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Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

February 6 to 10 & 16, 2006

The following summaries are drawn from briefs and lower court judgments. They are meant to provide a general idea of facts and issues presented in cases, and should not be considered official court documents. Facts and issues presented in these summaries should be checked for accuracy against records and briefs, available from the Court, which provide more specific information.

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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Monday, February 6, 2006

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case

 Time

Facts & Issues

Place of Origin

Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General: Extending Sales Taxes

SC05-1564 | SC05-1833

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

N/A

Removed from the calendar

Statewide impact

Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General: Sales Tax Exemptions to Serve Public Purpose

SC05-1565 | SC05-1834

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

N/A

Removed from the calendar

Statewide impact

Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General: Method of Granting Sales Tax Exemptions

SC05-1566 | SC05-1835

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

N/A

Removed from the calendar

Statewide impact

Ken Eldon Lott v. State of Florida

SC04-1814

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

9:00

Mr. Lott was convicted of the first-degree murder of Rose Connors, who was attacked in her home during a robbery in March 1994. The jury voted unanimously to recommend death and he was condemned. His conviction and death sentence were upheld by this Court on direct appeal and the trial court rejected his first post-conviction appeal. This is his challenge of that decision.

Orange County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case

 Time

Facts & Issues

Place of Origin

John Troy v. State of Florida

SC04-332

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

9:00

Mr. Troy was convicted of the murder of 20-year-old Bonnie Carroll, who was beaten and fatally stabbed in her apartment in September 2001. Mr. Troy had been released from prison on conditional release several weeks earlier but was told he would be returned to prison after failing a drug test the night of Carroll's murder. The jury voted 11-1 to recommend he be sentenced to death and he was condemned. This is his direct appeal and, among other claims, he challenges the constitutionality of a 1999 statute that did away with the defense of voluntary intoxication.

Sarasota County

City of Hollywood v. Colon Bernard Mulligan

SC04-990

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 10:00

The city of Hollywood appeals a ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which found one of the city's ordinances to be invalid. The ordinance allows police to impound cars when the officers have probable cause to believe the car is being used in a misdemeanor offense involving drugs or prostitution. Mr. Mulligan, who was charged with one such offense, challenged the ordinance after his car was impounded and he was required to pay an administrative fee for its return. The District Court ruled that the city's ordinance is preempted by the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. The city disputes that finding. Several cities around Florida have similar ordinances, including Miami and West Palm Beach.

Broward County

Macola v. Government Employees Insurance Co.

SC05-1021

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 10:40

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has certified two questions of Florida law for the state Supreme Court to answer before the federal court can resolve an appeal in a federal lawsuit filed by Michelle Macola and Inge Quigley against GEICO. The questions concern when bad-faith claims are allowed against an insurer under Florida statute and common law.

Hillsborough County

State of Florida v. Jeffrey Lovelace

SC05-1395

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 11:20

Mr. Lovelace was arrested and given a citation for misdemeanor DUI. He was later charged with felony DUI in circuit court based on the same arrest because of prior convictions. He filed for dismissal of the charges based on violation of Florida's speedy-trial rule. Both the county court and the circuit court refused to dismiss the charges. He appealed to the 4th District Court of Appeal, which dismissed the charges and certified a conflict with a ruling in a similar case from the 1st District Court of Appeal.

Broward County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case

 Time

Facts & Issues

Place of Origin

Inquiry Concerning a Judge: Dennis P. Maloney

SC04-22

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

9:00

Circuit Judge Dennis P. Maloney has been ordered to appear before the Court to be publicly reprimanded for judicial misconduct

Polk County

In re: Petition on Alternative Dispute Resolution

SC05-998

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 9:10

Proposed changes to the rules governing mediators are put before the Court for consideration. One of the recommendations is to replace current requirements for academic and legal degrees with a more flexible point system that takes into account training, education, experience and mentorship.

Statewide impact

Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General: Florida Marriage Protection Amendment

SC05-1563 | SC05-1831

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 9:50

A citizens initiative that proposes a constitutional amendment for the November ballot is before the court, which will review it to see if it deals with a single subject only and is fairly summarized for voters. The proposed amendment would limit the institution of marriage to the "legal union of only one man and one woman" and prohibit any other union from being treated "as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof." The court will also consider the adequacy of the fiscal impact statement prepared by state analysts in the legislative and executive branches.

Statewide impact

Lenard James Philmore v. State of Florida

SC04-1036 | SC05-250

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 10:30

Mr. Philmore was convicted of the murder of Kazue Perron, a 44-year-old woman carjacked from a West Palm Beach driveway, driven to Indiantown and shot so that her car could be used in a bank robbery. The jury voted unanimously to recommend death and he was condemned. His conviction and sentence were upheld on direct appeal to this Court and a trial judge rejected his first post-conviction appeal. In this appeal, Mr. Philmore challenges that decision.

Martin County

Anthony Joseph Farina v. State of Florida

SC04-1610 | SC05-935

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx.

Mr. Farina was convicted of the fatal shooting of Michelle Van Ness, murdered during a robbery of a Taco Bell restaurant. The jury voted 7-5 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. The Supreme Court overturned the sentence. In the second sentencing hearing, the jury voted unanimously to recommend a death sentence and Mr. Farina was condemned. The sentence was upheld by this Court on direct appeal and a trial judge later rejected Mr. Farina's first postconviction appeal. In this appeal, Mr. Farina challenges that decision.

Volusia County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case

 Time

Facts & Issues

Place of Origin

Advisory Opinion to the Attorney Genenral: Apportionment & Redistricting

SC05-1754 | SC05-1895 | SC05-1755 | SC05-1894

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

9:00

Two citizens initiative that propose constitutional amendments for the November ballot are before the court, which will review them to see if each deals with a single subject only and is fairly summarized for voters. One proposed amendment would create a 15-member nonpartisan commission to establish the political boundaries for Florida's state representatives, state senators and congressional districts. The other would direct such a commission, if approved by voters, to begin work in 2007 to establish districts for the 2008 election cycle. The court will also consider the adequacy of the fiscal impact statement prepared by state analysts in the legislative and executive branches. Note: Case numbers 05-1755 and 05-1894, dealing with redistricting in 2007, now have been voluntarily dismissed by the sponsors.

Statewide impact

Wilmann Renaud v. State of Florida

SC05-1005

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Renaud, convicted of robbery with a firearm, armed kidnapping, carjacking with a firearm and aggravated battery, was sentenced to three life prison sentences for the first three counts and 30 years for the aggravated battery offense. He challenged the last sentence because it was longer than the sentence the judge announced orally. Mr. Renaud was later re-sentenced to 15 years in prison for that offense. However, the trial judge also denied his challenge of the legality of the original sentence on a procedural ground and the 4th District Court of Appeal upheld that ruling. Mr. Renaud challenges that decision by the 4th DCA in his appeal to this Court.

Palm Beach County

Dieter Riechmann v. State of Florida

SC03-760

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 10:30

Mr. Riechmann was condemned for the fatal shooting of his companion, Kersten Kischnick, when the two German tourists were visiting South Florida in October 1987. A jury voted 9-3 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. The conviction was upheld on direct appeal and in the first postconviction appeal but the trial judge ordered a new sentencing hearing. The Supreme Court upheld that ruling. In a parallel development, Mr. Riechmann filed another appeal in trial court challenging his conviction on new grounds. It was rejected and he now appeals that ruling to this Court. The Federal Republic of Germany has filed an amicus brief supporting Mr. Riechmann and arguing that state officials violated international protocol in their investigations in Germany.

Miami-Dade County

James Guzman v. State of Florida

SC04-2016

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 11:10

After waiving his right to a jury trial, Mr. Guzman was convicted and condemned of the fatal stabbing of David Colvin in an armed robbery in August 1991. The conviction and death sentence were upheld by this Court on direct appeal. But in Mr. Guzman's first postconviction appeal, the Court ordered the trial court to hold an evidentiary hearing into claims that key witnesses had testified falsely at Mr. Guzman's trial. After the hearing, the trial judge rejected Mr. Guzman's appeal. That ruling is the subject of this appeal.

Volusia County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, February 10, 2006

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case

 Time

Facts & Issues

Place of Origin

Inquiry Concerning a Judge: W. Wayne Woodard

SC05-1446

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

8:30

Circuit Judge W. Wayne Woodard has been ordered to appear before the Court to be publicly reprimanded for judicial misconduct.

Charlotte County

William Taylor v. State of Florida

SC04-2243

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 8:40

Mr. Taylor was convicted of the fatal shooting of Sandra Kushmer in a robbery of her mother's home in May 2001. A jury voted unanimously to recommend death and he was condemned. This is the direct appeal in his case and he raises several issues.

Hillsborough County

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Shannon Nichols

SC03-1483 | SC03-1653

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 9:40

Nichols, who had a Personal Injury Protection policy with State Farm, was injured in a car collision. After she missed an appointment with the insurers' physician, State Farm stopped benefits under PIP. Nichols sued. State Farm offered $250 to settle medical bills and pay attorney fees. Nichols rejected it and the case went to trial. Nichols lost. State Farm sought and was awarded $23,199 in attorney fees. Nichols challenged the award. The 5th District Court of Appeal asked the Florida Supreme Court to determine if state law and court rule provide for recovery of attorney fees by an insurer in PIP cases.

Orange County

Foundation Health v. Westside EKG Associates

SC05-870 | SC05-871 | SC05-872

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here 

Approx. 10:20

In these three consolidated cases, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has asked this Court to decide whether medical service providers can enforce the prompt payment provision of Florida's HMO Act by bringing a breach of contract claim as a third party beneficiary of the contract between the HMO and its subscriber. Amicus briefs have been filed by the AARP and groups representing insurers, hospitals and doctors.

Broward County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case

 Time

Facts & Issues

Place of Origin

Pro Bono Service Award Ceremony 

3:30

The Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Bar will meet in the courtroom to give awards to attorneys who made special efforts to provide legal assistance to those who otherwise could not afford it.

Statewide