What are public records?
Florida prides itself in having an open government and many of Florida’s records are open to the public. Not everything falls under the category of a public record though, and likely for good reason. Public records are defined in Section 119.011(12), Florida Statutes and are essentially any document, recording, or material of any form made or received pursuant to law or ordinance connected with the official business of any agency.
What are the consequences of violating the Sunshine Law?
Violations of Florida’s Sunshine Law can bring stiff and far reaching consequences, some of which are not just against the board members, commissioners, etc. involved. For starters, there can be criminal penalties. If a board member, commissioner, etc. knowingly violates the Sunshine Law, the individual is likely guilty of a second degree misdemeanor, which can include 60 days of imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.
Misconceptions about the Sunshine Law<\strong>
There are several misconceptions about Florida’s Sunshine Law that I would like to address in this third installment. One of the largest that I believe is slowly getting recognized and understood is the right to participate or comment in meetings falling under the requirements of Chapter 286, Florida Statutes.
Who and what does the Florida Sunshine Law cover?
Florida’s Sunshine Law promotes the state’s policy towards open government. In fact, it is required by Article I, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution. Does the open policy apply to every government entity in Florida, does it apply to all members of the government, its agencies, etc., and does it cover every type of meeting? The Sunshine Law applies to “any board or commission of any state agency or authority or of any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation or political subdivision.” Section 286.011, Florida Statutes. Notice that the Sunshine Law applies to state, county, municipal or political subdivisions; it does not apply to federal agencies or federal entities of any type.
If you have reached this stage, either the defendant did not fill out the Financial Information Form pursuant to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure or the form was not attached to your final judgment. It has been over 30 days since the Judge granted your judgment and you haven’t been paid, no offers have […]
What is Florida’s Sunshine Law?
Florida has a long history of openness dating back to at least 1909 when the “Public Records Law” (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes) was passed. Since that time, Florida has enacted several laws and amended the Florida Constitution to ensure openness in the government. One important part of these statutes is Florida’s “Sunshine Law” (Chapter 286, Florida Statutes). So how far does this openness go and what type of openness does it provide?
As discussed by on my June 6, 2013 blog, there are certain basic tools that you can utilize to try to collect on your judgment. In most cases, when I reference a judgment in this blog and any follow up blogs, I am simply referring to a money judgment. There are other types of judgments […]
A dispute arises. You make the decision to take the party you believe to be at fault to court. You file the lawsuit, go through the process and either by default, summary judgment or a final judgment after a trial, the judge awards you a money judgment for your damages and costs. Your feeling really […]
As previously discussed, Mediation is an avenue of possible resolution in a civil case, regardless of the amount in controversy. But what happens if you go to mediation and it doesn’t settle? Can the other side use anything you said in mediation against you in a later proceeding or a trial? Thankfully, the answer is […]