HB 233, which passed the legislature with bipartisan support, would allow families of homicide victims to access basic information about their cases   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor DeSantis today signed HB 233 – also known as Curtis’ Law – which expands support for crime victims and their families. The bill is named after Curtis Williamson, a young man who was murdered over two decades ago, and would ensure that families of homicide victims have access to basic information about their cases and investigations. Curtis’ Law is sponsored by Rep. Kiyan Michael (R-Jacksonville) and Sen. Shevrin Jones (D-Miami), and has been supported by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ). Patricia Ward, who has advocated for the passage of Curtis’ Law in the memory of her son and is a member of CSSJ, released the following statement:

“It’s been over two decades since Curtis was killed, and not a day has gone by where I don’t miss him and think about what could have been. But starting today, his loss will help countless families and survivors heal in their own recoveries.

Curtis’ Law was the result of years of advocacy by myself and my fellow crime survivors throughout the state of Florida. Now families will have the right to access basic information about the loss of loved ones when they are at their most vulnerable.

I thank Rep. Michael and Sen. Jones for their unwavering support, as well as the governor for signing HB 233 into law. So much more work remains to help end cycles of trauma among survivors, but today Florida has been made stronger and safer thanks to this law.”


Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is a national network of crime survivors, with more than 13,000 members across Florida, joining together to create healing communities and shape public safety policy. With more than 190,000 members and growing, including chapters and leaders across the country, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is building a movement to promote public safety policies that help the people and communities most harmed by crime and gun violence. For more information, visit:

Media Release: Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Curtis’ Law to Support the Families of Victims of Crime

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 233, also known as Curtis’ Law, to better support families who have endured the ultimate tragedy of losing their loved ones due to crime. HB 233 expands the rights of families whose minor children have been victims of crime by requiring law enforcement agencies to provide investigative and contact information to the next of kin of deceased minors who were the victim of a homicide.

This bill is named for Curtis Williamson, who was murdered in 1997 in San Diego.  Authorities, however, considered his death an accident until 2017. Curtis’ mother, Patricia Ward, had difficulty obtaining information related to the investigation of her son’s case and spent nearly two decades collecting evidence which eventually led to the San Diego Police Department and County Medical Examiner’s Office changing the manner of Curtis’ death to a homicide. Ward now lives in Florida and advocates for laws similar to HB 233.
“When criminals inflict the ultimate loss on a family — the loss of a beloved child — government must aggressively investigate and hold those criminals accountable, and that family should never be left in the dark. Those loved ones have a right to be informed about the status of those investigations,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am proud to sign Curtis’ Law and am grateful for the hard work of Curtis’ family that makes these reforms a reality.”
HB 233 requires that during the investigation of a death of a minor, the law enforcement agency that oversees the investigation must provide the minor’s next of kin with the contact information for the primary investigator and contact information for any other law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation. Law enforcement must also provide information on the status of the investigation, the case number, and a list of the minor victim’s effects and instructions on how to collect them.
To view the transmittal letter, click here.

Media Release & Image: Office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis