Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

May 7 to 11, 2012

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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, May 7, 2012

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

Vincent J. Puglisi v. State of Florida

SC11-768

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

N/A

Removed from calendar.

Palm Beach County

Pedro Garcia v. David Andonie

SC11-554

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

9:00

Mr. Garcia, the Dade property appraiser, denied an application for a homesteadtax exemption sought by the Andonies. The Andonies are foreign nationals in theUnited States on visas. They sought the tax exemption based on the U.S.citizenship of their three minor children, who were all born in Miami and who alllive in the home with their parents. The Andonies challenged Mr. Garcia'sdecision and a review board granted them the tax exemption. When Mr. Garciachallenged that decision in court, both the trial court and the Third District Courtof Appeal ruled for the Andonies.

Miami-Dade County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

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

Gabriel A. Hernandez v. State of Florida

SC11-941 | SC11-1357

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

9:00

Mr. Hernandez, a native Nicaraguan and lawful permanent resident of the U.S.,pled guilty to a drug charge. The judge withheld adjudication of guilt andsentenced him to probation. Mr. Hernandez later tried to have his plea vacated. Heargued his attorney had not advised him that a guilty plea would trigger mandatorydeportation. The trial court denied his motion. The Third District Court of Appealupheld that ruling but also asked this Court to decide about the applicability of a2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in a similar case out of Kentucky.

Miami-Dade County

Leduan Diaz v. State of Florida

SC11-1281

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Diaz pled guilty to burglary and assault charges. He later appealed, arguinghe had never been advised that a guilty plea would trigger mandatory deportation.The trial court rejected his appeal and the Third District Court of Appeal upheldthat ruling. The 3rd DCA also asked this Court to decide about the applicabilityof a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in a similar case out of Kentucky.

Miami-Dade County

Claudia Vergara Castano v. State of Florida

SC11-1571

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

Approx. 10:30

Ms. Castano pled guilty to child neglect when a child wandered away from herhome day care center. She was sentenced to one day in jail and three years ofprobation. She later tried to have the judgment vacated, arguing her attorney hadnot told her the guilty plea would trigger mandatory deportation. The trial courtdenied the motion and the Fifth District Court of Appeal upheld that ruling. The5th DCA also certified conflict with decisions by the Third District Court ofAppeal and asked this Court to decide about the applicability of a 2010 U.S.Supreme Court decision in a similar case out of Kentucky.

Orange County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

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

Troy Merck, Jr. v. State of Florida

SC10-1830 | SC11-1676

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

9:00

Mr. Merck was convicted of the first-degree murder of James Newton, who wasfatally stabbed in 1991. Mr. Merck was sentenced to death twice but bothsentences were overturned on appeal. In his third sentencing proceeding, the juryvoted 9-3 to recommend a death sentence. The trial court condemned him to deatha third time and this Court upheld the sentence on direct appeal. Mr. Merck fileda postconviction challenge in the trial court. His motion was denied and thisappeal followed.

Pinellas County

Michael Wayne Shellito v. State of Florida

SC10-2043 | SC11-1447

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Shellito was convicted of the first-degree murder of Sean Hathorne, who wasfatally shot in 1994. The jury voted 11-1 to recommend a death sentence and thetrial court condemned Mr. Shellito to death. This Court upheld his death sentenceon direct appeal. Mr. Shellito filed a postconviction challenge in the trial court.His motion was denied and this appeal followed.

Duval County

McKenzie Check Advance v. Wendy Betts

SC11-514

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

Approx. 10:30

Ms. Betts and others who got payday loans from McKenzie Check Advance fileda class-action lawsuit against MCA alleging violations of Florida's consumerprotection laws. MCA argued that some of its clients had signed arbitrationcontracts waiving the right to file class-actions. A trial judge ruled that the waiverscould not be enforced because the customers would not be able to afford lawyerson an individual basis. The Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed. MCA arguesin this appeal that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled that federalarbitration law preempts state law.

Palm Beach County

Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement TrustFund v. American Educational Enterprises

SC10-2251

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

Approx. 11:10

American Educational Enterprises bought a piece of state property from thegovernor and Cabinet in their capacity as the Board of Trustees of the InternalImprovement Trust Fund. American later sued the Board, allegingmisrepresentation among other things. The Board counter-sued. During pretrialdiscovery, American objected to one of the Board's requests for financialdocuments. The trial court approved the request; the Third District Court ofAppeal overturned that ruling; the Board appealed to this Court. Now the partiescontest whether the 3rd DCA relied upon the correct standard of review.

Miami-Dade County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, May 10, 2012

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

Roman Pino v. Bank of New York

SC11-697

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

9:00

After The Bank of New York Mellon began foreclosure proceeding on Mr. Pino'shome, Mr. Pino alleged the bank had filed fraudulent documents in thatproceeding. The bank voluntarily dismissed the foreclosure proceeding and fileda new foreclosure case five months later. Mr. Pino asked the trial court to strikethe bank's voluntary dismissal of the first case, arguing such a move was notpermitted as a way to avoid fraud allegations. The trial court denied his motion.The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld that ruling. The 4th DCA also askedthis Court to rule on the trial court's power in such a situation.

Palm Beach County

Martin J. McClain v. Jeffery H. Atwater

SC11-1452

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. McClain, a lawyer appointed to represent a death row inmate appealing hissentence, sought payment from the state for his time and costs. The bill hesubmitted for investigative services exceeded a limit provided in state law. Mr.McClain sought to have the trial court approve the excess costs. The court deniedhis motion, ruling that the circumstances were ordinary and consequently did notwarrant waiving the payment cap. Mr. McClain appealed that ruling to this Court.

Duval County

Intervest Construction v. General Fidelity Insurance Co.

SC11-2320

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

Approx. 10:30

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has asked this Court to rule on the scopeof Florida law as it relates to a dispute over a general liability insurance policy.The issue arose after Intervest Construction and General Fidelity, its insurer,agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by an injured homeowner for $1.6 million. Aninsurer for a subcontractor paid $1 million and Intervest and General Fidelity eachpaid $300,000. Intervest and its insurer then sued each other, seeking to recoverwhat they had paid into the settlement. The federal trial judge ruled for GeneralFidelity. Intervest appealed to the 11th Circuit.

Duval County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, May 11, 2012

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