2010 Florida Statutes
Use of closed circuit television in proceedings involving victims or witnesses under the age of 16 or persons with mental retardation.
Use of closed circuit television in proceedings involving victims or witnesses under the age of 16 or persons with mental retardation.—
Upon motion and hearing in camera and upon a finding that there is a substantial likelihood that the child or person with mental retardation will suffer at least moderate emotional or mental harm due to the presence of the defendant if the child or person with mental retardation is required to testify in open court, or that such victim or witness is unavailable as defined in s. 90.804(1), the trial court may order that the testimony of a child under the age of 16 or person with mental retardation who is a victim or witness be taken outside of the courtroom and shown by means of closed circuit television.
The motion may be filed by the victim or witness; the attorney, parent, legal guardian, or guardian ad litem of the victim or witness; the prosecutor; the defendant or the defendant’s counsel; or the trial judge on his or her own motion.
Only the judge, the prosecutor, the defendant, the attorney for the defendant, the operators of the videotape equipment, an interpreter, and some other person who, in the opinion of the court, contributes to the well-being of the child or person with mental retardation and who will not be a witness in the case may be in the room during the recording of the testimony.
During the child’s or person’s with mental retardation testimony by closed circuit television, the court may require the defendant to view the testimony from the courtroom. In such a case, the court shall permit the defendant to observe and hear the testimony of the child or person with mental retardation, but shall ensure that the child or person with mental retardation cannot hear or see the defendant. The defendant’s right to assistance of counsel, which includes the right to immediate and direct communication with counsel conducting cross-examination, must be protected and, upon the defendant’s request, such communication shall be provided by any appropriate electronic method.
The court shall make specific findings of fact, on the record, as to the basis for its ruling under this section.
s. 6, ch. 85-53; s. 12, ch. 87-224; s. 2, ch. 93-131; s. 22, ch. 94-154; s. 1380, ch. 95-147.