[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
November 5 to 9, 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, November 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
Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General: Limiting Cruel & Inhumane Confinement of Pigs

SC01-1367

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9:00 A citizens group is circulating petitions for a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would limit the ability to confine pregnant pigs in cages. The Attorney General has petitioned the Court to determine whether the proposal meets requirements that proposed amendments must address only a single subject and must have a fair ballot summary. Statewide impact
United Contractors Corp. v. Maria Minerva Hernandez

SC00-2176

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N/A Removed from calendar Dade County
Gayson J. Mills v. State of Florida

SC01-68

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Approx. 9:40 The trial court sentenced Mills to six years in prison as a habitual felony offender for battery on a law enforcement officer. The First District Court of Appeal affirmed Mill's sentence. Dissenting judges argued that a prior opinion of the Florida Supreme Court precluded the length of this sentence as a double enhancement forbidden by the double jeopardy clause of the Constitution. Leon County
Demetris Omar Thomas v. State of Florida

SC00-1092

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Approx. 10:30 Thomas was charged with the September 13, 1997, murder of Brandy Howard. At trial, the jury convicted Thomas and recommended the death penalty 10-to-2. The trial judge sentenced him to die. In this direct appeal, Thomas challenges his sentence on grounds he is mentally retarded, among other reasons. Okaloosa County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, November 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
James Terry v. State of Florida

SC01-383

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9:00 Terry was charged with aggravated battery and entered into a plea agreement of 54 months imprisonment followed by 10 years' probation. After his release, he violated his probation. Back in court, Terry's probation was revoked and he was sentenced as a habitual offender to 15 years in prison. On appeal, the Fifth District Court affirmed but acknowledged that its decision was in conflict with opinions of two other district courts. Brevard County
Kevin Puryear v. State of Florida

SC01-183

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Approx. 9:40 In April 1999 Amy Deese was robbed by a man. She said she never got a good look at him, only his clothing, height, and weight. She also said he had missing teeth and a strong body odor. Later that same day, Deese said she saw the man on the street while driving around with her boyfriend. They summoned police, who arrested Puryear. At trial, the boyfriend and a detective testified over a defense hearsay objection as to Deese's descriptions of the man. Later, the Fourth District Court ruled the testimony was properly admitted at trial. Broward County
Samuel L. Smithers v. State of Florida

SC96,690

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Approx. 10:30 Smithers was charged with the May 1996 murders of Cristy Cowan and Denise Roach. At trial, the jury convicted him of both counts and recommended the death penalty, which the judge imposed. This is Smithers' direct appeal. Hillsborough County
Warfield Raymond Wike v. State of Florida

SC00-2141

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Approx. 11:30 Wike was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the September 1988 murder of 6-year-old Sarah Rivazfar. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Santa Rosa County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, November 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
In Re: Final Report of the Jury Innovations Committee

SC01-1226

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N/A Removed from calendar; rescheduled for February arguments. Statewide Impact
Charles Kenneth Foster v. State of Florida

SC01-240& SC01-767

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9:00 Foster was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the murder of Julian Lanier. His sentence was upheld on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Bay County
Marc D. Sarnoff v. Florida Dep't of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles

SC01-351

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Approx. 9:40 This case involves constitutional challenges to fees assessed and paid under a mandatory motor vehicle emissions inspection program the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles administered in six Florida counties from 1991 to 2000. People residing in the six counties filed a class action claiming the fees were unconstitutional. The First District Court of Appeal held that those seeking refunds could not sue unless they first filed for a refund with the state. Broward, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, and Pinellas Counties
Wydell Jody Evans v. State of Florida

SC00-468

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Approx. 10:30 Evans was charged with the October 1998 murder of Angel Johnson. At trial, he was convicted and sentenced to death based on a jury recommendation of 10-to-2 favoring capital punishment. This is his direct appeal. Brevard County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, November 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
Report of the Supreme Court Workgroup on Public Records

SC01-897

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9:00 This case involves recommendations about how the Judicial Branch should handle public access to its records. Statewide impact
Konstantinos X. Fotopoulos v. State of Florida

SC00-1511

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Approx. 9:40 Fotopoulos was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the murders of Mark Ramsey and Bryan Chase in October and November of 1989. His sentences were affirmed on appeal. He now challenges their validity. Volusia County
George N. Koikos v. Travelers Ins. Co.

SC01-301

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Approx. 10:30 Koikos owns the Spartan Restaurant where, in April 1997, a Florida A&M University fraternity held a graduation party. During the party, an intruder shot five people. Two of them sued Koikos for allegedly failing to provide adequate security. Koikos' insurance policy with Travelers said it would pay up to $500,000 in liability per occurrence. Travelers contended that all the shootings were a single "occurrence." In the subsequent suit by two of the victims, the federal trial judge ruled for the insurer. Koikos appealed to the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where he and the victims argued that there was more than one occurrence. The Circuit Court certified the question to the Florida Supreme Court. Leon County
Daniel Kevin Schmidt v. John E. Crusoe

SC00-2512

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Approx. 11:10 Schmidt, an inmate in Liberty Correctional Institute, filed a petition in the Leon County Circuit Court challenging the loss of gain time. The judge ordered him to pay a $97.50 filing fee. Schmidt petitioned the First District Court to prohibit the trial court fromcharging the fee. The District Court said he must pay a $250 filing fee there. He then filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court arguing that he is exempt from paying filing fees under a provision of the Prisoner Indigency Statute that waives filing fees for inmates filing "collateral criminal proceedings."  Leon County

Liberty County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, November 9, 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
Verizon Florida, Inc. v. E. Leon Jacobs, Jr.

SC01-323

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8:30 Florida's Public Service Commission licensed Verizon as a local telecommunications provider, which means it must publish a phone directory. Verizon entered into an agreement with another corporation to publish the directory, though Verizon itself bills customers for Yellow Pages advertising. It argued that it should not have to pay regulatory fees amounting to $285,000 in 2000on these advertising revenues. The Commission rejected this claim, and Verizon appeals. Leon County
Francis Dufresne v. State of Florida

SC01-246

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Approx. 9:10 Dufresne was charged with five counts of child abuse for allegedly shouting at, degrading, and slapping autistic children. The statute she allegedly violated makes conduct unlawful if it reasonably can be expected to cause physical or mental injury to children. Dufresne argued the statutory term "mental injury" was unconstitutionally vague, voiding the statute. The trial court agreed, but the Fourth District reversed and certified the question to the Florida Supreme Court. Palm Beach County
State of Florida v. James Clark

SC00-2441

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Approx. 9:50 Clark, himself a minor, was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years' probation for child sexual abuse. After his release from prison, he violated probation. The trial judge imposed a sentence of 364 days in jail even though the permissible sentence was up to 17 years. The State appealed, but the Fourth District affirmed on grounds the State did not properly object to the more lenient sentence. Broward County



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