New Florida law mandates safe locations for child custody exchanges

by | Jun 6, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the “Cassie Carli Law” on Thursday to establish secure, monitored locations for child exchanges between separated parents.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation known as the “Cassie Carli Law,” into law on Thursday, introducing measures to enhance the safety of child exchanges between separated parents.

The bill requires each county sheriff in Florida to designate at least one neutral safe exchange location to be equipped with specific safety features, including a purple light or sign, 24-hour accessibility, adequate lighting, and continuous video surveillance, with recordings from surveillance systems retained for at least 45 days.

The legislation also amends several sections within Florida Statutes, which govern marital and family law, to allow courts to order that child exchanges take place at these neutral locations if there is a risk or imminent threat of harm to either parent or the child. This provision can be applied in both temporary and permanent injunctions related to domestic violence.

The legislation also grants legal protections to sheriffs’ offices and law enforcement personnel, shielding them from civil liability for incidents arising from meetings at these designated exchange locations.

The bill, sponsored by the Judiciary Committee and Civil Justice Subcommittee and Rep. Joel Rudman, passed the House unanimously on January 18, 2024, and the Senate on February 21, 2024. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2024. The legislation was prompted by the case of Cassie Carli, a mother from Navarre, Florida, who went missing after a custody exchange with her ex-boyfriend and was later found murdered.


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