The Foreign Roots of Florida Law
This volume contains the English statutory law still in force in Florida as of 1941, and other important historical information about the roots of Florida law, much of it still in force today.
Prima Facie Evidence of the Law
Interestingly, some of the codification of statutes, US and Florida, become prima facie evidence of the actual law, under some conditions.
From the preface to the Florida Statutes of 2013
The conTinuous revision sysTem
In its continuous revision system, Florida has an efficient method for keeping general statutory law up to date and readily available. Since 1999, the Florida Statutes has been published in its entirety annually. Previously, the statutes were published following each odd-year regular session, and a supplement was published following each even-year regular session. With annual publication of the Florida Statutes, other key features of the continuous revision system are provided more frequently as well. The Division of Law Revision and Information now submits reviser’s bills and the adoption act to the Legislature annually rather than every 2 years.
adoption of the Florida Statutes.—The enactment of the adoption act, which provides for adoption of the official statutory law of the state, is a vital part of the continuous revision system. The act amends ss. 11.2421, 11.2422, 11.2424, and 11.2425. With the change to annual publication of the Florida Statutes, the adoption act is now submitted to the Legislature annually instead of biennially. There was no 2000 adoption act because the statutory material from 2 years before is found in the 1998 Supplement to the 1999 Florida Statutes instead of in a full edition. The 2001 and 2002 adoption acts did not pass.
The 2-year “curing period” was reduced to 1 year in chapter 2003-25, Laws of Florida, the 2003 adoption act. The 2013 adoption act adopted material from the 2012 edition. The annual adoption act prospectively adopts as an official document the edition of the Florida Statutes to be published following that session. Perhaps more importantly, it will adopt as the official statutory law of the state those portions that are carried forward from the regular edition published the year before. Pursuant to s. 11.242(5)(c), these standing provisions are combined with the laws of a general and permanent nature enacted during the current legislative session. The final product is the Florida Statutes.
consequences.—As a result of the concurrent operation of s. 11.242(5)(c) and the adoption act, the evidentiary value of material published in the edition of the Florida Statutes that was most recently adopted (the previous year’s edition per the change to a 1-year curing period by chapter 2003-25, Laws of Florida) is different from that of the current edition. The portions of the text as it was published in the adopted edition that are carried forward unchanged into the current edition are the official law of the state by operation of the adoption act and, therefore, the best evidence of the law. Material enacted since the adopted edition is only prima facie evidence of the law. During the period that a provision is characterized as prima facie evidence, the enrolled act stands as the best evidence of the law and will prevail in the event of a conflict.
The Florida continuous revision system greatly simplifies statutory research. A researcher seeking the current enacted general law needs to examine the latest edition of the Florida Statutes, as well as session laws enacted since publication of the latest statutes edition, printed in the Laws of Florida or enacted but not yet printed in the Laws.
Any “statute of a general and permanent nature” enacted prior to the period since publication of the last adopted regular edition of the Florida Statutes which does not appear in the current edition stands repealed, both by the logic of the system and by the operation of s. 11.2422. See National Bank v. Williams, 38 Fla. 305, 20 So. 931 (1896).
The adoption of the Florida Statutes cures title defects that existed in an act as originally passed. See State ex rel. Badgett v. Lee, 156 Fla. 291, 22 So. 2d 804 (1945). Thus, general legislation may be attacked on this ground only during the period between its original enactment and its subsequent adoption as the official law of the state. An act with a title defect is considered valid only from adoption and not from the date of original enactment. See Thompson v. Intercounty Tel. & Tel. Co., 62 So. 2d 16 (Fla. 1952).
Analogously, once reenacted as a portion of the Florida Statutes, a statute is no longer subject to challenge on the ground that it violates the single subject requirement of s. 6, Art. III of the State Constitution. See State v. Combs, 388 So. 2d 1029 (Fla. 1980); Loxahatchee River Environmental Control District v. School Board of Palm Beach County, 515 So. 2d 217 (Fla. 1987); State v. Johnson, 616 So. 2d 1 (Fla. 1993).