is sought. With respect to a minor child who is living at home, the parent or legal guardian seeking the protective injunction on behalf of the minor child must:

1. Have been an eyewitness to, or have direct physical evidence or affidavits from eyewitnesses of, the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis upon which relief is sought, if the party against whom the protective injunction is sought is also a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of the minor child; or

2. Have reasonable cause to believe that the minor child is a victim of repeat sexual or dating violence to form the basis upon which relief is sought, if the party against whom the protective injunction is sought is a person other than a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of the minor child.

(b) The sworn petition must be in substantially the following form:

PETITION FOR INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION AGAINST

REPEAT VIOLENCE, SEXUAL

VIOLENCE, OR DATING VIOLENCE

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared Petitioner (Name) , who has been sworn and says that the following statements are true:

1. Petitioner resides at (address) (A petitioner for an injunction for protection against sexual violence may furnish an address to the court in a separate confidential filing if, for safety reasons, the petitioner requires the location of his or her current residence to be confidential pursuant to s. 119.071(2)(j), Florida Statutes.)

2. Respondent resides at (address) .

3. a. Petitioner has suffered repeat violence as demonstrated by the fact that the respondent has:

(enumerate incidents of violence)

______________________________

______________________________

______________________________

b. Petitioner has suffered sexual violence as demonstrated by the fact that the respondent has: (enumerate incident of violence and include incident report number from law enforcement agency or attach notice of inmate release.)

______________________________

______________________________

______________________________

c. Petitioner is a victim of dating violence and has reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence or has reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of dating violence, as demonstrated by the fact that the respondent has: (list the specific incident or incidents of violence and describe the length of time of the relationship, whether it has been in existence during the last 6 months, the nature of the relationship of a romantic or intimate nature, the frequency and type of interaction, and any other facts that characterize the relationship.)

______________________________

______________________________

______________________________

4. Petitioner genuinely fears repeat violence by the respondent.

5. Petitioner seeks: an immediate injunction against the respondent, enjoining him or her from committing any further acts of violence; an injunction enjoining the respondent from committing any further acts of violence; and an injunction providing any terms the court deems necessary for the protection of the petitioner and the petitioner's immediate family, including any injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies.

(5) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall set a hearing to be held at the earliest possible time. The respondent shall be personally served with a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, prior to the hearing.

(6)(a) When it appears to the court that an immediate and present danger of violence exists, the court may grant a temporary injunction which may be granted in an ex parte hearing, pending a full hearing, and may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction enjoining the respondent from committing any acts of violence.

(b) Except as provided in s. 90.204, in a hearing ex parte for the purpose of obtaining such temporary injunction, no evidence other than the verified pleading or affidavit shall be used as evidence, unless the respondent appears at the hearing or has received reasonable notice of the hearing.

(c) Any such ex parte temporary injunction shall be effective for a fixed period not to exceed 15 days. However, an ex parte temporary injunction granted under subparagraph (2)(c)2. is effective for 15 days following the date the respondent is released from incarceration. A full hearing, as provided by this section, shall be set for a date no later than the date when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. The court may grant a continuance of the ex parte injunction and the full hearing before or during a hearing, for good cause shown by any party.

(7) Upon notice and hearing, the court may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction:

(a) Enjoining the respondent from committing any acts of violence.

(b) Ordering such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of the petitioner, including injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies, as provided in this section.

(c) The terms of the injunction shall remain in full force and effect until modified or dissolved. Either party may move at any time to modify or dissolve the injunction. Such relief may be granted in addition to other civil or criminal remedies.

(d) A temporary or final judgment on injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence entered pursuant to this section shall, on its face, indicate that:

1. The injunction is valid and enforceable in all counties of the State of Florida.

2. Law enforcement officers may use their arrest powers pursuant to s. 901.15(6) to enforce the terms of the injunction.

3. The court had jurisdiction over the parties and matter under the laws of Florida and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person's right to due process.

4. The date that the respondent was served with the temporary or final order, if obtainable.

(8)(a) 1. The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, to the sheriff or a law enforcement agency of the county where the respondent resides or can be found, who shall serve it upon the respondent as soon thereafter as possible on any day of the week and at any time of the day or night. When requested by the sheriff, the clerk of the court may transmit a facsimile copy of an injunction that has been certified by the clerk of the court, and this facsimile copy may be served in the same manner as a certified copy. Upon receiving a facsimile copy, the sheriff must verify receipt with the sender before attempting to serve it upon the respondent. In addition, if the sheriff is in possession of an injunction for protection that has been certified by the clerk of the court, the sheriff may transmit a facsimile copy of that injunction to a law enforcement officer who shall serve it in the same manner as a certified copy. The clerk of the court shall be responsible for furnishing to the sheriff such information on the respondent's physical description and location as is required by the department to comply with the verification procedures set forth in this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the chief judge of each circuit, in consultation with the appropriate sheriff, may authorize a law enforcement agency within the chief judge's jurisdiction to effect this type of service and to receive a portion of the service fee. No person shall be authorized or permitted to serve or execute an injunction issued under this section unless the person is a law enforcement officer as defined in chapter 943.

2. When an injunction is issued, if the petitioner requests the assistance of a law enforcement agency, the court may order that an officer from the appropriate law enforcement agency accompany the petitioner and assist in the execution or service of the injunction. A law enforcement officer shall accept a copy of an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, certified by the clerk of the court, from the petitioner and immediately serve it upon a respondent who has been located but not yet served.

(b) There shall be created a Domestic, Dating, Sexual, and Repeat Violence Injunction Statewide Verification System within the Department of Law Enforcement. The department shall establish, implement, and maintain a statewide communication system capable of electronically transmitting information to and between criminal justice agencies relating to domestic violence injunctions, dating violence injunctions, sexual violence injunctions, and repeat violence injunctions issued by the courts throughout the state. Such information must include, but is not limited to, information as to the existence and status of any injunction for verification purposes.

(c) 1. Within 24 hours after the court issues an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence or changes or vacates an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, the clerk of the court must forward a copy of the injunction to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner.

2. Within 24 hours after service of process of an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence upon a respondent, the law enforcement officer must forward the written proof of service of process to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner.

3. Within 24 hours after the sheriff receives a certified copy of the injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, the sheriff must make information relating to the injunction available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the department.

4. Within 24 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer has made service upon the respondent and the sheriff has been so notified, the sheriff must make information relating to the service available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the department.

5. a. Subject to available funding, the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers shall develop an automated process by which a petitioner may request notification of service of the injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence and other court actions related to the injunction for protection. The automated notice shall be made within 12 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer serves the injunction upon the respondent. The notification must include, at a minimum, the date, time, and location where the injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence was served. When a petitioner makes a request for notification, the clerk must apprise the petitioner of her or his right to request in writing that the information specified in sub-subparagraph b. be held exempt from public records requirements for 5 years. The Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers may apply for any available grants to fund the development of the automated process.

b. Upon implementation of the automated process, information held by clerks and law enforcement agencies in conjunction with the automated process developed under sub-subparagraph a. which reveals the home or employment telephone number, cellular telephone number, home or employment address, electronic mail address, or other electronic means of identification of a petitioner requesting notification of service of an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence and other court actions related to the injunction for protection is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, upon written request by the petitioner. Such information shall cease to be exempt 5 years after the receipt of the written request. Any state or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such documents by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of such agency's statutory duties, notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2018, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

6. Within 24 hours after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence is lifted, terminated, or otherwise rendered no longer effective by ruling of the court, the clerk of the court must notify the sheriff or local law enforcement agency receiving original notification of the injunction as provided in subparagraph 2. That agency shall, within 24 hours after receiving such notification from the clerk of the court, notify the department of such action of the court.

(9)(a) The court shall enforce, through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, a violation of an injunction for protection. The court may enforce the respondent's compliance with the injunction by imposing a monetary assessment. The clerk of the court shall collect and receive such assessments. On a monthly basis, the clerk shall transfer the moneys collected pursuant to this paragraph to the State Treasury for deposit in the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund established in s. 960.21.

(b) If the respondent is arrested by a law enforcement officer under s. 901.15(6) for committing an act of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence in violation of an injunction for protection, the respondent shall be held in custody until brought before the court as expeditiously as possible for the purpose of enforcing the injunction and for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903 and the applicable rules of criminal procedure, pending a hearing.

(10) The petitioner or the respondent may move the court to modify or dissolve an injunction at any time.

(11) Any law enforcement officer who investigates an alleged incident of dating violence shall assist the victim to obtain medical treatment if such is required as a result of the alleged incident to which the officer responds. Any law enforcement officer who investigates an alleged incident of dating violence shall advise the victim of such violence that there is a domestic violence center from which the victim may receive services. The law enforcement officer shall give the victim immediate notice of the legal rights and remedies available on a standard form developed and distributed by the Department of Law Enforcement. As necessary, the Department of Law Enforcement shall revise the Legal Rights and Remedies Notice to Victims to include a general summary of this section, using simple English as well as Spanish, and shall distribute the notice as a model form to be used by all law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The notice shall include:

(a) The resource listing, including telephone number, for the area domestic violence center designated by the Department of Children and Families; and

(b) A copy of the following statement: “IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DATING VIOLENCE, you may ask the state attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from dating violence which may include, but need not be limited to, provisions that restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse; direct the abuser to leave your household; and prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment.”

(12) When a law enforcement officer investigates an allegation that an incident of dating violence has occurred, the officer shall handle the incident pursuant to the arrest policy provided in s. 901.15(7), and as developed in accordance with subsections (13), (14), and (16). Whether or not an arrest is made, the officer shall make a written police report that is complete and clearly indicates that the alleged offense was an incident of dating violence. Such report shall be given to the officer's supervisor and filed with the law enforcement agency in a manner that will permit data on dating violence cases to be compiled. Such report must include:

(a) A description of physical injuries observed, if any.

(b) If a law enforcement officer decides not to make an arrest or decides to arrest two or more parties, the grounds for not arresting anyone or for arresting two or more parties.

(c) A statement which indicates that a copy of the legal rights and remedies notice was given to the victim.

Whenever possible, the law enforcement officer shall obtain a written statement from the victim and witnesses concerning the alleged dating violence. The officer shall submit the report to the supervisor or other person to whom the employer's rules or policies require reports of similar allegations of criminal activity to be made. The law enforcement agency shall, without charge, send a copy of the initial police report, as well as any subsequent, supplemental, or related report, which excludes victim or witness statements or other materials that are part of an active criminal investigation and are exempt from disclosure under chapter 119, to the nearest locally certified domestic violence center within 24 hours after the agency's receipt of the report. The report furnished to the domestic violence center must include a narrative description of the dating violence incident.

(13) Whenever a law enforcement officer determines upon probable cause that an act of dating violence has been committed within the jurisdiction, or that a person has violated a condition of pretrial release as provided in s. 903.047 and the original arrest was for an act of dating violence, the officer may arrest the person or persons suspected of its commission and charge such person or persons with the appropriate crime. The decision to arrest and charge shall not require consent of the victim or consideration of the relationship of the parties.

(14)(a) When complaints are received from two or more parties, the officers shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine whether there is probable cause for arrest.

(b) If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that two or more persons have committed a misdemeanor or felony, or if two or more persons make complaints to the officer, the officer shall try to determine who was the primary aggressor. Arrest is the preferred response only with respect to the primary aggressor and not the preferred response with respect to a person who acts in a reasonable manner to protect or defend himself or herself or another family or household member from dating violence.

(15) A person who willfully violates a condition of pretrial release provided in s. 903.047, when the original arrest was for an act of dating violence as defined in this section, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and shall be held in custody until his or her first appearance.

(16) A law enforcement officer acting in good faith under this section and the officer's employing agency shall be immune from all liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed by reason of the officer's or agency's actions in carrying out the provisions of this section.

784.048. Stalking; definitions; penalties

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.

(b) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose. The term does not include constitutionally protected activity such as picketing or other organized protests.

(c) “Credible threat” means a verbal or nonverbal threat, or a combination of the two, including threats delivered by electronic communication or implied by a pattern of conduct, which places the person who is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the person, and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause such harm. It is not necessary to prove that the person making the threat had the intent to actually carry out the threat. The present incarceration of the person making the threat is not a bar to prosecution under this section.

(d) “Cyberstalk” means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

(2) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(3) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person and makes a credible threat to that person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4) A person who, after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence pursuant to s. 784.046, or an injunction for protection against domestic violence pursuant to s. 741. 30, or after any other court-imposed prohibition of conduct toward the subject person or that person's property, knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(5) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks a child under 16 years of age commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(6) A law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person that he or she has probable cause to believe has violated this section.

(7) A person who, after having been sentenced for a violation of s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5) and prohibited from contacting the victim of the offense under s. 921.244, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks the victim commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(8) The punishment imposed under this section shall run consecutive to any former sentence imposed for a conviction for any offense under s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5).

(9)(a) The sentencing court shall consider, as a part of any sentence, issuing an order restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim, which may be valid for up to 10 years, as determined by the court. It is the intent of the Legislature that the length of any such order be based upon the seriousness of the facts before the court, the probability of future violations by the perpetrator, and the safety of the victim and his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the victim.

(b) The order may be issued by the court even if the defendant is sentenced to a state prison or a county jail or even if the imposition of the sentence is suspended and the defendant is placed on probation.

784.0485. Stalking; injunction; powers and duties of court and clerk; petition; notice and hearing; temporary injunction; issuance of injunction; statewide verification system; enforcement

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) There is created a cause of action for an injunction for protection against stalking. For the purposes of injunctions for protection against stalking under this section, the offense of stalking shall include the offense of cyberstalking.

(a) A person who is the victim of stalking or the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home who seeks an injunction for protection against stalking on behalf of the minor child has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against stalking.

(b) The cause of action for an injunction for protection may be sought regardless of whether any other cause of action is currently pending between the parties. However, the pendency of any such cause of action shall be alleged in the petition.

(c) The cause of action for an injunction may be sought by any affected person.

(d) The cause of action for an injunction does not require either party to be represented by an attorney.

(e) The court may not issue mutual orders of protection; however, the court is not precluded from issuing separate injunctions for protection against stalking if each party has complied with this section. Compliance with this section may not be waived.

(f) Notwithstanding chapter 47, a petition for an injunction for protection against stalking may be filed in the circuit where the petitioner currently or temporarily resides, where the respondent resides, or where the stalking occurred. There is no minimum requirement of residency to petition for an injunction for protection.

(2)(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the clerk of court may not assess a filing fee to file a petition for protection against stalking. However, subject to legislative appropriation, the clerk of the circuit court may, on a quarterly basis, submit to the Office of the State Courts Administrator a certified request for reimbursement for petitions for protection against stalking issued by the court, at the rate of $40 per petition. The request for reimbursement shall be submitted in the form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State Courts Administrator. From this reimbursement, the clerk shall pay any law enforcement agency serving the injunction the fee requested by the law enforcement agency; however, this fee may not exceed $20.

(b) A bond is not required by the court for the entry of an injunction.

(c) 1. The clerk of the court shall assist petitioners in seeking both injunctions for protection against stalking and enforcement of a violation thereof as specified in this section.

2. All offices of the clerk of the court shall provide simplified petition forms for the injunction and any modifications to and the enforcement thereof, including instructions for completion.

3. The clerk of the court shall ensure the petitioner's privacy to the extent practicable while completing the forms for an injunction for protection against stalking.

4. The clerk of the court shall provide a petitioner with a minimum of two certified copies of the order of injunction, one of which is serviceable and will inform the petitioner of the process for service and enforcement.

5. The clerk of the court and appropriate staff in each county shall receive training in the effective assistance of petitioners as provided or approved by the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers.

6. The clerk of the court in each county shall make available informational brochures on stalking when such a brochure is provided by the local certified domestic violence center or certified rape crisis center.

7. The clerk of the court in each county shall distribute a statewide uniform informational brochure to petitioners at the time of filing for an injunction for protection against stalking when such brochures become available. The brochure must include information about the effect of giving the court false information.

(3)(a) The sworn petition shall allege the existence of such stalking and shall include the specific facts and circumstances for which relief is sought.

(b) The sworn petition shall be in substantially the following form:

PETITION FOR INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION AGAINST STALKING

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared Petitioner (Name) , who has been sworn and says that the following statements are true:

1. Petitioner resides at: (address)

(Petitioner may furnish the address to the court in a separate confidential filing if, for safety reasons, the petitioner requires the location of the current residence to be confidential.)

2. Respondent resides at: (last known address)

3. Respondent's last known place of employment: (name of business and address)

4. Physical description of respondent: ____

5. Race: ____

6. Sex: ____

7. Date of birth: ____

8. Height: ____

9. Weight: ____

10. Eye color: ____

11. Hair color: ____

12. Distinguishing marks or scars: ____

13. Aliases of respondent: ____

(c) The petitioner shall describe any other cause of action currently pending between the petitioner and respondent. The petitioner shall also describe any previous attempt by the petitioner to obtain an injunction for protection against stalking in this or any other circuit, and the result of that attempt. (Case numbers should be included, if available.)

(d) The petition must provide space for the petitioner to specifically allege that he or she is a victim of stalking because respondent has:

(Mark all sections that apply and describe in the spaces below the incidents of stalking specifying when and where they occurred, including, but not limited to, locations such as a home, school, or place of employment. )

____ Committed stalking.

____ Previously threatened, harassed, stalked, cyberstalked, or physically abused the petitioner.

____ Threatened to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.

____ Intentionally injured or killed a family pet.

____ Used, or threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.

____ A criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence, if known.

____ Another order of protection issued against him or her previously or from another jurisdiction, if known.

____ Destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.

(e) The petitioner seeks an injunction:

(Mark appropriate section or sections.)

____ Immediately restraining the respondent from committing any acts of stalking.

____ Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of stalking.

____ Providing any terms the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of stalking, including any injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies.

(f) Every petition for an injunction against stalking must contain, directly above the signature line, a statement in all capital letters and bold type not smaller than the surrounding text, as follows:

I HAVE READ EVERY STATEMENT MADE IN THIS PETITION AND EACH STATEMENT IS TRUE AND CORRECT. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE STATEMENTS MADE IN THIS PETITION ARE BEING MADE UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, PUNISHABLE AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 837.02, FLORIDA STATUTES.

(initials)

(4) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall set a hearing to be held at the earliest possible time. The respondent shall be personally served with a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, before the hearing.

(5)(a) If it appears to the court that stalking exists, the court may grant a temporary injunction ex parte, pending a full hearing, and may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction restraining the respondent from committing any act of stalking.

(b) Except as provided in s. 90.204, in a hearing ex parte for the purpose of obtaining such ex parte temporary injunction, evidence other than verified pleadings or affidavits may not be used as evidence, unless the respondent appears at the hearing or has received reasonable notice of the hearing. A denial of a petition for an ex parte injunction shall be by written order noting the legal grounds for denial. If the only ground for denial is no appearance of an immediate and present danger of stalking, the court shall set a full hearing on the petition for injunction with notice at the earliest possible time. This paragraph does not affect a petitioner's right to promptly amend any petition, or otherwise be heard in person on any petition consistent with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c) Any such ex parte temporary injunction is effective for a fixed period not to exceed 15 days. A full hearing, as provided in this section, shall be set for a date no later than the date when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. The court may grant a continuance of the hearing before or during a hearing for good cause shown by any party, which shall include a continuance to obtain service of process. An injunction shall be extended if necessary to remain in full force and effect during any period of continuance.

(6)(a) Upon notice and hearing, when it appears to the court that the petitioner is the victim of stalking, the court may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction:

1. Restraining the respondent from committing any act of stalking.

2. Ordering the respondent to participate in treatment, intervention, or counseling services to be paid for by the respondent.

3. Referring a petitioner to appropriate services. The court may provide the petitioner with a list of certified domestic violence centers, certified rape crisis centers, and other appropriate referrals in the circuit which the petitioner may contact.

4. Ordering such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of stalking, including injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies, as provided in this section.

(b) The terms of an injunction restraining the respondent under subparagraph (a)1. or ordering other relief for the protection of the victim under subparagraph (a)4. shall remain in effect until modified or dissolved. Either party may move at any time to modify or dissolve the injunction. Specific allegations are not required. Such relief may be granted in addition to other civil or criminal remedies.

(c) A temporary or final judgment on injunction for protection against stalking entered pursuant to this section shall, on its face, indicate:

1. That the injunction is valid and enforceable in all counties of this state.

2. That law enforcement officers may use their arrest powers pursuant to s. 901.15(6) to enforce the terms of the injunction.

3. That the court has jurisdiction over the parties and matter under the laws of this state and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person's right to due process.

4. The date that the respondent was served with the temporary or final order, if obtainable.

(d) The fact that a separate order of protection is granted to each opposing party is not legally sufficient to deny any remedy to either party or to prove that the parties are equally at fault or equally endangered.

(e) A final judgment on an injunction for protection against stalking entered pursuant to this section must, on its face, provide that it is a violation of s. 790.233 and a misdemeanor of the first degree for the respondent to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition.

(f) All proceedings under this subsection shall be recorded. Recording may be by electronic means as provided by the Rules of Judicial Administration.

(7) The court shall allow an advocate from a state attorney's office, a law enforcement agency, a certified rape crisis center, or a certified domestic violence center who is registered under s. 39.905 to be present with the petitioner or respondent during any court proceedings or hearings related to the injunction for protection if the petitioner or respondent has made such a request and the advocate is able to be present.

(8)(a) 1. The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, to the sheriff or a law enforcement agency of the county where the respondent resides or can be found, who shall serve it upon the respondent as soon thereafter as possible on any day of the week and at any time of the day or night. When requested by the sheriff, the clerk of the court may transmit a facsimile copy of an injunction that has been certified by the clerk of the court, and this facsimile copy may be served in the same manner as a certified copy. Upon receiving a facsimile copy, the sheriff must verify receipt with the sender before attempting to serve it on the respondent. In addition, if the sheriff is in possession of an injunction for protection that has been certified by the clerk of the court, the sheriff may transmit a facsimile copy of that injunction to a law enforcement officer who shall serve it in the same manner as a certified copy. The clerk of the court shall furnish to the sheriff such information concerning the respondent's physical description and location as is required by the Department of Law Enforcement to comply with the verification procedures set forth in this section. Notwithstanding any other law, the chief judge of each circuit, in consultation with the appropriate sheriff, may authorize a law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction to effect service. A law enforcement agency serving injunctions pursuant to this section shall use service and verification procedures consistent with those of the sheriff.

2. If an injunction is issued and the petitioner requests the assistance of a law enforcement agency, the court may order that an officer from the appropriate law enforcement agency accompany the petitioner to assist in the execution or service of the injunction. A law enforcement officer shall accept a copy of an injunction for protection against stalking, certified by the clerk of the court, from the petitioner and immediately serve it upon a respondent who has been located but not yet served.

3. An order issued, changed, continued, extended, or vacated subsequent to the original service of documents enumerated under subparagraph 1. shall be certified by the clerk of the court and delivered to the parties at the time of the entry of the order. The parties may acknowledge receipt of such order in writing on the face of the original order. If a party fails or refuses to acknowledge the receipt of a certified copy of an order, the clerk shall note on the original order that service was effected. If delivery at the hearing is not possible, the clerk shall mail certified copies of the order to the parties at the last known address of each party. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. When an order is served pursuant to this subsection, the clerk shall prepare a written certification to be placed in the court file specifying the time, date, and method of service and shall notify the sheriff.

4. If the respondent has been served previously with a temporary injunction and has failed to appear at the initial hearing on the temporary injunction, any subsequent petition for injunction seeking an extension of time may be served on the respondent by the clerk of the court by certified mail in lieu of personal service by a law enforcement officer.

(b) 1. Within 24 hours after the court issues an injunction for protection against stalking or changes, continues, extends, or vacates an injunction for protection against stalking, the clerk of the court must forward a certified copy of the injunction for service to the sheriff having jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner. The injunction must be served in accordance with this subsection.

2. Within 24 hours after service of process of an injunction for protection against stalking upon a respondent, the law enforcement officer must forward the written proof of service of process to the sheriff having jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner.

3. Within 24 hours after the sheriff receives a certified copy of the injunction for protection against stalking, the sheriff must make information relating to the injunction available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the Department of Law Enforcement.

4. Within 24 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer has made service upon the respondent and the sheriff has been so notified, the sheriff must make information relating to the service available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the Department of Law Enforcement.

5. Within 24 hours after an injunction for protection against stalking is vacated, terminated, or otherwise rendered no longer effective by ruling of the court, the clerk of the court must notify the sheriff receiving original notification of the injunction as provided in subparagraph 2. That agency shall, within 24 hours after receiving such notification from the clerk of the court, notify the Department of Law Enforcement of such action of the court.

(9)(a) The court may enforce a violation of an injunction for protection against stalking through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, or the state attorney may prosecute it as a criminal violation under s. 784.0487. Any assessments or fines ordered by the court enforcing such an injunction shall be collected by the clerk of the court and transferred on a monthly basis to the State Treasury for deposit into the Domestic Violence Trust Fund.

(b) If the respondent is arrested by a law enforcement officer under s. 901.15(6) or for a violation of s. 784.0487, the respondent shall be held in custody until brought before the court as expeditiously as possible for the purpose of enforcing the injunction and for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903 and the applicable rules of criminal procedure, pending a hearing.

(10) The petitioner or the respondent may move the court to modify or dissolve an injunction at any time.

784.047. Penalties for violating protective injunction against violators

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, issued pursuant to s. 784.046, or a foreign protection order accorded full faith and credit pursuant to s. 741.315 by:

(a) Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;

(b) Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;

(c) Committing an act of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence against the petitioner;

(d) Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;

(e) Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;

(f) Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner's motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;

(g) Defacing or destroying the petitioner's personal property, including the petitioner's motor vehicle; or

(h) Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court,

commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, except as provided in subsection (2).

(2) A person who has two or more prior convictions for violation of an injunction or foreign protection order, and who subsequently commits a violation of any injunction or foreign protection order against the same victim, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, the term “conviction” means a determination of guilt which is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.

784.049. Sexual cyberharassment

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) The Legislature finds that:

(a) A person depicted in a sexually explicit image taken with the person's consent has a reasonable expectation that the image will remain private.

(b) It is becoming a common practice for persons to publish a sexually explicit image of another to Internet websites without the depicted person's consent, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person.

(c) When such images are published on Internet websites, they are able to be viewed indefinitely by persons worldwide and are able to be easily reproduced and shared.

(d) The publication of such images on Internet websites creates a permanent record of the depicted person's private nudity or private sexually explicit conduct.

(e) The existence of such images on Internet websites causes those depicted in such images significant psychological harm.

(f) Safeguarding the psychological well-being of persons depicted in such images is compelling.

(2) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Image” includes, but is not limited to, any photograph, picture, motion picture, film, video, or representation.

(b) “Personal identification information” has the same meaning as provided in s. 817.568.

(c) “Sexually cyberharass” means to publish a sexually explicit image of a person that contains or conveys the personal identification information of the depicted person to an Internet website without the depicted person's consent, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person.

(d) “Sexually explicit image” means any image depicting nudity, as defined in s. 847.001, or depicting a person engaging in sexual conduct, as defined in s. 847.001.

(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person who willfully and maliciously sexually cyberharasses another person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) A person who has one prior conviction for sexual cyberharassment and who commits a second or subsequent sexual cyberharassment commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4)(a) A law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person that he or she has probable cause to believe has violated this section.

(b) Upon proper affidavits being made, a search warrant may be issued to further investigate violations of this section, including warrants issued to search a private dwelling.

(5) An aggrieved person may initiate a civil action against a person who violates this section to obtain all appropriate relief in order to prevent or remedy a violation of this section, including the following:

(a) Injunctive relief.

(b) Monetary damages to include $5,000 or actual damages incurred as a result of a violation of this section, whichever is greater.

(c) Reasonable attorney fees and costs.

(6) The criminal and civil penalties of this section do not apply to:

(a) A provider of an interactive computer service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 230(f), information service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 153, or communications service as defined in s. 202.11, that provides the transmission, storage, or caching of electronic communications or messages of others; other related telecommunications or commercial mobile radio service; or content provided by another person; or

(b) A law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10, or any local, state, federal, or military law enforcement agency, that publishes a sexually explicit image in connection with the performance of his or her duties as a law enforcement officer, or law enforcement agency.

(7) A violation of this section is committed within this state if any conduct that is an element of the offense, or any harm to the depicted person resulting from the offense, occurs within this state.

Chapter 787. Kidnapping; False Imprisonment; Luring or Enticing a Child; Custody Offenses

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

787.01. Kidnapping; kidnapping of child under age 13, aggravating circumstances

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) The term “kidnapping” means forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority, with intent to:

1. Hold for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage.

2. Commit or facilitate commission of any felony.

3. Inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person.

4. Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.

(b) Confinement of a child under the age of 13 is against her or his will within the meaning of this subsection if such confinement is without the consent of her or his parent or legal guardian.

(2) A person who kidnaps a person is guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3)(a) A person who commits the offense of kidnapping upon a child under the age of 13 and who, in the course of committing the offense, commits one or more of the following:

1. Aggravated child abuse, as defined in s. 827.03;

2. Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794, against the child;

3. Lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct, or lewd or lascivious exhibition, in violation of s. 800.04 or s. 847.0135(5);

4. A violation of former s. 796.03 or s. 796.04, relating to prostitution, upon the child;

5. Exploitation of the child or allowing the child to be exploited, in violation of s. 450.151; or

6. A violation of s. 787.06(3)(g), relating to human trafficking, commits a life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) Pursuant to s. 775.021(4), nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit the imposition of separate judgments and sentences for the life felony described in paragraph (a) and for each separate offense enumerated in subparagraphs (a)1.-5.

787.02. False imprisonment; false imprisonment of child under age 13, aggravating circumstances

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) The term “false imprisonment” means forcibly, by threat, or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning, or restraining another person without lawful authority and against her or his will.

(b) Confinement of a child under the age of 13 is against her or his will within the meaning of this section if such confinement is without the consent of her or his parent or legal guardian.

(2) A person who commits the offense of false imprisonment is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3)(a) A person who commits the offense of false imprisonment upon a child under the age of 13 and who, in the course of committing the offense, commits any offense enumerated in subparagraphs 1.-5.,1 commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

1. Aggravated child abuse, as defined in s. 827.03;

2. Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794, against the child;

3. Lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct, or lewd or lascivious exhibition, in violation of s. 800.04 or s. 847.0135(5);

4. A violation of former s. 796.03 or s. 796.04, relating to prostitution, upon the child;

5. Exploitation of the child or allowing the child to be exploited, in violation of s. 450.151; or

6. A violation of s. 787.06(3)(g) relating to human trafficking.

(b) Pursuant to s. 775.021(4), nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit the imposition of separate judgments and sentences for the first degree offense described in paragraph (a) and for each separate offense enumerated in subparagraphs (a)1.-5.

787.025. Luring or enticing a child

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Structure” means a building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the curtilage thereof.

(b) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, either temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging together therein at night, together with the curtilage thereof.

(c) “Conveyance” means any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car.

(d) “Convicted” means a determination of guilt which is the result of a trial or the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.

(2)(a) A person 18 years of age or older who intentionally lures or entices, or attempts to lure or entice, a child under the age of 12 into a structure, dwelling, or conveyance for other than a lawful purpose commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) A person 18 years of age or older who, having been previously convicted of a violation of paragraph (a), intentionally lures or entices, or attempts to lure or entice, a child under the age of 12 into a structure, dwelling, or conveyance for other than a lawful purpose commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) A person 18 years of age or older who, having been previously convicted of a violation of chapter 794, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5), or a violation of a similar law of another jurisdiction, intentionally lures or entices, or attempts to lure or entice, a child under the age of 12 into a structure, dwelling, or conveyance for other than a lawful purpose commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that:

(a) The person reasonably believed that his or her action was necessary to prevent the child from being seriously injured.

(b) The person lured or enticed, or attempted to lure or entice, the child under the age of 12 into a structure, dwelling, or conveyance for a lawful purpose.

(c) The person's actions were reasonable under the circumstances and the defendant did not have any intent to harm the health, safety, or welfare of the child.

787.03. Interference with custody

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Whoever, without lawful authority, knowingly or recklessly takes or entices, or aids, abets, hires, or otherwise procures another to take or entice, any minor or any incompetent person from the custody of the minor's or incompetent person's parent, his or her guardian, a public agency having the lawful charge of the minor or incompetent person, or any other lawful custodian commits the offense of interference with custody and commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2) In the absence of a court order determining rights to custody or visitation with any minor or with any incompetent person, any parent of the minor or incompetent person, whether natural or adoptive, stepparent, legal guardian, or relative of the minor or incompetent person who has custody thereof and who takes, detains, conceals, or entices away that minor or incompetent person within or without the state with malicious intent to deprive another person of his or her right to custody of the minor or incompetent person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) A subsequently obtained court order for custody or visitation does not affect application of this section.

(4) It is a defense that:

(a) The defendant had reasonable cause to believe that his or her action was necessary to preserve the minor or the incompetent person from danger to his or her welfare.

(b) The defendant was the victim of an act of domestic violence or had reasonable cause to believe that he or she was about to become the victim of an act of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28, and the defendant had reasonable cause to believe that the action was necessary in order for the defendant to escape from, or protect himself or herself from, the domestic violence or to preserve the minor or incompetent person from exposure to the domestic violence.

(c) The minor or incompetent person was taken away at his or her own instigation without enticement and without purpose to commit a criminal offense with or against the minor or incompetent person, and the defendant establishes that it was reasonable to rely on the instigating acts of the minor or incompetent person.

(5) Proof that a person has not attained the age of 18 years creates the presumption that the defendant knew the minor's age or acted in reckless disregard thereof.

(6)(a) The offenses prescribed in subsections (1) and (2) do not apply in cases in which a person having a legal right to custody of a minor or incompetent person is the victim of any act of domestic violence, has reasonable cause to believe he or she is about to become the victim of any act of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, or believes that his or her action was necessary to preserve the minor or the incompetent person from danger to his or her welfare and seeks shelter from such acts or possible acts and takes with him or her the minor or incompetent person.

(b) In order to gain the exception conferred by paragraph (a), a person who takes a minor or incompetent person under this subsection must:

1. Within 10 days after taking the minor or incompetent person, make a report to the sheriff's office or state attorney's office for the county in which the minor or incompetent person resided at the time he or she was taken, which report must include the name of the person taking the minor or incompetent person, the current address and telephone number of the person and minor or incompetent person, and the reasons the minor or incompetent person was taken.

2. Within a reasonable time after taking a minor, commence a custody proceeding that is consistent with the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, 28 U.S.C. s. 1738A, or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, ss. 61.501-61.542.

3. Inform the sheriff's office or state attorney's office for the county in which the minor or incompetent person resided at the time he or she was taken of any change of address or telephone number of the person and the minor or incompetent person.

(c) 1. The current address and telephone number of the person and the minor or incompetent person which are contained in the report made to a sheriff or state attorney under paragraph (b) are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

2. A sheriff or state attorney may allow an agency, as defined in s. 119.011, to inspect and copy records made confidential and exempt under this paragraph in the furtherance of that agency's duties and responsibilities.

787.04. Removing minors from state or concealing minors contrary to state agency order or court order

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) It is unlawful for any person, in violation of a court order, to lead, take, entice, or remove a minor beyond the limits of this state, or to conceal the location of a minor, with personal knowledge of the order.

(2) It is unlawful for any person, with criminal intent, to lead, take, entice, or remove a minor beyond the limits of this state, or to conceal the location of a minor, during the pendency of any action or proceeding affecting custody of the minor, after having received notice as required by law of the pendency of the action or proceeding, without the permission of the court in which the action or proceeding is pending.

(3) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly and willfully lead, take, entice, or remove a minor beyond the limits of this state, or to knowingly and willfully conceal the location of a minor, during the pendency of a dependency proceeding affecting such minor or during the pendency of any investigation, action, or proceeding concerning the alleged abuse or neglect of such minor, after having received actual or constructive notice of the pendency of such investigation, action, or proceeding and without the permission of the state agency or court in which the investigation, action, or proceeding is pending.

(4) It is unlawful for any person, who has carried beyond the limits of this state any minor whose custody is involved in any action or proceeding pending in this state pursuant to the order of the court in which the action or proceeding is pending or pursuant to the permission of the court, thereafter, to fail to produce the minor in the court or deliver the minor to the person designated by the court.

(5) It is a defense under this section that a person who leads, takes, entices, or removes a minor beyond the limits of the state reasonably believes that his or her action was necessary to protect the minor from child abuse as defined in s. 827.03.

(6) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Chapter 790. Weapons and Firearm

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

790.08. Taking possession of weapons and arms; reports; disposition; custody

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Every officer making an arrest under s. 790.07, or under any other law or municipal ordinance within the state, shall take possession of any weapons, electric weapons or devices, or arms mentioned in s. 790.07 found upon the person arrested and deliver them to the sheriff of the county, or the chief of police of the municipality wherein the arrest is made, who shall retain the same until after the trial of the person arrested.

(2) If the person arrested as aforesaid is convicted of violating s. 790.07, or of a similar offense under any municipal ordinance, or any other offense involving the use or attempted use of such weapons, electric weapons or devices, or arms, such weapons, electric weapons or devices, or arms shall become forfeited to the state, without any order of forfeiture being necessary, although the making of such an order shall be deemed proper, and such weapons, electric weapons or devices, or arms shall be forthwith delivered to the sheriff by the chief of police or other person having custody thereof, and the sheriff is hereby made the custodian of such weapons, electric weapons or devices, and arms for the state.

(3) If the person arrested as aforesaid is acquitted of the offenses mentioned in subsection (2), the said weapons, electric weapons or devices, or arms taken from the person as aforesaid shall be returned to him or her; however, if he or she fails to call for or receive the same within 60 days from and after his or her acquittal or the dismissal of the charges against him or her, the same shall be delivered to the sheriff as aforesaid to be held by the sheriff as hereinafter provided. This subsection shall likewise apply to persons and their weapons, electric weapons or devices, or arms who have heretofore been acquitted or the charges against them dismissed.

(4) All such weapons, electric weapons or devices, and arms now in, or hereafter coming into, the hands of any of the peace officers of this state or any of its political subdivisions, which have been found abandoned or otherwise discarded, or left in their hands and not reclaimed by the owners shall, within 60 days, be delivered by such peace officers to the sheriff of the county aforesaid.

(5) Weapons, electric weapons or devices, and arms coming into the hands of the sheriff pursuant to subsections (3) and (4) aforesaid shall, unless reclaimed by the owner thereof within 6 months from the date the same come into the hands of the said sheriff, become forfeited to the state, and no action or proceeding for their recovery shall thereafter be maintained in this state.

(6) Weapons, electric weapons or devices, and arms coming into the hands of the sheriff as aforesaid shall be listed, kept, and held by him or her as custodian for the state. Any or all such weapons, electric weapons or devices, and arms suitable for use by the sheriff may be so used. All such weapons, electric weapons or devices, and arms not needed by the said sheriff may be loaned to any other department of the state or to any county or municipality having use for such weapons, electric weapons or devices, and arms. The sheriff shall take the receipt of such other department, county, or municipality for such weapons, electric weapons or devices, and arms loaned to them. All weapons, electric weapons or devices, and arms which are not needed or which are useless or unfit for use shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the sheriff as provided in chapter 705 or as provided in the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. All sums received from the sale or other disposition of the said weapons, electric weapons or devices, or arms disposed of by the sheriff under chapter 705 as aforesaid shall be paid into the State Treasury for the benefit of the State School Fund and shall become a part thereof. All sums received from the sale or other disposition of any such weapons, electric weapons or devices, or arms disposed of by the sheriff under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act shall be disbursed as provided therein.

(7) This section does not apply to any municipality in any county having home rule under the State Constitution.

790.23. Felons and delinquents; possession of firearms, ammunition, or electric weapons or devices unlawful

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) It is unlawful for any person to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device, if that person has been:

(a) Convicted of a felony in the courts of this state;

(b) Found, in the courts of this state, to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult and such person is under 24 years of age;

(c) Convicted of or found to have committed a crime against the United States which is designated as a felony;

(d) Found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory, or country that would be a felony if committed by an adult and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year and such person is under 24 years of age; or

(e) Found guilty of an offense that is a felony in another state, territory, or country and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year.

(2) This section shall not apply to a person:

(a) Convicted of a felony whose civil rights and firearm authority have been restored.

(b) Whose criminal history record has been expunged pursuant to s. 943.0515(1)(b).

(3) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (4), any person who violates this section commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 874.04, if the offense described in subsection (1) has been committed by a person who has previously qualified or currently qualifies for the penalty enhancements provided for in s. 874.04, the offense is a felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

790.233. Possession of firearm or ammunition prohibited when person is subject to an injunction against committing acts of domestic violence, stalking, or cyberstalking; penalties

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A person may not have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition if the person has been issued a final injunction that is currently in force and effect, restraining that person from committing acts of domestic violence, as issued under s. 741.30 or from committing acts of stalking or cyberstalking, as issued under s. 784.0485.

(2) A person who violates subsection (1) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the disabilities regarding possession of firearms and ammunition are consistent with federal law. Accordingly, this section does not apply to a state or local officer as defined in s. 943.10(14), holding an active certification, who receives or possesses a firearm or ammunition for use in performing official duties on behalf of the officer's employing agency, unless otherwise prohibited by the employing agency.

790.25. Lawful ownership, possession, and use of firearms and other weapons

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Declaration of policy.--The Legislature finds as a matter of public policy and fact that it is necessary to promote firearms safety and to curb and prevent the use of firearms and other weapons in crime and by incompetent persons without prohibiting the lawful use in defense of life, home, and property, and the use by United States or state military organizations, and as otherwise now authorized by law, including the right to use and own firearms for target practice and marksmanship on target practice ranges or other lawful places, and lawful hunting and other lawful purposes.

(2) Uses not authorized.--

(a) This section does not authorize carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, as prohibited by ss. 790.01 and 790.02.

(b) The protections of this section do not apply to the following:

1. A person who has been adjudged mentally incompetent, who is addicted to the use of narcotics or any similar drug, or who is a habitual or chronic alcoholic, or a person using weapons or firearms in violation of ss. 790.07-790.115, 790.145-790.19, 790.22-790.24;

2. Vagrants and other undesirable persons as defined in s. 856.02 [FN1];

3. A person in or about a place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05, unless such person is there for law enforcement or some other lawful purpose.

(3) Lawful uses.--The provisions of ss. 790.053 and 790.06 do not apply in the following instances, and, despite such sections, it is lawful for the following persons to own, possess, and lawfully use firearms and other weapons, ammunition, and supplies for lawful purposes:

(a) Members of the Militia, National Guard, Florida State Defense Force, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, organized reserves, and other armed forces of the state and of the United States, when on duty, when training or preparing themselves for military duty, or while subject to recall or mobilization;

(b) Citizens of this state subject to duty in the Armed Forces under s. 2, Art. X of the State Constitution, under chapters 250 and 251, and under federal laws, when on duty or when training or preparing themselves for military duty;

(c) Persons carrying out or training for emergency management duties under chapter 252;

(d) Sheriffs, marshals, prison or jail wardens, police officers, Florida highway patrol officers, game wardens, revenue officers, forest officials, special officers appointed under the provisions of chapter 354, and other peace and law enforcement officers and their deputies and assistants and full-time paid peace officers of other states and of the Federal Government who are carrying out official duties while in this state;

(e) Officers or employees of the state or United States duly authorized to carry a concealed weapon;

(f) Guards or messengers of common carriers, express companies, armored car carriers, mail carriers, banks, and other financial institutions, while actually employed in and about the shipment, transportation, or delivery of any money, treasure, bullion, bonds, or other thing of value within this state;

(g) Regularly enrolled members of any organization duly authorized to purchase or receive weapons from the United States or from this state, or regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for target, skeet, or trap shooting, while at or going to or from shooting practice; or regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for modern or antique firearms collecting, while such members are at or going to or from their collectors' gun shows, conventions, or exhibits;

(h) A person engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition;

(i) A person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of any such person while engaged in the lawful course of such business;

(j) A person firing weapons for testing or target practice under safe conditions and in a safe place not prohibited by law or going to or from such place;

(k) A person firing weapons in a safe and secure indoor range for testing and target practice;

(l) A person traveling by private conveyance when the weapon is securely encased or in a public conveyance when the weapon is securely encased and not in the person's manual possession;

(m) A person while carrying a pistol unloaded and in a secure wrapper, concealed or otherwise, from the place of purchase to his or her home or place of business or to a place of repair or back to his or her home or place of business;

(n) A person possessing arms at his or her home or place of business;

(o) Investigators employed by the several public defenders of the state, while actually carrying out official duties, provided such investigators:

1. Are employed full time;

2. Meet the official training standards for firearms established by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission as provided in s. 943.12(5) and the requirements of ss. 493.6108(1)(a) and 943.13(1)-(4); and

3. Are individually designated by an affidavit of consent signed by the employing public defender and filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which the employing public defender resides.

(p) Investigators employed by the capital collateral regional counsel, while actually carrying out official duties, provided such investigators:

1. Are employed full time;

2. Meet the official training standards for firearms as established by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission as provided in s. 943.12(1) and the requirements of ss. 493.6108(1)(a) and 943.13(1)-(4); and

3. Are individually designated by an affidavit of consent signed by the capital collateral regional counsel and filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which the investigator is headquartered.

(4) Construction.--This act shall be liberally construed to carry out the declaration of policy herein and in favor of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes. This act is supplemental and additional to existing rights to bear arms now guaranteed by law and decisions of the courts of Florida, and nothing herein shall impair or diminish any of such rights. This act shall supersede any law, ordinance, or regulation in conflict herewith.

(5) Possession in private conveyance.--Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense as provided in s. 776.012.

790.401. Risk protection orders

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Definitions.--As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Petitioner” means a law enforcement officer or a law enforcement agency that petitions a court for a risk protection order under this section.
(b) “Respondent” means the individual who is identified as the respondent in a petition filed under this section.
(c) “Risk protection order” means a temporary ex parte order or a final order granted under this section.
(2) Petition for a risk protection order.--There is created an action known as a petition for a risk protection order.
(a) A petition for a risk protection order may be filed by a law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency.
(b) An action under this section must be filed in the county where the petitioner's law enforcement office is located or the county where the respondent resides.
(c) Such petition for a risk protection order does not require either party to be represented by an attorney.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law, attorney fees may not be awarded in any proceeding under this section.
(e) A petition must:
1. Allege that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having a firearm or any ammunition in his or her custody or control or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or any ammunition, and must be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath stating the specific statements, actions, or facts that give rise to a reasonable fear of significant dangerous acts by the respondent;
2. Identify the quantities, types, and locations of all firearms and ammunition the petitioner believes to be in the respondent's current ownership, possession, custody, or control; and
3. Identify whether there is a known existing protection order governing the respondent under s. 741.30, s. 784.046, or s. 784.0485 or under any other applicable statute.
(f) The petitioner must make a good faith effort to provide notice to a family or household member of the respondent and to any known third party who may be at risk of violence. The notice must state that the petitioner intends to petition the court for a risk protection order or has already done so and must include referrals to appropriate resources, including mental health, domestic violence, and counseling resources. The petitioner must attest in the petition to having provided such notice or must attest to the steps that will be taken to provide such notice.
(g) The petitioner must list the address of record on the petition as being where the appropriate law enforcement agency is located.
(h) A court or a public agency may not charge fees for filing or for service of process to a petitioner seeking relief under this section and must provide the necessary number of certified copies, forms, and instructional brochures free of charge.
(i) A person is not required to post a bond to obtain relief in any proceeding under this section.
(j) The circuit courts of this state have jurisdiction over proceedings under this section.
(3) Risk protection order hearings and issuance.--
(a) Upon receipt of a petition, the court must order a hearing to be held no later than 14 days after the date of the order and must issue a notice of hearing to the respondent for the same.
1. The clerk of the court shall cause a copy of the notice of hearing and petition to be forwarded on or before the next business day to the appropriate law enforcement agency for service upon the respondent as provided in subsection (5).
2. The court may, as provided in subsection (4), issue a temporary ex parte risk protection order pending the hearing ordered under this subsection. Such temporary ex parte order must be served concurrently with the notice of hearing and petition as provided in subsection (5).
3. The court may conduct a hearing by telephone pursuant to a local court rule to reasonably accommodate a disability or exceptional circumstances. The court must receive assurances of the petitioner's identity before conducting a telephonic hearing.
(b) Upon notice and a hearing on the matter, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having in his or her custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or any ammunition, the court must issue a risk protection order for a period that it deems appropriate, up to and including but not exceeding 12 months.
(c) In determining whether grounds for a risk protection order exist, the court may consider any relevant evidence, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
1. A recent act or threat of violence by the respondent against himself or herself or others, whether or not such violence or threat of violence involves a firearm.
2. An act or threat of violence by the respondent within the past 12 months, including, but not limited to, acts or threats of violence by the respondent against himself or herself or others.
3. Evidence of the respondent being seriously mentally ill or having recurring mental health issues.
4. A violation by the respondent of a risk protection order or a no contact order issued under s. 741.30, s. 784.046, or s. 784.0485.
5. A previous or existing risk protection order issued against the respondent.
6. A violation of a previous or existing risk protection order issued against the respondent.
7. Whether the respondent, in this state or any other state, has been convicted of, had adjudication withheld on, or pled nolo contendere to a crime that constitutes domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28.
8. Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against himself or herself or others any weapons.
9. The unlawful or reckless use, display, or brandishing of a firearm by the respondent.
10. The recurring use of, or threat to use, physical force by the respondent against another person or the respondent stalking another person.
11. Whether the respondent, in this state or any other state, has been arrested for, convicted of, had adjudication withheld on, or pled nolo contendere to a crime involving violence or a threat of violence.
12. Corroborated evidence of the abuse of controlled substances or alcohol by the respondent.
13. Evidence of recent acquisition of firearms or ammunition by the respondent.
14. Any relevant information from family and household members concerning the respondent.
15. Witness testimony, taken while the witness is under oath, relating to the matter before the court.
(d) A person, including an officer of the court, who offers evidence or recommendations relating to the cause of action either must present the evidence or recommendations in writing to the court with copies to each party and his or her attorney, if one is retained, or must present the evidence under oath at a hearing at which all parties are present.
(e) In a hearing under this section, the rules of evidence apply to the same extent as in a domestic violence injunction proceeding under s. 741.30.
(f) During the hearing, the court must consider whether a mental health evaluation or chemical dependency evaluation is appropriate and, if such determination is made, may order such evaluations, if appropriate.
(g) A risk protection order must include all of the following:
1. A statement of the grounds supporting the issuance of the order;
2. The date the order was issued;
3. The date the order ends;
4. Whether a mental health evaluation or chemical dependency evaluation of the respondent is required;
5. The address of the court in which any responsive pleading should be filed;
6. A description of the requirements for the surrender of all firearms and ammunition that the respondent owns, under subsection (7); and
7. The following statement:
“To the subject of this protection order: This order will last until the date noted above. If you have not done so already, you must surrender immediately to the (insert name of local law enforcement agency) all firearms and ammunition that you own in your custody, control, or possession and any license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued to you under s. 790.06, Florida Statutes. You may not have in your custody or control, or purchase, possess, receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, a firearm or ammunition while this order is in effect. You have the right to request one hearing to vacate this order, starting after the date of the issuance of this order, and to request another hearing after every extension of the order, if any. You may seek the advice of an attorney as to any matter connected with this order.”
(h) If the court issues a risk protection order, the court must inform the respondent that he or she is entitled to request a hearing to vacate the order in the manner provided by subsection (6). The court shall provide the respondent with a form to request a hearing to vacate.
(i) If the court denies the petitioner's request for a risk protection order, the court must state the particular reasons for the denial.
(4) Temporary ex parte risk protection orders.--
(a) A petitioner may request that a temporary ex parte risk protection order be issued before a hearing for a risk protection order, without notice to the respondent, by including in the petition detailed allegations based on personal knowledge that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others in the near future by having in his or her custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or ammunition.
(b) In considering whether to issue a temporary ex parte risk protection order under this section, the court shall consider all relevant evidence, including the evidence described in paragraph (3)(c).
(c) If a court finds there is reasonable cause to believe that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others in the near future by having in his or her custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or ammunition, the court must issue a temporary ex parte risk protection order.
(d) The court must hold a temporary ex parte risk protection order hearing in person or by telephone on the day the petition is filed or on the business day immediately following the day the petition is filed.
(e) A temporary ex parte risk protection order must include all of the following:
1. A statement of the grounds asserted for the order;
2. The date the order was issued;
3. The address of the court in which any responsive pleading may be filed;
4. The date and time of the scheduled hearing;
5. A description of the requirements for the surrender of all firearms and ammunition that the respondent owns, under subsection (7); and
6. The following statement:
“To the subject of this protection order: This order is valid until the date noted above. You are required to surrender all firearms and ammunition that you own in your custody, control, or possession. You may not have in your custody or control, or purchase, possess, receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, a firearm or ammunition while this order is in effect. You must surrender immediately to the (insert name of local law enforcement agency) all firearms and ammunition in your custody, control, or possession and any license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued to you under s. 790.06, Florida Statutes. A hearing will be held on the date and at the time noted above to determine if a risk protection order should be issued. Failure to appear at that hearing may result in a court issuing an order against you which is valid for 1 year. You may seek the advice of an attorney as to any matter connected with this order.”
(f) A temporary ex parte risk protection order ends upon the hearing on the risk protection order.
(g) A temporary ex parte risk protection order must be served by a law enforcement officer in the same manner as provided for in subsection (5) for service of the notice of hearing and petition and must be served concurrently with the notice of hearing and petition.
(h) If the court denies the petitioner's request for a temporary ex parte risk protection order, the court must state the particular reasons for the denial.
(5) Service.--
(a) The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of the notice of hearing, petition, and temporary ex parte risk protection order or risk protection order, as applicable, to the sheriff of the county where the respondent resides or can be found, who shall serve it upon the respondent as soon thereafter as possible on any day of the week and at any time of the day or night. When requested by the sheriff, the clerk of the court may transmit a facsimile copy of a temporary ex parte risk protection order or a risk protection order that has been certified by the clerk of the court, and this facsimile copy may be served in the same manner as a certified copy. Upon receiving a facsimile copy, the sheriff must verify receipt with the sender before attempting to serve it upon the respondent. The clerk of the court shall be responsible for furnishing to the sheriff information on the respondent's physical description and location. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the chief judge of each circuit, in consultation with the appropriate sheriff, may authorize a law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction to effect service. A law enforcement agency effecting service pursuant to this section shall use service and verification procedures consistent with those of the sheriff. Service under this section takes precedence over the service of other documents, unless the other documents are of a similar emergency nature.
(b) All orders issued, changed, continued, extended, or vacated after the original service of documents specified in paragraph (a) must be certified by the clerk of the court and delivered to the parties at the time of the entry of the order. The parties may acknowledge receipt of such order in writing on the face of the original order. If a party fails or refuses to acknowledge the receipt of a certified copy of an order, the clerk shall note on the original order that service was effected. If delivery at the hearing is not possible, the clerk shall mail certified copies of the order to the parties at the last known address of each party. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. When an order is served pursuant to this subsection, the clerk shall prepare a written certification to be placed in the court file specifying the time, date, and method of service and shall notify the sheriff.
(6) Termination and extension of orders.--
(a) The respondent may submit one written request for a hearing to vacate a risk protection order issued under this section, starting after the date of the issuance of the order, and may request another hearing after every extension of the order, if any.
1. Upon receipt of the request for a hearing to vacate a risk protection order, the court shall set a date for a hearing. Notice of the request must be served on the petitioner in accordance with subsection (5). The hearing must occur no sooner than 14 days and no later than 30 days after the date of service of the request upon the petitioner.
2. The respondent shall have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent does not pose a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having in his or her custody or control, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition. The court may consider any relevant evidence, including evidence of the considerations listed in paragraph (3)(c).
3. If the court finds after the hearing that the respondent has met his or her burden of proof, the court must vacate the order.
4. The law enforcement agency holding any firearm or ammunition or license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm that has been surrendered pursuant to this section shall be notified of the court order to vacate the risk protection order.
(b) The court must notify the petitioner of the impending end of a risk protection order. Notice must be received by the petitioner at least 30 days before the date the order ends.
(c) The petitioner may, by motion, request an extension of a risk protection order at any time within 30 days before the end of the order.
1. Upon receipt of the motion to extend, the court shall order that a hearing be held no later than 14 days after the date the order is issued and shall schedule such hearing.
a. The court may schedule a hearing by telephone in the manner provided by subparagraph (3)(a)3.
b. The respondent must be personally serviced in the same manner provided by subsection (5).
2. In determining whether to extend a risk protection order issued under this section, the court may consider all relevant evidence, including evidence of the considerations listed in paragraph (3)(c).
3. If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the requirements for issuance of a risk protection order as provided in subsection (3) continue to be met, the court must extend the order. However, if, after notice, the motion for extension is uncontested and no modification of the order is sought, the order may be extended on the basis of a motion or affidavit stating that there has been no material change in relevant circumstances since entry of the order and stating the reason for the requested extension.
4. The court may extend a risk protection order for a period that it deems appropriate, up to and including but not exceeding 12 months, subject to an order to vacate as provided in paragraph (a) or to another extension order by the court.
(7) Surrender of firearms and ammunition.--
(a) Upon issuance of a risk protection order under this section, including a temporary ex parte risk protection order, the court shall order the respondent to surrender to the local law enforcement agency all firearms and ammunition owned by the respondent in the respondent's custody, control, or possession except as provided in subsection (9), and any license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued under s. 790.06, held by the respondent.
(b) The law enforcement officer serving a risk protection order under this section, including a temporary ex parte risk protection order, shall request that the respondent immediately surrender all firearms and ammunition owned by the respondent in his or her custody, control, or possession and any license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued under s. 790.06, held by the respondent. The law enforcement officer shall take possession of all firearms and ammunition owned by the respondent and any license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued under s. 790.06, held by the respondent, which are surrendered. Alternatively, if personal service by a law enforcement officer is not possible or is not required because the respondent was present at the risk protection order hearing, the respondent must surrender any firearms and ammunition owned by the respondent and any license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued under s. 790.06, held by the respondent, in a safe manner to the control of the local law enforcement agency immediately after being served with the order by service or immediately after the hearing at which the respondent was present. Notwithstanding ss. 933.02 and 933.18, a law enforcement officer may seek a search warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction to conduct a search for firearms or ammunition owned by the respondent if the officer has probable cause to believe that there are firearms or ammunition owned by the respondent in the respondent's custody, control, or possession which have not been surrendered.
(c) At the time of surrender, a law enforcement officer taking possession of any firearm or ammunition owned by the respondent, or a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued under s. 790.06, held by the respondent shall issue a receipt identifying all firearms and the quantity and type of ammunition that have been surrendered, and any license surrendered and shall provide a copy of the receipt to the respondent. Within 72 hours after service of the order, the law enforcement officer serving the order shall file the original receipt with the court and shall ensure that his or her law enforcement agency retains a copy of the receipt.
(d) Notwithstanding ss. 933.02 and 933.18, upon the sworn statement or testimony of any person alleging that the respondent has failed to comply with the surrender of firearms or ammunition owned by the respondent, as required by an order issued under this section, the court shall determine whether probable cause exists to believe that the respondent has failed to surrender all firearms or ammunition owned by the respondent in the respondent's custody, control, or possession. If the court finds that probable cause exists, the court must issue a warrant describing the firearms or ammunition owned by the respondent and authorizing a search of the locations where the firearms or ammunition owned by the respondent are reasonably believed to be found and the seizure of any firearms or ammunition owned by the respondent discovered pursuant to such search.
(e) If a person other than the respondent claims title to any firearms or ammunition surrendered pursuant to this section and he or she is determined by the law enforcement agency to be the lawful owner of the firearm or ammunition, the firearm or ammunition shall be returned to him or her, if:
1. The lawful owner agrees to store the firearm or ammunition in a manner such that the respondent does not have access to or control of the firearm or ammunition.
2. The firearm or ammunition is not otherwise unlawfully possessed by the owner.
(f) Upon the issuance of a risk protection order, the court shall order a new hearing date and require the respondent to appear no later than 3 business days after the issuance of the order. The court shall require proof that the respondent has surrendered any firearms or ammunition owned by the respondent in the respondent's custody, control, or possession. The court may cancel the hearing upon a satisfactory showing that the respondent is in compliance with the order.
(g) All law enforcement agencies must develop policies and procedures regarding the acceptance, storage, and return of firearms, ammunition, or licenses required to be surrendered under this section.
(8) Return and disposal of firearms and ammunition.--
(a) If a risk protection order is vacated or ends without extension, a law enforcement agency holding a firearm or any ammunition owned by the respondent or a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued under s. 790.06, held by the respondent, that has been surrendered or seized pursuant to this section must return such surrendered firearm, ammunition, or license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued under s. 790.06, as requested by a respondent only after confirming through a background check that the respondent is currently eligible to own or possess firearms and ammunition under federal and state law and after confirming with the court that the risk protection order has been vacated or has ended without extension.
(b) If a risk protection order is vacated or ends without extension, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, if it has suspended a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm pursuant to this section, must reinstate such license only after confirming that the respondent is currently eligible to have a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm pursuant to s. 790.06.
(c) A law enforcement agency must provide notice to any family or household members of the respondent before the return of any surrendered firearm and ammunition owned by the respondent.
(d) Any firearm and ammunition surrendered by a respondent pursuant to subsection (7) which remains unclaimed for 1 year by the lawful owner after an order to vacate the risk protection order shall be disposed of in accordance with the law enforcement agency's policies and procedures for the disposal of firearms in police custody.
(9) Transfer of firearms and ammunition.--A respondent may elect to transfer all firearms and ammunition owned by the respondent that have been surrendered to or seized by a local law enforcement agency pursuant to subsection (7) to another person who is willing to receive the respondent's firearms and ammunition. The law enforcement agency must allow such a transfer only if it is determined that the chosen recipient:
(a) Currently is eligible to own or possess a firearm and ammunition under federal and state law after confirmation through a background check;
(b) Attests to storing the firearms and ammunition in a manner such that the respondent does not have access to or control of the firearms and ammunition until the risk protection order against the respondent is vacated or ends without extension; and
(c) Attests not to transfer the firearms or ammunition back to the respondent until the risk protection order against the respondent is vacated or ends without extension.
(10) Reporting of orders.--
(a) Within 24 hours after issuance, the clerk of the court shall enter any risk protection order or temporary ex parte risk protection order issued under this section into the uniform case reporting system.
(b) Within 24 hours after issuance, the clerk of the court shall forward a copy of an order issued under this section to the appropriate law enforcement agency specified in the order. Upon receipt of the copy of the order, the law enforcement agency shall enter the order into the Florida Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center. The order must remain in each system for the period stated in the order, and the law enforcement agency may only remove an order from the systems which has ended or been vacated. Entry of the order into the Florida Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center constitutes notice to all law enforcement agencies of the existence of the order. The order is fully enforceable in any county in this state.
(c) The issuing court shall, within 3 business days after issuance of a risk protection order or temporary ex parte risk protection order, forward all available identifying information concerning the respondent, along with the date of order issuance, to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Upon receipt of the information, the department shall determine if the respondent has a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. If the respondent does have a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm, the department must immediately suspend the license.
(d) If a risk protection order is vacated before its end date, the clerk of the court shall, on the day of the order to vacate, forward a copy of the order to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the appropriate law enforcement agency specified in the order to vacate. Upon receipt of the order, the law enforcement agency shall promptly remove the order from any computer-based system in which it was entered pursuant to paragraph (b).
(11) Penalties.--
(a) A person who makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in a hearing under this section in regard to any material matter commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) A person who has in his or her custody or control a firearm or any ammunition or who purchases, possesses, or receives a firearm or any ammunition with knowledge that he or she is prohibited from doing so by an order issued under this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(12) Law enforcement retains other authority.--This section does not affect the ability of a law enforcement officer to remove a firearm or ammunition or license to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm from any person or to conduct any search and seizure for firearms or ammunition pursuant to other lawful authority.
(13) Liability.--Except as provided in subsection (8) or subsection (11), this section does not impose criminal or civil liability on any person or entity for acts or omissions related to obtaining a risk protection order or temporary ex parte risk protection order, including, but not limited to, providing notice to the petitioner, a family or household member of the respondent, and any known third party who may be at risk of violence or failure to provide such notice, or reporting, declining to report, investigating, declining to investigate, filing, or declining to file, a petition under this section.
(14) Instructional and informational material.--
(a) The Office of the State Courts Administrator shall develop and prepare instructions and informational brochures, standard petitions and risk protection order forms, and a court staff handbook on the risk protection order process. The standard petition and order forms must be used after January 1, 2019, for all petitions filed and orders issued pursuant to this section. The office shall determine the significant non-English-speaking or limited English-speaking populations in the state and prepare the instructions and informational brochures and standard petitions and risk protection order forms in such languages. The instructions, brochures, forms, and handbook must be prepared in consultation with interested persons, including representatives of gun violence prevention groups, judges, and law enforcement personnel. Materials must be based on best practices and must be available online to the public.
1. The instructions must be designed to assist petitioners in completing the petition and must include a sample of a standard petition and order for protection forms.
2. The instructions and standard petition must include a means for the petitioner to identify, with only layman's knowledge, the firearms or ammunition the respondent may own, possess, receive, or have in his or her custody or control. The instructions must provide pictures of types of firearms and ammunition that the petitioner may choose from to identify the relevant firearms or ammunition, or must provide an equivalent means to allow petitioners to identify firearms or ammunition without requiring specific or technical knowledge regarding the firearms or ammunition.
3. The informational brochure must describe the use of and the process for obtaining, extending, and vacating a risk protection order under this section and must provide relevant forms.
4. The risk protection order form must include, in a conspicuous location, notice of criminal penalties resulting from violation of the order and the following statement: “You have the sole responsibility to avoid or refrain from violating this order's provisions. Only the court can change the order and only upon written request.”
5. The court staff handbook must allow for the addition of a community resource list by the clerk of the court.
(b) Any clerk of court may create a community resource list of crisis intervention, mental health, substance abuse, interpreter, counseling, and other relevant resources serving the county in which the court is located. The court may make the community resource list available as part of or in addition to the informational brochures described in paragraph (a).
(c) The Office of the State Courts Administrator shall distribute a master copy of the petition and order forms, instructions, and informational brochures to the clerks of court. Distribution of all documents shall, at a minimum, be in an electronic format or formats accessible to all courts and clerks of court in the state.
(d) Within 90 days after receipt of the master copy from the Office of the State Courts Administrator, the clerk of the court shall make available the standardized forms, instructions, and informational brochures required by this subsection.
(e) The Office of the State Courts Administrator shall update the instructions, brochures, standard petition and risk protection order forms, and court staff handbook as necessary, including when changes in the law make an update necessary.

Chapter 794. Sexual Battery

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

794.011. Sexual battery

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this chapter:

(a) “Consent” means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. “Consent” shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.

(b) “Mentally defective” means a mental disease or defect which renders a person temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct.

(c) “Mentally incapacitated” means temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling a person's own conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, or intoxicating substance administered without his or her consent or due to any other act committed upon that person without his or her consent.

(d) “Offender” means a person accused of a sexual offense in violation of a provision of this chapter.

(e) “Physically helpless” means unconscious, asleep, or for any other reason physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.

(f) “Retaliation” includes, but is not limited to, threats of future physical punishment, kidnapping, false imprisonment or forcible confinement, or extortion.

(g) “Serious personal injury” means great bodily harm or pain, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.

(h) “Sexual battery” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.

(i) “Victim” means a person who has been the object of a sexual offense.

(j) “Physically incapacitated” means bodily impaired or handicapped and substantially limited in ability to resist or flee.

(2)(a) A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon, or in an attempt to commit sexual battery injures the sexual organs of, a person less than 12 years of age commits a capital felony, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 921.141.

(b) A person less than 18 years of age who commits sexual battery upon, or in an attempt to commit sexual battery injures the sexual organs of, a person less than 12 years of age commits a life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(3) A person who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person's consent, and in the process thereof uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or uses actual physical force likely to cause serious personal injury commits a life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(4)(a) A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older but younger than 18 years of age without that person's consent, under any of the circumstances listed in paragraph (e), commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(b) A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 18 years of age or older without that person's consent, under any of the circumstances listed in paragraph (e), commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(c) A person younger than 18 years of age who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older without that person's consent, under any of the circumstances listed in paragraph (e), commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(d) A person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115 if the person commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older without that person's consent, under any of the circumstances listed in paragraph (e), and such person was previously convicted of a violation of:

1. Section 787.01(2) or s. 787.02(2) when the violation involved a victim who was a minor and, in the course of committing that violation, the defendant committed against the minor a sexual battery under this chapter or a lewd act under s. 800.04 or s. 847.0135(5);

2. Section 787.01(3)(a) 2. or 3.;

3. Section 787.02(3)(a) 2. or 3.;

4. Section 800.04;

5. Section 825.1025;

6. Section 847.0135(5); or

7. This chapter, excluding subsection (10) of this section.

(e) The following circumstances apply to paragraphs (a)-(d):

1. The victim is physically helpless to resist.

2. The offender coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury on the victim, and the victim reasonably believes that the offender has the present ability to execute the threat.

3. The offender coerces the victim to submit by threatening to retaliate against the victim, or any other person, and the victim reasonably believes that the offender has the ability to execute the threat in the future.

4. The offender, without the prior knowledge or consent of the victim, administers or has knowledge of someone else administering to the victim any narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance that mentally or physically incapacitates the victim.

5. The victim is mentally defective, and the offender has reason to believe this or has actual knowledge of this fact.

6. The victim is physically incapacitated.

7. The offender is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9), who is certified under s. 943.1395 or is an elected official exempt from such certification by virtue of s. 943.253, or any other person in a position of control or authority in a probation, community control, controlled release, detention, custodial, or similar setting, and such officer, official, or person is acting in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the offender is in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of government.

(5)(a) A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older but younger than 18 years of age, without that person's consent, and in the process does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(b) A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 18 years of age or older, without that person's consent, and in the process does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(c) A person younger than 18 years of age who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person's consent, and in the process does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(d) A person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115 if the person commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person's consent, and in the process does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury and the person was previously convicted of a violation of:

1. Section 787.01(2) or s. 787.02(2) when the violation involved a victim who was a minor and, in the course of committing that violation, the defendant committed against the minor a sexual battery under this chapter or a lewd act under s. 800.04 or s. 847.0135(5);

2. Section 787.01(3)(a) 2. or 3.;

3. Section 787.02(3)(a) 2. or 3.;

4. Section 800.04;

5. Section 825.1025;

6. Section 847.0135(5); or

7. This chapter, excluding subsection (10) of this section.

(6)(a) The offenses described in paragraphs (5)(a)-(c) are included in any sexual battery offense charged under subsection (3).

(b) The offense described in paragraph (5)(a) is included in an offense charged under paragraph (4)(a).

(c) The offense described in paragraph (5)(b) is included in an offense charged under paragraph (4)(b).

(d) The offense described in paragraph (5)(c) is included in an offense charged under paragraph (4)(c).

(e) The offense described in paragraph (5)(d) is included in an offense charged under paragraph (4)(d).

(7) A person who is convicted of committing a sexual battery on or after October 1, 1992, is not eligible for basic gain-time under s. 944.275. This subsection may be cited as the “Junny Rios-Martinez, Jr. Act of 1992.”

(8) Without regard to the willingness or consent of the victim, which is not a defense to prosecution under this subsection, a person who is in a position of familial or custodial authority to a person less than 18 years of age and who:

(a) Solicits that person to engage in any act which would constitute sexual battery under paragraph (1)(h) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) Engages in any act with that person while the person is 12 years of age or older but younger than 18 years of age which constitutes sexual battery under paragraph (1)(h) commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) Engages in any act with that person while the person is less than 12 years of age which constitutes sexual battery under paragraph (1)(h), or in an attempt to commit sexual battery injures the sexual organs of such person commits a capital or life felony, punishable pursuant to subsection (2).

(9) For prosecution under paragraph (4)(a), paragraph (4)(b), paragraph (4)(c), or paragraph (4)(d) which involves an offense committed under any of the circumstances listed in subparagraph (4)(e)7., acquiescence to a person reasonably believed by the victim to be in a position of authority or control does not constitute consent, and it is not a defense that the perpetrator was not actually in a position of control or authority if the circumstances were such as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the person was in such a position.

(10) A person who falsely accuses a person listed in subparagraph (4)(e)7. or other person in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of government of violating paragraph (4)(a), paragraph (4)(b), paragraph (4)(c), or paragraph (4)(d) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Chapter 800. Lewdness; Indecent Exposure

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

800.04. Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Definitions.--As used in this section:

(a) “Sexual activity” means the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.

(b) “Consent” means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent, and does not include submission by coercion.

(c) “Coercion” means the use of exploitation, bribes, threats of force, or intimidation to gain cooperation or compliance.

(d) “Victim” means a person upon whom an offense described in this section was committed or attempted or a person who has reported a violation of this section to a law enforcement officer.

(2) Prohibited defenses.--Neither the victim's lack of chastity nor the victim's consent is a defense to the crimes proscribed by this section.

(3) Ignorance or belief of victim's age.--The perpetrator's ignorance of the victim's age, the victim's misrepresentation of his or her age, or the perpetrator's bona fide belief of the victim's age cannot be raised as a defense in a prosecution under this section.

(4) Lewd or lascivious battery.--

(a) A person commits lewd or lascivious battery by:

1. Engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; or

2. Encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), an offender who commits lewd or lascivious battery commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) A person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 if the person is an offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious battery and was previously convicted of a violation of:

1. Section 787.01(2) or s. 787.02(2) when the violation involved a victim who was a minor and, in the course of committing that violation, the defendant committed against the minor a sexual battery under chapter 794 or a lewd act under this section or s. 847.0135(5);

2. Section 787.01(3)(a) 2. or 3.;

3. Section 787.02(3)(a) 2. or 3.;

4. Chapter 794, excluding s. 794.011(10);

5. Section 825.1025;

6. Section 847.0135(5); or

7. This section.

(5) Lewd or lascivious molestation.--

(a) A person who intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator, commits lewd or lascivious molestation.

(b) An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age commits a life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082(3)(a) 4.

(c) 1. An offender less than 18 years of age who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age; or

2. An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age

commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(d) An offender less than 18 years of age who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(e) A person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 if the person is 18 years of age or older and commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age and the person was previously convicted of a violation of:

1. Section 787.01(2) or s. 787.02(2) when the violation involved a victim who was a minor and, in the course of committing the violation, the defendant committed against the minor a sexual battery under chapter 794 or a lewd act under this section or s. 847.0135(5);

2. Section 787.01(3)(a) 2. or 3.;

3. Section 787.02(3)(a) 2. or 3.;

4. Chapter 794, excluding s. 794.011(10);

5. Section 825.1025;

6. Section 847.0135(5); or

7. This section.

(6) Lewd or lascivious conduct.--

(a) A person who:

1. Intentionally touches a person under 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner; or

2. Solicits a person under 16 years of age to commit a lewd or lascivious act

commits lewd or lascivious conduct.

(b) An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious conduct commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) An offender less than 18 years of age who commits lewd or lascivious conduct commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(7) Lewd or lascivious exhibition.--

(a) A person who:

1. Intentionally masturbates;

2. Intentionally exposes the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner; or

3. Intentionally commits any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, or the simulation of any act involving sexual activity

in the presence of a victim who is less than 16 years of age, commits lewd or lascivious exhibition.

(b) An offender 18 years of age or older who commits a lewd or lascivious exhibition commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) An offender less than 18 years of age who commits a lewd or lascivious exhibition commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(8) Exception.--A mother's breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute a violation of this section.

Chapter 810. Burglary and Trespass

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

810.011. Definitions

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Structure” means a building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the curtilage thereof. However, during the time of a state of emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor under chapter 252 and within the area covered by such executive order or proclamation and for purposes of ss. 810.02 and 810.08 only, the term means a building of any kind or such portions or remnants thereof as exist at the original site, regardless of absence of a wall or roof.

(2) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether such building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the curtilage thereof. However, during the time of a state of emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor under chapter 252 and within the area covered by such executive order or proclamation and for purposes of ss. 810.02 and 810.08 only, the term includes such portions or remnants thereof as exist at the original site, regardless of absence of a wall or roof.

(3) “Conveyance” means any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car; and “to enter a conveyance” includes taking apart any portion of the conveyance. However, during the time of a state of emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor under chapter 252 and within the area covered by such executive order or proclamation and for purposes of ss. 810.02 and 810.08 only, the term “conveyance” means a motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car or such portions thereof as exist.

(4) An act is committed “in the course of committing” if it occurs in an attempt to commit the offense or in flight after the attempt or commission.

(5)(a) “Posted land” is that land upon which:

1. Signs are placed not more than 500 feet apart along, and at each corner of, the boundaries of the land, upon which signs there appears prominently, in letters of not less than 2 inches in height, the words “no trespassing” and in addition thereto the name of the owner, lessee, or occupant of said land. Said signs shall be placed along the boundary line of posted land in a manner and in such position as to be clearly noticeable from outside the boundary line; or

2. a. Conspicuous no trespassing notice is painted on trees or posts on the property, provided that the notice is:

(I) Painted in an international orange color and displaying the stenciled words “No Trespassing” in letters no less than 2 inches high and 1 inch wide either vertically or horizontally;

(II) Placed so that the bottom of the painted notice is not less than 3 feet from the ground or more than 5 feet from the ground; and

(III) Placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than 500 feet apart on agricultural land.

b. Beginning October 1, 2007, when a landowner uses the painted no trespassing posting to identify a “no trespassing” area, those painted notices shall be accompanied by signs complying with subparagraph 1. and placed conspicuously at all places where entry to the property is normally expected or known to occur.

(b) It shall not be necessary to give notice by posting on any enclosed land or place not exceeding 5 acres in area on which there is a dwelling house in order to obtain the benefits of ss. 810.09 and 810.12 pertaining to trespass on enclosed lands.

(6) “Cultivated land” is that land which has been cleared of its natural vegetation and is presently planted with a crop, orchard, grove, pasture, or trees or is fallow land as part of a crop rotation.

(7) “Fenced land” is that land which has been enclosed by a fence of substantial construction, whether with rails, logs, post and railing, iron, steel, barbed wire, other wire, or other material, which stands at least 3 feet in height. For the purpose of this chapter, it shall not be necessary to fence any boundary or part of a boundary of any land which is formed by water.

(8) Where lands are posted, cultivated, or fenced as described herein, then said lands, for the purpose of this chapter, shall be considered as enclosed and posted.

(9) “Litter” means any garbage, rubbish, trash, refuse, debris, can, bottle, box, container, paper, tobacco product, tire, domestic or commercial appliance, mechanical equipment or part, building or construction material, tool, machinery, wood, motor vehicle or motor vehicle part, vessel, aircraft, or farm machinery or equipment; sludge from a waste treatment facility, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility; or substance in any form resulting from domestic, industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural, or governmental operations.

(10) “Dump” means to dump, throw, discard, place, deposit, or dispose of any litter.

(11) “Commercial horticulture property” means any property that is cleared of its natural vegetation and is planted in commercially cultivated horticulture products that are planted, grown, or harvested. The term also includes property that is used for the commercial sale, use, or distribution of horticulture products.

(12) “Agricultural chemicals manufacturing facility” means any facility, and any properties or structures associated with the facility, used for the manufacture, processing, or storage of agricultural chemicals classified in Industry Group 287 contained in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1987, as published by the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President.

(13) “Construction site” means any property upon which there is construction that is subject to building permit posting requirements.

810.02. Burglary

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) For offenses committed on or before July 1, 2001, “burglary” means entering or remaining in a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter or remain.

(b) For offenses committed after July 1, 2001, “burglary” means:

1. Entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter; or

2. Notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance:

a. Surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein;

b. After permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein; or

c. To commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony, as defined in s. 776.08.

(2) Burglary is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender:

(a) Makes an assault or battery upon any person; or

(b) Is or becomes armed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance, with explosives or a dangerous weapon; or

(c) Enters an occupied or unoccupied dwelling or structure, and:

1. Uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely as a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense, and thereby damages the dwelling or structure; or

2. Causes damage to the dwelling or structure, or to property within the dwelling or structure in excess of $1,000.

(3) Burglary is a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender does not make an assault or battery and is not and does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a:

(a) Dwelling, and there is another person in the dwelling at the time the offender enters or remains;

(b) Dwelling, and there is not another person in the dwelling at the time the offender enters or remains;

(c) Structure, and there is another person in the structure at the time the offender enters or remains;

(d) Conveyance, and there is another person in the conveyance at the time the offender enters or remains;

(e) Authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in s. 316.003; or

(f) Structure or conveyance when the offense intended to be committed therein is theft of a controlled substance as defined in s. 893.02. Notwithstanding any other law, separate judgments and sentences for burglary with the intent to commit theft of a controlled substance under this paragraph and for any applicable possession of controlled substance offense under s. 893.13 or trafficking in controlled substance offense under s. 893.135 may be imposed when all such offenses involve the same amount or amounts of a controlled substance.

However, if the burglary is committed within a county that is subject to a state of emergency declared by the Governor under chapter 252 after the declaration of emergency is made and the perpetration of the burglary is facilitated by conditions arising from the emergency, the burglary is a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this subsection, the term “conditions arising from the emergency” means civil unrest, power outages, curfews, voluntary or mandatory evacuations, or a reduction in the presence of or response time for first responders or homeland security personnel. A person arrested for committing a burglary within a county that is subject to such a state of emergency may not be released until the person appears before a committing magistrate at a first appearance hearing. For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921, a felony offense that is reclassified under this subsection is ranked one level above the ranking under s. 921.0022 or s. 921.0023 of the offense committed.

(4) Burglary is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender does not make an assault or battery and is not and does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a:

(a) Structure, and there is not another person in the structure at the time the offender enters or remains; or

(b) Conveyance, and there is not another person in the conveyance at the time the offender enters or remains.

However, if the burglary is committed within a county that is subject to a state of emergency declared by the Governor under chapter 252 after the declaration of emergency is made and the perpetration of the burglary is facilitated by conditions arising from the emergency, the burglary is a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this subsection, the term “conditions arising from the emergency” means civil unrest, power outages, curfews, voluntary or mandatory evacuations, or a reduction in the presence of or response time for first responders or homeland security personnel. A person arrested for committing a burglary within a county that is subject to such a state of emergency may not be released until the person appears before a committing magistrate at a first appearance hearing. For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921, a felony offense that is reclassified under this subsection is ranked one level above the ranking under s. 921.0022 or s. 921.0023 of the offense committed.

810.061. Impairing or impeding telephone or power to a dwelling; facilitating or furthering a burglary; penalty

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term “burglary” has the meaning ascribed in s. 810.02(1)(b).

(2) A person who, for the purpose of facilitating or furthering the commission or attempted commission of a burglary of a dwelling by any person, damages a wire or line that transmits or conveys telephone or power to that dwelling, impairs any other equipment necessary for telephone or power transmission or conveyance, or otherwise impairs or impedes such telephone or power transmission or conveyance commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

810.08. Trespass in structure or conveyance

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Whoever, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance, or, having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance.

(2)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, trespass in a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) If there is a human being in the structure or conveyance at the time the offender trespassed, attempted to trespass, or was in the structure or conveyance, the trespass in a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c) If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, or arms himself or herself with such while in the structure or conveyance, the trespass in a structure or conveyance is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any owner or person authorized by the owner may, for prosecution purposes, take into custody and detain, in a reasonable manner, for a reasonable length of time, any person when he or she reasonably believes that a violation of this paragraph has been or is being committed, and he or she reasonably believes that the person to be taken into custody and detained has committed or is committing such violation. In the event a person is taken into custody, a law enforcement officer shall be called as soon as is practicable after the person has been taken into custody. The taking into custody and detention by such person, if done in compliance with the requirements of this paragraph, shall not render such person criminally or civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.

(3) As used in this section, the term “person authorized” means any owner or lessee, or his or her agent, or any law enforcement officer whose department has received written authorization from the owner or lessee, or his or her agent, to communicate an order to depart the property in the case of a threat to public safety or welfare.

810.09. Trespass on property other than structure or conveyance

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1)(a) A person who, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance:

1. As to which notice against entering or remaining is given, either by actual communication to the offender or by posting, fencing, or cultivation as described in s. 810.011; or

2. If the property is the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling and the offender enters or remains with the intent to commit an offense thereon, other than the offense of trespass,commits the offense of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance.

(b) As used in this section, the term “unenclosed curtilage” means the unenclosed land or grounds, and any outbuildings, that are directly and intimately adjacent to and connected with the dwelling and necessary, convenient, and habitually used in connection with that dwelling.

(2)(a) Except as provided in this subsection, trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) If the offender defies an order to leave, personally communicated to the offender by the owner of the premises or by an authorized person, or if the offender willfully opens any door, fence, or gate or does any act that exposes animals, crops, or other property to waste, destruction, or freedom; unlawfully dumps litter on property; or trespasses on property other than a structure or conveyance, the offender commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c) If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the commission of the offense of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance, he or she is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any owner or person authorized by the owner may, for prosecution purposes, take into custody and detain, in a reasonable manner, for a reasonable length of time, any person when he or she reasonably believes that a violation of this paragraph has been or is being committed, and that the person to be taken into custody and detained has committed or is committing the violation. If a person is taken into custody, a law enforcement officer shall be called as soon as is practicable after the person has been taken into custody. The taking into custody and detention in compliance with the requirements of this paragraph does not result in criminal or civil liability for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.

(d) The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed is a construction site that is:

1. Greater than 1 acre in area and is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED CONSTRUCTION SITE, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”; or

2. One acre or less in area and is identified as such with a sign that appears prominently, in letters of not less than 2 inches in height, and reads in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED CONSTRUCTION SITE, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.” The sign shall be placed at the location on the property where the permits for construction are located. For construction sites of 1 acre or less as provided in this subparagraph, it shall not be necessary to give notice by posting as defined in s. 810.011(5).

(e) The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed upon is commercial horticulture property and the property is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS DESIGNATED COMMERCIAL PROPERTY FOR HORTICULTURE PRODUCTS, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”

(f) The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed upon is an agricultural site for testing or research purposes that is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED AGRICULTURAL SITE FOR TESTING OR RESEARCH PURPOSES, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”

(g) The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed upon is a domestic violence center certified under s. 39.905 which is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED RESTRICTED SITE AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”

(h) Any person who in taking or attempting to take any animal described in s. 379.101(19) or (20), or in killing, attempting to kill, or endangering any animal described in s. 585.01(13) knowingly propels or causes to be propelled any potentially lethal projectile over or across private land without authorization commits trespass, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “potentially lethal projectile” includes any projectile launched from any firearm, bow, crossbow, or similar tensile device. This section does not apply to any governmental agent or employee acting within the scope of his or her official duties.

(i) The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed upon is an agricultural chemicals manufacturing facility that is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS MANUFACTURING FACILITY, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”

(j) 1. The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the offender trespasses with the intent to injure another person, damage property, or impede the operation or use of an aircraft, runway, taxiway, ramp, or apron area, and the property trespassed upon is the operational area of an airport that is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED OPERATIONAL AREA OF AN AIRPORT AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”

2. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “operational area of an airport” means any portion of an airport to which access by the public is prohibited by fences or appropriate signs and includes runways, taxiways, ramps, apron areas, aircraft parking and storage areas, fuel storage areas, maintenance areas, and any other area of an airport used or intended to be used for landing, takeoff, or surface maneuvering of aircraft.

(3) As used in this section, the term “authorized person” or “person authorized” means any owner, his or her agent, or a community association authorized as an agent for the owner, or any law enforcement officer whose department has received written authorization from the owner, his or her agent, or a community association authorized as an agent for the owner, to communicate an order to leave the property in the case of a threat to public safety or welfare.

810.14. Voyeurism prohibited; penalties

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) A person commits the offense of voyeurism when he or she, with lewd, lascivious, or indecent intent:

(a) Secretly observes another person when the other person is located in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance and such location provides a reasonable expectation of privacy.

(b) Secretly observes another person's intimate areas in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, when the other person is located in a public or private dwelling, structure, or conveyance. As used in this paragraph, the term “intimate area” means any portion of a person's body or undergarments that is covered by clothing and intended to be protected from public view.

(2) A person who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree for the first violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(3) A person who violates this section and who has been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent two or more times of any violation of this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4) For purposes of this section, a person has been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent of a violation of this section if the violation resulted in a conviction sentenced separately, or an adjudication of delinquency entered separately, prior to the current offense.

810.145. Video voyeurism

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Broadcast” means electronically transmitting a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by another person.

(b) “Imaging device” means any mechanical, digital, or electronic viewing device; still camera; camcorder; motion picture camera; or any other instrument, equipment, or format capable of recording, storing, or transmitting visual images of another person.

(c) “Place and time when a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy” means a place and time when a reasonable person would believe that he or she could fully disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that the person's undressing was being viewed, recorded, or broadcasted by another, including, but not limited to, the interior of a residential dwelling, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth.

(d) “Privately exposing the body” means exposing a sexual organ.

(2) A person commits the offense of video voyeurism if that person:

(a) For his or her own amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person, intentionally uses or installs an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record a person, without that person's knowledge and consent, who is dressing, undressing, or privately exposing the body, at a place and time when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy;

(b) For the amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit of another, or on behalf of another, intentionally permits the use or installation of an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record a person, without that person's knowledge and consent, who is dressing, undressing, or privately exposing the body, at a place and time when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy; or

(c) For the amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit of oneself or another, or on behalf of oneself or another, intentionally uses an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record under or through the clothing being worn by another person, without that person's knowledge and consent, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that person.

(3) A person commits the offense of video voyeurism dissemination if that person, knowing or having reason to believe that an image was created in a manner described in this section, intentionally disseminates, distributes, or transfers the image to another person for the purpose of amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person.

(4) A person commits the offense of commercial video voyeurism dissemination if that person:

(a) Knowing or having reason to believe that an image was created in a manner described in this section, sells the image for consideration to another person; or

(b) Having created the image in a manner described in this section, disseminates, distributes, or transfers the image to another person for that person to sell the image to others.

(5) This section does not apply to any:

(a) Law enforcement agency conducting surveillance for a law enforcement purpose;

(b) Security system when a written notice is conspicuously posted on the premises stating that a video surveillance system has been installed for the purpose of security for the premises;

(c) Video surveillance device that is installed in such a manner that the presence of the device is clearly and immediately obvious; or

(d) Dissemination, distribution, or transfer of images subject to this section by a provider of an electronic communication service as defined in 18 U.S.C. s. 2510(15), or a provider of a remote computing service as defined in 18 U.S.C. s. 2711(2). For purposes of this section, the exceptions to the definition of “electronic communication” set forth in 18 U.S.C. s. 2510(12)(a), (b), (c), and (d) do not apply, but are included within the definition of the term.

(6) Except as provided in subsections (7) and (8):

(a) A person who is under 19 years of age and who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) A person who is 19 years of age or older and who violates this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(7) A person who violates this section and who has previously been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for any violation of this section commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(8)(a) A person who is:

1. Eighteen years of age or older who is responsible for the welfare of a child younger than 16 years of age, regardless of whether the person knows or has reason to know the age of the child, and who commits an offense under this section against that child;

2. Eighteen years of age or older who is employed at a private school as defined in s. 1002.01; a school as defined in s. 1003.01; or a voluntary prekindergarten education program as described in s. 1002.53(3)(a), (b), or (c) and who commits an offense under this section against a student of the private school, school, or voluntary prekindergarten education program; or

3. Twenty-four years of age or older who commits an offense under this section against a child younger than 16 years of age, regardless of whether the person knows or has reason to know the age of the child

commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) A person who violates this subsection and who has previously been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for any violation of this section commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(9) For purposes of this section, a person has previously been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of this section if the violation resulted in a conviction that was sentenced separately, or an adjudication of delinquency entered separately, prior to the current offense.

Chapter 817. Fraudulent Practices

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Part I. False Pretenses and Frauds, Generally

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

817.02. Obtaining property by false personation

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Whoever falsely personates or represents another person, and in such assumed character:

(a) Receives any property intended to be delivered to that person, with intent to convert the same to his or her own use; or

(b) To the extent not subject to s. 817.568, damages the credit history or rating of, or otherwise causes harm to, the person whose identity has been assumed through the taking of property from any person,

shall be punished as if he or she had been convicted of larceny.

(2)

(a) In sentencing a defendant convicted of a violation of this section, in addition to restitution to the victim under s. 775.089, the court may order restitution for the victim’s out-of-pocket costs, including attorney fees and fees associated with services provided by certified public accountants licensed under chapter 473, incurred by the victim in clearing the victim’s credit history or credit rating, or costs incurred in connection with a civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy a debt, lien, or other obligation of the victim arising as a result of the actions of the defendant.

(b) The sentencing court may issue such orders as are necessary to correct a public record that contains false information given in violation of this section.

(3)

(a) A victim of the conduct subject to this section shall have a civil cause of action against a person who has engaged in the conduct prohibited by this section as provided in s. 772.11.

(b) For purposes of this subsection, the term “victim” includes, to the extent not already included within s. 817.568, a person whose identity was falsely personated or who suffers a loss of property as a result of the false personation.

817.03. Making false statement to obtain property or credit

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Any person who shall make or cause to be made any false statement, in writing, relating to his or her financial condition, assets or liabilities, or relating to the financial condition, assets or liabilities of any firm or corporation in which such person has a financial interest, or for whom he or she is acting, with a fraudulent intent of obtaining credit, goods, money or other property, and shall by such false statement obtain credit, goods, money or other property, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

817.011. Definition

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

As used in this chapter, the term “business entity” means any corporation, partnership, limited partnership, company, limited liability company, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, self-employed individual, or trust, whether fictitiously named or not, doing business in this state.

817.025. Home or private business invasion by false personation; penalties

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

A person who obtains access to a home or private business by false personation or representation, with the intent to commit a felony, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. If such act results in serious injury or death, it is a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

817.568. Criminal use of personal identification information

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Access device” means any card, plate, code, account number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrument identifier, or other means of account access that can be used, alone or in conjunction with another access device, to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value, or that can be used to initiate a transfer of funds, other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument.

(b) “Authorization” means empowerment, permission, or competence to act.

(c) “Harass” means to engage in conduct directed at a specific person that is intended to cause substantial emotional distress to such person and serves no legitimate purpose. “Harass” does not mean to use personal identification information for accepted commercial purposes. The term does not include constitutionally protected conduct such as organized protests or the use of personal identification information for accepted commercial purposes.

(d) “Individual” means a single human being and does not mean a firm, association of individuals, corporation, partnership, joint venture, sole proprietorship, or any other entity.

(e) “Person” means a “person” as defined in s. 1.01(3).

(f) “Personal identification information” means any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific person, including any:

1. Name, postal or electronic mail address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, official state-issued or United States-issued driver license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, employer or taxpayer identification number, Medicaid or food assistance account number, bank account number, credit or debit card number, or personal identification number or code assigned to the holder of a debit card by the issuer to permit authorized electronic use of such card;

2. Unique biometric data, such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image, or other unique physical representation;

3. Unique electronic identification number, address, or routing code;

4. Medical records;

5. Telecommunication identifying information or access device; or

6. Other number or information that can be used to access a person's financial resources.

(g) “Counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information” means any counterfeit, fictitious, or fabricated information in the similitude of the data outlined in paragraph (f) that, although not truthful or accurate, would in context lead a reasonably prudent person to credit its truthfulness and accuracy.

(2)(a) Any person who willfully and without authorization fraudulently uses, or possesses with intent to fraudulently use, personal identification information concerning another person without first obtaining that person's consent, commits the offense of fraudulent use of personal identification information, which is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) Any person who willfully and without authorization fraudulently uses personal identification information concerning a person without first obtaining that person's consent commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $5,000 or more or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 10 or more persons, but fewer than 20 persons, without their consent. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall sentence any person convicted of committing the offense described in this paragraph to a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years' imprisonment.

(c) Any person who willfully and without authorization fraudulently uses personal identification information concerning a person without first obtaining that person's consent commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $50,000 or more or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 20 or more persons, but fewer than 30 persons, without their consent. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall sentence any person convicted of committing the offense described in this paragraph to a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years' imprisonment. If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $100,000 or more, or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 30 or more persons without their consent, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall sentence any person convicted of committing the offense described in this paragraph to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment.

(3) Neither paragraph (2)(b) nor paragraph (2)(c) prevents a court from imposing a greater sentence of incarceration as authorized by law. If the minimum mandatory terms of imprisonment imposed under paragraph (2)(b) or paragraph (2)(c) exceed the maximum sentences authorized under s. 775.082, s. 775.084, or the Criminal Punishment Code under chapter 921, the mandatory minimum sentence must be imposed. If the mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment under paragraph (2)(b) or paragraph (2)(c) are less than the sentence that could be imposed under s. 775.082, s. 775.084, or the Criminal Punishment Code under chapter 921, the sentence imposed by the court must include the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment as required by paragraph (2)(b) or paragraph (2)(c).

(4) Any person who willfully and without authorization possesses, uses, or attempts to use personal identification information concerning a person without first obtaining that person's consent, and who does so for the purpose of harassing that person, commits the offense of harassment by use of personal identification information, which is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5) If an offense prohibited under this section was facilitated or furthered by the use of a public record, as defined in s. 119.011, the offense is reclassified to the next higher degree as follows:

(a) A misdemeanor of the first degree is reclassified as a felony of the third degree.

(b) A felony of the third degree is reclassified as a felony of the second degree.

(c) A felony of the second degree is reclassified as a felony of the first degree.

For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921 and incentive gain-time eligibility under chapter 944, a felony offense that is reclassified under this subsection is ranked one level above the ranking under s. 921.0022 of the felony offense committed, and a misdemeanor offense that is reclassified under this subsection is ranked in level 2 of the offense severity ranking chart in s. 921.0022.

(6) Any person who willfully and without authorization fraudulently uses personal identification information concerning an individual who is younger than 18 years of age or 60 years of age or older without first obtaining the consent of that individual or of his or her legal guardian commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(7) Any person who is in the relationship of parent or legal guardian, or who otherwise exercises custodial authority over an individual who is younger than 18 years of age or 60 years of age or older, who willfully and fraudulently uses personal identification information of that individual commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(8)(a) Any person who willfully and fraudulently uses, or possesses with intent to fraudulently use, personal identification information concerning a deceased individual or dissolved business entity commits the offense of fraudulent use or possession with intent to use personal identification information of a deceased individual or dissolved business entity, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) Any person who willfully and fraudulently uses personal identification information concerning a deceased individual or dissolved business entity commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of injury or fraud perpetrated is $5,000 or more, or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 10 or more but fewer than 20 deceased individuals or dissolved business entities. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall sentence any person convicted of committing the offense described in this paragraph to a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years' imprisonment.

(c) Any person who willfully and fraudulently uses personal identification information concerning a deceased individual or dissolved business entity commits the offense of aggravated fraudulent use of the personal identification information of multiple deceased individuals or dissolved business entities, a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of injury or fraud perpetrated is $50,000 or more, or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 20 or more but fewer than 30 deceased individuals or dissolved business entities. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall sentence any person convicted of the offense described in this paragraph to a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years' imprisonment. If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $100,000 or more, or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 30 or more deceased individuals or dissolved business entities, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall sentence any person convicted of an offense described in this paragraph to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment.

(9) Any person who willfully and fraudulently creates or uses, or possesses with intent to fraudulently use, counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information concerning a fictitious person, or concerning a real person without first obtaining that real person's consent, with intent to use such counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information for the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of a fraud on another person, commits the offense of fraudulent creation or use, or possession with intent to fraudulently use, counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(10) Any person who commits an offense described in this section and for the purpose of obtaining or using personal identification information misrepresents himself or herself to be a law enforcement officer; an employee or representative of a bank, credit card company, credit counseling company, or credit reporting agency; or any person who wrongfully represents that he or she is seeking to assist the victim with a problem with the victim's credit history shall have the offense reclassified as follows:

(a) In the case of a misdemeanor, the offense is reclassified as a felony of the third degree.

(b) In the case of a felony of the third degree, the offense is reclassified as a felony of the second degree.

(c) In the case of a felony of the second degree, the offense is reclassified as a felony of the first degree.

(d) In the case of a felony of the first degree or a felony of the first degree punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding life, the offense is reclassified as a life felony.

For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921, a felony offense that is reclassified under this subsection is ranked one level above the ranking under s. 921.0022 or s. 921.0023 of the felony offense committed, and a misdemeanor offense that is reclassified under this subsection is ranked in level 2 of the offense severity ranking chart.

(11) A person who willfully and without authorization fraudulently uses personal identification information concerning an individual who is 60 years of age or older; a disabled adult as defined in s. 825.101; a public servant as defined in s. 838.014; a veteran as defined in s. 1.01; a first responder as defined in s. 125.01045; an individual who is employed by the State of Florida; or an individual who is employed by the Federal Government without first obtaining the consent of that individual commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(12) In addition to any sanction imposed when a person pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, a violation of this section, the court shall impose a surcharge of $1,001.

(a) The sum of $500 of the surcharge shall be deposited into the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund for the department to provide grants to local law enforcement agencies to investigate offenses related to the criminal use of personal identification information as provided in s. 943.0412.

<Text of subsec. (12)(b) effective until July 1, 2019. >

(b) The sum of $250 of the surcharge shall be deposited into the State Attorneys Revenue Trust Fund for the purpose of funding prosecutions of offenses relating to the criminal use of personal identification information. The sum of $250 of the surcharge shall be deposited into the Indigent Criminal Defense Trust Fund for the purposes of indigent criminal defense related to the criminal use of personal identification information.

<Text of subsec. (12)(b) effective July 1, 2019. >

(b) The sum of $250 of the surcharge shall be deposited into the State Attorneys Revenue Trust Fund for the purpose of funding prosecutions of offenses relating to the criminal use of personal identification information. The sum of $250 of the surcharge shall be deposited into the Public Defenders Revenue Trust Fund for the purposes of indigent criminal defense related to the criminal use of personal identification information.

(c) The clerk of the court shall retain $1 of each $1,001 surcharge that he or she collects as a service charge of the clerk's office.

(d) The surcharge may not be waived by the court. In the event that the person has been ordered to pay restitution in accordance with s. 775.089, the surcharge shall be included in a judgment.

(13) The prosecutor may move the sentencing court to reduce or suspend the sentence of any person who is convicted of a violation of this section and who provides substantial assistance in the identification, arrest, or conviction of any of that person's accomplices, accessories, coconspirators, or principals or of any other person engaged in fraudulent possession or use of personal identification information. The arresting agency shall be given an opportunity to be heard in aggravation or mitigation in reference to any such motion. Upon good cause shown, the motion may be filed and heard in camera. The judge hearing the motion may reduce or suspend the sentence if the judge finds that the defendant rendered such substantial assistance.

(14) This section does not prohibit any lawfully authorized investigative, protective, or intelligence activity of a law enforcement agency of this state or any of its political subdivisions, of any other state or its political subdivisions, or of the Federal Government or its political subdivisions.

(15)(a) In sentencing a defendant convicted of an offense under this section, the court may order that the defendant make restitution under s. 775.089 to any victim of the offense. In addition to the victim's out-of-pocket costs, restitution may include payment of any other costs, including attorney's fees incurred by the victim in clearing the victim's credit history or credit rating, or any costs incurred in connection with any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy any debt, lien, or other obligation of the victim arising as the result of the actions of the defendant.

(b) The sentencing court may issue such orders as are necessary to correct any public record that contains false information given in violation of this section.

(16) Prosecutions for violations of this section may be brought on behalf of the state by any state attorney or by the statewide prosecutor.

(17) The Legislature finds that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the location where a victim gives or fails to give consent to the use of personal identification information is the county where the victim generally resides.

(18) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, venue for the prosecution and trial of violations of this section may be commenced and maintained in any county in which an element of the offense occurred, including the county where the victim generally resides.

(19) A prosecution of an offense prohibited under subsection (2), subsection (6), or subsection (7) must be commenced within 3 years after the offense occurred. However, a prosecution may be commenced within 1 year after discovery of the offense by an aggrieved party, or by a person who has a legal duty to represent the aggrieved party and who is not a party to the offense, if such prosecution is commenced within 5 years after the violation occurred.

817.5685. Unlawful possession of the personal identification information of another person.

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the term “personal identification information” means a person’s social security number, official state-issued or United States-issued driver license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, employer or taxpayer identification number, Medicaid or food assistance account number, bank account number, credit or debit card number, and medical records.

(2) It is unlawful for a person to intentionally or knowingly possess, without authorization, the personal identification information of another person in any form, including, but not limited to, mail, physical documents, identification cards, or information stored in digital form.

(3)

(a) A person who violates subsection (2) and in doing so possesses the personal identification information of four or fewer persons commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b)

1. Proof that a person used or was in possession of the personal identification information of five or more individuals, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that the person who used or was in possession of the personal identification information did so knowingly and intentionally without authorization.

2. A person who violates subsection (2) and in doing so possesses the personal identification information of five or more persons commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply to:

(a) A person who is the parent or legal guardian of a child and who possesses the personal identification information of that child.

(b) A person who is the guardian of another person under chapter 744 and who is authorized to possess the personal identification information of that other person and make decisions regarding access to that personal identification information.

(c) An employee of a governmental agency who possesses the personal identification information of another person in the ordinary course of business.

(d) A person who is engaged in a lawful business and possesses the personal identification information of another person in the ordinary course of business.

(e) A person who finds a card or document issued by a governmental agency that contains the personal identification information of another person and who takes reasonably prompt action to return that card or document to its owner, to the governmental agency that issued the card or document, or to a law enforcement agency.

(5) It is an affirmative defense to an alleged violation of subsection (2) if the person who possesses the personal identification information of another person:

(a) Did so under the reasonable belief that such possession was authorized by law or by the consent of the other person; or

(b) Obtained that personal identification information from a forum or resource that is open or available to the general public or from a public record.

(6) This section does not preclude prosecution for the unlawful possession of personal identification information pursuant to s. 817.568 or any other law.

Chapter 827. Abuse of Children

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

827.071. Sexual performance by a child; penalties

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) “Deviate sexual intercourse” means sexual conduct between persons not married to each other consisting of contact between the penis and the anus, the mouth and the penis, or the mouth and the vulva.

(b) “Intentionally view” means to deliberately, purposefully, and voluntarily view. Proof of intentional viewing requires establishing more than a single image, motion picture, exhibition, show, image, data, computer depiction, representation, or other presentation over any period of time.

(c) “Performance” means any play, motion picture, photograph, or dance or any other visual representation exhibited before an audience.

(d) “Promote” means to procure, manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmute, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise or to offer or agree to do the same.

(e) “Sadomasochistic abuse” means flagellation or torture by or upon a person, or the condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained, for the purpose of deriving sexual satisfaction from inflicting harm on another or receiving such harm oneself.

(f) “Sexual battery” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, “sexual battery” does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.

(g) “Sexual bestiality” means any sexual act between a person and an animal involving the sex organ of the one and the mouth, anus, or vagina of the other.

(h) “Sexual conduct” means actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse; actual lewd exhibition of the genitals; actual physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party; or any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed. A mother's breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute “sexual conduct.”

(i) “Sexual performance” means any performance or part thereof which includes sexual conduct by a child of less than 18 years of age.

(j) “Simulated” means the explicit depiction of conduct set forth in paragraph (h) which creates the appearance of such conduct and which exhibits any uncovered portion of the breasts, genitals, or buttocks.

(2) A person is guilty of the use of a child in a sexual performance if, knowing the character and content thereof, he or she employs, authorizes, or induces a child less than 18 years of age to engage in a sexual performance or, being a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of such child, consents to the participation by such child in a sexual performance. Whoever violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) A person is guilty of promoting a sexual performance by a child when, knowing the character and content thereof, he or she produces, directs, or promotes any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than 18 years of age. Whoever violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4) It is unlawful for any person to possess with the intent to promote any photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, includes any sexual conduct by a child. The possession of three or more copies of such photograph, motion picture, representation, or presentation is prima facie evidence of an intent to promote. Whoever violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(5)(a) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, control, or intentionally view a photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, image, data, computer depiction, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, he or she knows to include any sexual conduct by a child. The possession, control, or intentional viewing of each such photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, image, data, computer depiction, representation, or presentation is a separate offense. If such photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, image, data, computer depiction, or other presentation includes sexual conduct by more than one child, then each such child in each such photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, image, data, computer depiction, or other presentation that is knowingly possessed, controlled, or intentionally viewed is a separate offense. A person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) This subsection does not apply to material possessed, controlled, or intentionally viewed as part of a law enforcement investigation.

(6) Prosecution of any person for an offense under this section shall not prohibit prosecution of that person in this state for a violation of any law of this state, including a law providing for greater penalties than prescribed in this section or any other crime punishing the sexual performance or the sexual exploitation of children.

Title XLVII. Criminal Procedure and Corrections

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

Chapter 934. Security of communications; Surveillance

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

934.03. Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications prohibited

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, any person who:

(a) Intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication;

(b) Intentionally uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when:

1. Such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication; or

2. Such device transmits communications by radio or interferes with the transmission of such communication;

(c) Intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;

(d) Intentionally uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection; or

(e) Intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication intercepted by means authorized by subparagraph (2)(a)2., paragraph (2)(b), paragraph (2)(c), s. 934.07, or s. 934.09 when that person knows or has reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of such a communication in connection with a criminal investigation, has obtained or received the information in connection with a criminal investigation, and intends to improperly obstruct, impede, or interfere with a duly authorized criminal investigation;

shall be punished as provided in subsection (4).

(2)(a) 1. It is lawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09 for an operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee, or agent of a provider of wire or electronic communication service whose facilities are used in the transmission of a wire or electronic communication, to intercept, disclose, or use that communication in the normal course of his or her employment while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of his or her service or to the protection of the rights or property of the provider of that service, except that a provider of wire communication service to the public shall not utilize service observing or random monitoring except for mechanical or service quality control checks.

2. Notwithstanding any other law, a provider of wire, oral, or electronic communication service, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof, or landlord, custodian, or other person, may provide information, facilities, or technical assistance to a person authorized by law to intercept wire, oral, or electronic communications if such provider, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof, or landlord, custodian, or other person, has been provided with:

a. A court order directing such assistance signed by the authorizing judge; or

b. A certification in writing by a person specified in s. 934.09(7) that no warrant or court order is required by law, that all statutory requirements have been met, and that the specified assistance is required, setting forth the period of time during which the provision of the information, facilities, or technical assistance is authorized and specifying the information, facilities, or technical assistance required.

3. A provider of wire, oral, or electronic communication service, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof, or landlord, custodian, or other person may not disclose the existence of any interception or the device used to accomplish the interception with respect to which the person has been furnished an order under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09, except as may otherwise be required by legal process and then only after prior notice to the Governor, the Attorney General, the statewide prosecutor, or a state attorney, as may be appropriate. Any such disclosure renders such person liable for the civil damages provided under s. 934.10, and such person may be prosecuted under s. 934.43. An action may not be brought against any provider of wire, oral, or electronic communication service, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof, or landlord, custodian, or other person for providing information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with the terms of a court order under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09.

(b) It is lawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09 for an officer, employee, or agent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the normal course of his or her employment and in discharge of the monitoring responsibilities exercised by the commission in the enforcement of 47 U.S.C. chapter 5, to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication transmitted by radio or to disclose or use the information thereby obtained.

(c) It is lawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09 for an investigative or law enforcement officer or a person acting under the direction of an investigative or law enforcement officer to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication when such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception and the purpose of such interception is to obtain evidence of a criminal act.

(d) It is lawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09 for a person to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication when all of the parties to the communication have given prior consent to such interception.

(e) It is unlawful to intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication for the purpose of committing any criminal act.

(f) It is lawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09 for an employee of a telephone company to intercept a wire communication for the sole purpose of tracing the origin of such communication when the interception is requested by the recipient of the communication and the recipient alleges that the communication is obscene, harassing, or threatening in nature. The individual conducting the interception shall notify local police authorities within 48 hours after the time of the interception.

(g) It is lawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09 for an employee of:

1. An ambulance service licensed pursuant to s. 401.25, a fire station employing firefighters as defined by s. 633.102, a public utility, a law enforcement agency as defined by s. 934.02(10), or any other entity with published emergency telephone numbers;

2. An agency operating an emergency telephone number “911” system established pursuant to s. 365.171; or

3. The central abuse hotline operated pursuant to s. 39.201

to intercept and record incoming wire communications; however, such employee may intercept and record incoming wire communications on designated “911” telephone numbers and published nonemergency telephone numbers staffed by trained dispatchers at public safety answering points only. It is also lawful for such employee to intercept and record outgoing wire communications to the numbers from which such incoming wire communications were placed when necessary to obtain information required to provide the emergency services being requested. For the purpose of this paragraph, the term “public utility” has the same meaning as provided in s. 366.02 and includes a person, partnership, association, or corporation now or hereafter owning or operating equipment or facilities in the state for conveying or transmitting messages or communications by telephone or telegraph to the public for compensation.

(h) It shall not be unlawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09 for any person:

1. To intercept or access an electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that such electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public.

2. To intercept any radio communication which is transmitted:

a. By any station for the use of the general public, or that relates to ships, aircraft, vehicles, or persons in distress;

b. By any governmental, law enforcement, civil defense, private land mobile, or public safety communications system, including any police or fire communications system, readily accessible to the general public;

c. By a station operating on an authorized frequency within the bands allocated to the amateur, citizens band, or general mobile radio services; or

d. By any marine or aeronautical communications system.

3. To engage in any conduct which:

a. Is prohibited by s. 633 of the Communications Act of 1934;1 or

b. Is excepted from the application of s. 705(a)2 of the Communications Act of 1934 by s. 705(b)3 of that act.

4. To intercept any wire or electronic communication the transmission of which is causing harmful interference to any lawfully operating station of consumer electronic equipment to the extent necessary to identify the source of such interference.

5. To intercept, if such person is another user of the same frequency, any radio communication that is not scrambled or encrypted made through a system that utilizes frequencies monitored by individuals engaged in the provision or the use of such system.

6. To intercept a satellite transmission that is not scrambled or encrypted and that is transmitted:

a. To a broadcasting station for purposes of retransmission to the general public; or

b. As an audio subcarrier intended for redistribution to facilities open to the public, but not including data transmissions or telephone calls, when such interception is not for the purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain.

7. To intercept and privately view a private satellite video communication that is not scrambled or encrypted or to intercept a radio communication that is transmitted on frequencies allocated under subpart D of part 74 of the rules of the Federal Communications Commission that is not scrambled or encrypted, if such interception is not for a tortious or illegal purpose or for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private commercial gain.

(i) It shall not be unlawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09:

1. To use a pen register or a trap and trace device as authorized under ss. 934.31-934.34 or under federal law; or

2. For a provider of electronic communication service to record the fact that a wire or electronic communication was initiated or completed in order to protect such provider, another provider furnishing service toward the completion of the wire or electronic communication, or a user of that service, from fraudulent, unlawful, or abusive use of such service.

(j) It is not unlawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09 for a person acting under color of law to intercept the wire or electronic communications of a computer trespasser which are transmitted to, through, or from a protected computer if:

1. The owner or operator of the protected computer authorizes the interception of the communications of the computer trespasser;

2. The person acting under color of law is lawfully engaged in an investigation;

3. The person acting under color of law has reasonable grounds to believe that the contents of the communications of the computer trespasser will be relevant to the investigation; and

4. The interception does not acquire communications other than those transmitted to, through, or from the computer trespasser.

(k) It is lawful under this section and ss. 934.04-934.09 for a child under 18 years of age to intercept and record an oral communication if the child is a party to the communication and has reasonable grounds to believe that recording the communication will capture a statement by another party to the communication that the other party intends to commit, is committing, or has committed an unlawful sexual act or an unlawful act of physical force or violence against the child.

(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person or entity providing an electronic communication service to the public shall not intentionally divulge the contents of any communication while in transmission on that service to any person or entity other than an addressee or intended recipient of such communication or an agent of such addressee or intended recipient.

(b) A person or entity providing electronic communication service to the public may divulge the contents of any such communication:

1. As otherwise authorized in paragraph (2)(a) or s. 934.08;

2. With the lawful consent of the originator or any addressee or intended recipient of such communication;

3. To a person employed or authorized, or whose facilities are used, to forward such communication to its destination; or

4. Which were inadvertently obtained by the service provider and which appear to pertain to the commission of a crime, if such divulgence is made to a law enforcement agency.

(4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), whoever violates subsection (1) is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 934.41.

(b) If the offense is a first offense under paragraph (a) and is not for any tortious or illegal purpose or for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private commercial gain, and the wire or electronic communication with respect to which the offense under paragraph (a) was committed is a radio communication that is not scrambled, encrypted, or transmitted using modulation techniques the essential parameters of which have been withheld from the public with the intention of preserving the privacy of such communication, then:

1. If the communication is not the radio portion of a cellular telephone communication, a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between the cordless telephone handset and the base unit, a public land mobile radio service communication, or a paging service communication, and the conduct is not that described in subparagraph (2)(h)7., the person committing the offense is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2. If the communication is the radio portion of a cellular telephone communication, a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between the cordless telephone handset and the base unit, a public land mobile radio service communication, or a paging service communication, the person committing the offense is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Chapter 943. Department of Law Enforcement

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

943.10. Definitions; ss. 943.085-943.255

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

The following words and phrases as used in ss. 943.085-943.255 are defined as follows:

(1) “Law enforcement officer” means any person who is elected, appointed, or employed full time by any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof; who is vested with authority to bear arms and make arrests; and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, criminal, traffic, or highway laws of the state. This definition includes all certified supervisory and command personnel whose duties include, in whole or in part, the supervision, training, guidance, and management responsibilities of full-time law enforcement officers, part-time law enforcement officers, or auxiliary law enforcement officers but does not include support personnel employed by the employing agency.

(2) “Correctional officer” means any person who is appointed or employed full time by the state or any political subdivision thereof, or by any private entity which has contracted with the state or county, and whose primary responsibility is the supervision, protection, care, custody, and control, or investigation, of inmates within a correctional institution; however, the term “correctional officer” does not include any secretarial, clerical, or professionally trained personnel.

(3) “Correctional probation officer” means a person who is employed full time by the state whose primary responsibility is the supervised custody, surveillance, and control of assigned inmates, probationers, parolees, or community controllees within institutions of the Department of Corrections or within the community. The term includes supervisory personnel whose duties include, in whole or in part, the supervision, training, and guidance of correctional probation officers, but excludes management and administrative personnel above, but not including, the probation and parole regional administrator level.

(4) “Employing agency” means any agency or unit of government or any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof, or any agent thereof, which has constitutional or statutory authority to employ or appoint persons as officers. The term also includes any private entity which has contracted with the state or county for the operation and maintenance of a nonjuvenile detention facility.

(5) “Commission” means the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.

(6) “Part-time law enforcement officer” means any person employed or appointed less than full time, as defined by an employing agency, with or without compensation, who is vested with authority to bear arms and make arrests and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, criminal, traffic, or highway laws of the state.

(7) “Part-time correctional officer” means any person who is employed or appointed less than full time, as defined by the employing or appointing agency, with or without compensation, whose responsibilities include the supervision, protection, care, custody, and control of inmates within a correctional institution.

(8) “Auxiliary law enforcement officer” means any person employed or appointed, with or without compensation, who aids or assists a full-time or part-time law enforcement officer and who, while under the direct supervision of a full-time or part-time law enforcement officer, has the authority to arrest and perform law enforcement functions.

(9) “Auxiliary correctional officer” means any person employed or appointed, with or without compensation, who aids or assists a full-time or part-time correctional officer and who, while under the supervision of a full-time or part-time correctional officer, has the same authority as a full-time or part-time correctional officer for the purpose of providing supervision, protection, care, custody, and control of inmates within a correctional institution or a county or municipal detention facility.

(10) “Private criminal justice training school” means any private school, corporation, or institution, for profit or not for profit, devoted wholly or in part to instruction, by correspondence or otherwise, in criminal justice services, administration, training, and education, which awards any type of certificate, diploma, degree, or recognition for attendance, graduation, study, or participation to students, enrollees, or participants. This definition applies to all such schools operating wholly or in part within the state, including those chartered, incorporated, or formed outside the state.

(11) “Support personnel” means any person employed or appointed by an employing agency who is not an officer or, as specified by the commission, other professional employee in the criminal justice system.

(12) “Program” means the Criminal Justice Professionalism Program of the Department of Law Enforcement.

(13) “Head of the department” means the Governor and Cabinet, as provided for in ss. 20.201 and 20.03(4).

(14) “Officer” means any person employed or appointed as a full-time, part-time, or auxiliary law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer.

(15) “Public criminal justice training school” means any academy operated by an employing agency that is certified by the commission to conduct criminal justice training courses.

(16) “Criminal justice training school” means any private or public criminal justice training school certified by the commission.

(17) “Training center director” means a full-time salaried employee of a criminal justice training school who is responsible for the scheduling and general management of criminal justice courses and supervision and evaluation of criminal justice instructors.

(18) “Auxiliary correctional probation officer” means any person employed or appointed, with or without compensation, who aids or assists a full-time or part-time correctional probation officer and who, while under the supervision of a full-time or part-time correctional probation officer, has the same authority as a full-time or part-time correctional probation officer for the purpose of providing supervision of offenders in the community.

(19) “Part-time correctional probation officer” means a person who is employed less than full time by the state whose primary responsibility is the supervised custody, surveillance, and control of assigned inmates, probationers, parolees, or community controllees within institutions of the Department of Corrections or in the community.

(20) “Diverse population” means members of a cultural group with common origins, customs, and styles of living. This definition includes both ethnic and religious minorities.

(21) “Criminal justice executive” includes executives of law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation agencies.

(22) “Special operations forces” means those active and reserve component forces of the military services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. The term includes, but is not limited to, servicemembers of the United States Army Special Forces and the United States Army 75th Ranger Regiment; the United States Navy SEALs and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen; the United States Air Force Combat Control, Pararescue, and Tactical Air Control Party specialists; the United States Marine Corps Critical Skills Operators; and any other component of the United States Special Operations Command approved by the commission.

Chapter 948. Probation and Community Control

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

948.01. When court may place defendant on probation or into community control

Updated: 
December 21, 2018

(1) Any state court having original jurisdiction of criminal actions may at a time to be determined by the court, with or without an adjudication of the guilt of the defendant, hear and determine the question of the probation of a defendant in a criminal case, except for an offense punishable by death, who has been found guilty by the verdict of a jury, has entered a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere, or has been found guilty by the court trying the case without a jury.
(a) If the court places the defendant on probation or into community control for a felony, the department shall provide immediate supervision by an officer employed in compliance with the minimum qualifications for officers as provided in s. 943.13. A private entity may not provide probationary or supervision services to felony or misdemeanor offenders sentenced or placed on probation or other supervision by the circuit court.
(b) The department, in consultation with the Office of the State Courts Administrator, shall revise and make available to the courts uniform order of supervision forms by July 1 of each year or as necessary. The courts shall use the uniform order of supervision forms provided by the department for all persons placed on community supervision.
(2) If it appears to the court upon a hearing of the matter that the defendant is not likely again to engage in a criminal course of conduct and that the ends of justice and the welfare of society do not require that the defendant presently suffer the penalty imposed by law, the court, in its discretion, may either adjudge the defendant to be guilty or stay and withhold the adjudication of guilt. In either case, the court shall stay and withhold the imposition of sentence upon the defendant and shall place a felony defendant upon probation. If the defendant is found guilty of a nonfelony offense as the result of a trial or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld, the court may place the defendant on probation. In addition to court costs and fees and notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the court may impose a fine authorized by law if the offender is a nonfelony offender who is not placed on probation. However, a defendant who is placed on probation for a misdemeanor may not be placed under the supervision of the department unless the circuit court was the court of original jurisdiction.
(3) If, after considering the provisions of subsection (2) and the offender's prior record or the seriousness of the offense, it appears to the court in the case of a felony disposition that probation is an unsuitable dispositional alternative to imprisonment, the court may place the offender in a community control program as provided in s. 948.10. Or, in a case of prior disposition of a felony commitment, upon motion of the offender or the department or upon its own motion, the court may, within the period of its retained jurisdiction following commitment, suspend the further execution of the disposition and place the offender in a community control program upon such terms as the court may require. The court may consult with a local offender advisory council pursuant to s. 948.90 with respect to the placement of an offender into community control. Not later than 3 working days before the hearing on the motion, the department shall forward to the court all relevant material on the offender's progress while in custody. If this sentencing alternative to incarceration is utilized, the court shall:
(a) Determine what community-based sanctions will be imposed in the community control plan. Community-based sanctions may include, but are not limited to, rehabilitative restitution in money or in kind, curfew, revocation or suspension of the driver license, community service, deprivation of nonessential activities or privileges, or other appropriate restraints on the offender's liberty.
(b) After appropriate sanctions for the offense are determined, develop, approve, and order a plan of community control which contains rules, requirements, conditions, and programs that are designed to encourage noncriminal functional behavior and promote the rehabilitation of the offender and the protection of the community. If the offense was a controlled substance violation, the conditions shall include a requirement that the offender submit to random substance abuse testing intermittently throughout the term of supervision, upon the direction of the correctional probation officer as defined in s. 943.10(3).
(4) The sanctions imposed by order of the court shall be commensurate with the seriousness of the offense. When community control or a program of public service is ordered by the court, the duration of community control supervision or public service may not be longer than the sentence that could have been imposed if the offender had been committed for the offense or a period not to exceed 2 years, whichever is less. When restitution or public service is ordered by the court, the amount of restitution or public service may not be greater than an amount which the offender could reasonably be expected to pay or perform.
(5) The imposition of sentence may not be suspended and the defendant thereupon placed on probation or into community control unless the defendant is placed under the custody of the department or another public or private entity. A private entity may not provide probationary or supervision services to felony or misdemeanor offenders sentenced or placed on probation or other supervision by the circuit court.
(6) When the court, under any of the foregoing subsections, places a defendant on probation or into community control, it may specify that the defendant serve all or part of the probationary or community control period in a community residential or nonresidential facility under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or the Department of Children and Families or any public or private entity providing such services, and it shall require the payment prescribed in s. 948.09.
(7)(a) Notwithstanding s. 921.0024 and effective for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2009, the sentencing court may place the defendant into a postadjudicatory treatment-based drug court program if the defendant's Criminal Punishment Code scoresheet total sentence points under s. 921.0024 are 60 points or fewer, the offense is a nonviolent felony, the defendant is amenable to substance abuse treatment, and the defendant otherwise qualifies under s. 397.334(3). The satisfactory completion of the program shall be a condition of the defendant's probation or community control. As used in this subsection, the term “nonviolent felony” means a third degree felony violation under chapter 810 or any other felony offense that is not a forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08.
(b) The defendant must be fully advised of the purpose of the program, and the defendant must agree to enter the program. The original sentencing court shall relinquish jurisdiction of the defendant's case to the postadjudicatory drug court program until the defendant is no longer active in the program, the case is returned to the sentencing court due to the defendant's termination from the program for failure to comply with the terms thereof, or the defendant's sentence is completed.
(8)(a) Notwithstanding s. 921.0024 and effective for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2016, the sentencing court may place the defendant into a postadjudicatory mental health court program if the offense is a nonviolent felony, the defendant is amenable to mental health treatment, including taking prescribed medications, and the defendant is otherwise qualified under s. 394.47892(4). The satisfactory completion of the program must be a condition of the defendant's probation or community control. As used in this subsection, the term “nonviolent felony” means a third degree felony violation under chapter 810 or any other felony offense that is not a forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08. Defendants charged with resisting an officer with violence under s. 843.01, battery on a law enforcement officer under s. 784.07, or aggravated assault may participate in the mental health court program if the court so orders after the victim is given his or her right to provide testimony or written statement to the court as provided in s. 921.143.
(b) The defendant must be fully advised of the purpose of the mental health court program, and the defendant must agree to enter the program. The original sentencing court shall relinquish jurisdiction of the defendant's case to the postadjudicatory mental health court program until the defendant is no longer active in the program, the case is returned to the sentencing court due to the defendant's termination from the program for failure to comply with the terms thereof, or the defendant's sentence is completed.
(c) The Department of Corrections may establish designated and trained mental health probation officers to support individuals under supervision of the mental health court program.