Can the Bank or Trust Company Records Be Made Public Upon the Consent of the Comptroller ?
In Lewis v. Bank of Pasco County, 346 So. 2d 53, 55-56 (Fla. 1976), the Court held that a statute allowing bank or trust company records to be made public upon the consent of the Comptroller, as head of the Department of Banking and Finance, constituted an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority in violation of article II, section 3. See 346 So. 2d at 55.
The statute at issue in Lewis provided in pertinent part as follows:
All bank or trust company applications, investigation reports, examination reports, and related information, including any duly authorized copies in possession of any banking organization, foreign banking corporation, or any other person or agency, shall be confidential communications, other than such documents as are required by law to be published, and shall not be made public unless with the consent of the department, pursuant to a court order, or in response to legislative subpoena as provided by law. Id. at 54 (quoting 658.10(1), Fla. Stat. (1976)).
In holding section 658.10(1) unconstitutional, the Court approved the reasoning of the circuit court judge who found that "there are no restrictions, limitations, or guidelines provided in the statute to limit or regulate the action of the department in granting . . . or withholding consent." Id. at 55.
Similarly, in Orr v. Trask, 464 So. 2d 131 (Fla. 1985), the Court concluded that a proviso authorizing the Governor to reduce the number of deputy commissioner positions violated article II, section 3.
The proviso in question stated that funds and positions in Specific Appropriation 1203 contemplate the elimination of one Deputy Commissioner by July 1, 1983 and three Deputy Commissioners by December 31, 1983; one from District J and three from District K. Id. at 133 (alteration in original).
The Court determined that the proviso was unconstitutional because it "furnished no guidance to the Governor as to the criteria to be used in reducing the number of deputies," but rather, left the selection of which deputies should be eliminated "entirely to the unbridled discretion of the executive branch." Id. at 134.
More recently, in Schiavo, this Court held that chapter 2003-418, Laws of Florida, was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority in violation of article II, section 3. See 885 So. 2d at 336. Chapter 2003-418 provided in pertinent part:
Section 1. (1) the Governor shall have the authority to issue a one-time stay to prevent the withholding of nutrition and hydration from a patient if, as of October 15, 2003:
(a) That patient has no written advance directive;
(b) the court has found that patient to be in a persistent vegetative state;
(c) That patient has had nutrition and hydration withheld; and
(d) a member of that patient's family has challenged the withholding of nutrition and hydration.
(2) the Governor's authority to issue the stay expires 15 days after the effective date of this act . . . . the Governor may lift the stay authorized under this act at any time. . . Id. at 328-29.