Florida Statutes 119.07 – Inspection and copying of records; photographing public records; fees; exemptions
Current as of: 2022 | Check for updates | Other versions
(1)(a) Every person who has custody of a public record shall permit the record to be inspected and copied by any person desiring to do so, at any reasonable time, under reasonable conditions, and under supervision by the custodian of the public records.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 119.07
- Actual cost of duplication: means the cost of the material and supplies used to duplicate the public record, but does not include labor cost or overhead cost associated with such duplication. See Florida Statutes 119.011
- Agency: means any state, county, district, authority, or municipal officer, department, division, board, bureau, commission, or other separate unit of government created or established by law including, for the purposes of this chapter, the Commission on Ethics, the Public Service Commission, and the Office of Public Counsel, and any other public or private agency, person, partnership, corporation, or business entity acting on behalf of any public agency. See Florida Statutes 119.011
- Custodian of public records: means the elected or appointed state, county, or municipal officer charged with the responsibility of maintaining the office having public records, or his or her designee. See Florida Statutes 119.011
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
- Duplicated copies: means new copies produced by duplicating, as defined in…. See Florida Statutes 119.011
- Exemption: means a provision of general law which provides that a specified record or meeting, or portion thereof, is not subject to the access requirements of…. See Florida Statutes 119.011
- Information technology resources: means data processing hardware and software and services, communications, supplies, personnel, facility resources, maintenance, and training. See Florida Statutes 119.011
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability: means an entity designated by joint rule of the Legislature or by agreement between the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. See Florida Statutes 1.01
- person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 1.01
- Public records: means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency. See Florida Statutes 119.011
- Redact: means to conceal from a copy of an original public record, or to conceal from an electronic image that is available for public viewing, that portion of the record containing exempt or confidential information. See Florida Statutes 119.011
- Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
- Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
- writing: includes handwriting, printing, typewriting, and all other methods and means of forming letters and characters upon paper, stone, wood, or other materials. See Florida Statutes 1.01
(b) A custodian of public records or a person having custody of public records may designate another officer or employee of the agency to permit the inspection and copying of public records, but must disclose the identity of the designee to the person requesting to inspect or copy public records.
(c) A custodian of public records and his or her designee must acknowledge requests to inspect or copy records promptly and respond to such requests in good faith. A good faith response includes making reasonable efforts to determine from other officers or employees within the agency whether such a record exists and, if so, the location at which the record can be accessed.
(d) A person who has custody of a public record who asserts that an exemption applies to a part of such record shall redact that portion of the record to which an exemption has been asserted and validly applies, and such person shall produce the remainder of such record for inspection and copying.
(e) If the person who has custody of a public record contends that all or part of the record is exempt from inspection and copying, he or she shall state the basis of the exemption that he or she contends is applicable to the record, including the statutory citation to an exemption created or afforded by statute.
(f) If requested by the person seeking to inspect or copy the record, the custodian of public records shall state in writing and with particularity the reasons for the conclusion that the record is exempt or confidential.
(g) In any civil action in which an exemption to this section is asserted, if the exemption is alleged to exist under or by virtue of s. 119.071(1)(d) or (f), (2)(d), (e), or (f), or (4)(c), the public record or part thereof in question shall be submitted to the court for an inspection in camera. If an exemption is alleged to exist under or by virtue of s. 119.071(2)(c), an inspection in camera is discretionary with the court. If the court finds that the asserted exemption is not applicable, it shall order the public record or part thereof in question to be immediately produced for inspection or copying as requested by the person seeking such access.
(h) Even if an assertion is made by the custodian of public records that a requested record is not a public record subject to public inspection or copying under this subsection, the requested record shall, nevertheless, not be disposed of for a period of 30 days after the date on which a written request to inspect or copy the record was served on or otherwise made to the custodian of public records by the person seeking access to the record. If a civil action is instituted within the 30-day period to enforce the provisions of this section with respect to the requested record, the custodian of public records may not dispose of the record except by order of a court of competent jurisdiction after notice to all affected parties.
(i) The absence of a civil action instituted for the purpose stated in paragraph (g) does not relieve the custodian of public records of the duty to maintain the record as a public record if the record is in fact a public record subject to public inspection and copying under this subsection and does not otherwise excuse or exonerate the custodian of public records from any unauthorized or unlawful disposition of such record.
(2)(a) As an additional means of inspecting or copying public records, a custodian of public records may provide access to public records by remote electronic means, provided exempt or confidential information is not disclosed.
(b) The custodian of public records shall provide safeguards to protect the contents of public records from unauthorized remote electronic access or alteration and to prevent the disclosure or modification of those portions of public records which are exempt or confidential from subsection (1) or s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution.
(c) Unless otherwise required by law, the custodian of public records may charge a fee for remote electronic access, granted under a contractual arrangement with a user, which fee may include the direct and indirect costs of providing such access. Fees for remote electronic access provided to the general public shall be in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(3)(a) Any person shall have the right of access to public records for the purpose of making photographs of the record while such record is in the possession, custody, and control of the custodian of public records.
(b) This subsection applies to the making of photographs in the conventional sense by use of a camera device to capture images of public records but excludes the duplication of microfilm in the possession of the clerk of the circuit court where a copy of the microfilm may be made available by the clerk.
(c) Photographing public records shall be done under the supervision of the custodian of public records, who may adopt and enforce reasonable rules governing the photographing of such records.
(d) Photographing of public records shall be done in the room where the public records are kept. If, in the judgment of the custodian of public records, this is impossible or impracticable, photographing shall be done in another room or place, as nearly adjacent as possible to the room where the public records are kept, to be determined by the custodian of public records. Where provision of another room or place for photographing is required, the expense of providing the same shall be paid by the person desiring to photograph the public record pursuant to paragraph (4)(e).
(4) The custodian of public records shall furnish a copy or a certified copy of the record upon payment of the fee prescribed by law. If a fee is not prescribed by law, the following fees are authorized:
(a)1. Up to 15 cents per one-sided copy for duplicated copies of not more than 14 inches by 81/2 inches;
2. No more than an additional 5 cents for each two-sided copy; and
3. For all other copies, the actual cost of duplication of the public record.
(b) The charge for copies of county maps or aerial photographs supplied by county constitutional officers may also include a reasonable charge for the labor and overhead associated with their duplication.
(c) An agency may charge up to $1 per copy for a certified copy of a public record.
(d) If the nature or volume of public records requested to be inspected or copied pursuant to this subsection is such as to require extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance by personnel of the agency involved, or both, the agency may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplication, a special service charge, which shall be reasonable and shall be based on the cost incurred for such extensive use of information technology resources or the labor cost of the personnel providing the service that is actually incurred by the agency or attributable to the agency for the clerical and supervisory assistance required, or both.
(e)1. Where provision of another room or place is necessary to photograph public records, the expense of providing the same shall be paid by the person desiring to photograph the public records.
2. The custodian of public records may charge the person making the photographs for supervision services at a rate of compensation to be agreed upon by the person desiring to make the photographs and the custodian of public records. If they fail to agree as to the appropriate charge, the charge shall be determined by the custodian of public records.
(5) When ballots are produced under this section for inspection or examination, no persons other than the supervisor of elections or the supervisor’s employees shall touch the ballots. If the ballots are being examined before the end of the contest period in s. 102.168, the supervisor of elections shall make a reasonable effort to notify all candidates by telephone or otherwise of the time and place of the inspection or examination. All such candidates, or their representatives, shall be allowed to be present during the inspection or examination.
(6) An exemption contained in this chapter or in any other general or special law shall not limit the access of the Auditor General, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, or any state, county, municipal, university, board of community college, school district, or special district internal auditor to public records when such person states in writing that such records are needed for a properly authorized audit, examination, or investigation. Such person shall maintain the exempt or confidential status of that public record and shall be subject to the same penalties as the custodian of that record for public disclosure of such record.
(7) An exemption from this section does not imply an exemption from s. 286.011. The exemption from s. 286.011 must be expressly provided.
(8) The provisions of this section are not intended to expand or limit the provisions of Rule 3.220, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, regarding the right and extent of discovery by the state or by a defendant in a criminal prosecution or in collateral postconviction proceedings. This section may not be used by any inmate as the basis for failing to timely litigate any postconviction action.
(9) After receiving a request to inspect or copy a record, an agency may not respond to that request by filing an action for declaratory relief against the requester to determine whether the record is a public record as defined by s. 119.011, or the status of the record as confidential or exempt from the provisions of subsection (1).