Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

Oral Argument Schedule & Briefs

June 9-13 & 27, 2008

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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 9, 2008

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 Dep't of Children & Families v. H.D.

SC07-2127

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

9:00

After a trial court terminated the parental rights of H.D., she appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, arguing there was no competent substantial evidence to support terminating her parental rights. The Department of Children & Families argued that H.D. had waived this ground for appeal by failing to preserve it in the trial court. The 4th DCA ruled that H.D. had not waived the issue. But the 4th DCA also upheld the trial court's order terminating H.D.'s parental rights. In this appeal, the department is challenging the 4th DCA's decision about preserving sufficiency of the evidence claims for appeal in termination of parental rights cases.

Martin County

Lawnwood Medical Center, Inc. v. Randall Seeger

SC07-1300

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

Approx. 9:40

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center argues a state law passed to give its Board of Trustees more power in disputes with its medical staff is valid and that the trial court and the First District Court of Appeal erred when they found the law unconstitutional. Dr. Seeger, president of the medical staff, argues that the 1st DCA correctly found that the law conferred a privilege on a private corporation and impaired the contract between the hospital board and its medical staff.

Leon County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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 Rules of Appellate Procedure

SC08-147

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

9:00

The Florida Appellate Court Rules Committee recommends various changes to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. One change concerns automatic stays granted when government officials or entities appeal rulings made by administrative law judges in challenges to governmental regulations and actions. The change would keep rulings by the administrative law judge in force during any appeal by the government officials or entities unless the judge specifically agrees to stay the ruling.

Statewide impact

Amendments to Florida Family Law Rules

SC08-92

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

Approx. 9:30

The Family Law Rules Committee and The Florida Bar recommend changes to the Florida Family Law Rules and family law forms. One change would require attorneys for the Department of Revenue in paternity or child support cases to provide information about the parent receiving child support and any limits on issues that the state lawyers can address.

Statewide impact

State of Florida v. Randy DeWayne Gibson

SC07-2158

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

Approx. 10:00

Mr. Gibson was arrested on drug charges after a traffic stop, during which a police dog was used to sniff for drugs. Officers found a trace amount of cocaine in the glove compartment. Mr. Gibson's lawyer argued that the state had not proved the dog's reliability and that the evidence should not be allowed. The trial court denied that motion and Mr. Gibson pleaded no contest. On appeal, the Second District Court of Appeal overturned that decision, finding that the dog's training and certification did not, on its own, give an officer probable cause to conduct a search. The state appeals that decision.

Sarasota County

  

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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

Scott Corey Kirton v. Jordan Fiels

SC07-1739 | SC07-1741 | SC07-1742

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

9:00

The estate of a 14-year-old boy fatally injured while driving an all-terrain vehicle at a motor sports park filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owners of the park. The owners argued that the case should be dismissed because the boy's father had signed a release of liability before the accident. The trial court agreed but the Fourth District Court of Appeal overturned that decision. The 4th DCA ruled a parent does not have the legal authority to sign a release of all claims held by a minor child. The 4th DCA certified that issue as one of great public importance that should be addressed by this Court.

Okeechobee County

Daniel Lugo v. State of Florida

SC06-1532

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Lugo was convicted of the first-degree murders of Krisztina Furton and Frank Griga, who were killed in 1995. Ms. Furton died of asphyxia after being injected with horse tranquilizer; Mr. Griga died after being injected with horse tranquilizer, strangled and beaten. The jury voted 11-1 to recommend death sentences for both murders and Mr. Lugo was condemned. This Court upheld the death sentences on direct appeal and Mr. Lugo filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. It was denied and this appeal followed. Mr. Lugo raises various issues.

Miami-Dade County

Maurice Lamar Floyd v. State of Florida

SC07-330 | SC07-1894

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

 

Removed from calendar

Putnam County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, June 12, 2008

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

Yolanda G. Minagorri v. Archdiocese of Miami, Inc.

SC07-1171

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

9:00

Ms. Miñagorri sued the Archdiocese after her employment as a Catholic school principal ended. One of the counts in the lawsuit alleged retaliation under Florida's Whistleblower Act. The Archdiocese argued that the trial court did not have jurisdiction over that claim because of the constitutional guarantees of religious freedom. The trial court denied that motion but the Third District Court of Appeal overturned the trial court, agreeing with the Archdiocese. Ms. Miñagorri appealed the 3rd DCA's opinion to this Court, arguing that no religious issues were at stake in her lawsuit and thus the Constitution did not shield the Archdiocese.

Miami-Dade County

Troy L. Blocker v. State of Florida

SC07-2292

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

Approx. 9:40

Mr. Blocker pleaded guilty to burglary, sexual battery and dealing in stolen property and was sentenced to prison. The trial court's sentencing order indicates his sentence was 99 years for some counts, 30 years for others and 15 for others. But Mr. Blocker argues that his sentence is illegal because a transcript of what the trial judge said from the bench indicated the sentence was nine years. Mr. Blocker argues that under Florida law an oral pronouncement of sentence is treated as the true sentence whenever there is a discrepancy with the written sentencing order. Both the trial court and the Second District Court of Appeal denied his motion.

Pinellas County

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, June 13, 2008

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

State of Florida v. Faunce Levon Pearce

SC07-201

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

8:30

Mr. Pearce was convicted of the first-degree murder of Robert Crawford, who was fatally shot in 1999. The jury voted 10-2 to recommend a death sentence and Mr. Pearce was condemned. This Court upheld the death sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Pearce filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. He prevailed and his convictions were reversed. The state appealed, raising various issues.

Pasco County

Eddie Lee Sexton v. State of Florida

SC07-286

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

Approx. 9:10

Mr. Sexton was convicted of the first-degree murder of Joel Good, who was strangled in 1993. Mr. Sexton was condemned but this Court reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial. Mr. Sexton was again convicted. The jury voted 8-4 to recommend a death sentence and he was again condemned. This Court upheld the conviction and death sentence on direct appeal and Mr. Sexton filed a post-conviction challenge in trial court. It was denied and this appeal followed. Mr. Sexton raises various issues.

Hillsborough County

Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases

SC07-2324

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

Approx. 9:50

The Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases proposes amending three criminal jury instructions that define the offenses of manslaughter, culpable negligence, and attempted voluntary manslaughter. The proposals would alter the definitions of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter by removing the requirement that the death was caused by an intentional act and would define culpable negligence as it is defined in the manslaughter instruction.

Statewide impact

 

 

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, June 27, 2008

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: Passing of the Gavel to the Honorable Peggy A. Quince 

3:30

Peggy A. Quince, 60, will be sworn in as the 53rd Chief Justice of Florida during a ceremonial Passing of the Gavel session.

Justice Quince was a resident of the Tampa area when she joined the Court in 1999