Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

June 5-9 & 29-30, 2006

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Previous Oral Arguments
Transcripts of Previous Oral Arguments
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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, June 5, 2006

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 Rules of Juvenile Procedure

SC06-140

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

9:00

The Court considers proposed changes to the rules that govern the handling of juvenile cases, which include custody and treatment of abused and neglected children as well as those who are accused of delinquency. The changes have been recommended by The Florida Bar's Juvenile Court Rules Committee as part of a regular two-year review cycle. One proposed change would limit the kinds of hearings that general magistrates can handle. Another change would incorporate case law that says the state cannot commit a child to a residential mental health facility without first proving the need for treatment by clear and convincing evidence.

Statewide impact

In re: Amendments to Rules of Appellate Procedure

SC06-159

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

Approx. 10:00

The Court considers proposed changes to the rules that govern the handling of appeals. The changes have been recommended by The Florida Bar's Appellate Court Rules Committee. One proposed change would make it easier for people to appeal court orders that limit or eliminate their parental rights following allegations of abuse or neglect.

Statewide impact

Mark Andrew Tobin v. Michigan Mutual Insurance Co.

SC05-214

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

Approx. 11:00

Tobin and other petitioners argue they are entitled to uninsured motorist coverage from Michigan Mutual. Tobin and the others filed federal lawsuits after three traffic crashes involving cars leased by Ford Motor Credit Corp. and a subsidiary. The plaintiffs argued they were covered by the policy that Michigan Mutual sold to Ford; the insurer and Ford argued that policy covered only Ford managers and retirees participating in an internal leasing program and did not extend to retail leases entered into by Tobin and the others. The federal judge agreed with the insurer and Michigan Mutual. Tobin and the other petitioners appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing they were covered by Michigan Mutual under Florida's uninsured motorist law. The federal appeals court has asked this Court whether Michigan Mutual has any liability to the plaintiffs.

Miami-Dade County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral

Arguments

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

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 Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation v. Gulfstream Park Racing Association

SC05-2130 | SC05-2131

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

9:00

This appeal combines two related cases dealing with a provision of state law that restricts the intertrack wagering allowed at pari-mutuels in areas of the state where three or more horse tracks are located within 25 miles of each other. Gulfstream Park challenged the constitutionality of the law, arguing it was too vague and improperly carved out one area of the state. Gulfstream also argued it was deprived of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. The trial judge agreed with Gulfstream that the law was a special enactment and the First District Court of Appeal upheld that finding. Both sides appealed the issue to this Court

Broward County

State of Florida v. Gregg Campbell

SC05-1844

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

Approx. 9:40

The Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that the permission Mr. Campbell gave sheriff's deputies to search his car was tainted because police had possession of his driver's license at the time. Mr. Campbell was charged with carrying a concealed weapon but before his trial he argued the stop and search were illegal because police lacked sufficient evidence and he did not voluntarily consent to being either detained or searched. The trial judge agreed with him. The 4th DCA upheld that ruling but also asked the Supreme Court to rule whether the consent a driver may give police to search a car is truly voluntary if police have possession of the driver's license at the time. The state argues that the entire encounter was consensual and voluntary and that the fact that the detective briefly had possession of the license to run a warrants check should not be the sole factor considered. Mr. Campbell argues the lower courts were right when they found that a person seated in the driver's seat of a car is effectively detained and not free to leave when the police have his driver's license.

Broward County

Antonio LeBaron Melton v. State of Florida

SC04-1689 | SC05-1423

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

Approx. 10:30

Mr. Melton was convicted of the fatal shooting of pawn shop owner George Carter in 1991. The jury voted 8-4 to recommend a death sentence and he was condemned. This Court upheld his conviction and sentence and the trial judge rejected Mr. Melton's first post-conviction appeal. This appeal challenges that ruling; he raises several issues.

Escambia County

Daniel Burns v. State of Florida

SC01-166

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

Approx. 11:10

Mr. Burns was convicted of the August 1987 murder of Jeffrey Young, a state trooper who was fatally shot after he stopped Mr. Burns on Interstate 75. The jury voted unanimously to recommend that he be sentenced to death and he was condemned. In this appeal, he argues the trial court was wrong to find that he failed to prove he is mentally retarded and thus shielded from the death penalty.

Manatee County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral

Arguments

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

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: James R. Adams

SC06-249

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

9:00

Circuit Judge James R. Adams has been ordered to appear before the Court to be publicly reprimanded for judicial misconduct.

Lee County

In re: Amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar – Advertising Rules

SC05-2194

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

Approx. 9:10

The Florida Bar has proposed revisions to the rules governing attorney advertising; the revisions are based on recommendations suggested by a special Bar task force. Under one proposed change, lawyers would have to get prior approval of most television and radio advertisements. Under existing rules, attorneys file TV and radio ads with the Bar concurrently with their broadcast and the Bar has a 15-day window to determine if they comply with regulations. The Bar proposes keeping Web sites subject to most of the general regulations governing attorney advertising.

Statewide impact

In re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases

SC05-1961

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

Approx. 9:50

The Court considers changes to jury instructions to be given in criminal trials where testimony is provided through interpreters or translators. Under the proposals, jurors would be directed to consider only the evidence provided through the interpreter or translator, even if they speak the language themselves. Jurors who question the accuracy of the interpretation are to notify the judge by raising their hand and are not to discuss the issue with other jurors.

Statewide impact

In re: Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases

SC05-1999

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

Approx. 10:10

The Court considers changes to jury instructions to be given in civil trials where testimony is provided through interpreters or translators. Under the proposals, jurors would be directed to consider only the evidence provided through the interpreter or translator, even if they speak the language themselves. Jurors who question the accuracy of the interpretation are to notify the judge by raising their hand and are not to discuss the issue with other jurors

Statewide impact

In re: Amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida – Attorney Misconduct

SC05-1684

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

Approx. 10:30

The Court considers revisions to rules that govern the emergency suspension of attorneys and procedures that are followed when attorneys have engaged in criminal activities.

Statewide impact

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral

Arguments

Thursday, June 8, 2006

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 Rules Regulating The Florida Bar – Attorney Contingency Fee Agreements

SC05-1150

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

9:00

The Court considers a proposal by The Florida Bar to amend the rules governing attorney contingency fees in the wake of a constitutional amendment that plaintiffs in medical malpractice case are guaranteed a certain percentage of any award or settlement. Under the recommended revisions, attorneys are required to inform prospective clients of the new constitutional language and advise them of their right to hire another attorney or waive their right to the percentage specified in the state constitution.

Statewide impact

Terry P. Sanders v. State of Florida

SC05-2115

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

Approx. 9:15

After a nightclub bouncer was shot, Mr. Sanders was charged with attempted first-degree murder. Before his trial, the judge ruled that he was a habitual violent felony offender. The jury convicted Mr. Sanders of a lesser charge: attempted second-degree murder with a firearm. Under the sentencing guidelines, he could have been sentenced to a prison term of not quite 10 years. Citing Florida's 10-20-Life law, the judge sentenced him to life in prison. Mr. Sanders appealed to the Second District Court of Appeal. He argued that because the jury convicted him of a lesser charge he could not be given a sentence that might have been imposed under the original charge. The 2nd DCA upheld his sentence but asked the Florida Supreme Court to address the issue.

Hillsborough County

Seburt Nelson Connor v. State of Florida

SC04-1283

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

Approx. 9:55

Mr. Connor was convicted of the murders of Lawrence Goodine and his 10-year-old daughter, Jessica. The jury voted 8-4 to recommend that he be sentenced to death for the murder of the little girl, who was strangled, and he was condemned. He was sentenced to life in prison for the fatal beating of the father. This Court upheld the convictions and death sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Connor lost his first post-conviction appeal to the trial court. This appeal challenges that ruling. He raises several issues.

Miami-Dade County

Inquiry Concerning a Judge: Gregory P. Holder

SC03-1171

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

Approx. 10:35

Judge Holder argues he should be reimbursed attorney fees he incurred to defend himself against charges of misconduct by the Judicial Qualifications Commission. He argues it's long been held by common law that a public official be reimbursed at public expense following the successful defense of litigation connected to official duties or serving a public purpose. The JQC argues that Judge Holder waived his right to attorney fees and that the litigation was not linked to official duties.

Hillsborough County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral

Arguments

Friday, June 9, 2006

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

Wiccan Religious Cooperative v. Jim Zingale

SC05-873

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

8:30

The Wiccan Religious Cooperative challenged the constitutionality of a sales tax exemption for religious items. The trial court ruled that the Wiccan Religious Cooperative had standing to raise the issue and that the exemption was constitutional. The First District Court of Appeal held that the Wiccan Religious Cooperative did not have standing to challenge the constitutionality of the tax exemption and reversed the trial court's ruling on this issue. The Wiccan Religious Cooperative appealed the district court's decision on the standing issue to this Court.

Statewide impact

Beverly Williams v. Cecelia Davis

SC05-1817

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

Approx. 9:10

Ms. Williams challenges a ruling by the Fifth District Court of Appeal that she has a duty to trim bushes and trees on her corner lot so that drivers in a yield lane can see oncoming traffic. The trial judge had dismissed a lawsuit filed against Ms. Williams by Cecilia Davis on behalf of the estate of her daughter, Twanda Green, who was killed when a truck hit her broadside at the intersection. But the 5th DCA overturned that ruling and asked this Court whether a past decision means that private owners of non-commercial property do have a common law duty to trim foliage to give drivers at an intersection a longer view.

Orange County

Jesus Delgado v. State of Florida

SC04-2274

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

Approx. 9:50

Mr. Delgado was convicted of the 1990 murders of Tomas and Violetta Rodriguez, who were killed in their home. Mr. Rodriguez was fatally shot and his wife was fatally stabbed. The jury voted 9-3 to recommend that Mr. Delgado be sentenced to death for each murder and he was condemned. This is his direct appeal

Miami-Dade County

Alexander Galindez v. State of Florida

SC05-1341

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

Approx. 10:50

Mr. Galindez was convicted of lewd assault on a child and impregnating a child. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison but that sentence was vacated by the Third District Court of Appeal and he was resentenced to 24 years. He appealed the new sentence to the Third District Court of Appeal, which upheld it but certified conflict with a decision by the First District Court of Appeal. The legal issue now pending in this case is whether U.S. Supreme Court rulings that affect sentences apply to the re-sentencing hearing.

Miami-Dade County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral

Arguments

Thursday, June 29, 2006

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

F.G. v. Agency for Persons with Disabilities

SC06-240

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

9:00

A trial judge ordered officials with the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities to appear in court to testify about a developmentally disabled teenager in foster care who was on a waiting list for services. The agency filed a motion to block the judge's order, arguing determination of services for people with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities was solely within its executive power. The Third District Court of Appeal agreed. In the appeal to this Court, attorneys for the teenager and advocacy groups for foster children argue judges in dependency court have broad powers to protect children in foster care and other state oversight.

Miami-Dade County

Inquiry Concerning a Judge: Brandt C. Downey III

SC05-2228

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

Approx. 9:40

The Court considers a recommendation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission in the case of Circuit Judge Brandt C. Downey III, who was accused of three counts of judicial misconduct. The discipline recommended by the JQC is part of a stipulation with Judge Downey, who admitted to one of the three counts. As part of the stipulation, Judge Downey would continue to serve as a circuit judge until his retirement next January but he would not serve as a senior judge or seek either appointment or election to another judicial position. Also under the stipulation, Judge Downey would submit a written public apology and would be publicly reprimanded by the Court.

Pinellas County

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral

Arguments

Friday, June 30, 2006

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

Passing of the Gavel to the Honorable R. Fred Lewis

 

3:30

In this ceremonial session, Justice R. Fred Lewis will be sworn in as the 52nd Chief Justice of Florida. View the ProgramPDF Download for this event.

Supreme Court Building

Tallahassee