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Exceptional Circumstances Required for Disclosure of Fla. Sunshine Law Exemption to Government or Law Enforcement

Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals has held that a lawsuit plaintiff failed to show “exceptional circumstances” or “exceptional necessity” to overcome the disclosure of information that is exempt under Florida’s Sunshine Law in §119 Florida Statutes. That Law makes certain exemptions for government or law enforcement agencies.

The plaintiff, Gustavo Perez, sued the Hillsborough County Sheriff for false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and battery. He sought the home addresses and photographs of the ten deputies who had any connection to his arrest. The Sheriff filed for a protective order, but the trial court ordered production of the materials.

The Sheriff sought certiorari review. The Second District held that Perez only claimed the materials were “essential to the plaintiff” without making any showing of necessity. A proper necessity would be if the material was essential to the prosecution of the suit, but no showing was made by Perez. Thus, the trial court’s order was quashed. See: Henderson v. Gustavo, 835 So.2d 390 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003).

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Related legal case

Henderson v. Gustavo