Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

April 5-9 & 21, 2010

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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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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Monday, April 5, 2010

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

St. Johns River Waters Management District v. Coy A. Koontz

SC09-713

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

 

 

9:00

The Fifth District Court of Appeal has asked this Court whether property isinversely condemned when a regulatory agency refuses to approve a permit fordevelopment unless the landowner fulfills an unreasonable condition. Thequestion stems from a legal battle over wetlands owned by Mr. Koontz's father.The trial court ruled that St. Johns had inversely condemned the property byconditioning permit approval upon his agreement to mitigate the impact of hisdevelopment by making improvements to property located miles away. The 5thDCA agreed.

Orange County

Juan Pantoja v. State of Florida

SC08-1879

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Pantoja was convicted of sexual battery of a child under the age of 12 andlewd and lascivious molestation. He was sentenced to life in prison. On appeal,he argued the trial court erred in refusing to allow evidence about a prioraccusation of molestation made by the child against another person. The FirstDistrict Court of Appeal disagreed.

Gadsden County

Renaldo Devon McGirth v. State of Florida

SC08-976

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

Approx. 10:30

Mr. McGirth was convicted of the first-degree murder of Diana Miller, who wasfatally shot in her home in July 2006. The jury voted 11-1 to recommend a deathsentence and the trial court condemned him. This is his direct appeal. He raisesvarious issues.

Marion County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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 Frances Silvia v. State of Florida

SC09-220

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

 

N/A

Removed from calendar; transferred to September oral arguments

Seminole County

Willie F. Jones v. Florida Parole Commission

SC09-612

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

9:00

Mr. Jones was paroled from prison in 1982 after serving 14 years of a 99-yearsentence. In 1990, the Parole Commission revoked his parole after he was arrestedon a cocaine charge. Mr. Jones was never convicted of that charge and hechallenged the Commission's action with a habeas corpus motion in 2006. Thetrial court denied his motion, ruling there was a one-year deadline for such achallenge. The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court's ruling butcertified a conflict with both the First and the Second District Courts of Appeal.

Okeechobee County

Charlene M. Bifulco v. Patient Business & Financial Services, Inc.

SC09-172

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

Approx. 9:40

Ms. Bifulco sued her former employer, alleging she was fired in retaliation forfiling a workers' compensation claim and for reporting wrongdoing by asupervisor. The trial court dismissed both claims. On the first claim, the courtruled that Ms. Bifulco had not filed a pre-suit notice required by state law. On thesecond claim, the court ruled that Patient Business & Financial Services was notcovered by Florida's private whistle-blower law because it was a subsidiary of ahospital taxing authority. The Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed the trialcourt on the workers' comp claim and upheld the trial court on the whistle-blowerclaim.

Volusia County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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

Inquiry Concerning a Judge: Angela Dempsey

SC09-1747

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

 

 

 

9:00

The Supreme Court has ordered Judge Dempsey to appear for administration of a public reprimand for improper conduct.

Justice Canady is recused

 

Leon County

Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida v. Southwest Florida Waters Management District

SC09-1817 | SC09-1818

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

 

 

 

 

Approx. 9:10

The trial court validated a $650 million bond issue by the South Florida WaterManagement District to acquire 73,000 acres of farmland south of LakeOkeechobee. In this appeal, the Miccosukee Tribe and New Hope Sugar Co.challenge the trial court's ruling. They argue, among other things, that the projectwill benefit the private landowner selling the land and serves no public purpose.The Water Management District argues it needs the land for Everglades restorationand to protect the water needs of millions of people in South Florida.

Palm Beach County

Donald William Dufour v. State of Florida

SC09-262

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

 

 

 

Approx. 9:50

Mr. Dufour was convicted of the first-degree murder of Zack Miller, who was fatally shot in 1982. The jury voted unanimously to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. In 2004, Mr. Dufour filed a motion in trial court arguing he could not be executed because he was mentally retarded. The trial court denied his motion, ruling he was not mentally retarded. This appeal followed.

Orange County

State of Florida v. Warren Stang

SC09-1409

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

 

 

 

 

Approx. 10:30

Mr. Stang pled guilty to 24 counts of racketeering, loan-broker fraud andmoney-laundering. After his release from prison, he violated probation and wassentenced to 27 years in prison. The judge granted him credit for 1,915 days oftime already served. In a post-conviction challenge, Mr. Stang argued the creditshould be multiplied to apply to each count. The state argued the credit wasproperly applied once to the entire sentence. Mr. Stang lost his challenge in thejudicial circuit where he was sentenced. He also lost a habeas corpus petition inthe circuit where he was in prison but the Second District Court of Appealreversed that decision.

Hardee County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, April 8, 2010

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 the Florida Rules of AppellateProcedure

SC09-118

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

9:00

The Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policyrecommends changes to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure and to theFlorida Rules of Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators to provide forexpanded use of mediation in civil cases on appeal. The proposed changescover procedural rules and training and certification standards for mediators.

Statewide impact

State of Florida v. Lemuel E. Isaac

SC05-2047

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

 

Approx. 9:30

Mr. Isaac was sentenced to 20 years in prison for convictions of robbery, kidnapping, and burglary. His sentence was later vacated, and he was resentenced. On appeal, he argued that the trial judge considered evidence the jury did not and exceeded the maximum sentence allowed under the jury's verdict. The First District Court of Appeal agreed, citing decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. In this appeal, the state argues those decisions do not apply because they were issued after Mr. Isaac was originally sentenced.

Leon County

State of Florida v. Julius McGriff

SC07-436

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

Approx. 10:10

Mr. McGriff was convicted of second-degree murder with a firearm andsentenced to life in prison. His sentence was later vacated, but on resentencinghe was again sentenced to life in prison. On appeal, he argued the trial judgeexceeded the maximum sentence allowed under the jury's verdict by relying onevidence the jury did not consider. The First District Court of Appeal agreed,citing decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. In this appeal, the state arguesthose decisions do not apply in Mr. McGriff's case.

Leon County

State of Florida v. Christian Fleming

SC06-1173

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

 

 

 

 

Approx. 10:50

Mr. Fleming was sentenced to 25 years in prison for convictions of aggravated battery, shooting into a dwelling, and false imprisonment. His sentences were later vacated, and on resentencing he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He argued the trial judge based his sentence on evidence the jury did not consider and exceeded the maximum sentence allowed under the jury's verdict. The First District Court of Appeal agreed, citing decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. In this appeal, the state argues those decisions do not apply in Mr. Fleming's case.

Justice Polston is recused

 

Leon County

 

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, April 9, 2010

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 21, 2010

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

Howard Ault v. State of Florida

SC07-2130

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

 

 10:00

Mr. Ault was convicted of and condemned to death for the first-degree murdersof two sisters, ages 11 and 7, who were fatally strangled in 1996. On directappeal, this Court upheld the convictions but found that a new sentencinghearing was required. At the second sentencing hearing, the jury voted 9-3 torecommend death for the murder of the older sister and 10-2 to recommenddeath for the murder of the younger sister. The trial court condemned Mr. Aultto death for both murders. This is his direct appeal of his resentencing. Heraises various issues.

 Broward County