SB 386                                           First Engrossed
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the application of foreign law in
    3         courts; creating s. 61.040, F.S.; defining the term
    4         “strong public policy”; prohibiting a court from
    5         enforcing certain choice of law or forum selection
    6         contractual provisions; requiring a court to review
    7         judgments and orders of foreign courts for comity
    8         before enforcing such orders or judgments; specifying
    9         judgments and orders of foreign courts that are not
   10         entitled to comity; providing that certain contracts
   11         are void as against the public policy of this state;
   12         prohibiting a trial court from dismissing an action on
   13         the grounds that a satisfactory remedy may be more
   14         conveniently sought in a foreign country; providing an
   15         exception; providing applicability; providing an
   16         effective date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Section 61.040, Florida Statutes, is created to
   21  read:
   22         61.040 Application of the law of a foreign country in
   23  courts relating to matters arising out of or relating to
   24  chapters 61 and 88.—
   25         (1) As used in this section, the term “strong public
   26  policy” means public policy of sufficient importance to outweigh
   27  the policy of protecting freedom of contract.
   28         (2) A court may not enforce:
   29         (a) A choice of law provision in a contract selecting the
   30  law of a foreign country which contravenes strong public policy
   31  of this state or that is unjust or unreasonable.
   32         (b) A forum selection clause in a contract that selects a
   33  forum in a foreign country if the clause is shown to be
   34  unreasonable or unjust or if strong public policy would prohibit
   35  the enforceability of the clause under the specific facts of the
   36  case.
   37         (3) Before enforcing a judgment or order of a court of a
   38  foreign country, a court must review the judgment or order to
   39  ensure that it complies with the rule of comity. A judgment or
   40  order of a court of a foreign country is not entitled to comity
   41  if the parties were not given adequate notice and the
   42  opportunity to be heard, the foreign court did not have
   43  jurisdiction, or the judgment or order of the foreign court
   44  offends the public policy of this state. As used in this
   45  subsection, a “foreign court” or “court of a foreign country”
   46  includes any court or tribunal that has jurisdiction under the
   47  laws of that nation over the subject of matters governed by
   48  chapter 61 or chapter 88.
   49         (4) A contract that seeks to apply the law of a foreign
   50  country is void as against the public policy of this state if it
   51  is injurious to the interest of the public or contravenes some
   52  established interest in society.
   53         (5) A trial court may not dismiss an action on the grounds
   54  that a satisfactory remedy may be more conveniently sought in a
   55  foreign country unless the trial court finds in accordance with
   56  the applicable rules of civil procedure and this section, that
   57  an adequate alternate forum exists.
   58         (6) This section applies only to matters governed by or
   59  relating to chapter 61 or chapter 88.
   60         Section 2. This act shall take effect on October 1, 2014.