Wetzel v. State

Annotate this Case
Justia Opinion Summary

The Supreme Court ordered that the Clerk of Court reject any future pleadings, petitions, motions, documents, or other filings submitted by Larry R. Wetzel that were related to his criminal case, holding that that Wetzel has abused the judicial process and burdened the Court's limited judicial resources.

Wetzel was charged with five counts of filing a false statement against real or personal property. Wetzel filed five pro se petitions with the Supreme Court seeking relief related to those criminal charges, each of which was accompanied by a plethora of rambling documents. Two of the petitions were voluntarily dismissed by Wetzel but the remainder were dismissed as unauthorized. Based on Wetzel's vexatious filing history, the Supreme Court issued an order directing him to show cause why he should not be prohibited from filing any further pro se documents in the Court related to his criminal case. Upon consideration of Wetzel's response, the Supreme Court concluded that he failed to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed.

Download PDF
Supreme Court of Florida ____________ No. SC19-7 ____________ LARRY R. WETZEL, Petitioner, vs. STATE OF FLORIDA, Respondent. June 6, 2019 PER CURIAM. This case is before the Court on the pro se petition of Larry R. Wetzel for a writ of quo warranto. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(8), Fla. Const. By order dated March 4, 2019, we dismissed Wetzel’s petition pursuant to Logan v. State, 846 So. 2d 472, 479 (Fla. 2003). See Wetzel v. State, No. SC19-7 (Fla. Mar. 4, 2019). Concurrent with the dismissal of the petition, we expressly retained jurisdiction to pursue possible sanctions against Wetzel. Id.; see Fla. R. App. P. 9.410(a) (Sanctions; Court’s Motion). Wetzel is currently charged with five counts of filing a false statement against real or personal property in pending Santa Rosa County case number 572014CF001456CFAXMX. Since 2017, Wetzel has filed five pro se petitions with this Court seeking relief related to those criminal charges. Each of Wetzel’s petitions has been accompanied by a plethora of documents that are rambling, indecipherable, and irrelevant to his pending criminal case. Two of those petitions were voluntarily dismissed by Wetzel, but the remainder, including the instant petition for writ of quo warranto, have been dismissed as unauthorized because Wetzel is currently represented by counsel in the above-noted criminal matter and is not entitled to combine self-representation with representation by counsel. See Logan v. State, 846 So. 2d 472, 475 (Fla. 2003). Furthermore, based on Wetzel’s vexatious filing history, we issued an order directing him to show cause why he should not be prohibited from filing any further pro se documents in this Court related to circuit court case number 572014CF001456CFAXMX. Wetzel filed a response to the order to show cause in which he argues that the order is moot and void because this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over his case. Upon due consideration of his response, we conclude that Wetzel has failed to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed. Based on his persistent history of filing pro se petitions that are frivolous, meritless, or otherwise inappropriate for this Court’s review, Wetzel has abused the judicial process and burdened this Court’s limited judicial resources. -2- Accordingly, the Clerk of this Court is hereby instructed to reject any future pleadings, petitions, motions, documents, or other filings submitted by Larry R. Wetzel that are related to case number 572014CF001456CFAXMX unless such filings are signed by a member in good standing of The Florida Bar. Counsel may file on Wetzel’s behalf if counsel detemines that the proceeding may have merit and can be brought in good faith. No motion for rehearing or clarification will be entertained by the Court. It is so ordered. CANADY, C.J., and POLSTON, LABARGA, LAWSON, LAGOA, LUCK, and MUÑIZ, JJ., concur. Original Proceeding – Quo Warranto Larry R. Wetzel, pro se, Navarre, Florida, for Petitioner No appearance for Respondent -3-
Primary Holding
The Supreme Court sanctioned Larry Wetzel by ordering that the Clerk of Court reject any future pleadings, petitions, motions, documents, or other filings submitted by Wetzel that were related to his criminal case, holding that that Wetzel abused the judicial process and burdened the Court's limited judicial resources.

Disclaimer: Justia Annotations is a forum for attorneys to summarize, comment on, and analyze case law published on our site. Justia makes no guarantees or warranties that the annotations are accurate or reflect the current state of law, and no annotation is intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal advice. Contacting Justia or any attorney through this site, via web form, email, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship.