Florida Senate - 2011 CS for CS for SB 416 By the Committees on Judiciary; and Criminal Justice; and Senator Bogdanoff 590-04471-11 2011416c2 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; providing a 3 definition; providing an exemption from public-records 4 requirements for photographs and video and audio 5 recordings that depict or record the killing of a 6 person; authorizing access to such photographs or 7 video or audio recordings by specified members of the 8 immediate family of the deceased subject of the 9 photographs or video or audio recordings; providing 10 for access to such records by local governmental 11 entities or state or federal agencies in furtherance 12 of official duties; providing for access pursuant to 13 court order; providing guidelines for the court in 14 issuing an order authorizing such photographs or video 15 or audio recordings to be viewed, copied, or heard; 16 requiring specified notice of a court petition to view 17 or copy such records; providing penalties; exempting 18 criminal or administrative proceedings from the act; 19 providing for retroactive application; providing for 20 future legislative review and repeal of the exemption; 21 providing a finding of public necessity; providing an 22 effective date. 23 24 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 25 26 Section 1. (1) As used in this section, the term “killing 27 of a person” means all acts or events that cause or otherwise 28 relate to the death of any human being, including any related 29 acts or events immediately preceding or subsequent to the acts 30 or events that were the proximate cause of death. 31 (2) A photograph or video or audio recording that depicts 32 or records the killing of a person is confidential and exempt 33 from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of 34 the State Constitution, except that a surviving spouse of the 35 decedent may view and copy any such photograph or video 36 recording or listen to or copy any such audio recording. If 37 there is no surviving spouse, the surviving parents shall have 38 access to such records. If there is no surviving spouse or 39 parent, an adult child shall have access to such records. 40 (3)(a) The deceased’s surviving relative, with whom 41 authority rests to obtain such records, may designate in writing 42 any other person to view, copy, or publish such records. 43 (b) A local governmental entity, or a state or federal 44 agency, in furtherance of its official duties, pursuant to a 45 written request, may view or copy a photograph or video 46 recording or may listen to or copy an audio recording of the 47 killing of a person and, unless otherwise required in the 48 performance of their duties, the identity of the deceased shall 49 remain confidential and exempt. 50 (c) The custodian of the record, or his or her designee, 51 may not permit any other person to view or copy such photograph 52 or video recording or listen to or copy such audio recording 53 without a court order. 54 (4)(a) The court, upon a showing of good cause, may issue 55 an order authorizing any person to view or copy a photograph or 56 video recording that depicts or records the killing of a person 57 or to listen to or copy an audio recording that depicts or 58 records the killing of a person and may prescribe any 59 restrictions or stipulations that the court deems appropriate. 60 (b) In determining good cause, the court shall consider: 61 1. Whether such disclosure is necessary for the public 62 evaluation of governmental performance; 63 2. The seriousness of the intrusion into the family’s right 64 to privacy and whether such disclosure is the least intrusive 65 means available; and 66 3. The availability of similar information in other public 67 records, regardless of form. 68 (c) In all cases, the viewing, copying, listening to, or 69 other handling of a photograph or video or audio recording that 70 depicts or records the killing of a person must be under the 71 direct supervision of the custodian of the record or his or her 72 designee. 73 (5) A surviving spouse shall be given reasonable notice of 74 a petition filed with the court to view or copy a photograph or 75 video recording that depicts or records the killing of a person 76 or to listen to or copy any such audio recording, a copy of such 77 petition, and reasonable notice of the opportunity to be present 78 and heard at any hearing on the matter. If there is no surviving 79 spouse, such notice must be given to the parents of the deceased 80 and, if the deceased has no living parent, notice must be given 81 to the adult children of the deceased. 82 (6)(a) Any custodian of a photograph or video or audio 83 recording that depicts or records the killing of a person who 84 willfully and knowingly violates this section commits a felony 85 of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 86 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes. 87 (b) Any person who willfully and knowingly violates a court 88 order issued pursuant to this section commits a felony of the 89 third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, 90 or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes. 91 (c) A criminal or administrative proceeding is exempt from 92 this section but, unless otherwise exempted, is subject to all 93 other provisions of chapter 119, Florida Statutes; however, this 94 section does not prohibit a court in a criminal or 95 administrative proceeding upon good cause shown from restricting 96 or otherwise controlling the disclosure of a killing, crime 97 scene, or similar photograph or video or audio recordings in the 98 manner prescribed herein. 99 (7) This exemption shall be given retroactive application 100 and applies to all photographs or video or audio recordings that 101 depict or record the killing of a person, regardless of whether 102 the killing of the person occurred before, on, or after July 1, 103 2011. However, this section does not apply to any order in 104 effect on July 1, 2011, which was duly entered by a court of 105 this state and which restricts or limits access to any 106 photograph or video or audio recording that depicts or records 107 the killing of a person. This section applies only to 108 photographs and video or audio recordings that constitute public 109 records as defined in s. 119.011, Florida Statutes. 110 (8) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset 111 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15, Florida Statutes, and 112 shall stand repealed on October 2, 2016, unless reviewed and 113 saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. 114 Section 2. The Legislature finds that is a public necessity 115 that photographs and video and audio recordings that depict or 116 record the killing of any person be made confidential and exempt 117 from the requirements of s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 118 24(a), Article I of the State Constitution. The Legislature 119 finds that photographs or video or audio recordings that depict 120 or record the killing of any person render a visual or aural 121 representation of the deceased in graphic and often disturbing 122 fashion. Such photographs or video or audio recordings provide a 123 view of the deceased in the final moments of life, often 124 bruised, bloodied, broken, with bullet wounds or other wounds, 125 cut open, dismembered, or decapitated. As such, photographs or 126 video or audio recordings that depict or record the killing of 127 any person are highly sensitive representations of the deceased 128 which, if heard, viewed, copied, or publicized, could result in 129 trauma, sorrow, humiliation, or emotional injury to the 130 immediate family of the deceased, as well as injury to the 131 memory of the deceased. The Legislature recognizes that the 132 existence of the World Wide Web and the proliferation of 133 personal computers throughout the world encourages and promotes 134 the wide dissemination of such photographs and video and audio 135 recordings 24 hours a day and that widespread unauthorized 136 dissemination of photographs and video and audio recordings 137 would subject the immediate family of the deceased to continuous 138 injury. The Legislature further recognizes that there continue 139 to be other types of available information, such as crime scene 140 reports, which are less intrusive and injurious to the immediate 141 family members of the deceased and which continue to provide for 142 public oversight. The Legislature further finds that the 143 exemption provided in this act should be given retroactive 144 application, except as provided herein, because it is remedial 145 in nature. 146 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.