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    Oral Argument Banner

    Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

    June 4-8, 2007

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    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.

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    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Monday, June 4, 2007

    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

    Heart of Adoptions, Inc. v. J.A.

    SC07-738

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

    9:00

    On the day of Baby H's birth, J.A. filed a paternity suit to establish himself as Baby H's father. Shortly after the birth, Heart of Adoption filed a petition to terminate parental rights pending adoption of Baby H. The trial court found that J.A.'s consent was not required to the termination of his parental rights or the adoption of Baby H because J.A. had failed to timely register with the Florida Putative Father Registry. The trial court terminated J.A.'s rights in Baby H while his paternity suit was pending in another court. J.A. appealed. The Second District Court of Appeal held that J.A.'s rights in Baby H could not be terminated because he had not been legally established to be the baby's father. The 2nd DCA reversed the trial court's ruling and certified the issue as one of great public importance. On appeal to this Court, Heart of Adoption argues that state law provides for the termination of J.A.'s rights in Baby H. J.A. argues that the registry, created by state law in 2003, is unconstitutional because it deprives him of his equal protection and due process rights.

    Hillsborough County

     

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Tuesday, June 5, 2007

    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

    Renoit Saintelien v. State of Florida

    SC06-1888

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

    9:00

    As part of an agreement with the state, Mr. Saintelien pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted sexual battery on a person under the age of 12. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and declared a sexual predator. Mr. Saintelien later filed a motion to erase the sexual predator designation, arguing it was not part of his plea agreement. The postconviction motion he used to challenge the designation is used to correct illegal sentences. The circuit court denied the motion. The Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that a challenge to sexual predator must be raised in a civil proceeding and cannot be raised in a postconviction motion.

    Palm Beach County

    Maria N. Garcia v. Federal Insurance Co.

    SC06-2524

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

    Approx. 9:40

    Ms. Garcia worked as a caregiver and housekeeper and ran errands for her employer in a car owned by the employer's son-in-law. While she was driving the car, she hit a pedestrian, causing catastrophic injuries. That pedestrian sued Ms. Garcia, Ms. Garcia's employer and the car's owner in state court. Federal Insurance, which had issued a personal liability policy to Ms. Garcia's employer, settled on the employer's behalf but said Ms. Garcia was not covered under the policy. Ms. Garcia sued Federal Insurance in federal court, arguing she was covered under the policy. The U.S. District Court ruled that Ms. Garcia was not covered. She appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which then asked this Court to answer two questions about relevant Florida case law.

    Miami-Dade County

    Sammy Lee Lawson v. State of Florida

    SC06-2423

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

    Approx. 10:30

    Mr. Lawson was sentenced to five years in prison on drug charges but the sentence was suspended pending successful completion of three years of drug offender probation. One of the terms of probation was completion of a drug abuse treatment program. Mr. Lawson entered a program but was later discharged for missing too many classes. The trial judge found Mr. Lawson in substantial and willful violation of his probation and imposed the prison sentences. Mr. Lawson appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal, arguing that the trial court could not revoke his probation when no deadline for completion of the program had been imposed. The 5th DCA ruled the trial court did not abuse its discretion in revoking Mr. Lawson's probation.

    Lake County

    Andrew Michael Gosciminski v. State of Florida

    SC05-1126

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

    Approx. 11:10

    Mr. Gosciminski was convicted of the murder of Joan Loughman, who was fatally beaten and stabbed in September 2002. The jury voted 9-3 to recommend the death penalty and he was condemned. This is his direct appeal. He raises many issues.

    St. Lucie County

     

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Wednesday, June 6, 2007

    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

    In re: Amendments to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

    SC07-173

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

    9:00

    The Court considers several proposed changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure. The recommendations were submitted by the Civil Procedure Rules Committee of the Florida Bar as part of its regular review of the rules. Several of proposed changes were drafted after The Bar's Commission on the Legal Needs of Children asked the rules panel to review the rules with an eye toward helping ensure that the procedural rights and needs of children are being met. The committee has also proposed a new rule addressing expert testimony with regard to attorneys' fees. Other proposed changes are technical or stem from a change in state statute.

    Statewide impact

    Noel Doorbal v. State of Florida

    SC05-383 | SC06-1490

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

    Approx. 10:00

    Mr. Doorbal was convicted of the murders of Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton, who were fatally drugged and beaten. The jury voted 8-4 to recommend death sentences for each murder and he was condemned for each. This Court upheld his convictions and sentences on direct appeal. Mr. Doorbal filed a post-conviction claim in trial court and it was denied. This appeal followed.

    Miami-Dade County

    Robert Flamily v. City of Orlando

    SC06-847

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

    Approx. 10:40

    Mr. Flamily was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2000 and filed for workers compensation. Four years earlier, Mr. Flamily had retired from the Orlando Fire Department with a disability settlement based on a heart condition. The city denied the hepatitis claim, saying Mr. Flamily had settled all claims in 1996. A judge of compensation claims ruled against Mr. Flamily's hepatitis claim and the First District Court of Appeal upheld that ruling. Mr. Flamily appealed to this Court.

    Orange County

    Crosley A. Green v. State of Florida

    SC05-2265 | SC06-1533

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

    Approx. 11:20

    Mr. Green was convicted of the April 1989 murder of Chip Flynn, who was fatally shot during a robbery. The jury voted 8-4 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. This Court upheld both the conviction and sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Flynn filed a post-conviction claim in trial court. There his conviction was upheld but his sentence was overturned. In the appeal to this Court, the state has appealed the overturning of the sentence and Mr. Green has appealed the upholding of his conviction.

    Brevard County

     

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Thursday, June 7, 2007

    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

    Florida Hospital Watersman, Inc. v. Teresa M. Butler

    SC06-688 | SC06-912

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

    9:00

    Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2004 that was entitled "Patients' Right to Know About Adverse Medical Incidents." The Fifth District Court of Appeal certified three questions of public importance based on its rulings that the constitutional amendment was not retroactive, was self-executing, and that it preempted Florida statutes providing for the confidentiality of some hospital records. This case arose out of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against Florida Hospital Waterman by Ms. Butler. In an unrelated case on the same issue, the First District Court of Appeal invalidated a new law adopted by the Legislature to enforce the constitutional amendment. The 1st DCA likewise found that the constitutional amendment was self-executing, but certified conflict with the Fifth District's conclusion that it should be applied retroactively. That ruling arose out of a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by Ms. Bowen against Notami Hospital.

    Lake County

    Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. v. Eugene A. Cox

    SC06-2494

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

    Approx. 10:00

    Mr. Cox's home was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. He had a windstorm policy with Florida Farm Bureau Casualty that specifically excluded losses caused by rising water. He had no flood insurance. Some of the damage to his home was caused by flood. The First District Court of Appeal ruled that Florida's "valued policy law" required Florida Farm to pay the full policy limit to Mr. Cox if any damage had been caused by winds. The insurer appealed to this Court, arguing the 1st DCA decision overlooked the purpose and the plain language of the "valued policy law." Mr. Cox argues water and wind together destroyed his home and that the 1st DCA decision was based on the unambiguous wording of the law.

    Santa Rosa County

    Willie Earl Luton v. State of Florida

    SC06-1800

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

    Approx. 10:40

    Mr. Luton was convicted of aggravated battery and attempted robbery while in possession of a deadly weapon. The judge determined that he was a habitual violent felony offender and sentenced him to 30 years in prison. Mr. Luton later argued that his classification as a habitual violent felony offender should have been determined by a jury, not a judge. The Third District Court of Appeal found that Mr. Luton had not preserved the claim because he did not object to the judge making the sentencing findings prior to sentencing. The 3rd DCA also found that even if the claim had been preserved it was without merit. Mr. Luton asked this Court to review the issue.

    Miami-Dade County

    Roy Lee McDuffie v. State of Florida

    SC05-587

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

    Approx. 11:20

    Mr. McDuffie was convicted of the October 2002 murders of Dawniell Beauregard and Janice Schneider, who were both fatally shot in the Dollar General Store where they worked. The jury voted unanimously to recommend death sentences for each murder and Mr. McDuffie was condemned for each. This is his direct appeal and he raises several issues.

    Volusia County

    Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

    Friday, June 8, 2007

    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

    Theodore Spera v. State of Florida

    SC06-1304

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

    8:30

    Mr. Spera was convicted of fleeing a law enforcement officer and burglary and was sentenced to 9.3 years in prison. He filed a postconviction challenge, arguing that his attorney was incompetent. The trial court denied his motion, finding he did not provide details to back up his claim. The trial court also refused to allow Mr. Spera to revise his motion. The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court.

    Palm Beach County