May 26, 2019
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 1496
       
       
       
       By Senator Oelrich
       
       
       
       
       14-01550-10                                           20101496__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; creating s.
    3         925.131, F.S.; providing definitions; providing an
    4         exemption from the public-records law for
    5         investigative or crime scene photographs, images, or
    6         video recordings of a deceased person, a part of a
    7         deceased person, or any part of a person’s extreme,
    8         severe, or acute injuries held by a law enforcement
    9         agency; providing exceptions for certain relatives,
   10         injured persons, or their designees; permitting a
   11         local or county governmental entity, or a state or
   12         federal agency, in furtherance of its official duties,
   13         to access such records pursuant to a written request
   14         to the law enforcement agency in possession of such
   15         records, although the confidential and exempt status
   16         of such records shall be maintained; permitting any
   17         person to view, but not copy, photograph, or remove,
   18         any record not otherwise confidential or exempt from
   19         public records provisions under the direct supervision
   20         of the custodian of the record or his or her designee;
   21         requiring that the viewing, copying, or other handling
   22         of such a record be under the direct supervision of
   23         the custodian of the record or his or her designee;
   24         permitting a court or law enforcement agency head,
   25         upon a showing of good cause, to authorize any person
   26         to view or copy such a record and impose any
   27         restrictions or stipulations that it deems
   28         appropriate; providing criminal penalties for
   29         violations of statute or court order; providing for
   30         future legislative review and repeal; providing a
   31         finding of public necessity; providing for retroactive
   32         effect; providing a contingent effective date.
   33  
   34  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   35  
   36         Section 1. Section 925.131, Florida Statutes, is created to
   37  read:
   38         925.131 Public-records exemption for certain law
   39  enforcement photographs, images, or video recordings.—
   40         (1) For purposes of this section, the term:
   41         (a) “Law enforcement agency” means any state agency or unit
   42  of government in this state that has authority to employ or
   43  appoint law enforcement officers, as defined in s. 943.10, as
   44  well as any employee, deputy, or agent of such an agency or any
   45  other person who may obtain possession of a restricted
   46  photograph, image, or recording in the course of assisting such
   47  an agency in the performance of its duties.
   48         (b) “Restricted photograph, image, or recording” means an
   49  investigative or crime scene photograph, image, or video
   50  recording of a deceased person, a part of a deceased person, or
   51  any part of a person’s extreme, severe, or acute injuries.
   52         (2)(a) A restricted photograph, image, or recording held by
   53  a law enforcement agency is confidential and exempt from s.
   54  119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except
   55  that:
   56         1. A restricted photograph, image, or recording of a
   57  deceased person may be viewed and copied by the surviving spouse
   58  of that person, by a surviving parent of that person, or by an
   59  adult child of the person.
   60         2. A person whose extreme, severe, or acute injury is
   61  depicted in whole or in part in a restricted photograph, image,
   62  or recording may view and copy such restricted photograph,
   63  image, or recording.
   64         (b) Any person authorized to obtain records under this
   65  subsection may designate in writing an agent to obtain such
   66  records on his or her behalf.
   67         (c) Persons authorized under this subsection to obtain such
   68  records shall be provided access thereto unless such records are
   69  otherwise confidential or exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a),
   70  Art. I of the State Constitution.
   71         (3) A local or county governmental entity, or a state or
   72  federal agency, in furtherance of its official duties and
   73  pursuant to a written request to the law enforcement agency in
   74  possession of such records, may view or copy a restricted
   75  photograph, image, or recording; however, the receiving entity
   76  or agency shall maintain the confidential and exempt status of
   77  the restricted photograph, image, or recording and shall protect
   78  the identity of the deceased or injured person.
   79         (4) Any person may view, but not copy, photograph, or
   80  remove, any restricted photograph, image, or recording not
   81  otherwise confidential or exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a),
   82  Art. I of the State Constitution, under the direct supervision
   83  of the custodian of the record or his or her designee.
   84         (5) Any viewing, copying, or other handling of a restricted
   85  photograph, image, or recording must be under the direct
   86  supervision of the custodian of the record or his or her
   87  designee.
   88         (6)(a) The following are exceptions to the restrictions in
   89  subsection (4) on copying photographs, images, or video
   90  recordings of a deceased person, a part of a deceased person, or
   91  any part of a person’s extreme, severe, or acute injuries being
   92  held confidential:
   93         1. When the head of the law enforcement agency in this
   94  state in possession of the photographs, images, or video
   95  recordings has personally examined the photographs, images, or
   96  video recordings and has determined in his or her discretion
   97  that there is good cause for their release, they shall be
   98  disseminated in accordance with his or her written instructions.
   99  These instructions must name the party or parties that are
  100  authorized to obtain the photographs, images, or video
  101  recordings or a copy of them.
  102         2. When a judge in a county or circuit in this state has
  103  personally examined the photographs, images, or video recordings
  104  and has determined in his or her judicial opinion that there is
  105  good cause for their release, they shall be disseminated in
  106  accordance with his or her written court order. The order must
  107  name the party or parties that are authorized to obtain the
  108  photographs, images, or video recordings or a copy of them.
  109         (b) In determining good cause for purposes of paragraph
  110  (a), the agency head or court shall consider whether such
  111  disclosure is necessary for the public evaluation of
  112  governmental performance, the seriousness of the intrusion into
  113  the family’s or injured person’s right to privacy, whether such
  114  disclosure is the least intrusive means available to enable
  115  public evaluation of governmental performance, and the
  116  availability of similar information in other public records,
  117  regardless of form.
  118         (7)(a) It is unlawful for:
  119         1. Any custodian or a designee of a custodian of a
  120  restricted photograph, image, or recording to willfully and
  121  knowingly violate a provision of this section; or
  122         2. Any person to willfully and knowingly violate a court
  123  order or agency head’s instructions issued pursuant to this
  124  section.
  125         (b) Any person who violates paragraph (a) commits:
  126         1. For the first violation, a misdemeanor of the first
  127  degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
  128         2. For a second or subsequent violation, a felony of the
  129  third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083,
  130  or s. 775.084.
  131         (8) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset
  132  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed
  133  on October 2, 2015, unless reviewed and saved from repeal
  134  through reenactment by the Legislature.
  135         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
  136  necessity that investigative or crime scene photographs, images,
  137  or video recordings of a deceased person, a part of a deceased
  138  person, or any part of a person’s extreme, severe, or acute
  139  injuries be confidential and exempt from disclosure, with
  140  certain clearly defined exceptions. The Legislature finds that
  141  such photographs, images, or video recordings may depict or
  142  describe a deceased or suffering person in graphic and
  143  disturbing fashion. Such photographs, images, or video
  144  recordings, if copied, distributed, or publicized, could result
  145  in trauma, sorrow, humiliation, or emotional injury to the
  146  individual depicted or his or her immediate family. If the
  147  individual is deceased, such dissemination could also cause
  148  injury to the memory of the deceased. The Legislature notes that
  149  the existence of the Internet and the proliferation of personal
  150  computers throughout the world encourages and promotes the wide
  151  dissemination of photographs, images, and video recordings 24
  152  hours a day and that widespread unauthorized dissemination of
  153  photographs, images, and video recordings would subject a
  154  suffering individual and the immediate family of a deceased or
  155  suffering individual to continuous injury. The Legislature
  156  further notes that there continue to be other types of available
  157  information, such as police reports, that are less intrusive and
  158  injurious and that continue to provide for public oversight. The
  159  Legislature further finds that the exemption provided in this
  160  act should be given retroactive application because it is
  161  remedial in nature.
  162         Section 3. This act shall apply to all photographs, images,
  163  or video recordings subject to its terms regardless of whether
  164  they were created before, on, or after the effective date of
  165  this act.
  166         Section 4. This act shall take effect on the same date that
  167  SB ____ or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation
  168  is enacted in the same legislative session or an extension
  169  thereof and becomes law.

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