Florida Supreme Court Decisions

In addition to hearing appeals from the Florida District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court has jurisdiction over several other types of cases. Under Article V, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution, it has mandatory jurisdiction over appeals in cases involving the death penalty or public utilities, as well as discretionary jurisdiction over appeals in cases involving the state constitution. The Court also has the authority to issue certain writs, such as writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition.

The Florida Supreme Court consists of seven justices, who serve six-year terms. To serve on the Court, a candidate must be no older than 74 years old, a resident of Florida, registered to vote in Florida, and a member of the Florida State Bar for at least the last 10 years. Florida uses the assisted appointment method to select new justices. First, the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission selects three to six candidates. The Governor of Florida appoints the nine members of the Commission, and each of them serves a four-year term. The Governor chooses four of the members from lists of nominees created by the leadership of the Florida Bar Association.

The Governor then selects the new justice from the list provided by the Commission. However, the justice will face a retention vote in the first general election that occurs at least one year after their appointment. There are only two ways in which a justice may be removed before the end of their term. They may be removed if they are impeached by the Florida House of Representatives in a two-thirds vote and convicted by the Florida State Senate, also in a two-thirds vote. Alternatively, a justice may be removed by the Florida Supreme Court upon the recommendation of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. A justice may face more moderate discipline or retirement upon the recommendation of the Commission as well.

Browse Opinions From the Florida Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Florida Supreme Court
Lott v. State  
Date: September 17, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1356

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court denying Defendant's successive motion for postconviction relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the circuit court properly denied relief. Defend...

Heritage Manor of Memorial Park, Inc., et al. v. DFG Group, LLC, et al.
Date: September 10, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-581
In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.220
Date: September 10, 2020
Docket Number: SC20-1263
In Re: Amendments to Rule Regulating the Florida Bar - Rule 1-3.2(b)
Date: September 3, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1335
In Re: Amendments to the Florida Probate Rules - Guardianship
Date: September 3, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1370
Dillbeck v. State  
Date: September 3, 2020
Docket Number: SC20-178

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court dismissing Petitioner's third successive motion for postconviction relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the circuit court did not err in dismis...

Davis v. State  
Date: August 27, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1207

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's order summarily denying Defendant's successive emotion for postconviction relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the circuit court properly denied Defendant...

Brown v. State  
Date: August 27, 2020
Docket Numbers: SC19-704, SC19-1419

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court denying Tina Lasonya Brown's motion to vacate her conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851 and denied Brown's petit...

James v. Fox  
Date: August 27, 2020
Docket Number: SC20-355

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court concluded that Petitioner's quo warranto petition filed in this case was a frivolous proceeding brought before the Supreme Court by a state prisoner and instructed the Clerk of Court to reject any futur...

Thompson v. DeSantis  
Date: August 27, 2020
Docket Number: SC20-985

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied the petition filed by Representative Geraldine Thompson seeking to invalidate Governor Ron DeSantis's appointment of Judge Renatha Francis to fill a vacancy in office on the Supreme Court, holdin...

Freeman v. State  
Date: August 13, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1532

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court summarily denying Defendant's second successive motion for post conviction relief, holding that Defendant was not entitled to postconviction relief. Defendant wa...

Atwater v. State  
Date: August 13, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1709

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court denying Defendant's fifth successive postconviction motion filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that Defendant was not entitled to postconviction rel...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.