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[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
April 4-8 & 20, 2005

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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Names & phone numbers of attorneys in these cases are available in Acrobat format.

[ETCHING: SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Monday, April 4, 2005

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
No cases scheduled

 
 
 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

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
State of Florida v. Gabriel Harden

SC04-613

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

9:00 Harden and eight other individuals were charged with illegally receiving kickbacks for referring patients to a Medicaid provider. The trial court dismissed the charges. The Third District Court affirmed on grounds that the state statute under which Harden was charged conflicted with federal law and thus was preempted. Miami-Dade County
Fla. Dept. of Corrections v. Lisa M. Abril

SC04-1747

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

Approx. 9:40 While working for the Department, Abril performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on an inmate whom she later learned had tested positive for HIV. She gave a blood sample of her own for testing, and a positive test result was communicated to the prison business office. A Department office in Tallahassee also requested and received the positive test result. The people receiving these results were not authorized under AIDS privacy laws to receive them. Subsequent tests showed that Abril was not HIV positive. She sued for mental anguish and emotional distress. The trial court dismissed the suit on grounds that the AIDS privacy law did not expressly authorize a lawsuit when it is breached, but the Second District reversed. The Second District also certified a question to this Court as to whether the impact rule should apply to bar Abril’s claims. Hendry County
Eric Simmons v. State of Florida

SC04-19

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

Approx. 10:30 Simmons was charged with the December 2001 murder of Deborah Tressler. At trial he was convicted and sentenced to death after the jury recommended 12-to-0 that capital punishment be imposed. This is Simmons' direct appeal. Polk County

 
 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

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
Patrick C. Hannon v. State of Florida

SC03-893 | SC04-1662

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

9:00 Hannon was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the January 1991 murders of Brandon Snider and Robert Carter. His sentences were affirmed on appeal. He now challenges their validity. Hillsborough County
Florida Dept. Of Financial Services v. John D. Freeman

SC04-1492

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

Approx. 9:40 Frank J. Tassone was appointed as a registry counsel to represent Freeman, a death-row inmate. After rendering services, he tendered a bill to the Department in excess of the amounts authorized by the Registry Attorney statute. The trial court granted Tassone's request for payment, and the Department appeals. Duval County
Sherry Palicte Zold v. John F. Zold

SC04-1858

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

Approx. 10:30 This appeal involves a dispute over a complex division of assets between the Zolds in their divorce. Orange County
Rotemi Realty, Inc. V. Act Realty Co.

SC04-210

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

Approx. 11:10 Rotemi and another real estate broker contend they entered into a contract under which they would receive a commission if they procured the sale of a tract of land to the Miami-Dade school district. The district bought the land, but the owner refused to pay the commission. The trial court ordered that the commission be paid, but the Third District Court reversed on grounds that a brokerage contract is void where payment of the commission is contingent on sale to a governmental body. Miami-Dade County

 
 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, April 7, 2005

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 Ruthell Henry v. State of Florida

SC04-153

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

9:00 Henry was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the December 1985 murder of his stepson Eugene Christian. Due to errors at trial, his initial conviction was reversed. At retrial, he again was convicted and sentenced to death. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges the validity of his sentence. Hillsborough County
Frank Mitchell v. State of Florida

SC03-1210

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

Approx. 9:40 While Mitchell was incarcerated for a nonsexual offense, the state filed a petition to civilly commit him as a sexually violent predator under the Jimmy Ryce Act based on a prior sexual battery offense in 1983. The trial court denied the request, but the court's order was subject to an automatic stay when the state appealed. The question posed by this case is whether it is proper to continue the commitment pursuant to the automatic stay during the appeals process. Leon County
Walter Velez v. Miami-Dade County Police Dept.

SC04-1944

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

Approx. 10:30 After being stopped for a traffic infraction, Velez' car was searched by police, who found nearly $500,000 in a suitcase. Velez told police that the money had been given to him by someone he did not know. Police began forfeiture proceedings, and Velez sought a preliminary hearing but was denied standing because he could not produce evidence that he lawfully owned the money. The Third District Court agreed. Velez alleges that this issue of standing at a preliminary hearing in the Third District is in conflict with the standing requirement in the Fourth District. Miami-Dade County

 
 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, April 8, 2005

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
No cases scheduled

 
 
 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

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
Lorenzo Golphin v. State of Florida

SC03-554

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

10:00 Daytona Beach police officers stopped and questioned Golphin and others while they were walking along a public street. They asked Golphin for identification and a radio check revealed an open warrant for him. Police then searched Golphin and found cocaine and drug paraphernalia on his person. At trial, he moved to suppress the evidence against, but the trial court denied the request. Golphin pled no contest, reserving the right to appeal. The Fifth District Court affirmed. Volusia County



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