[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
August 28-September 1, & September 12, 2000

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, August 28, 2000
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
Anthony J. Farina v. State of Florida

No. 93,050

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

9:00 Anthony Farina and his brother Jeffery were both sentenced to death for the May 1992 murder of 17-year-old Michelle Van Ness during a robbery of a Daytona Beach Taco Bell Restaurant. Jeffery-who was the triggerman-was 16 at the time of the shooting, and his appeal from his separate death sentence is pending before the Court in another case. Anthony now argues that his brother's death sentence must be overturned because of a 1999 Supreme Court opinion saying that the Constitution forbids putting someone to death who was 16 at the time of the crime. Anthony argues that his own death sentence must be reexamined because it would be wrong to execute him when the triggerman, his brother, will receive life in prison. The State argues that the 1999 opinion is still pending on rehearing and was wrongly decided. Volusia County
Floyd Clements v. State of Florida

No. 96,670

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

Approx. 9:40 Clements was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for sexual battery on a child less than 12 years of age. Without holding a hearing, the judge at trial closed the courtroom during the child-victim's testimony pursuant to a Florida statute. Clements argued that closure without a hearing violated his constitutional right to a public trial, while the State contended the statute protects child-victims from psychological harm. The Fifth District Court agreed with the State. Brevard County
Roderrick Ferrell v. State of Florida

No. 93,127

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

N/A REMOVED FROM CALENDAR Lake County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, August 29, 2000
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
D.F. v. Florida Dept. of Revenue

No. 96,288 & #00-59

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

9:00 These cases involve men seeking to avoid child-support payments after divorce on grounds that the children borne by their ex-wives during their marriages were actually fathered by someone else. In both instances the lower courts affirmed the fathers' support obligation despite DNA testing proving that they were not the biological fathers of the children. Pasco County

Pinellas County

Hillsborough County

Statewide impact

State of Florida v. Charles Bradford

No. 96,910

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

Approx. 10:00 Bradford, a license chiropractor, was charged in 1997 with unlawfully soliciting patients for the purpose of making insurance claims. He argued that the statute under which he was charged violates his free-speech rights. The trial judge rejected this argument, and Bradford pled guilty to a lesser offense, reserving his right to appeal. On appeal, the Fourth District Court affirmed but concluded that an intent to defraud was a necessary part of the offense. Bradford now argues that his conviction must be reversed either because the statute is unconstitutional or because he had no intent to defraud insurers. The State argues that the Fourth District erred in reading an intent-to-defraud element into the statute. Broward County
State of Florida v. Thomas Henry Spioch, III

No. 96,836

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

N/A REMOVED FROM CALENDAR Brevard County
Barry Hoffman v. State of Florida

No. 94,072

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Approx. 10:40 Hoffman was convicted and sentenced to death for the September 1980 murders of Frank Ihlenfeld and Linda Sue Parrish at a motel in Jacksonville Beach. His sentence was upheld on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Duval County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, August 30, 2000
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 the Florida Evidence Code

#00-607

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

9:00 This case involves proposed amendments to Florida Rules of Evidence as part of the regular review and revision of court rules that occurs every four years. Statewide impact
In Re: Amendments to the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure

#00-345

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Approx. 9:40 This case involves proposed amendments to Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure as part of the regular review and revision of court rules that occurs every four years. Statewide impact
Amendments to the Florida Rules of Workers' Compensation Procedure

#00-731

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Approx. 10:10 This case involves proposed amendments to Florida Rules of Workers' Compensation Procedure as part of the regular review and revision of court rules that occurs every four years. Statewide impact
Amendments to Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure

#00-718

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Approx. 10:50 This case involves proposed amendments to Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure as part of the regular review and revision of court rules that occurs every four years. Statewide impact

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, August 31, 2000
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 the Florida Small Claims Rules

#00-729

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9:00 This case involves proposed amendments to Florida Small Claims Rules as part of the regular review and revision of court rules that occurs every four years. Statewide impact
Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

#00-730

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Approx. 9:40 This case involves proposed amendments to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure as part of the regular review and revision of court rules that occurs every four years. Statewide impact
Amendments to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure

#00-562

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Approx. 10:30 This case involves proposed amendments to Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure as part of the regular review and revision of court rules that occurs every four years. Statewide impact
Amendments to the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration

#00-706

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Approx. 11:10 This case involves proposed amendments to Florida Rules of Judicial Administration as part of the regular review and revision of court rules that occurs every four years. Statewide impact

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, September 1, 2000
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
Kathryn B. Moser v. Barron Chase Securities

No. 96,714

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

8:30 Moser took a dispute with her securities broker and his employer Barron Chase to arbitration. The arbitration panel awarded her about $82,000 in damages and referred her request for attorneys' fees to a court of competent jurisdiction. Later, the circuit court awarded her just over $60,000 in fees plus interest retroactive to the date of the arbitration award. The second district reversed on grounds that entitlement to fees was not clear from the language of the arbitration award and interest could not be retroactive. Pasco County
Havoco of America, Ltd. v. Elmer C. Hill

#99-98

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

Approx. 9:10 On Dec. 19, 1991, a federal court entered a $15 million judgment against Hill in a lawsuit filed by Havoco. Hill at the time was a resident of Tennessee. On Dec. 30, 1991, Hill paid cash for a house worth about $650,000 located in Destin, where Hill and his wife have live since. In 1992 Hill filed for bankruptcy and claimed his house as exempt property under the Florida Constitution's homestead exemption provision. The bankruptcy court and U.S. district court agreed that the homestead was exempt. On appeal, The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question to the Florida Supreme Court asking whether Florida's homestead exemption shields from creditors' claims a home bought in anticipation of bankruptcy. Destin

Okaloosa/Walton Counties

Statewide impact

Joseph Duane Saucer v. State of Florida

No. 95,031

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

Approx. 9:40 A court sanctioned Saucer, an inmate, by reducing his prison gain time for filing an untruthful petition for habeas corpus. Saucer contends this was improper, but the state argues it was authorized by statute. Duval County
Robert Beeler Power v. State of Florida

No. 96,659

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Approx. 10:20 Power was convicted and sentenced to death for the October 1987 murder of 12-year-old Angeli Bare. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. He now challenges the validity of the sentence. Orange County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, September 12, 2000
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
Dennis G. Kainen v. Katherine Harris

#00-1644

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

9:00 In 1998 the voters of Florida approved a constitutional amendment authorizing an election in November 2000. That vote will decide whether local trial-level judges will be put in office under the merit retention system now used only for state appeals judges. The 2000 Legislature passed a law specifying the ballot language that will be used in the November election. It asks voters to choose whether the selection of judges will "be changed from election by a vote of the people to selection by the judicial nominating commission and appointment by the Governor with subsequent terms determined by a retention vote of the people." Several voters sued on grounds this ballot language is misleading and is contrary to the 1998 constitutional amendment. Statewide impact



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