December 07, 2019
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Senate Bill 1972

Senate Bill sb1972

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1972

    By Senator Campbell





    32-983A-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to public records; creating s.

  3         44.407, F.S.; creating an exemption from

  4         public-records requirements for documents

  5         produced during mediation proceedings;

  6         providing for exceptions to the exemption;

  7         providing for future legislative review and

  8         repeal; providing findings of public necessity;

  9         repealing ss. 44.102(3) and (4), 44.201(5), and

10         61.183(3), F.S., relating to communications or

11         materials made during a mediation proceeding;

12         providing a contingent effective date.

13  

14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

15  

16         Section 1.  Section 44.407, Florida Statutes, is

17  created to read:

18         44.407  Exemption from public disclosure.--All

19  documents made or produced in the course of a court-ordered

20  mediation, including documents of the mediator, are

21  confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I

22  of the State Constitution. However, the documents may be

23  disclosed upon the consent of all mediation participants. An

24  executed settlement agreement described in s. 44.405(4) is not

25  confidential or exempt from disclosure.

26         Section 2.  Section 44.407, Florida Statutes, is

27  subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995 in

28  accordance with section 119.15, Florida Statutes, and shall

29  stand repealed on October 2, 2009, unless reviewed and saved

30  from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1972
    32-983A-04




 1         Section 3.  The Legislature finds that it is a public

 2  necessity to exempt from public disclosure all documents

 3  concerning mediation in order to promote the effective and

 4  efficient use of mediation. Specifically, confidentiality

 5  promotes candor within a mediation. It is through candid

 6  discussions that mediation participants can develop creative

 7  solutions to their issues. Candid discussion would be stifled

 8  unless mediation participants are assured that documents

 9  produced in the course of a mediation will not be used against

10  them. State legislatures across the country have recognized

11  this fact and have enacted 250 statutes granting participants

12  to mediation the privilege of refusing to disclose documents

13  produced during mediation. Preservation of mediator

14  neutrality, necessary to promote public confidence in the use

15  of mediation, is supported by confidentiality. If presuit or

16  voluntary mediation does not result in an agreement, the

17  mediation participants may file suit to resolve their issues

18  and should be able to do so on the merits of the action

19  without being prejudiced by discussions that occurred during

20  the mediation.

21         Section 4.  Subsections (3) and (4) of section 44.102,

22  subsection (5) of section 44.201, and subsection (3) of

23  section 61.183, Florida Statutes, are repealed.

24         Section 5.  This act shall take effect on the same date

25  that SB ____ or similar legislation takes effect, if such

26  legislation is adopted in the same legislative session or an

27  extension thereof and becomes law.

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1972
    32-983A-04




 1            *****************************************

 2                          SENATE SUMMARY

 3    Creates an exemption from public-records requirements for
      documents produced during mediation proceedings. Provides
 4    exceptions to the exemption. Provides for future
      legislative review and repeal under the Open Government
 5    Sunset Review Act of 1995. Provides findings of public
      necessity. Repeals specified laws relating to material
 6    produced during mediation. (See bill for details.)

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