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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title VII
EVIDENCE
Chapter 92
WITNESSES, RECORDS, AND DOCUMENTS
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CHAPTER 92
CHAPTER 92
WITNESSES, RECORDS, AND DOCUMENTS
92.05 Final judgments and decrees of courts of record.
92.06 Judgments and decrees of United States District Courts.
92.07 Judgments and decrees of this state.
92.08 Deeds and powers of attorney of record for 20 years or more.
92.09 Effect of reversal, etc., of judgment or successful attack on deed.
92.13 Certified copies of records of certified copies.
92.14 United States deeds and patents and copies thereof.
92.141 Law enforcement employees; travel expenses; compensation as witness.
92.142 Witnesses; pay.
92.143 Compensation to traffic court witnesses.
92.151 Witness compensation; payment; overcharges.
92.153 Production of documents by witnesses; reimbursement of costs.
92.16 Certificates of Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund respecting the ownership, conveyance of, and other facts in connection with public lands.
92.17 Effect of seal of Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
92.18 Certificate of state officer.
92.19 Portions of records.
92.20 Certificates issued under authority of Congress.
92.21 Certificate as to sanitary condition of buildings.
92.23 Rule of evidence in suits on fire policies for loss or damage to building.
92.231 Expert witnesses; fee.
92.233 Compensation of witness summoned in two or more criminal cases.
92.24 Certain tax deeds prima facie evidence of title.
92.25 Records destroyed by fire; use of abstracts.
92.251 Uniform Foreign Depositions Law.
92.26 Records destroyed by fire; use of sworn copies.
92.27 Records destroyed by fire; effect of abstracts in evidence.
92.28 Records destroyed by fire; land title suits; what may be received in evidence.
92.29 Photographic or electronic copies.
92.295 Copies of voter registration records.
92.30 Presumption of death; official findings.
92.31 Missing persons and persons imprisoned or interned in foreign countries; official reports.
92.32 Official findings and reports; presumption of authority to issue or execute.
92.33 Written statement concerning injury to person or property; furnishing copies; admission as evidence.
92.351 Prohibition against prisoners submitting nondocumentary physical evidence without authorization of court; prisoner mailings to courts.
92.38 Comparison of disputed writings.
92.39 Evidence of individual’s claim against the state in suits between them.
92.40 Reports of building, housing, or health code violations; admissibility.
92.50 Oaths, affidavits, and acknowledgments; who may take or administer; requirements.
92.51 Oaths, affidavits, and acknowledgments; taken or administered by commissioned officer of United States Armed Forces.
92.52 Affirmation equivalent to oath.
92.525 Verification of documents; perjury by false written declaration, penalty.
92.53 Videotaping the testimony of a victim or witness under age 18 or who has an intellectual disability.
92.54 Use of closed-circuit television in proceedings involving a victim or witness under the age of 18 or who has an intellectual disability.
92.55 Judicial or other proceedings involving victim or witness under the age of 18, a person who has an intellectual disability, or a sexual offense victim or witness; special protections; use of therapy animals or facility dogs.
92.56 Judicial proceedings and court records involving sexual offenses and human trafficking.
92.561 Prohibition on reproduction of child pornography.
92.565 Admissibility of confession in sexual abuse cases.
92.57 Termination of employment of witness prohibited.
92.60 Foreign records of regularly conducted business activity.
92.605 Production of certain records by Florida businesses and out-of-state corporations.
92.70 Eyewitness identification.
92.05 Final judgments and decrees of courts of record.All final judgments and decrees heretofore or hereafter rendered and entered in courts of record of this state, and certified copies thereof, shall be admissible as prima facie evidence in the several courts of this state of the entry and validity of such judgments and decrees. For the purposes of this section, a court of record shall be taken and construed to mean any court other than a municipal court or the Metropolitan Court of Miami-Dade County.
History.s. 1, ch. 4723, 1899; GS 1522; RGS 2722; CGL 4390; s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 1, ch. 67-362; s. 15, ch. 73-334; s. 13, ch. 2008-4.
92.06 Judgments and decrees of United States District Courts.All final judgments and decrees heretofore or hereafter to be rendered and entered in the United States District Courts of this state and certified copies thereof are declared to be admissible as prima facie evidence in the several courts of this state of the entry and validity of such judgments and decrees.
History.s. 1, ch. 14748, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 4391(1).
92.07 Judgments and decrees of this state.The recitals in all judgments and decrees of the Supreme Court and of the several circuit courts of this state, when such judgment or decree appears regular and has been recorded as provided by law for more than 20 years, shall be admissible in evidence as prima facie proof of the truth of the facts so recited. Either party to any suit at law or equity may offer a properly certified copy of such judgment or decree entered and recorded more than 20 years prior to the institution of the suit in which the same is offered, and such copy shall be admissible in evidence as prima facie proof of the facts in said judgment or decree set forth; provided, however, the party offering the same shall at least 10 days before the trial of the suit in which this copy is offered in evidence give notice to the opposite side of the intention to offer such copy in evidence and the purpose for which the same will be offered, and deliver with such notice a copy of the judgment or decree; provided, that nothing in this law shall render admissible in evidence any instrument of writing based on any judgment, deed of conveyance or power of attorney included in this law where any such instrument of writing has heretofore been brought in question in any action at law or in equity in any suit now pending or heretofore decided.
History.s. 1, ch. 10111, 1925; CGL 4391.
92.08 Deeds and powers of attorney of record for 20 years or more.The recitals in any deed of conveyance or power of attorney shall be admissible in evidence when offered in evidence by either party to any suit at law or in equity as prima facie proof of the truth of the facts therein recited, provided such deed of conveyance or power of attorney appears regular on its face and is a muniment in the chain of title under which the party offering the deed claims, and has been recorded as provided by law for more than 20 years prior to the institution of the suit in which it is offered; and provided further, that the party offering the deed of conveyance or power of attorney for such purposes shall at least 10 days before the trial of the suit in which the said copy is offered in evidence give notice to the opposite side of the intention to offer such copy in evidence and the purpose for which the same will be offered, and deliver with such notice a copy of the deed or power of attorney. The original deed or power of attorney shall be offered unless the party offering the certified copy shall show that the original is not within the custody or control of the party offering the copy.
History.s. 2, ch. 10111, 1925; CGL 4392.
92.09 Effect of reversal, etc., of judgment or successful attack on deed.No copy of a judgment or decree shall be admitted in evidence as aforesaid when it shall be made to appear that such decree has been reversed, annulled, vacated, or set aside, or that the same in collateral proceedings has been successfully attacked. No deed shall be admitted in evidence as hereinbefore provided if it shall appear that the execution or validity of said deed has been successfully attacked in any proceedings to which the grantee therein named or those or any of them holding under such grantee has been a party or parties.
History.s. 3, ch. 10111, 1925; CGL 4393.
92.13 Certified copies of records of certified copies.Certified copies of the record of certified copies of deeds, mortgages, powers of attorney and other instruments referred to in s. 695.19 shall have the same effect as to notice and all other purposes whatsoever as the record of the original has or can have; and certified copies of the record of such certified copies shall be admissible and may be used in evidence in the same manner and with like effect and under the same conditions as certified copies of the record of the original instrument.
History.s. 2, ch. 11989, 1927; CGL 4388, 5718.
92.14 United States deeds and patents and copies thereof.Deeds and patents issued by the United States Government and photographic copies made by authority of said government from its records thereof in the General Land Office, embracing lands in this state, and certified copies of the record thereof made in this state may be used in evidence in the courts of this state subject to the same rules that are applicable to the admission in evidence of other deeds and certified copies of the record thereof.
History.s. 3, ch. 8565, 1921; CGL 5716.
92.141 Law enforcement employees; travel expenses; compensation as witness.Any employee of a law enforcement agency of a municipality or county or the state who appears as an official witness to testify at any hearing or law action in any court of this state as a direct result of his or her employment in the law enforcement agency is entitled to per diem and travel expenses at the same rate provided for state employees under s. 112.061, except that if the employee travels by privately owned vehicle he or she is entitled to such travel expenses for the actual distance traveled to and from court. In addition thereto, such employee is entitled to receive the daily witness pay, exclusive of the mileage allowance, provided by s. 92.142, except when the employee is appearing as a witness during time compensated as a part of his or her normal duties.
History.s. 1, ch. 63-508; s. 1, ch. 67-427; s. 3, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 43, ch. 81-259; s. 1, ch. 84-153; s. 505, ch. 95-147.
Note.Former s. 90.141.
92.142 Witnesses; pay.
(1) Witnesses in all cases, civil and criminal, in all courts, now or hereafter created, and witnesses summoned before any arbitrator or general or special magistrate appointed by the court shall receive for each day’s actual attendance $5 and also 6 cents per mile for actual distance traveled to and from the courts. A witness in a criminal case required to appear in a county other than the county of his or her residence and residing more than 50 miles from the location of the trial shall be entitled to per diem and travel expenses at the same rate provided for state employees under s. 112.061, in lieu of any other witness fee.
(2) An employee of the state who is required, as a direct result of employment, to appear as an official witness to testify in the course of any action in any court of this state, or before an administrative law judge, a hearing officer, hearing examiner, or any board or commission of the state or of its agencies, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions, shall be considered to be on duty during such appearance and shall be entitled to per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061. Except as provided in s. 92.141 and as provided in this subsection, such employee shall be required to tender to the employing agency any witness fee and other expense reimbursement received by the employee for such appearance.
(3) Any witness subpoenaed to testify on behalf of the state in any action brought pursuant to s. 895.05 or chapter 542 who is required to travel outside his or her county of residence and more than 50 miles from his or her residence, or who is required to travel from out of state, shall be entitled to per diem and travel expenses at the same rate provided for state employees under s. 112.061 in lieu of any state witness fee.
History.s. 5, ch. 3106, 1879; RS 1103; s. 1, ch. 4387, 1895; GS 1512; s. 2, ch. 5649, 1907; s. 1, ch. 6905, 1915; s. 1, ch. 7280, 1917; RGS 2712; CGL 4379; s. 1, ch. 29927, 1955; s. 8, ch. 65-483; s. 1, ch. 67-401; s. 15, ch. 73-334; s. 3, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 1, ch. 78-175; s. 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379; s. 1, ch. 83-36; s. 506, ch. 95-147; s. 9, ch. 96-410; s. 59, ch. 2004-11; s. 36, ch. 2005-236; s. 9, ch. 2016-84.
Note.Former s. 90.14.
92.143 Compensation to traffic court witnesses.Any party who secures the attendance of a witness in traffic court shall bear all costs of calling the witness, including witness fees. If the witness is required to testify on behalf of the prosecution, the office of the state attorney of the respective judicial circuit shall pay the fees and costs of calling the witness.
History.s. 66, ch. 2005-236.
92.151 Witness compensation; payment; overcharges.Compensation shall be paid to the witness by the party in whose behalf the witness is summoned, and the prevailing party may tax the same as costs against the prevailing party’s adversary; but no person shall be compelled to attend court as a witness in any civil cause unless the party in whose behalf the person is summoned shall first pay the person the amount of compensation to which he or she would be entitled for mileage and per diem for 1 day, or the same is deposited with the executive officer of said court, and the person shall not be compelled to attend thereafter unless paid in advance. But if any witness should serve without payment in advance, at the completion of his or her services the witness may exhibit his or her account for compensation, and when the same shall have been taxed and approved by the court wherein the services have been rendered, such bill shall have the force and effect of judgment and execution against the party in whose behalf the witness was summoned, and be collected by the sheriff as in other cases of execution. Any witness who shall charge and receive more than is really due shall forfeit and pay to the party injured 4 times the amount so unjustly claimed; and if the witness shall willfully make out the account for more than is lawfully due, the witness shall forfeit the compensation.
History.s. 41, Nov. 11, 1828; RS 1104; s. 4, ch. 4387, 1895; GS 1513; RGS 2713; CGL 4380; s. 3, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 507, ch. 95-147.
Note.Former s. 90.15.
92.153 Production of documents by witnesses; reimbursement of costs.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section:
(a) “Disinterested witness” means a person to whom a summons is issued with respect to documents involving or relating to transactions of others and who has not initiated a proceeding, is not a party to a proceeding, and is not the subject of investigation in a proceeding and who, at the time the summons is issued, is not an officer, employee, accountant, or attorney, or acting as such, for a person who has initiated, is a party to, or is the subject of investigation in a proceeding.
(b) “Document” means any book, paper, record, or other data, or a reproduction thereof.
(c) “Proceeding” means any civil or criminal action before a court; any investigation, inquiry, or proceeding before a grand jury, a state attorney, or a state, county, municipal, or other governmental department, division, bureau, commission or other body, or any officer thereof; any action before an officer or person authorized to issue a summons; or any administrative action authorized by law.
(d) “Summons” means any subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, order, or other legal process which requires the production of documents.
(2) REIMBURSEMENT OF A DISINTERESTED WITNESS.
(a) In any proceeding, a disinterested witness shall be paid for any costs the witness reasonably incurs either directly or indirectly in producing, searching for, reproducing, or transporting documents pursuant to a summons; however, the cost of documents produced pursuant to a subpoena or records request by a state attorney or public defender may not exceed 15 cents per page and $10 per hour for research or retrieval.
(b) In a proceeding before a court or an administrative agency or officer, which is not an investigation or inquiry and which by law or rule includes the right to a public trial or hearing in the same proceeding and which involves adversary parties, responsibility for payment to the disinterested witness shall be fixed by the court, agency, or officer before which the proceeding is pending. Payment shall be enforced by the court, agency, or officer upon motion by the disinterested witness.
(c) In all other proceedings, payment to the disinterested witness shall be made by the person or governmental authority requesting the summons. Any disinterested witness who desires reimbursement of such costs shall submit a request for reimbursement, supported by an affidavit, to the person or governmental authority responsible for payment. Payment shall be made within 30 days from the date the request is submitted. If payment is not made within such time, the witness may enforce payment by bringing a separate action in a court which has jurisdiction of the total amount of such costs and which is located in the judicial circuit where the witness resides.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 81-196; s. 508, ch. 95-147; s. 77, ch. 2003-402.
92.16 Certificates of Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund respecting the ownership, conveyance of, and other facts in connection with public lands.A certificate of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund under its official seal, with respect to the present or past ownership by the state or by the school, seminary or internal improvement funds of any lands in this state, or of the conveyance or transfer of any such lands by said Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or of the State Board of Education or other officers or boards of the state having power to convey any such lands, or any facts shown by the public records of his or her office with respect to any of such lands, or the transfer, ownership, or conveyance of the same, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein certified, and every such certificate shall be admissible in evidence in all of the courts of this state. All such certificates shall, without other or further proof, be admitted to record and recorded in the deed books of the respective counties of this state where the lands mentioned in such certificates lie, and the record of every such certificate shall have the same force and effect for all purposes as the record of deeds.
History.s. 1, ch. 2063, 1875; RS 1112; GS 1524; s. 1, ch. 7381, 1917; RGS 2724; CGL 4395; s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 3, ch. 63-294; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 509, ch. 95-147.
92.17 Effect of seal of Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.The impression of the seal of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund upon any deed, agreement or contract, purporting to have been made by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, or by the members of the State Board of Education, shall entitle the same to be received in evidence in all courts and in all proceedings in this state.
History.s. 1, ch. 3127, 1879; ss. 1, 2, ch. 3877, 1889; RS 1114; GS 1526; RGS 2726; CGL 4397; s. 4, ch. 63-294; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
92.18 Certificate of state officer.The certificate of any state officer, under seal of office, as to any official act occurring in the course of the official business of the office in which the state officer presides, shall be prima facie evidence of such fact.
History.s. 1, ch. 3250, 1881; RS 1113; GS 1525; RGS 2725; CGL 4396; s. 510, ch. 95-147.
92.19 Portions of records.In all cases where any certified copy of any record, pleading, document, deed, conveyance, paper or instrument in writing, involving the title to real estate shall be lawfully admissible in evidence in any of the courts of this state, a certified copy of such portions of such instrument as shall contain the essential parts thereof and only such portion of the descriptive matter thereof as shall be involved in the case on trial, shall likewise be admissible in evidence; and in no case shall it be necessary to include in such certified copies descriptive matter not involved in the case in which such copy is offered in evidence.
History.s. 1, ch. 10237, 1925; CGL 4400.
92.20 Certificates issued under authority of Congress.Every certificate issued under authority of the Congress and every duly certified copy thereof under the seal of the United States governmental department having the authority to issue such certified copy, relating to the grade, classification, quality or condition of agricultural products shall be accepted in any court of this state as prima facie evidence of the true grade, classification, condition or quality of such agricultural product at the time of its inspection.
History.s. 1, ch. 13568, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 4400(1).
92.21 Certificate as to sanitary condition of buildings.Every owner, agent, or lessee of any building or buildings used for the purpose of providing board and lodgings for the entertainment of guests, containing 10 rooms or more, who shall have obtained and posted a certificate as provided by law, may present the same as evidence in the owner’s, agent’s, or lessee’s defense in any suit in any of the courts in this state in which damages are claimed for injuries from alleged unsanitary conditions of said buildings and premises.
History.s. 4, ch. 4606, 1899; GS 1527; RGS 2727; CGL 4398; s. 511, ch. 95-147.
92.23 Rule of evidence in suits on fire policies for loss or damage to building.In all suits or proceedings brought upon policies of insurance on buildings against loss or damage by fire, hereafter issued or renewed, the insurer shall not be permitted to deny that the property insured was worth, at the time of insuring it by the policy, the full sum insured therein on such property.
History.s. 2, ch. 4677, 1899; GS 1528; RGS 2728; CGL 4399.
92.231 Expert witnesses; fee.
(1) The term “expert witness” as used herein shall apply to any witness who offers himself or herself in the trial of any action as an expert witness or who is subpoenaed to testify in such capacity before a state attorney in the investigation of a criminal matter, or before a grand jury, and who is permitted by the court to qualify and testify as such, upon any matter pending before any court.
(2) Any expert or skilled witness who shall have testified in any cause shall be allowed a witness fee including the cost of any exhibits used by such witness in an amount agreed to by the parties, and the same shall be taxed as costs. In instances where services are provided for the state, including for state-paid private court-appointed counsel, payment from state funds shall be in accordance with standards adopted by the Legislature.
(3) In a criminal case in which the state or an indigent defendant requires the services of an expert witness whose opinion is relevant to the issues of the case, the expert witness shall be compensated in accordance with standards adopted by the Legislature.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 25090, 1949; s. 19, ch. 29737, 1955; s. 1, ch. 59-201; s. 3, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 512, ch. 95-147; s. 78, ch. 2003-402; s. 37, ch. 2005-236.
Note.Former s. 90.231.
92.233 Compensation of witness summoned in two or more criminal cases.A witness subpoenaed in two or more criminal cases pending at the same time shall be paid one charge for per diem and mileage, but when the costs are taxed against the defendant, a witness may charge the full amount in each case.
History.s. 4, ch. 159, 1848; RS 2865; s. 1, ch. 5133, 1903; GS 3921; RGS 6020; CGL 8314; s. 102, ch. 70-339; s. 79, ch. 2003-402.
Note.Former s. 932.34; s. 914.09.
92.24 Certain tax deeds prima facie evidence of title.All tax deeds issued under and pursuant to the provisions and in the form prescribed in and by the following acts and statutes of this state, to wit: s. 10, chapter 4888, Acts, 1901 and said section as amended by s. 1, chapter 5152, Acts, 1903; s. 577 of the General Statutes of Florida, 1906; s. 779 of the Revised General Statutes of Florida, 1920, and said section as amended by s. 12, chapter 14572, Acts, 1929; are declared to be prima facie evidence of the regularity of the proceedings from the valuation of the land described in such deeds respectively, by the assessors, to the date of the deed or deeds inclusive, and shall be so received in evidence in any and all the courts of this state, without regard to date of execution.
History.s. 1, ch. 5150, 1903; GS 1521; RGS 2721; CGL 4389.
92.25 Records destroyed by fire; use of abstracts.Whenever in the trial of any suit, or in any proceeding in any court of this state, it shall be made to appear that the original of any deed or other instrument of writing, or of any record of any court relating to any land, the title thereof or any interest therein being in controversy in such suit or proceeding, is lost or destroyed, or not within the power of the party to produce the same, and that the record thereof has been heretofore destroyed by fire, and that no certified copy of such record is in the possession or control of such party, it is lawful for such party, and the court shall receive as evidence, any abstract of title, or letter-press copy thereof made in the ordinary course of business prior to such loss or destruction; and it is also lawful for any such party to offer, and the court shall receive as evidence, any copy, extract or minutes from such destroyed records, or from the original thereof, which were at the date of such destruction in the possession of any person or persons then engaged in the business of making abstracts of titles for others for hire.
History.s. 1, ch. 4951, 1901; GS 1529; RGS 2729; CGL 4401.
92.251 Uniform Foreign Depositions Law.
(1) This section may be cited as the “Uniform Foreign Depositions Law.”
(2) Whenever any mandate, writ or commission is issued out of any court of record in any other state, territory, district, or foreign jurisdiction, or whenever upon notice or agreement it is required to take the testimony of a witness or witnesses in this state, witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify in the same manner and by the same process and proceeding as may be employed for the purpose of taking testimony in proceedings pending in this state.
(3) This section shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purposes to make uniform the law of those states which enact it.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 59-250; s. 3, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.
Note.Former s. 90.25.
92.26 Records destroyed by fire; use of sworn copies.A sworn copy of any writing admissible under s. 92.25 made by the person or persons having possession of such writing shall be admissible in evidence; provided, the party desiring to use such sworn copy, as aforesaid, shall have given the opposite party a reasonable opportunity to verify the correctness of such copy; and provided, that no abstract of title or letter-press copy thereof, extract or minutes or copy made admissible in evidence by this section, shall be so admitted by virtue hereof unless a copy thereof shall have been served on the opposite party, or the opposite party’s attorney or counsel, at least 10 days before the same is offered in evidence. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the impeachment of such evidence, or its exclusion by the court for good and sufficient cause.
History.s. 1, ch. 4951, 1901; GS 1530; RGS 2730; CGL 4402; s. 513, ch. 95-147; s. 12, ch. 95-280.
92.27 Records destroyed by fire; effect of abstracts in evidence.In all cases in which any destroyed abstracts, copies, minutes, extracts, maps or plats, or copies thereof, purchased and placed in the clerk’s office, as provided by law, or which are made admissible in evidence under any of the provisions of this revision, whether purchased or placed in such office or not, shall be received in evidence under this law, all deeds or other instruments of writing appearing thereby to have been executed by any person or persons, or in which they appear to have joined, shall (except as against any person or persons in actual possession of the land or lot described therein at the time of the destruction of the record of such county, claiming title thereto, otherwise than under sale for taxes or special assessments) be presumed to have been executed and acknowledged according to law; and all sales under powers, and all judgments, decrees and legal proceedings, and all sales thereunder (sale for taxes and assessments, and judgments and proceedings for the enforcement of taxes and assessments excepted) shall be presumed to be regular and correct, except as against the person or persons in this section above-mentioned and excepted.
History.s. 4, ch. 4951, 1901; GS 1531; RGS 2731; CGL 4403.
92.28 Records destroyed by fire; land title suits; what may be received in evidence.In all suits or proceedings concerning any land, or any estate, interest or right in, or any lien or encumbrance upon the same, when it shall be made to appear that the original of any deed, conveyance, map, plat or other written or record evidence has been lost or destroyed, or is not in the power, custody or control of the party wishing to use it on the trial to produce same, and the record thereof has been heretofore destroyed by fire, the court shall receive all such evidence as may have a bearing on the case to establish the execution or contents of any deed, conveyance, map, plat record, or other written evidence so lost or destroyed; provided, that the testimony of the parties themselves shall be received only in such cases, and subject to all the qualifications in respect to such testimony as now provided by law; and provided further, that any writing in the hands of any person or persons, which may become admissible in evidence under the provisions of this section, or any part of this law, shall be rejected and not admitted as evidence, unless the same appear upon the face thereof without erasure, blemish, alteration, interlineation or interpolation in any material part, unless the same shall be explained to the satisfaction of the court, and appear fairly and honestly made in the ordinary course of business.
History.s. 5, ch. 4951, 1901; GS 1532; RGS 2732; CGL 4404.
92.29 Photographic or electronic copies.Photographic reproductions or reproductions through electronic recordkeeping systems made by any federal, state, county, or municipal governmental board, department or agency, in the regular course of business, of any original record, document, paper or instrument in writing or in an electronic recordkeeping system, which is, or may be, required or authorized to be made, filed, or recorded with that board, department or agency shall in all cases and in all courts and places be admitted and received as evidence with a like force and effect as the original would be, whether the original record, document, paper, or instrument in writing or in an electronic recordkeeping system is in existence or not.
History.s. 1, ch. 20866, 1941; s. 7, ch. 94-348.
92.295 Copies of voter registration records.Any reproduction of an original voter registration record stored pursuant to s. 98.461, whether microfilmed or maintained digitally or on electronic, magnetic, or optic media, which reproduction is certified by the supervisor of elections who is the custodian of the record, is admissible as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding in this state with the same effect as the original voter registration record, whether the original voter registration record exists or not.
History.s. 1, ch. 88-45; s. 7, ch. 90-315.
92.30 Presumption of death; official findings.A written finding of presumed death, made by the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, or other officer or employee of the United States authorized to make such findings, pursuant to the 1Federal Missing Persons Act (56 Stat. 143, 1092, and Pub. L. No. 408, Ch. 371, 2d Sess. 78th Cong.; 50 U.S.C. App. Supp. 1001-17), as now or hereafter amended, or a duly certified copy of such finding, shall be received in any court, office, or other place in this state as evidence of the death of the person therein found to be dead, and the date, circumstances, and place of the person’s disappearance.
History.s. 1, ch. 22866, 1945; s. 22, ch. 77-104; s. 514, ch. 95-147.
1Note.Repealed by Act Sept. 6, 1966, Pub. L. No. 89-554, s. 8(a), 80 Stat. 632, 651-654, 656, 657, 659, 662.
92.31 Missing persons and persons imprisoned or interned in foreign countries; official reports.An official written report or record, or duly certified copy thereof, that a person is missing, missing in action, interned in a neutral country, or beleaguered, besieged, or captured by an enemy, or is dead, or is alive, made by any officer or employee of the United States authorized by the act referred to in s. 92.30, or by any other law of the United States to make same, shall be received in any court, office, or other place in this state as evidence that such person is missing, missing in action, interned in a neutral country, or beleaguered, besieged, or captured by an enemy, or is dead, or is alive, as the case may be.
History.s. 2, ch. 22866, 1945.
92.32 Official findings and reports; presumption of authority to issue or execute.For the purposes of this law, any finding, report, or record, or duly certified copy thereof, purporting to have been signed by such an officer or employee of the United States as is described above, shall prima facie be deemed to have been signed and issued by such an officer or employee pursuant to law, and the person signing same shall prima facie be deemed to have acted within the scope of the person’s authority. If a copy purports to have been certified by a person authorized by law to certify the same, such certified copy shall be prima facie evidence of the person’s authority so to certify.
History.s. 3, ch. 22866, 1945; s. 515, ch. 95-147.
92.33 Written statement concerning injury to person or property; furnishing copies; admission as evidence.Every person who shall take a written statement by any injured person with respect to any accident or with respect to any injury to person or property shall, at the time of taking such statement, furnish to the person making such statement a true and complete copy thereof. Any person having taken, or having possession of any written statement or a copy of such statement, by any injured person with respect to any accident or with respect to any injury to person or property shall, at the request of the person who made such statement or his or her personal representative, furnish the person who made such statement or his or her personal representative a true and complete copy thereof. No written statement by an injured person shall be admissible in evidence or otherwise used in any manner in any civil action relating to the subject matter thereof unless it shall be made to appear that a true and complete copy thereof was furnished to the person making such statement at the time of the making thereof, or, if it shall be made to appear that thereafter a person having possession of such statement refused, upon request of the person who made the statement or his or her personal representatives, to furnish him or her a true and complete copy thereof.
History.s. 1, ch. 26482, 1951; s. 516, ch. 95-147.
92.351 Prohibition against prisoners submitting nondocumentary physical evidence without authorization of court; prisoner mailings to courts.
(1) No prisoner as defined by s. 57.085 who is a party to a judicial proceeding may submit evidence or any other item that is not in paper document form to a court or clerk of court without first obtaining authorization from the court. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, all nondocumentary evidence or items offered in support of a motion, pleading, or other document filed with the court. This prohibition does not preclude a prisoner who is appearing in person or through counsel before a court at a trial or hearing from submitting physical evidence to the court at the appropriate time.
(2) A corrections or detention facility for prisoners may conduct a cursory examination of the outside of any package or other mailing from a prisoner to a court or clerk of court of this state to determine whether the package or mailing contains materials other than paper documents. If such package or mailing appears to contain materials other than paper documents, the facility shall refuse to forward it until the sender presents a court order authorizing the mailing of such nondocumentary items or demonstrates that the contents are not prohibited by this section.
History.s. 3, ch. 96-106.
92.38 Comparison of disputed writings.Comparison of a disputed writing with any writing proved to the satisfaction of the judge to be genuine, shall be permitted to be made by the witnesses; and such writings, and the evidence of witnesses respecting the same, may be submitted to the jury, or to the court in case of a trial by the court, as evidence of the genuineness, or otherwise, of the writing in dispute.
History.s. 55, ch. 1096, 1861; RS 1121; GS 1539; RGS 2739; CGL 4411.
Note.Former s. 90.20.
92.39 Evidence of individual’s claim against the state in suits between them.In suits between the state and individuals, no claim for a credit shall be allowed upon trial, but such as shall appear to have been presented to the Chief Financial Officer for his or her examination, and by him or her disallowed in whole or in part, unless it shall be proved to the satisfaction of the court that the defendant is, at the time of the trial, in possession of vouchers not before in the defendant’s power to procure, and that the defendant was prevented from exhibiting a claim for such credit at the Chief Financial Officer’s office by unavoidable accident.
History.s. 4, Feb. 10, 1837; RS 1122; GS 1540; RGS 2740; CGL 4412; s. 517, ch. 95-147; s. 108, ch. 2003-261.
Note.Former s. 90.22.
92.40 Reports of building, housing, or health code violations; admissibility.A copy of a report, notice, or citation of a violation of any building, housing, or health code by a governmental agency charged with the enforcement of such codes, certified by the agency, if otherwise material shall be admissible as evidence.
History.s. 11, ch. 73-330.
92.50 Oaths, affidavits, and acknowledgments; who may take or administer; requirements.
(1) IN THIS STATE.Oaths, affidavits, and acknowledgments required or authorized under the laws of this state (except oaths to jurors and witnesses in court and such other oaths, affidavits and acknowledgments as are required by law to be taken or administered by or before particular officers) may be taken or administered by or before any judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of any court of record within this state, including federal courts, or before any United States commissioner or any notary public within this state. The jurat, or certificate of proof or acknowledgment, shall be authenticated by the signature and official seal of such officer or person taking or administering the same; however, when taken or administered before any judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of a court of record, the seal of such court may be affixed as the seal of such officer or person.
(2) IN OTHER STATES, TERRITORIES, AND DISTRICTS OF THE UNITED STATES.Oaths, affidavits, and acknowledgments required or authorized under the laws of this state, may be taken or administered in any other state, territory, or district of the United States, before any judge, clerk or deputy clerk of any court of record, within such state, territory, or district, having a seal, or before any notary public or justice of the peace, having a seal, in such state, territory, or district; provided, however, such officer or person is authorized under the laws of such state, territory, or district to take or administer oaths, affidavits and acknowledgments. The jurat, or certificate of proof or acknowledgment, shall be authenticated by the signature and official seal of such officer or person taking or administering the same; provided, however, when taken or administered by or before any judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of a court of record, the seal of such court may be affixed as the seal of such officer or person.
(3) IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES.Oaths, affidavits, and acknowledgments, required or authorized by the laws of this state, may be taken or administered in any foreign country, by or before any judge or justice of a court of last resort, any notary public of such foreign country, any minister, consul general, charge d’affaires, or consul of the United States resident in such country. The jurat, or certificate of proof or acknowledgment, shall be authenticated by the signature and official seal of the officer or person taking or administering the same; provided, however, when taken or administered by or before any judge or justice of a court of last resort, the seal of such court may be affixed as the seal of such judge or justice.
History.s. 1, ch. 48, 1845; RS 1299; GS 1730; RGS 2945; CGL 4669; s. 1, ch. 23156, 1945; s. 7, ch. 24337, 1947; s. 15, ch. 73-334; s. 3, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.
Note.Former s. 90.01.
92.51 Oaths, affidavits, and acknowledgments; taken or administered by commissioned officer of United States Armed Forces.
(1) Oaths, affidavits, and acknowledgments required or authorized by the laws of this state may be taken or administered within or without the United States by or before any commissioned officer in active service of the Armed Forces of the United States with the rank of second lieutenant or higher in the Army, Air Force or Marine Corps or ensign or higher in the Navy or Coast Guard when the person required or authorized to make and execute the oath, affidavit, or acknowledgment is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, the spouse of such member or a person whose duties require the person’s presence with the Armed Forces of the United States.
(2) A certificate endorsed upon the instrument which shows the date of the oath, affidavit, or acknowledgment and which states in substance that the person appearing before the officer acknowledged the instrument as the person’s act or made or signed the instrument under oath shall be sufficient for all intents and purposes. The instrument shall not be rendered invalid by the failure to state the place of execution or acknowledgment.
(3) If the signature, rank, and branch of service or subdivision thereof of any commissioned officer appears upon such instrument, document or certificate no further proof of the authority of such officer so to act shall be required and such action by such commissioned officer shall be prima facie evidence that the person making such oath, affidavit or acknowledgment is within the purview of this act.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 61-196; s. 3, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 518, ch. 95-147.
Note.Former s. 90.011.
92.52 Affirmation equivalent to oath.Whenever an oath shall be required by any law of this state in any proceeding, an affirmation may be substituted therefor.
History.RS 1300; GS 1731; RGS 2946; CGL 4670; s. 3, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.
Note.Former s. 90.02.
92.525 Verification of documents; perjury by false written declaration, penalty.
(1) If authorized or required by law, by rule of an administrative agency, or by rule or order of court that a document be verified by a person, the verification may be accomplished in the following manner:
(a) Under oath or affirmation taken or administered before an officer authorized under s. 92.50 to administer oaths;
(b) Under oath or affirmation taken or administered by an officer authorized under s. 117.10 to administer oaths; or
(c) By the signing of the written declaration prescribed in subsection (2).
(2) A written declaration means the following statement: “Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have read the foregoing [document] and that the facts stated in it are true,” followed by the signature of the person making the declaration, except when a verification on information or belief is permitted by law, in which case the words “to the best of my knowledge and belief” may be added. The written declaration shall be printed or typed at the end of or immediately below the document being verified and above the signature of the person making the declaration.
(3) A person who knowingly makes a false declaration under subsection (2) is guilty of the crime of perjury by false written declaration, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) As used in this section:
(a) The term “administrative agency” means any department or agency of the state or any county, municipality, special district, or other political subdivision.
(b) The term “document” means any writing including, without limitation, any form, application, claim, notice, tax return, inventory, affidavit, pleading, or paper.
(c) The requirement that a document be verified means that the document must be signed or executed by a person and that the person must state under oath or affirm that the facts or matters stated or recited in the document are true, or words of that import or effect.
History.s. 12, ch. 86-201; s. 1, ch. 2015-23.
92.53 Videotaping the testimony of a victim or witness under age 18 or who has an intellectual disability.
(1) On motion and hearing in camera and a finding that there is a substantial likelihood that a victim or witness who is under the age of 18 or who has an intellectual disability as defined in s. 393.063 would suffer at least moderate emotional or mental harm due to the presence of the defendant if such victim or witness is required to testify in open court, or is unavailable as defined in s. 90.804(1), the trial court may order the videotaping of the testimony of the victim or witness in a case, whether civil or criminal in nature, in which videotaped testimony is to be used at trial in lieu of trial testimony in open court.
(2) The motion may be filed by:
(a) The victim or witness, or the victim’s or witness’s attorney, parent, legal guardian, or guardian ad litem;
(b) A trial judge on his or her own motion;
(c) Any party in a civil proceeding; or
(d) The prosecuting attorney or the defendant, or the defendant’s counsel.
(3) The judge shall preside, or shall appoint a special master to preside, at the videotaping unless:
(a) The child or the person who has the intellectual disability is represented by a guardian ad litem or counsel;
(b) The representative of the victim or witness and the counsel for each party stipulate that the requirement for the presence of the judge or special master may be waived; and
(c) The court finds at a hearing on the motion that the presence of a judge or special master is not necessary to protect the victim or witness.
(4) The defendant and the defendant’s counsel must be present at the videotaping unless the defendant has waived this right. The court may require the defendant to view the testimony from outside the presence of the child or the person who has an intellectual disability by means of a two-way mirror or another similar method that ensures that the defendant can observe and hear the testimony of the victim or witness in person, but the victim or witness cannot hear or see the defendant. The defendant and the attorney for the defendant may communicate by any appropriate private method.
(5) Any party, or the court on its own motion, may request the aid of an interpreter, as provided in s. 90.606, to aid the parties in formulating methods of questioning the child or person who has the intellectual disability and in interpreting the answers of the child or person during proceedings conducted under this section.
(6) The motion referred to in subsection (1) may be made at any time with reasonable notice to each party to the cause, and videotaping of testimony may be made any time after the court grants the motion. The videotaped testimony is admissible as evidence in the trial of the cause; however, such testimony is not admissible in any trial or proceeding in which such witness testifies by use of closed-circuit television pursuant to s. 92.54.
(7) The court shall make specific findings of fact, on the record, as to the basis for its ruling under this section.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 79-69; s. 1, ch. 84-36; ss. 5, 9, ch. 85-53; s. 9, ch. 85-80; s. 1, ch. 93-131; s. 21, ch. 94-154; s. 1379, ch. 95-147; s. 30, ch. 99-2; s. 4, ch. 2000-338; s. 89, ch. 2004-267; s. 4, ch. 2013-162; s. 1, ch. 2016-199.
Note.Former ss. 918.17, 90.90.
92.54 Use of closed-circuit television in proceedings involving a victim or witness under the age of 18 or who has an intellectual disability.
(1) Upon motion and hearing in camera and upon a finding that there is a substantial likelihood that a victim or witness under the age of 18 or who has an intellectual disability will suffer at least moderate emotional or mental harm due to the presence of the defendant if such victim or witness is required to testify in open court, or is unavailable as defined in s. 90.804(1), the trial court may order that the testimony of the victim or witness be taken outside of the courtroom and shown by means of closed-circuit television.
(2) The motion may be filed by the victim or witness; the attorney, parent, legal guardian, or guardian ad litem of the victim or witness; the prosecutor; the defendant or the defendant’s counsel; or the trial judge on his or her own motion.
(3) Only the judge, the prosecutor, the defendant, the attorney for the defendant, the operators of the videotape equipment, an interpreter, and some other person who, in the opinion of the court, contributes to the well-being of the child or the person who has an intellectual disability and who will not be a witness in the case may be in the room during the recording of the testimony.
(4) During the victim’s or witness’s testimony by closed-circuit television, the court may require the defendant to view the testimony from the courtroom. In such a case, the court shall permit the defendant to observe and hear the testimony of the victim or witness, but must ensure that the victim or witness cannot hear or see the defendant. The defendant’s right to assistance of counsel, which includes the right to immediate and direct communication with counsel conducting cross-examination, must be protected and, upon the defendant’s request, such communication must be provided by any appropriate electronic method.
(5) The court shall make specific findings of fact, on the record, as to the basis for its ruling under this section.
History.s. 6, ch. 85-53; s. 12, ch. 87-224; s. 2, ch. 93-131; s. 22, ch. 94-154; s. 1380, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 2013-162; s. 2, ch. 2016-199.
92.55 Judicial or other proceedings involving victim or witness under the age of 18, a person who has an intellectual disability, or a sexual offense victim or witness; special protections; use of therapy animals or facility dogs.
(1) For purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Sexual offense victim or witness” means a person who was under the age of 18 when he or she was the victim of or a witness to a sexual offense.
(b) “Sexual offense” means any offense specified in s. 775.21(4)(a)1. or s. 943.0435(1)(h)1.a.(I).
(2) Upon motion of any party, upon motion of a parent, guardian, attorney, guardian ad litem, or other advocate appointed by the court under s. 914.17 for a victim or witness under the age of 18, a person who has an intellectual disability, or a sexual offense victim or witness, or upon its own motion, the court may enter any order necessary to protect the victim or witness in any judicial proceeding or other official proceeding from severe emotional or mental harm due to the presence of the defendant if the victim or witness is required to testify in open court. Such orders must relate to the taking of testimony and include, but are not limited to:
(a) Interviewing or the taking of depositions as part of a civil or criminal proceeding.
(b) Examination and cross-examination for the purpose of qualifying as a witness or testifying in any proceeding.
(c) The use of testimony taken outside of the courtroom, including proceedings under ss. 92.53 and 92.54.
(3) In ruling upon the motion, the court shall consider:
(a) The age of the child, the nature of the offense or act, the relationship of the child to the parties in the case or to the defendant in a criminal action, the degree of emotional trauma that will result to the child as a consequence of the defendant’s presence, and any other fact that the court deems relevant;
(b) The age of the person who has an intellectual disability, the functional capacity of such person, the nature of the offenses or act, the relationship of the person to the parties in the case or to the defendant in a criminal action, the degree of emotional trauma that will result to the person as a consequence of the defendant’s presence, and any other fact that the court deems relevant; or
(c) The age of the sexual offense victim or witness when the sexual offense occurred, the relationship of the sexual offense victim or witness to the parties in the case or to the defendant in a criminal action, the degree of emotional trauma that will result to the sexual offense victim or witness as a consequence of the defendant’s presence, and any other fact that the court deems relevant.
(4) In addition to such other relief provided by law, the court may enter orders limiting the number of times that a child, a person who has an intellectual disability, or a sexual offense victim or witness may be interviewed, prohibiting depositions of the victim or witness, requiring the submission of questions before the examination of the victim or witness, setting the place and conditions for interviewing the victim or witness or for conducting any other proceeding, or permitting or prohibiting the attendance of any person at any proceeding. The court shall enter any order necessary to protect the rights of all parties, including the defendant in any criminal action.
(5) The court may set any other conditions it finds just and appropriate when taking the testimony of a victim or witness under the age of 18, a person who has an intellectual disability, or a sexual offense victim or witness, including the use of a therapy animal or facility dog, in any proceeding involving a sexual offense or child abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
(a) When deciding whether to permit a victim or witness under the age of 18, a person who has an intellectual disability, or a sexual offense victim or witness to testify with the assistance of a therapy animal or facility dog, the court shall consider the age of the child victim or witness, the age of the sexual offense victim or witness at the time the sexual offense occurred, the interests of the child victim or witness or sexual offense victim or witness, the rights of the parties to the litigation, and any other relevant factor that would facilitate the testimony by the victim or witness under the age of 18, person who has an intellectual disability, or sexual offense victim or witness.
(b) For purposes of this subsection the term:
1. “Facility dog” means a dog that has been trained, evaluated, and certified as a facility dog pursuant to industry standards and provides unobtrusive emotional support to children and adults in facility settings.
2. “Therapy animal” means an animal that has been trained, evaluated, and certified as a therapy animal pursuant to industry standards by an organization that certifies animals as appropriate to provide animal therapy.
History.s. 7, ch. 85-53; s. 3, ch. 93-131; s. 23, ch. 94-154; s. 8, ch. 2000-336; s. 3, ch. 2011-220; s. 6, ch. 2013-162; s. 1, ch. 2014-4; s. 64, ch. 2016-24; s. 9, ch. 2016-104; s. 3, ch. 2016-199; s. 1, ch. 2017-13.
92.56 Judicial proceedings and court records involving sexual offenses and human trafficking.
(1)(a) The confidential and exempt status of criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information made confidential and exempt pursuant to s. 119.071(2)(h) must be maintained in court records pursuant to s. 119.0714(1)(h) and in court proceedings, including testimony from witnesses.
(b) If a petition for access to such confidential and exempt records is filed with the trial court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense, the confidential and exempt status of such information shall be maintained by the court if the state or the victim demonstrates that:
1. The identity of the victim is not already known in the community;
2. The victim has not voluntarily called public attention to the offense;
3. The identity of the victim has not otherwise become a reasonable subject of public concern;
4. The disclosure of the victim’s identity would be offensive to a reasonable person; and
5. The disclosure of the victim’s identity would:
a. Endanger the victim because the assailant has not been apprehended and is not otherwise known to the victim;
b. Endanger the victim because of the likelihood of retaliation, harassment, or intimidation;
c. Cause severe emotional or mental harm to the victim;
d. Make the victim unwilling to testify as a witness; or
e. Be inappropriate for other good cause shown.
(2) A defendant charged with a crime described in s. 787.06(3)(a)1., (c)1., or (e)1., s. 787.06(3)(b), (d), (f), or (g), chapter 794, or chapter 800, or with child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or sexual performance by a child as described in chapter 827, may apply to the trial court for an order of disclosure of information in court records held confidential and exempt pursuant to s. 119.0714(1)(h) or maintained as confidential and exempt pursuant to court order under this section. Such identifying information concerning the victim may be released to the defendant or his or her attorney in order to prepare the defense. The confidential and exempt status of this information may not be construed to prevent the disclosure of the victim’s identity to the defendant; however, the defendant may not disclose the victim’s identity to any person other than the defendant’s attorney or any other person directly involved in the preparation of the defense. A willful and knowing disclosure of the identity of the victim to any other person by the defendant constitutes contempt.
(3) The state may use a pseudonym instead of the victim’s name to designate the victim of a crime described in s. 787.06(3)(a)1., (c)1., or (e)1., in s. 787.06(3)(b), (d), (f), or (g), or in chapter 794 or chapter 800, or of child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or sexual performance by a child as described in chapter 827, or any crime involving the production, possession, or promotion of child pornography as described in chapter 847, in all court records and records of court proceedings, both civil and criminal.
(4) The protection of this section may be waived by the victim of the alleged offense in a writing filed with the court, in which the victim consents to the use or release of identifying information during court proceedings and in the records of court proceedings.
(5) This section does not prohibit the publication or broadcast of the substance of trial testimony in a prosecution for an offense described in s. 787.06(3)(a)1., (c)1., or (e)1., s. 787.06(3)(b), (d), (f), or (g), chapter 794, or chapter 800, or a crime of child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or sexual performance by a child, as described in chapter 827, but the publication or broadcast may not include an identifying photograph, an identifiable voice, or the name or address of the victim, unless the victim has consented in writing to the publication and filed such consent with the court or unless the court has declared such records not confidential and exempt as provided for in subsection (1).
(6) A willful and knowing violation of this section or a willful and knowing failure to obey any court order issued under this section constitutes contempt.
History.s. 3, ch. 95-207; s. 1, ch. 2008-172; s. 4, ch. 2008-234; s. 3, ch. 2011-83; s. 1, ch. 2014-160.
92.561 Prohibition on reproduction of child pornography.
(1) In a criminal proceeding, any property or material that portrays sexual performance by a child as defined in s. 827.071, or constitutes child pornography as defined in s. 847.001, must remain secured or locked in the care, custody, and control of a law enforcement agency, the state attorney, or the court.
(2) Notwithstanding any law or rule of court, a court shall deny, in a criminal proceeding, any request by the defendant to copy, photograph, duplicate, or otherwise reproduce any property or material that portrays sexual performance by a child or constitutes child pornography so long as the state attorney makes the property or material reasonably available to the defendant.
(3) For purposes of this section, property or material is deemed to be reasonably available to the defendant if the state attorney provides ample opportunity at a designated facility for the inspection, viewing, and examination of the property or material that portrays sexual performance by a child or constitutes child pornography by the defendant, his or her attorney, or any individual whom the defendant uses as an expert during the discovery process or at a court proceeding.
History.s. 4, ch. 2011-220.
92.565 Admissibility of confession in sexual abuse cases.
(1) As used in this section, the term “sexual abuse” means an act of a sexual nature or sexual act that may be prosecuted under any law of this state, including those offenses specifically designated in subsection (2).
(2) In any criminal action in which the defendant is charged with a crime against a victim under s. 787.06(3), involving commercial sexual activity; s. 794.011; s. 794.05; s. 800.04; s. 826.04; s. 827.03, involving sexual abuse; s. 827.04, involving sexual abuse; s. 827.071; or s. 847.0135(5), or any other crime involving sexual abuse of another, or with any attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any of these crimes, the defendant’s memorialized confession or admission is admissible during trial without the state having to prove a corpus delicti of the crime if the court finds in a hearing conducted outside the presence of the jury that the state is unable to show the existence of each element of the crime, and having so found, further finds that the defendant’s confession or admission is trustworthy. Factors which may be relevant in determining whether the state is unable to show the existence of each element of the crime include, but are not limited to, the fact that, at the time the crime was committed, the victim was:
(a) Physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or mentally defective, as those terms are defined in s. 794.011;
(b) Physically incapacitated due to age, infirmity, or any other cause; or
(c) Less than 12 years of age.
(3) Before the court admits the defendant’s confession or admission, the state must prove by a preponderance of evidence that there is sufficient corroborating evidence that tends to establish the trustworthiness of the statement by the defendant. Hearsay evidence is admissible during the presentation of evidence at the hearing. In making its determination, the court may consider all relevant corroborating evidence, including the defendant’s statements.
(4) The court shall make specific findings of fact, on the record, for the basis of its ruling.
History.s. 1, ch. 2000-204; s. 10, ch. 2008-172; s. 2, ch. 2017-23.
92.57 Termination of employment of witness prohibited.A person who testifies in a judicial proceeding in response to a subpoena may not be dismissed from employment because of the nature of the person’s testimony or because of absences from employment resulting from compliance with the subpoena. In any civil action arising out of a violation of this section, the court may award attorney’s fees and punitive damages to the person unlawfully dismissed, in addition to actual damages suffered by such person.
History.s. 1, ch. 90-185.
92.60 Foreign records of regularly conducted business activity.
(1) For the purposes of this section:
(a) “Foreign record of regularly conducted business activity” means a memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, in any form, of acts, events, conditions, opinions, or diagnoses, maintained in a foreign country.
(b) “Foreign certification” means a written declaration made and signed in a foreign country by the custodian of a foreign record of regularly conducted business activity or another qualified person that, if falsely made, would subject the maker to criminal penalty under the laws of that country.
(c) “Business” means any business, institution, association, profession, occupation, or calling of any kind, whether or not conducted for profit.
(2) In a criminal or civil proceeding in a court of the State of Florida, a foreign record of regularly conducted business activity, or a copy of such record, shall not be excluded as evidence by the hearsay rule if a foreign certification attests that:
(a) Such record was made at or near the time of the occurrence of the matters set forth by, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge of those matters;
(b) Such record was kept in the course of a regularly conducted business activity;
(c) The business activity made such a record as a regular practice; and
(d) If such record is not the original, it is a duplicate of the original;

unless the source of information or the method or circumstances of preparation indicate lack of trustworthiness.

(3) A foreign certification under this section shall authenticate such record or duplicate.
(4) No evidence in such records in the form of opinion or diagnosis is admissible under subsection (2) unless such opinion or diagnosis would be admissible under ss. 90.701-90.705 if the person whose opinion is recorded were to testify to the opinion directly.
(5) At the arraignment or as soon after the arraignment as practicable, or 60 days prior to a civil trial, a party intending to offer in evidence under this section a foreign record of regularly conducted business activity shall provide written notice of that intention to each other party. A motion opposing admission in evidence of such record shall be made by the opposing party and determined by the court before trial. Failure by a party to file such motion before trial shall constitute a waiver of objection to such record or duplicate, but the court for cause shown may grant relief from the waiver.
History.s. 17, ch. 88-381; s. 1, ch. 97-189.
92.605 Production of certain records by Florida businesses and out-of-state corporations.
(1) For the purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Adverse result” includes one of the following consequences to notification of the existence of a court order, a subpoena, or a search warrant:
1. Danger to the life or physical safety of an individual.
2. A flight from prosecution.
3. The destruction of or tampering with evidence.
4. The intimidation of potential witnesses.
5. Serious jeopardy to an investigation or undue delay of a trial.
(b) “Applicant” means a law enforcement officer who is seeking a court order or subpoena under s. 16.56, s. 27.04, s. 905.185, or s. 914.04 or who is issued a search warrant under s. 933.01, or anyone who is authorized to issue a subpoena under the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.
(c) “Business” means any business, institution, association, profession, occupation, or calling of any kind, whether or not conducted for profit.
(d) “Electronic communication services” and “remote computing services” have the same meaning as provided in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act in chapter 121 (commencing with s. 2701) of part I of Title 18 of the United States Code Annotated. This section does not apply to corporations that do not provide those services to the public.
(e) “Out-of-state corporation” means any corporation that is qualified to do business in this state under s. 607.1501.
(f) “Out-of-state record of regularly conducted business activity” means a memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, in any form, of acts, events, conditions, opinions, or diagnoses, maintained in another state or country.
(g) “Out-of-state certification” means a written declaration made and signed in another state or country by the custodian of an out-of-state record of regularly conducted business activity or another qualified person that, if falsely made, would subject the declarant to criminal penalty under the laws of another state or country.
(h) “Properly served” means delivery by hand or in a manner reasonably allowing for proof of delivery if delivered by United States mail, overnight delivery service, or facsimile to a person or entity properly registered to do business in any state. In order for an out-of-state corporation to be properly served, the service described in this paragraph must be effected on the corporation’s registered agent.
(2) The following provisions apply to any subpoena, court order, or search warrant issued in compliance with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act in chapter 121 (commencing with s. 2701) of part I of Title 18 of the United States Code and that is subject to this chapter, which allows a search for records that are in the actual or constructive possession of an out-of-state corporation that provides electronic communication services or remote computing services to the public, when those records would reveal the identity of the customers using those services; data stored by, or on behalf of, the customers; the customers’ usage of those services; or the recipients or destinations of communications sent to or from those customers.
(a) Any subpoena, court order, or warrant issued under this subsection must contain the following language in bold type on the first page of the document: “This (subpoena, order, warrant) is issued pursuant to Florida Statute s. 92.605. A response is due within 20 business days of receipt of this (subpoena, order, warrant) unless a longer time period is stated herein.”
(b) When properly served with a subpoena, court order, or search warrant issued by a Florida court or other applicant, an out-of-state corporation subject to this section shall provide to the applicant all records sought pursuant to such subpoena, court order, or warrant within 20 business days after receipt, or the date indicated within the subpoena, if later, including those records maintained or located outside the State of Florida. If the records cannot be produced within the 20-day time period, the out-of-state corporation shall notify the applicant within the 20-day time period and agree to produce the documents at the earliest possible time. The applicant shall pay the out-of-state corporation the reasonable expenses associated with compliance.
(c) When the applicant makes a showing and the court finds that failure to produce records within 20 business days would cause an adverse result, the subpoena, court order, or warrant may require production of records within less than 20 business days. A court may reasonably extend the time required for production of the records upon finding that the out-of-state corporation needs the extension and that an extension of time would not cause an adverse result.
(d) An out-of-state corporation seeking to quash or object to the subpoena, court order, or warrant must seek relief from the court issuing such subpoena, court order, or warrant within the time required for production of records under this section. The issuing court shall hear and decide that motion within 5 court days after the motion is filed.
(e) Upon written request from the applicant or if ordered by the court, the out-of-state corporation shall verify the authenticity of records that it produces by providing an affidavit that complies with the requirements set forth in this section. Records produced in compliance with this section are admissible in evidence as set forth in subsection (5).
(3) A Florida business that provides electronic communication services or remote computing services to the public, when served with a subpoena, court order, or warrant issued by another state to produce records that would reveal the identity of the customers using those services; data stored by, or on behalf of, the customers; the customers’ usage of those services; or the recipients or destinations of communications sent to or from those customers shall produce those records as if that subpoena, court order, or warrant had been issued by a Florida court.
(4) A cause of action does not arise against any out-of-state corporation or Florida business subject to this section, or its officers, employees, agents, or other specified persons, for providing records, information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with the terms of a subpoena, court order, or warrant subject to this section.
(5) In a criminal proceeding in a court of this state, an out-of-state record of regularly conducted business activity, or a copy of such record, shall not be excluded as hearsay evidence by s. 90.802, if an out-of-state certification attests that:
(a) Such record was made at or near the time of the occurrence of the matters set forth by, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge of those matters.
(b) Such record was kept in the course of a regularly conducted business activity.
(c) The business activity made such a record as a regular practice.
(d) If such record is not the original, it is a duplicate of the original, unless the source of information or the method or circumstances of preparation indicate lack of trustworthiness.
(6) An out-of-state certification under this section shall authenticate such record or duplicate.
(7) No evidence in such records in the form of opinion or diagnosis is admissible under subsection (5) unless such opinion or diagnosis would be admissible under ss. 90.701-90.705 if the person whose opinion is recorded were to testify to the opinion directly.
(8) As soon after the arraignment as practicable, or 60 days prior to trial, a party intending to offer in evidence under this section an out-of-state record of regularly conducted business activity shall provide written notice of that intention to each other party. A motion opposing admission in evidence of such record shall be made by the opposing party and determined by the court before trial. Failure by a party to file such motion before trial shall constitute a waiver of objection to such record or duplicate, but the court for cause shown may grant relief from the waiver.
(9) In any criminal case, the content of any electronic communication may be obtained under this section only by court order or by the issuance of a search warrant, unless otherwise provided under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act or other provision of law.
History.s. 3, ch. 2003-71.
92.70 Eyewitness identification.
(1) SHORT TITLE.This section may be cited as the “Eyewitness Identification Reform Act.”
(2) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Eyewitness” means a person whose identification by sight of another person may be relevant in a criminal proceeding.
(b) “Independent administrator” means a person who is not participating in the investigation of a criminal offense and is unaware of which person in the lineup is the suspect.
(c) “Lineup” means a photo lineup or live lineup.
(d) “Lineup administrator” means the person who conducts a lineup.
(e) “Live lineup” means a procedure in which a group of people is displayed to an eyewitness for the purpose of determining if the eyewitness can identify the perpetrator of a crime.
(f) “Photo lineup” means a procedure in which an array of photographs is displayed to an eyewitness for the purpose of determining if the eyewitness can identify the perpetrator of a crime.
(3) EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES.A lineup conducted in this state by a state, county, municipal, or other law enforcement agency must meet all of the following requirements:
(a) The lineup must be conducted by an independent administrator. However, in lieu of using an independent administrator, a law enforcement agency may conduct a photo lineup eyewitness identification procedure using an alternative method specified in subparagraph 1., subparagraph 2., or subparagraph 3. Any alternative method must be carefully structured to achieve neutral administration and to prevent the lineup administrator from knowing which photograph is being presented to the eyewitness during the identification procedure. Alternative methods may include any of the following:
1. An automated computer program that can automatically administer the photo lineup directly to an eyewitness and prevent the lineup administrator from seeing which photograph the eyewitness is viewing until after the procedure is completed.
2. A procedure in which photographs are placed in folders, randomly numbered, and shuffled and then presented to an eyewitness such that the lineup administrator cannot see or track which photograph is being presented to the eyewitness until after the procedure is completed.
3. Any other procedure that achieves neutral administration and prevents the lineup administrator from knowing which photograph is being presented to the eyewitness during the identification procedure.
(b) Before a lineup, the eyewitness must be instructed that:
1. The perpetrator might or might not be in the lineup;
2. The lineup administrator does not know the suspect’s identity, except that this instruction need not be given when a specified and approved alternative method of neutral administration is used;
3. The eyewitness should not feel compelled to make an identification;
4. It is as important to exclude innocent persons as it is to identify the perpetrator; and
5. The investigation will continue with or without an identification.

The eyewitness shall acknowledge, in writing, having received a copy of the lineup instructions. If the eyewitness refuses to sign a document acknowledging receipt of the instructions, the lineup administrator must document the refusal of the eyewitness to sign a document acknowledging receipt of the instructions, and the lineup administrator must sign the acknowledgment document himself or herself.

(4) REMEDIES.All of the following remedies are available as consequences of compliance or noncompliance with any requirement of this section:
(a)1. A failure on the part of a person to comply with any requirement of this section shall be considered by the court when adjudicating motions to suppress eyewitness identification.
2. A failure on the part of a person to comply with any requirement of this section is admissible in support of a claim of eyewitness misidentification, as long as such evidence is otherwise admissible.
(b) If evidence of compliance or noncompliance with any requirement of this section is presented at trial, the jury shall be instructed that the jury may consider credible evidence of compliance or noncompliance to determine the reliability of eyewitness identifications.
(5) EDUCATION AND TRAINING.The Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, in consultation with the Department of Law Enforcement, shall create educational materials and provide training programs on how to conduct lineups in compliance with this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 2017-91.