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
Alcegaire v. State  
Date: September 9, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-428

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's judgments of conviction of first-degree murder and sentences of death, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the proceedings below. Defendant was convicted and sentenced t...

CCM Condominium Association, Inc. v. Petri Positive Pest Control, Inc.  
Date: September 9, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-861

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that, for purposes of calculating whether a plaintiff has met the threshold amount of difference between an offer of judgment and the judgment entered for purposes of Fla. Stat. 768.79, post-offer...

In Re: Amendments to Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-7.19
Date: September 9, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-775
Furst v. DeFrances  
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-701

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the decision of the Second District Court of Appeal invalidating the decision of a property appraiser assessing back taxes after discovering his purported clerical error in undervaluing and und...

Allen v. State  
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1053

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the decision of the First District Court of Appeal affirming Defendant's conviction of of three counts of sexual battery and one count of lewd or lascivious exhibition, holding that the schedul...

In Re: Amendment to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.020
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-253
Hilton v. State  
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Numbers: SC19-373, SC19-1766

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the postconviction court denying Gary Hilton's motion to vacate his conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death and denied Hilton's petition for a writ of habeas corpus...

Baptiste v. State  
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1083

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeal that invited error precluded review of Defendant's claim on appeal that a jury charge was coercive, holding that the court of appeal did not err. Defendant...

Nixon v. State  
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-48

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court denying Defendant's claims that he was intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for the death penalty and that he was entitled to relief under Hurst v. Flor...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.212
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-7
In Re: Amendment to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.280
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-929
Davidson v. State  
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1851

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's judgment of conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death, holding that Defendant failed to demonstrate error on the part of the trial court. Specifically, the Supreme Co...

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.