[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
June 4-8, 2001

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, June 4, 2001
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
Amendments to Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Membership Fees

SC01-391

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

9:00 The Florida Bar proposes raising its annual membership fee from $190 to $265. Statewide impact
Amendments to Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: Interest on Trust Accounts

SC01-851

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

Approx. 9:40 The Florida Bar Foundation and a number of attorneys petition the Court to change rules regulating the Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) program to permit greater competition in investments and increase IOTA revenues. Statewide impact
Maurice Lamar Floyd v. State of Florida

SC95,824

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

Approx. 10:30 Floyd was charged with the July 1998 murder of his mother-in-law, Mary Goss. He was tried and convicted of murder, and the jury recommended the death penalty 11-to-1. The trial court imposed it. This is Floyd's direct appeal. Putnam County
Gloria Pullen v. State of Florida

SC00-1482

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Approx. 11:30 Pullen was involuntarily committed under Florida's Baker Act on grounds she suffered a serious mental illness. She sought her release, but a hearing officer rejected her arguments. Pullen appealed, but her court-appointed attorney filed a briefing saying he could find no error in the hearing officer's ruling. The First District Court then dismissed the appeal. Pullen appeals on grounds she is entitled to appellate review of her case. Santa Rosa County
Labrant D. Dennis v. State of Florida

SC95,211

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Approx. 12:10 Dennis was charged with the April 1996 murders of Timwanika Lumpkins and Marlin Barnes, a linebacker with the University of Miami football team. He was tried and convicted of murder, and the jury recommended the death penalty 11-to-1. The trial court sentenced him to death. This is Dennis' direct appeal. Dade County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, June 5, 2001
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
Ronald Cote v. State of Florida

SC00-1327

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9:00 Cote, a juvenile, was sentenced in adult court to community control. In error, the sentencing order said he had been sentenced in juvenile court. When he later violated community control, Cote was held in contempt by the juvenile court and sentenced to juvenile detention. Later, the adult court sentenced him to a suspended sentence, community control, and probation based on the same violation. Cote appealed on grounds he had been sentenced in violation of the right against double jeopardy, but the Second District affirmed, saying the juvenile court acted without jurisdiction. Manatee County
Connie Ray Israel v. State of Florida

SC95,873

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Approx. 9:40 Israel was charged with the December 1991 murder of Esther Hagans. He was tried and convicted, and the jury recommended the death penalty 11-to-1. The trial judge agreed and imposed it. This is Israel's direct appeal. Putnam County
Ruben Flores v. Allstate Insurance Co.

SC00-2281

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Approx. 10:40 Flores filed claims with Allstate arising from a traffic accident in which he was injured, but nearly $200 worth of his claims under the personal injury category of the policy proved to be fraudulent. Allstate discovered this and sought to admit evidence of the fraud in the resulting lawsuit, which included claims under the separate policy category for uninsured motorist coverage. The trial judge permitted it and the jury found in favor of Allstate on all claims. Flores appealed and the Second District Court affirmed, but certified a question whether fraud in one category of insurance can be used to deny coverage in a separate category of insurance. Hillsborough County
Juan David Rodriguez v. State of Florida

SC00-99

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Approx. 11:20 Rodriguez was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the May 1988 murder of Abelardo Saladrigas. His sentence was upheld on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Dade County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, June 6, 2001
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
Amendment to Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure: DNA Testing

SC01-363

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9:00 The Florida Bar petitions the Court to create a new rule of criminal procedure dealing with postconviction DNA testing for certain inmates. Statewide impact
Ernest Charles Downs v. Michael Moore

SC00-2186

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Approx. 9:40 Downs was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the April 1977 murder of Forrest Jerry Harris, Jr. His sentence was upheld on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Duval County
Paul H. Evans v. State of Florida

SC96,404

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Approx. 10:30 Evans was charged with the March 1991 murder of Alan Pfeiffer, which had gone unsolved for many years. The jury convicted Evans and recommended the death penalty 9-to-3, which the judge imposed. Evans appeals. Indian River County
State of Florida v. Gregory Mills

SC01-879

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Approx. 11:30 The Governor signed a warrant for the execution of death-row inmate Gregory Mills, who was sentenced to death in the murder of James Wright. Mills challenged his sentence in the trial court, which vacated the death penalty based on newly discovered evidence. The State appeals.  Seminole County
Edward Ragsdale v. State of Florida

SC00-414

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Approx. 12:10 Ragsdale was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the January 1986 murder of Ernest Mace. His sentence was upheld on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Pasco County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, June 7, 2001
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
William Reaves v. State of Florida

SC00-840

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9:00 Reaves was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the September 1986 murder of Deputy Sheriff Richard Raczkoski. His sentence was upheld on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Indian River County
City of Oldsmar v. State of Florida

SC00-2695

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Approx. 9:40 The City and the state Department of Transportation entered into an agreement to make road improvements on State Road 584, with the City reimbursing DOT for certain expenses. The City filed suit to determine whether this agreement violated a part of the Florida Constitution requiring prior voter approval before certain types of debt are incurred. The trial court found that it had no jurisdiction and dismissed the case. The City appeals. Pinellas County
Guerry Wayne Hertz v. State of Florida

SC00-457

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Approx. 10:30 Hertz was charged with the July 1997 murders of Melanie King and Robin Keith Spears. The jury convicted him and recommended the death penalty 10-to-2 for each murder, which the trial court imposed. He appeals. Wakulla County
Jason Brice Looney v. State of Florida

SC00-458

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Approx. 11:30 Looney was charged with the July 1997 murders of Melanie King and Robin Keith Spears (see above). The jury convicted him and recommended the death penalty 10-to-2 for each murder, which the trial court imposed. He appeals. Wakulla County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, June 8, 2001
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
Ari Miller v. Gina Mendez

SC00-2096

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8:30 Miller filed suit against Mendez seeking her removal from the ballot for a Miam-Dade County circuit court judgeship on grounds she was not a resident of Miami-Dade County on the day she filed her papers. The trial judge ruled in favor of Mendez, saying she only had to be a resident of the county on the day she took office. The Third District Court affirmed. Dade County
Leonardo Franqui v. State of Florida

SC94,269

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Approx. 9:10 Franqui was charged with the January 1992 murder of police Officer Steven Bauer. He was convicted, and a jury recommended the death penalty 10-to-2, which the judge imposed. He appeals. Dade County
Lawrence Scott Andrews v. Florida Parole Commission

SC00-2333

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Approx. 9:50 By error, Andrews' date of release from prison was improperly calculated so that he served more than 11 months beyond the lawful sentence. He sued for false imprisonment. The trial judge dismissed the suit, and the First District Court affirmed. Leon County



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