Florida

 
Florida.png
 

The Laws That Should Protect Our Children

Current Civil SOL in a nutshell

SOL vs. perp, employer: Removed when victim under 16

+7 years from majority for most other crimes

Majority Tolling: √ Discovery Tolling: √ – Liberal

None for sexual battery vs victim under age 16; +7 years from majority or + 4 from liberal discovery for most other crimes

  1. None for sexual batteries committed against victims under 16 years old. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11 (9). (site currently mistakenly reads sub section 10).

a. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11 (9) (“An action related to an act constituting a violation of s. 794.011 involving a victim who was under the age of 16 at the time of the act may be commenced at any time. This subsection applies to any such action other than one which would have been time barred on or before July 1, 2010.”) (“related to” indicated applicability to perp and employer).

b. (Thus, prior to 2010 it is possible that the 4 year. SOL of Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11(3)(a) applied against employers in some cases.)

  1. Fla. Stat. § 95.11 (7)(“An action founded on alleged abuse, as defined in s. 39.01, s. 415.102, or s. 984.03, or incest, as defined in s. 826.04, may be commenced at any time within 7 years after the age of majority, or within 4 years after the injured person leaves the dependency of the abuser, or within 4 years from the time of discovery by the injured party of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the abuse, whichever occurs later.”)

TOLLING

  1. Discovery, yes, liberal via statute

a. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11(7) (“from time of discovery by injured party of both injury and causal relationship between injury and abuse”);

b. CL version of discovery rule in FL was narrow.

  1. Majority, yes. Fla. Stat. § 95.11 (7) (the age of majority).

Current Criminal SOL in a nutshell

None for all violations of s. 794.011 where victim is under 16. None for 1st degree violations of s. 794.011 where victim is under 18. None for all felonies carrying a life sentence. 8 years from commission for 2nd degree violations of s. 794.011 where the victim is between 16-18 (Age 24 or Age 25) (crimes on or after 7/1/15). Other felonies: 4 years (1st degree) and 3 years (all other felonies) from victim’s attaining age 18.

None for all violations of s. 794.011 where victim is under 16. none for 1st degree violations of s. 794.011 where victim is under 18. Fla. Stat. § 775.15 (13)(b)-(c)). none for all felonies carrying a life sentence. Fla. Stat. § 775.15 (1). Other felonies: 4 years (1st degree) and 3 years (all other felonies) from age 18. Fla. Stat. § 775.15 (2)(a)-(b); Fla. Stat. § 775.15 (13)(a).

Fla. Stat. § 775.15 (1) (“A prosecution for a capital felony, a life felony, or a felony that resulted in a death may be commenced at any time. If the death penalty is held to be unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, all crimes designated as capital felonies shall be considered life felonies for the purposes of this section, and prosecution for such crimes may be commenced at any time.”)

Fla. Stat. § 794.011 – Certain forms of Sexual battery carries life sentence (see attached for full list of crimes in 794.011.)

Fla. Stat. § 775.15 (2)(a)-(b) (“Except as otherwise provided in this section, prosecutions for other offenses are subject to the following periods of limitation: (a) A prosecution for a felony of the first degree must be commenced within 4 years after it is committed. (b) A prosecution for any other felony must be commenced within 3 years after it is committed. (c) A prosecution for a misdemeanor of the first degree must be commenced within 2 years after it is committed.”)

Fla. Stat. § 775.15 (13)(a)(“If the victim of a violation of s. 794.011, former s. 794.05, Florida Statutes 1995, s. 800.04, s. 826.04, or s. 847.0135(5) is under the age of 18, the applicable period of limitation, if any, does not begin to run until the victim has reached the age of 18 or the violation is reported to a law enforcement agency or other governmental agency, whichever occurs earlier. Such law enforcement agency or other governmental agency shall promptly report such allegation to the state attorney for the judicial circuit in which the alleged violation occurred. If the offense is a first or second degree felony violation of s. 794.011, and the offense is reported within 72 hours after its commission, the prosecution for such offense may be commenced at any time. This paragraph applies to any such offense except an offense the prosecution of which would have been barred by subsection (2) on or before December 31, 1984.

Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age (Fla. Stat. § 800.04)

Incest. (Fla. Stat. § 826.04)

Indecent exposure, child porn and like offenses. s. 847.0135(5)

Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. (Fla. Stat. § 794.05)

TOLLING TO AGE 18 ONLY APPLIES TO CLAIMS NOT YET BARRED ON JAN 1, 1985.

Fla. Stat. § 775.15 (13)(b) If the offense is a first degree felony violation of s. 794.011 and the victim was under 18 years of age at the time the offense was committed, a prosecution of the offense may be commenced at any time. This paragraph applies to any such offense except an offense the prosecution of which would have been barred by subsection (2) on or before October 1, 2003.

Fla. Stat. § 775.15 (13) (c) If the offense is a violation of s. 794.011 and the victim was under 16 years of age at the time the offense was committed, a prosecution of the offense may be commenced at any time. This paragraph applies to any such offense except an offense the prosecution of which would have been barred by subsection (2) on or before July 1, 2010.

Age of Majority: 18. See, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 743.07.
Age of Consent: 18. See, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 794.011.

Age of Marriage with Parental Consent: 16.
Age of Marriage without Parental Consent: 18 or with proof of pregnancy.
See, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 741.0405.


Medical Neglect Statute

CIVIL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

A parent or legal custodian who, by reason of the legitimate practice of religious beliefs, does not provide specified medical treatment for a child, may not be considered abusive or neglectful for that reason alone, but such an exception does not:

  1. Eliminate the requirement that such a case be reported to the department;
  2. Prevent the department from investigating such a case; or
  3. Preclude a court from ordering, when the health of the child requires it, the provision of medical services by a physician, as defined in this section, or treatment by a duly accredited practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a well-recognized church or religious denomination. Florida Statutes §39.01(32)(a)(f)

A parent or guardian legitimately practicing religious beliefs in accordance with a recognized church or religious organization who thereby does not provide specific medical treatment for a child shall not, for that reason alone, be considered a negligent parent or guardian; however such an exception does not preclude a court from ordering the following services to be provided, when the health of the child so requires: (a) Medical services from a licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatric physician, or other qualified health care provider; or (b) Treatment by a duly accredited practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a well-recognized church or religious denomination. Florida Statutes §984.03(37)

A court shall not be precluded from ordering services or treatment to be provided to the child by a duly accredited practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a church or religious organization, when required by the child’s health and when requested by the child. Florida Statutes §984.19(8) on shelter care and §39.407(9) on out-of-home placement

Except as provided in this section, nothing in this section shall be deemed to preclude a court from ordering services or treatment to be provided to a child by a duly accredited practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a church or religious organization, when requested by the child. Florida Statutes §985.224(8) on delinquent children

CRIMINAL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

Florida has a religious exemption to child abuse in the civil code at Florida Statutes 984.03(37) and 39.01(30)(f). The Florida Supreme Court overturned a conviction of Christian Scientists for felony child abuse and third-degree murder, ruling that the civil code exemption caused confusion in violation of the fair notice rights of parents. The Court ruled, “The statutes have created a trap that the legislature should address.” The legislature, however, has never done so.

Note: Sec. 19-3-103 is a civil statute with a religious exemption.


Religous Liberty Statute

Religious liberty statute that could put children at risk

Current Law: FLA. STAT. § 761.01-05 (1998)

Enacted: June 17, 1998

§ 761.01. SHORT TITLE This act may be cited as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1998.”

HISTORY

S. 1, ch. 98-412.

§ 761.02. DEFINITIONS As used in this act:

(1) “Government” or “state” includes any branch, department, agency, instrumentality, or official or other person acting under color of law of the state, a county, special district, municipality, or any other subdivision of the state.

(2) “Demonstrates” means to meet the burden of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.

(3) “Exercise of religion” means an act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the religious exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.

§ 761.03. FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION PROTECTED

(1) The government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except that government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (a) Is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (b) Is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest. (2) A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief.

HISTORY

S. 3, ch. 98-412.

§ 761.04. ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS The prevailing plaintiff in any action or proceeding to enforce a provision of this act is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to be paid by the government.

HISTORY

S. 4, ch. 98-412.

§ 761.05. APPLICABILITY; CONSTRUCTION

(1) This act applies to all state law, and the implementation of that law, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether adopted before or after the enactment of this act.

(2) State law adopted after the date of the enactment of this act is subject to this act unless such law explicitly excludes such application by reference to this act.

(3) Nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize the government to burden any religious belief.

(4) Nothing in this act shall be construed to circumvent the provisions of chapter 893.

(5) Nothing in this act shall be construed to affect, interpret, or in any way address that portion of s. 3, Art. I of the State Constitution prohibiting laws respecting the establishment of religion.

(6) Nothing in this act shall create any rights by an employee against an employer if the employer is not a governmental agency.

(7) Nothing in this act shall be construed to affect, interpret, or in any way address that portion of s. 3, Art. I of the State Constitution and the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States respecting the establishment of religion. This act shall not be construed to permit any practice prohibited by those provisions.

HISTORY

S. 5, ch. 98-412.