Florida Supreme Court Decisions 2016

Simmons v. State  
Date: December 22, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2314

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of the kidnapping, sexual battery, and death of Deborah Tressler. Defendant was sentenced to death after a unanimous jury recommendation in the first penalty phase. The Supreme Court ultimately va...

Mosley v. State  
Date: December 22, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-436

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of his girlfriend and their infant son. Defendant was sentenced to death for the murder of his son and to life imprisonment for the murder of hi...

Hernandez v. Crespo  
Date: December 22, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-67

Justia Opinion Summary: Lualhati Crespo and her husband filed a complaint against Petitioners, Dr. Eileen Hernandez and Women’s Care Florida, after their son was delivered stillborn. Petitioners filed a motion to stay proceedings and compel bin...

Asay v. State  
Date: December 22, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC16-223, SC16-102, SC16-628

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Mark James Asay was found guilty of two counts of murder. The jury recommended a death sentence. The trial court imposed a sentence of death for each conviction. The Supreme Court affirmed on appealed...

Knight v. State  
Date: December 15, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC13-820, SC14-567

Justia Opinion Summary: After a nonjury trial, Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder, armed robbery, burglary of a dwelling, and grand theft of an automobile. Appellant was sentenced to death for the murder conviction. The Supreme Cour...

In Re: Certification of Need for Additional Judges
Date: December 15, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-2127
In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration
Date: December 8, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1594
Kelsey v. State  
Date: December 8, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-2079

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of armed sexual battery, armed burglary, and armed robbery. Defendant was fifteen years old at the time he committed the offenses. The trial court sentenced Defendant to two life se...

The Florida Bar v. Jean M. Picon
Date: December 8, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-385
In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: December 8, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-1183
Walton v. State  
Date: December 1, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1652

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer with possession and discharge of a firearm during commission of that crime and two counts of attempted armed robbery with possession...

Johnson v. State  
Date: December 1, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1175

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1981, Appellant was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder, among other crimes. Appellant was sentenced to death. The Supreme Court affirmed on direct appeal. The Supreme Court later granted Appellant’s peti...

Sebo v. American Home Assurance Co.  
Date: December 1, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-897

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, John Sebo purchased a home. American Home Assurance Company (AHAC) provided homeowners insurance as of the date of the purchase. It later became clear that the house suffered from major design and construction d...

In re Judge John Patrick Contini  
Date: December 1, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-2148

Justia Opinion Summary: The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) filed a notice of formal charges against Judge John P. Contini of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit for violating the Code of Judicial Conduct by sending an ex parte e-...

Cherry v. Jones  
Date: December 1, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-957

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. A jury recommended sentences of death. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and one of the death sentences but vacated the other death sentence with i...

Wright v. State  
Date: November 23, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1213

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of robbery, and one count of carjacking. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death for each mur...

Franklin v. State  
Date: November 23, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1632

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of the first-degree murder of a corrections officer at the Columbia Correctional Institution. The jury ultimately recommended a sentence of death, and the trial court sentenced...

Grimsley v. Jones  
Date: November 23, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-1041

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner is incarcerated in the Florida Department of Corrections upon his judgments of conviction and sentences for robbery with a firearm, aggravated battery with firearm, and other offenses. In 2005, Petitioner bega...

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure
Date: November 23, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-640
McCloud v. State  
Date: November 17, 2016
Docket Number: SC12-2103

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. The jury recommended death sentences for the murder convictions, and the trial court sentenced Defendant to death. The Supreme Court affir...

Phillips v. State  
Date: November 17, 2016
Docket Number: SC12-876

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of armed robbery, attempted robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. The trial court imposed two sentences of de...

Robinson v. State  
Date: November 17, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-233

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, Defendant was charged in an information with several counts related to child pornography. After Defendant was arrested on an arrest warrant issued in 2009 for possession of child pornography, he filed a motion t...

Davis v. State  
Date: November 10, 2016
Docket Number: SC11-1122

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery, and one count of first-degree arson. The trial court imposed two...

Davis v. State  
Date: November 10, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was the Appellant in two separate death penalty direct appeals. In the present case, Appellant was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, and one count each...

Thompson v. State  
Date: November 10, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1752

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. After the United States Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that it was unconstitutional to execute persons with intellectual disabilities, App...

Green v. Cottrell  
Date: November 10, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1805

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner, an inmate, filed a pro se complaint against four employees of the Santa Rosa County Jail, alleging negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress relating to his attack at the jail by two inmates...

Inquiry Concerning Judge John P. Contini  
Date: November 10, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-2148

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2015, the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) filed a notice of formal changes against Judge John P. Contini of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit for conduct in violation of the Canons of the Code of Judic...

Bartram v. U.S. Bank National Ass’n  
Date: November 3, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC14-1265, SC14-1266, SC14-1305

Justia Opinion Summary: Borrower stopped making payments on his mortgage and note, both before and after a foreclosure action was brought by Bank and subsequently dismissed. Borrower subsequently filed a crossclaim against Bank in a separate fo...

Anderson v. Hilton Hotels Corp.  
Date: November 3, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-124

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was the victim of an armed robbery, carjacking, and shooting that occurred in the parking lot of an Embassy Suites hotel. Petitioner filed a negligence action against Hilton Hotels and related companies (colle...

Kipnis v. Bayerische Hypo-Und Vereinsbank  
Date: November 3, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-740

Justia Opinion Summary: Relying on the reputations of Defendants, Plaintiffs, the owners of one of South Florida’s largest general contractors, initiated a custom adjustable rate debt structure (CARDS) transaction. The IRS later issued notices...

Aguirre-Jarquin v. State  
Date: October 27, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC13-2092, SC14-1332

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Clemente Javier Aguirre-Jarquin (“Aguirre”) was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Aguirre later filed a postconviction motion under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3851, arguing that counsel w...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: October 27, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-782
State v. Dougan  
Date: October 20, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1826

Justia Opinion Summary: Jacob John Dougan was convicted of a murder that occurred in 1974. Dougan was sentenced to death for the murder. Dougan filed an amended postconviction petition raising twenty-nine claims. The postconviction proceedings...

State v. Weeks  
Date: October 20, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1856

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Defendant moved to dismiss the charge, arguing (1) his rifle was a permissible antique firearm or replica thereof under Fla. Stat. 790...

Walls v. State  
Date: October 20, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1449

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of felony murder in the death of Edward Alger and premeditated and felony murder in the death of Ann Peterson. The trial judge sentenced Appellant to death for Peterson’s murder and to life impris...

Kuhajda v. Borden Dairy Co. of Alabama  
Date: October 20, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1682

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff served Defendants with offers of judgment. Plaintiff ultimately prevailed on her negligence claim against Defendants and was awarded damages in excess of the amount contained in her offers of judgment, enough t...

de la Fuente v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Ass’n  
Date: October 20, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-519

Justia Opinion Summary: Insureds, who owned a policy from Insurer, alleged that Insurer failed to pay them for damage to their home from sinkhole loss, thus breaching the terms of the insurance policy. When Insurer became insolvent, Florida Ins...

Hurst v. State  
Date: October 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC12-1947

Justia Opinion Summary: In Hurst v. State, the Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s death sentence, which was imposed after a second penalty phase sentencing proceeding. Defendant sought certiorari review. Upon review, the United States Supreme C...

Perry v. State  
Date: October 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-547

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a pending prosecution where the death penalty was sought. At issue was whether Florida’s newly enacted death penalty law (the Act), which was passed after the United States Supreme Court in Hurst v. Fl...

Staples v. State  
Date: October 6, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2485

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of traveling to meet a minor under Fla. Stat. 847.0135(4)(b). Petitioner was sentenced to six days time served and five years of sex offender probation. One condition of Petitioner’...

Gary Czajkowski v. State of Florida
Date: October 6, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-2313
Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co.  
Date: September 29, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2124

Justia Opinion Summary: Johnson was covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy issued by Omega when she filed a claim to recover damages resulting from conditions which she believed to be sinkhole activity. After an initial sinkhole investiga...

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms
Date: September 29, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-1253
In Re: Amendments to the Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms
Date: September 29, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-1288
In Re: Amendments to Rules Regulating The Florida Bar 4-1.1 and 6-10.3
Date: September 29, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-574
Mendez v. Hampton Court Nursing Center, LLC  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1349

Justia Opinion Summary: When Hampton Court Nursing Father admitted Father to its nursing home facility, Son and Hampton Court signed a a nursing home contract that included an arbitration clause. Father did not sign the contract. Son later file...

State v. Weeks  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1856

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Defendant moved to dismiss the charge, contending that his rifle was a permissible antique firearm or “replica” thereof under Fla. Sta...

O.I.C.L. v. Fla. Dep’t of Children & Families  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1570

Justia Opinion Summary: Two and a half months before Child’s eighteenth birthday, a private petition for an adjudication of dependency under Fla. Stat. 39.01(15)(a) and (e) was filed on Child’s behalf. The trial court denied the petition, rulin...

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Pruco Life Ins. Co.  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-382

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a dispute over the validity of three stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) policies. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit certified two questions of Florida law to the Supre...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases – Instruction 29.24
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-1440
In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-1453
In Re: Amendments to the Florida Probate Rules
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-1454
Wright v. City of Miami Gardens  
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-1518

Justia Opinion Summary: James Wright, who sought election for the office of Mayor in the City of Miami Gardens, tendered a check to qualify as a candidate for the office. The check was returned due to a banking error. After qualifying had ended...

Hall v. State  
Date: September 8, 2016
Docket Number: SC10-1335

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. After the Supreme Court decided in Atkins v. Virginia that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the execution of a person with an intellectual disability, Appellant fil...

Poillot v. State  
Date: September 8, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1691

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of a felony and sentenced to two years in the Department of Corrections. As part of a work release program, Petitioner began employment with a construction company, working outside of the correct...

Smith v. State  
Date: September 8, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-782

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to twenty counts of transmitting child pornography to an undercover officer via the Internet. Defendant appealed, arguing that the use of a file-sharing program for the dissemination of child por...

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Small Claims Rules
Date: September 8, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-166
Graham v. State  
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1416

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation for touching the victim’s breasts and touching the victim’s buttocks. The court of appeal affirmed, concluding (1) the trial court did not err in r...

S.M. v. Fla. Dep’t of Children & Families  
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-2127

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Children and Families (DCF) filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of Mother to her three children. Although Mother conceded that grounds for termination of parental rights had been met, she...

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-155
In Re: Amendments to the Florida Probate Rules
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-168
The Florida Bar v. Robert D. Adams and The Florida Bar v. Adam Robert Filthaut
Date: August 25, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC14-1054, SC14-1056
Chirillo v. Granicz  
Date: August 25, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-898

Justia Opinion Summary: Robert Granicz, as personal representative of his wife's estate, filed a medical malpractice action asserting that her primary care physician, Dr. Joseph S. Chirillo, Jr., breached his duty of care in treating her, which...

Hatten v. Florida  
Date: August 25, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-22

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant argued that the trial court erred as a matter of law by sentencing him for attempted second-degree murder (count III) to 40 years with a 25-year mandatory minimum pursuant to Fla. Stat. 775.087(2), the 10-20-Li...

Patterson v. Florida  
Date: August 25, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-228

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of multiple crimes stemming from the alleged arsons of his truck and residence. The First and Fourth District Courts of Appeal reached conflicting decisions regarding the due process implications...

Mansfield v. Florida  
Date: August 25, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-411

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. On appeal, defendant challenged an order denying his motion to vacate a judgment of conviction of first-degree murder and a sentence of death under F...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: August 25, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-737
Villanueva v. State  
Date: July 7, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1828

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was acquitted of lewd and lascivious molestation but convicted of misdemeanor battery - a lesser included offense of the molestation charge. As a special condition of his probation Defendant...

Gaulden v. State  
Date: July 7, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-399

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was driving a truck with when the passenger opened the passenger door. The passenger suddenly left the moving vehicle and was later found dead on the ground adjacent to the roadway. Petitioner was convicted of...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: July 7, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-2372
In re Inquiry Concerning Judge Jerri Collins  
Date: July 7, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-548

Justia Opinion Summary: The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) alleged that Seminole County Judge Jerri Collins violated Canons 1, 2A, and 3B(4) of the Code of Judicial Conduct in the course of presiding over a domestic violence c...

In re Inquiry Concerning Judge Gregory Holder  
Date: July 7, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-970

Justia Opinion Summary: The Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) accused Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Judge Gregory Holder of engaging in improper conduct while presiding over a criminal case in violation of five canons of the Code of Judici...

Brant v. State  
Date: June 30, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC14-787, SC14-2278

Justia Opinion Summary: After a trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder, sexual battery, kidnapping, burglary, and grand theft. Defendant was sentenced to death for the murder. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences. Defen...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140
Date: June 30, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-2296
In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: June 23, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1872
Demott v. State  
Date: June 23, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-868

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner pled no contest to aggravated child abuse and simple child abuse. Petitioner was sentenced to a term of imprisonment and drug offender probation. The probation contained a special condition prohibiting Petitio...

Mullens v. State  
Date: June 16, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1824

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death for the murders and to life imprisonment for the attempted murder...

State v. Bright  
Date: June 16, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1701

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death for both murders. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and sentences on appeal....

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases
Date: June 16, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1275
Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg  
Date: June 9, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC13-1930, SC13-1976

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2009, Bradley Westphal suffered a severe work-related injury. The City of St. Petersburg provided temporary total disability benefits pursuant to Fla. Stat. 440.15(2). Westphal did not reach maximum medical improvemen...

Antonio Garrett v. State of Florida
Date: June 9, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2110
Landrum v. State  
Date: June 9, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1071

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2004, when Petitioner was sixteen years old, she and her boyfriend committed murder. Petitioner was convicted of second-degree murder with a weapon, which was classified as a life felony. The trial court sentenced Pet...

Jonathan Leneil Godwin v. State of Florida
Date: June 9, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-563
Townsend v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  
Date: June 9, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-722

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, a final judgment was entered awarding Lyantie Townsend compensatory damages and punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The judgment also awarded post-judgment interest. In 2012, an amended final judg...

The Florida Bar v. Jose Carlos Marrero
Date: June 2, 2016
Docket Number: SC11-1780
Valladares v. Bank of America Corp.  
Date: June 2, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1629

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against the Bank for negligence, battery, and false imprisonment after bank employees mistakenly identified him as a bank robber. The jury awarded plaintiff a total of $2,603,000 in compensatory dama...

Sowell v. Panama Commons L.P.  
Date: June 2, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-774

Justia Opinion Summary: The First District held that Panama Commons’ right to due process was violated by applying the 2013 repeal of the ad valorem tax exemption under section 196.1978, Florida Statutes (2012), to the 2013 tax year. The court...

Atwell v. Florida  
Date: May 26, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-193

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner, sixteen-years-old at the time he committed the offenses, was convicted of armed robbery and first-degree murder. Under the statute then in effect, petitioner was sentenced for the first-degree murder to a man...

Florida Dept. of Revenue v. American Business USA Corp.  
Date: May 26, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2404

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from the Department's issuance of a proposed tax assessment on American Business, for taxes and interest on the company’s internet sales transactions. The tax assessment was issued by the Department to...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140
Date: May 26, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-2296
Melton v. Florida  
Date: May 26, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-406

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant, a death row prisoner, challenged the circuit court’s order denying his successive motion for postconviction relief filed under Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.850 and 3.851. Appellant argued that his cod...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: May 19, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1170
Bd. of Cnty. Comm'r Indian River Cnty. v. Art Graham, etc.  
Date: May 19, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC15-504, SC15-505

Justia Opinion Summary: The Board challenged two separate orders of the PSC. The first order is a declaratory statement that the PSC issued in response to a petition filed by the City of Vero Beach, in which the PSC declared that the City has t...

Citizens of the State of Florida v. Art Graham, etc.  
Date: May 19, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC15-95, SC15-113, SC15-115, SC15-274

Justia Opinion Summary: The PSC approved the recovery of FPL's costs incurred through its joint venture with an oil and natural gas company to engage in the acquisition, exploration, drilling, and development of natural gas wells in Oklahoma. T...

English v. State  
Date: May 12, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2229

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was stopped by two police officers for a violation of Fla. Stat. 316.605(1), which requires a license plate to be plainly visible and free of “obscuring matter.” A seizure of evidence during the course of the t...

Farina v. State  
Date: May 12, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1697

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1992, Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder and six other offenses stemming from a robbery of a fast food restaurant. Appellant was sentenced to death for the murder. Appellant later filed a habeas petition,...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: May 12, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1867
Smith v. Jones  
Date: May 12, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-2191

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was incarcerated upon his judgments of conviction and sentences for trafficking in stolen property and uttering a forged instrument. Since 2001, Petitioner filed at least twenty-seven extraordinary writ petiti...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: May 5, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1909
Jackson v. State  
Date: May 5, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-842

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of one count of robbery with a firearm while wearing a mask. Appellant was twenty years old when he committed the crime but twenty-one years old when he was tried and sentenced. If Appellant had b...

State v. Horwitz  
Date: May 5, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-348

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder with a firearm. During the trial, the State presented evidence of Defendant’s pre-arrest, pre-Miranda silence and argued that the jury should consider th...

Castellanos v. Next Door Co.  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-2082

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner, who was injured in the course of his employment with Respondent, prevailed in his workers’ compensation claim through the assistance of his attorney. The fee awarded to Petitioner’s attorney amounted to only...

Pfeffer v. Labor Ready Southeast, Inc.  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1325

Justia Opinion Summary: This workers’ compensation case involved the statutory attorney’s fees provision declared unconstitutional in the Supreme Court’s opinion in Castellanos v. Next Door Co. Pursuant to the fee schedule in Fla. Stat. 440.34,...

Diaz v. Palmetto Gen. Hosp.  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1916

Justia Opinion Summary: This workers’ compensation case involved the statutory attorney’s fees provision declared unconstitutional in the Supreme Court’s opinion in Castellanos v. Next Door Co. Pursuant to the fee schedule in Fla. Stat. 440.34,...

Monroe v. State  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2296

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of sexual battery against a child by a person eighteen years of age or older and lewd and lascivious molestation on a child by a person eighteen years of age or older. The tria...

Richardson v. Aramark/Sedgwick CMS  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-738

Justia Opinion Summary: This workers’ compensation case involved the statutory attorney’s fees provision declared unconstitutional in the Supreme Court’s opinion in Castellanos v. Next Door Co. Pursuant to the fee schedule in Fla. Stat. 440.34,...

Norvil v. State  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-746

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant entered an open plea to the charge of armed burglary of a dwelling. Before sentencing, the State filed a sentencing memorandum recommending that the court consider a new charge pending against Defendant for bur...

Daniel Stahl v. Hialeah Hospital, et al.
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-725
JBK Assocs., Inc. v. Sill Bros., Inc.  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-977

Justia Opinion Summary: After obtaining a final judgment against Patrick Sill, JBK Associates, Inc. served garnishment writs on Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC in order to collect on the judgment from Sill’s bank account. Sill filed a motion to disso...

Noel v. State  
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC14-274, SC14-1952

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering and one count of first-degree grand theft. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered Defendant to serve ten years in...

State v. McAdams  
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC14-788, SC14-826

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder. Defendant moved to suppress any statements he made to law enforcement and any evidence obtained as a result of those statements, asserting that he was in custo...

Rigterink v. State  
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-971

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the murders. Defendant filed a motion to vacate his convictions and sentences, arguing that he was denied a fair guilt phase because...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1275
In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1279
State v. Queior  
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-367

Justia Opinion Summary: The State sought to revoke Defendant’s probation based upon Defendant's alleged illegal drug use in violation of the conditions of his probation. The Second District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s revocation...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.240
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-170
Bd. of Trs., Jacksonville Police & Fire Pension Fund v. Lee  
Date: April 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1315

Justia Opinion Summary: Curtis Lee requested public records from the Board of Trustees, Jacksonville Police & Fire Pension Fund (Pension Fund), which imposed certain conditions before allowing Lee to inspect and photocopy the records. Lee sough...

Futch v. Fla. Dep’t of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles  
Date: April 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1660

Justia Opinion Summary: After a traffic stop, Petitioner refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) suspended Petitioner’s driver license for one year. Petitioner sought review, and a...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: April 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1172
M.M. v. Fla. Dep’t of Children & Families  
Date: April 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1544

Justia Opinion Summary: After Father and Mother were assigned case plans by the Department of Children & Families (DCF) regarding their two children, the children were reunified with Mother. The trial court then terminated supervision by DCF an...

Fla. Dep’t of Transp. v. Schwefringhaus  
Date: April 7, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-69

Justia Opinion Summary: CSX Transportation requested indemnification from the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) for the amount paid to resolve a negligence action arising from an accident at a railroad crossing. CSX based its request o...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: April 7, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1170
In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases
Date: April 7, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1174
Blaxton v. State  
Date: March 31, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1307

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner, an inmate in state custody, filed in the Supreme Court a pro se petition for writ of mandamus. The petition was the twenty-first extraordinary writ petition or notice he had filed since 2008. The Supreme Cour...

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Ciccone  
Date: March 24, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-2415

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the definition of “manifestation” for purposes of determining class membership in the Engle class. In Engle v. Liggett, the Supreme Court held that membership in the Engle class is established w...

Paton v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co.  
Date: March 24, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-282

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff prevailed in an action filed against GEICO General Insurance Company. Thereafter, Plaintiff moved for attorney’s fees. Plaintiff sought discovery related to her opposition’s attorneys’ time records and propound...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.535
Date: March 24, 2016
Docket Number: SC16-330
Soffer v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  
Date: March 17, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-139

Justia Opinion Summary: Maurice Soffer died from lung cancer caused by smoking. Soffer’s widow, Lucille Soffer, brought a wrongful death action against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company pursuant to Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., alleging four causes...

Santiago v. Mauna Loa Invs., LLC  
Date: March 17, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-2194

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner filed suit against Mauna Loa Investments, LLC alleging that she was injured when she fell on property owned, maintained, and/or controlled by Mauna at the time of the injury. The trial court entered a default...

Robertson v. State  
Date: March 17, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-443

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death after concluding that the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances. The Supreme Court affirmed, holdi...

Plank v. State  
Date: March 17, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-414

Justia Opinion Summary: Noel Plank, a prospective juror, was found in direct criminal contempt for coming to the courthouse drunk and thereby disrupting the jury selection and distracting the other jurors. The trial judge sentenced Plank to thi...

Knight v. State  
Date: March 10, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-564

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with possession with intent to sell or deliver and possession of more than twenty grams of cannabis. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in refusing to grant his motion for judgme...

State v. Floyd  
Date: March 10, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2162

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of one count of second-degree murder and one count of shooting at, into, or within an occupied vehicle. During trial, Defendant asserted that he shot at the vehicle in which th...

Green v. State  
Date: March 10, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1473

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of aggravated assault and cocaine possession, among other criminal offenses, and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. The court of appeal affirmed Petitioner’s convictions and sentences. Pet...

Williams v. State  
Date: March 3, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1080

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, during the course of which he actually possessed and discharged a firearm. The convictions arose from a single episode d...

Mlinar v. United Parcel Serv., Inc.  
Date: March 3, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-54

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a professional artist, brought suit against the United Parcel Service (UPS) and other defendants, alleging that two of her paintings were unscrupulously removed from their packaging during the interstate shipm...

Roughton v. State  
Date: February 25, 2016
Docket Number: SC12-1719

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of both sexual battery on a person under twelve years of age and lewd or lascivious molestation on a person under twelve years of age for a single act. Defendant appealed, arguing that his dual co...

Fridman v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Ill.  
Date: February 25, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1607

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was injured in an automobile accident with an underinsured motorist. Petitioner filed a claim with his insurer (Insurer) for the limits of his uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) policy of $50,000. After Insu...

City of Fort Lauderdale v. Dhar  
Date: February 25, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-359

Justia Opinion Summary: June Dhar was a short-term renter of an automobile that was detected by an automated traffic camera running a red light. The vehicle was registered to Dollar Rent A Car Systems, Inc. Dollar was sent a notice of violation...

Cardona v. State  
Date: February 18, 2016
Docket Number: SC11-1446

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was found guilty of the first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse of her three-year-old son, Lazaro. The Supreme Court vacated Appellant’s convictions and remanded for a new trial, holding that the pervasi...

Salazar v. State  
Date: February 18, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC13-1233, SC14-887

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and related crimes. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and death sen...

Koo v. State  
Date: February 11, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2347

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of burglary with a firearm after he removed firearms from the victim’s storage unit. The victim testified at trial that Defendant did not have permission to enter the storage unit without him. Aft...

Clarke v. United States  
Date: February 11, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-506

Justia Opinion Summary: Fla. Stat. 790.23(1) makes it a criminal offense for a person to own or have in his care, custody, possession, or control any firearm if that person has been convicted of a felony in a Florida court. The United States Co...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.150
Date: February 11, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-711
Ibar v. State  
Date: February 4, 2016
Docket Numbers: SC12-522, SC12-2619

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first-degree murder. Defendant was sentenced to death. The Supreme Court affirmed. Defendant subsequently filed a motion for postconviction relief, alleging ineffective a...

Brinkmann v. Francois  
Date: February 4, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1899

Justia Opinion Summary: Tyron Francois, a Democrat, filed paperwork to run as a write-in candidate for Broward County Commission for District 2. A resident voter filed a complaint alleging that Francois was not properly qualified to be a write-...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.425
Date: February 4, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-912
Gerardo Guzman v. State of Florida
Date: January 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-687
State v. Lucas  
Date: January 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-1925

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent was convicted of burglary of a dwelling with a battery and aggravated battery and sentenced to life in prison. Respondent later filed a postconviction motion under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.850 raising four grounds f...

Long v. State  
Date: January 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2351

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant, a prisoner under sentence of death, filed a successive motion for postconviction relief, claiming that newly discovered evidence rendered his guilty plea invalid. The postconviction court summarily denied Appe...

Blaxton v. State  
Date: January 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1307

Justia Opinion Summary: This matter involved the pro se petition for writ of mandamus filed by Petitioner, an inmate in state custody. This petition was one of twenty-one extraordinary writ petitions or notices Petitioner had filed with the Sup...

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure
Date: January 28, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-150
Long v. State  
Date: January 21, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2351

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to death. Appellant later filed a successive motion for postconviction relief, alleging that newly discovered evidence rendered his guilty plea invalid. The postconvic...

Blaxton v. State  
Date: January 21, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-1307

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, an inmate in state custody, filed in the Supreme Court a pro se petition for writ of mandamus. The petition was the thirty-first extraordinary writ petition or notice he had filed in approximately seven years....

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure
Date: January 21, 2016
Docket Number: SC15-150
State of Florida v. Jimmy Moore, Jr.
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-1236
Allred v. State  
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-2170

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was indicted on charges of two counts of first-degree premeditated murder. Appellant entered written and oral guilty pleas to all charges. Appellant subsequently waived his right to a penalty phase jury and his...

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC13-2384
Raymond M. Austin v. State of Florida
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-2215
Hugo Miranda v. State of Florida
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: SC14-888
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