Florida Open Meetings Law
The Florida Open Meetings Law states that all meetings of any governmental body where official acts will be taken are public meetings. The act then goes on to define a government body as all state agencies and the agencies of the subdivisions of the state. Upon any violations, a $500.00 fine is the punishment. Violations are considered a second degree misdemeanor.
Open Meetings Law Fla. Stat. sec. 286.011 et seq.
All meetings of boards and commissions open. Most collegial public bodies also open.
Florida Sunshine Law
The Florida Sunshine Law, established in 1995, is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to the public records of government bodies in Florida. Public records include all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law to ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency. Some exemptions that are included are federal records that the federal government has designated as non-public, personal e-mails sent from or received by city employees using a government computer, some “drafts” or “notes” are also exempt.
According to the Florida Sunshine Law, any person can request public documents and a purpose does not have to be stated. Records can be used any way the person wants.
Sunshine Law Fla. Stat. sec. 119.01 et. seq.
Exempt: More than 600 exemptions, check listed code citation.
Visit, Florida Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.