November 22, 2019
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 2636
       
       
       
       By Senator Siplin
       
       
       
       
       19-01020-10                                           20102636__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the state judicial system; amending
    3         s. 2.01, F.S.; construing application of the common
    4         and statute laws of England to this state; amending s.
    5         25.382, F.S.; revising a definition; expanding the
    6         list of recipients required to be provided a certain
    7         annual report of the Florida Supreme Court; specifying
    8         a required use of such report; requiring the Supreme
    9         Court to develop a plan for certain civics promotion
   10         and judicial branch education purposes; requiring an
   11         annual plan implementation report; specifying report
   12         recipients and uses; requiring the Supreme Court to
   13         submit to certain recipients all final reports
   14         completed by certain committees; specifying uses of
   15         such reports; requiring the Auditor General and the
   16         Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
   17         Accountability to conduct biennial full audit reviews
   18         and examinations of the state courts system; requiring
   19         reports; specifying recipients of the reports;
   20         amending s. 26.012, F.S.; specifying certain
   21         additional jurisdiction of circuit courts;
   22         establishing certain divisions within each judicial
   23         circuit for certain purposes; providing for
   24         administration of the divisions; amending s. 43.20,
   25         F.S.; correcting a cross-reference; increasing
   26         membership of the Judicial Qualifications Commission;
   27         revising expenses authorization for the commission;
   28         requiring the commission to hire staff for each
   29         commission panel; providing requirements for staff
   30         committees for commission panels; requiring reports of
   31         staff committees; specifying recipients of the reports
   32         for certain purposes; designating such reports as
   33         public records; requiring the commission to adopt
   34         rules; requiring the Auditor General and the Office of
   35         Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
   36         to conduct biennial full audit reviews and
   37         examinations of the commission; requiring reports;
   38         specifying recipients of the reports; specifying
   39         application of certain provisions; providing an
   40         effective date.
   41  
   42  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   43  
   44         Section 1. Section 2.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   45  read:
   46         2.01 Common law and certain statutes declared in force.—
   47         (1) The common and statute laws of England which are of a
   48  general and not a local nature, with the exception hereinafter
   49  mentioned, down to the 4th day of July, 1776, are declared to be
   50  of force in this state to the extent such common and statute
   51  laws are; provided, the said statutes and common law be not
   52  inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States
   53  and the acts of the Legislature of this state.
   54         (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), provisions including,
   55  but not limited to, the following are declared to be of force in
   56  this state:
   57         (a) Those clearly expressed, or obviously and reasonably
   58  implied without clear expression, in the language and wording of
   59  the acts of the Legislature.
   60         (b) Those that provide for rights and claims in tort
   61  liability for acts committed directly or indirectly involving
   62  judicial and administrative proceedings. In such cases,
   63  litigation privilege or judicial, qualified, or absolute
   64  immunity and similar privileges and immunities are not and may
   65  not be considered as viable or valid defenses.
   66         (c) Those relating to claims for or defenses of abuse of
   67  process, malicious prosecution, and fraud upon the court, also
   68  known as extrinsic fraud, that must be strictly enforced. In
   69  such cases, litigation privilege or judicial, qualified, or
   70  absolute immunity and similar privileges and immunities are not
   71  and may not be considered as viable or valid defenses.
   72         (d) Those relating to criminal offenses under 18 U.S.C. ss.
   73  241 and 242 and claims under 42 U.S.C. ss. 1983, 1985, 1986, and
   74  1988, as prescribed by federal statutes and the decisions of the
   75  federal courts.
   76         Section 2. Subsections (1) and (4) of section 25.382,
   77  Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsections (5), (6), and (7)
   78  are added to that section, to read:
   79         25.382 State courts system.—
   80         (1) As used in this section, “state courts system” means
   81  all officers, employees, and divisions of the Supreme Court,
   82  district courts of appeal, circuit courts, and county courts,
   83  also known as the judicial branch of state government.
   84         (4) The Supreme Court shall ensure that clearly written
   85  policies, procedures, and goals for the recruitment, selection,
   86  promotion, and retention of minorities, including minority
   87  women, are established throughout all levels of the judicial
   88  system. An annual report shall be submitted to the Chief Justice
   89  outlining progress, problems, and corrective actions relating to
   90  the implementation of this plan shall be submitted to the Chief
   91  Justice, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
   92  Speaker of the House of Representatives. Three copies of the
   93  report shall be submitted to each legislative substantive and
   94  appropriations committee having jurisdiction over state courts
   95  or judicial matters. The report shall be used for legislative
   96  interim projects.
   97         (5) The Supreme Court shall ensure that clearly written
   98  policies, procedures, and goals are developed into a plan for
   99  promoting civics for residents of this state, together with
  100  education concerning the judicial branch in order to develop
  101  trust and confidence in the state’s judicial system. An annual
  102  report outlining progress, problems, and corrective actions
  103  relating to the implementation of this plan shall be submitted
  104  to the Chief Justice, the Governor, the Cabinet, the President
  105  of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  106  Three copies of the report shall be submitted to each
  107  legislative substantive and appropriations committee having
  108  jurisdiction over state courts or judicial matters. The report
  109  shall be used for legislative interim projects.
  110         (6) The Supreme Court shall submit all final reports
  111  completed by assigned court committees, whether by rule or
  112  order, dating from 2000 and thereafter, as follows: one copy
  113  each to the Governor, the Cabinet, the President of the Senate,
  114  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and three copies
  115  to each legislative substantive and appropriations committee
  116  having jurisdiction over state courts or judicial matters. The
  117  reports may be used for legislative interim projects.
  118         (7) Pursuant to ss. 11.45(2)(a), 11.51(1), and 11.513(5),
  119  the Auditor General and the Office of Program Policy Analysis
  120  and Government Accountability shall conduct a full audit review
  121  and examination of the state courts system and prepare a report
  122  containing appropriate recommendations. The audit must be
  123  conducted every 2 years beginning July 1, 2011, in accordance
  124  with the full authority and responsibilities conferred upon the
  125  Auditor General and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and
  126  Government Accountability by general law. The report and
  127  recommendations must be submitted within 1 year after the audit
  128  to the chair and vice chair of the Legislative Budget
  129  Commission, the chair and vice chair of the Legislative Auditing
  130  Committee, the Governor, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme
  131  Court.
  132         Section 3. Subsection (1) of section 26.012, Florida
  133  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (6) is added to that
  134  section, to read:
  135         26.012 Jurisdiction of circuit court.—
  136         (1) Circuit courts shall have jurisdiction of appeals from
  137  county courts except appeals of county court orders or judgments
  138  declaring invalid a state statute or a provision of the State
  139  Constitution and except orders or judgments of a county court
  140  which are certified by the county court to the district court of
  141  appeal to be of great public importance and which are accepted
  142  by the district court of appeal for review. Circuit courts shall
  143  have jurisdiction of interlocutory appeals from orders on
  144  motions to dismiss, for final dismissal, and for summary
  145  judgment rendered in cases in which a circuit court has
  146  exclusive original jurisdiction. Circuit courts shall have
  147  jurisdiction of appeals from final administrative orders of
  148  local government code enforcement boards.
  149         (6) The following special divisions of judicial circuits
  150  are created:
  151         (a) Unified family courts.—A unified family division is
  152  established in each judicial circuit for the purpose of
  153  consolidating cases and integrating subject matter pertaining to
  154  children and their families who are parties or persons of
  155  interest in proceedings or matters under chapters 39, 61, and
  156  63, s. 68.07, and chapters 88, 741, 742, 743, 984, 985, and
  157  1003. Each judicial circuit shall administer the division as
  158  prescribed by general law or s. 43.30 for the resolution of
  159  disputes involving children and families through a fully
  160  integrated, comprehensive approach that includes coordinated
  161  case management; the concept of “one family, one judge”;
  162  collaboration with the community for referral to needed
  163  services; and methods of alternative dispute resolution.
  164         (b) Teen courts.—A teen division is established in each
  165  judicial circuit for the purpose of administering teen courts as
  166  provided by s. 938.19. Each judicial circuit shall administer
  167  the division as prescribed by general law or s. 43.30.
  168         (c) Drug and mental health courts.—A drug and mental health
  169  division is established in each judicial circuit for the purpose
  170  of administering the programs under ss. 394.656, 394.658, and
  171  397.334. Each judicial circuit shall administer the division as
  172  prescribed by general law or s. 43.30.
  173         Section 4. Subsections (1), (2), and (5) of section 43.20,
  174  Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsections (6) and (7) are
  175  added to that section, to read:
  176         43.20 Judicial Qualifications Commission.—
  177         (1) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to implement s.
  178  12(a)(b), Art. V of the State Constitution which provides for a
  179  Judicial Qualifications Commission.
  180         (2) MEMBERSHIP; TERMS.—The commission shall consist of 15
  181  13 members. The members of the commission shall serve for terms
  182  of 6 years.
  183         (5) EXPENSES.—The compensation of members and their staff
  184  and referees shall be the travel expense or transportation and
  185  per diem allowance provided by s. 112.061. Other administrative
  186  costs and expenses shall be appropriated under the state courts
  187  system.
  188         (6) COMMISSION STAFF.—The commission shall hire separate
  189  staff for each commission panel, which staff may be compensated
  190  or may be provided by volunteer services.
  191         (a) Staff for each commission panel must consist of at
  192  least one designated staff committee of five common citizen
  193  electors to assist and engage in the deliberations for each
  194  panel of members of the commission in carrying out its powers
  195  and duties. Such designated staff committee must consist of
  196  persons who are not considered to be officers of the court. The
  197  designated staff committee shall prepare a report of suggestions
  198  or comments.
  199         (b) The designated staff committee shall provide a copy of
  200  the report of its suggestions or comments to:
  201         1. The hearing panel upon submission of formal charges by
  202  the commission’s investigative panel to assist the hearing panel
  203  in its pending proceedings and final recommendations.
  204         2. The Supreme Court, together with the recommendations of
  205  the commission’s hearing panel, to assist the Supreme Court in
  206  its final determination.
  207         (c) The reports of the suggestions or comments of the
  208  designated staff committee shall be public records and available
  209  upon the final determination of any case rendered by any
  210  commission panel.
  211         (d) The commission shall adopt rules to implement this
  212  subsection.
  213         (7) COMMISSION ACCOUNTABILITY AND EFFICIENCY.—Pursuant to
  214  ss. 11.45(2)(a), 11.51(1), and 11.513(5), the Auditor General
  215  and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
  216  Accountability shall conduct a full audit review and examination
  217  of the commission and prepare a report containing appropriate
  218  recommendations. The audit must be conducted every 2 years
  219  commencing July 1, 2011, in accordance with the full authority
  220  and responsibilities conferred upon the Auditor General and the
  221  Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
  222  by general law. The report and recommendations shall be
  223  submitted within 1 year after the audit to the chair and vice
  224  chair of the Legislative Budget Commission, the chair and vice
  225  chair of the Legislative Auditing Committee, the Governor, and
  226  the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  227         Section 5. The amendment to section 2.01, Florida Statutes,
  228  made by this act applies retroactively and prospectively.
  229         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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