Florida Supreme Court Decisions 2020

In Re: Amendments to Rule Regulating The Florida Bar - Rule 3-6.1
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1688
Phillips v. State  
Date: May 21, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-1149

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court summarily denying Appellant's successive motion for postconviction relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that Walls v. State, 213 So. 3d 340 (Fla. 20...

In Re: Amendments to Rule Regulating The Florida Bar 21-4.1
Date: May 21, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1861
State v. Johnson  
Date: May 21, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-96

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, holding that the party opposing a peremptory strike must make a specific objection to the proponent's proffered race-neutral reason for the s...

Bush v. State  
Date: May 14, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-227

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for first-degree murder and burglary of a dwelling with an assault and while armed with a firearm and Defendant's sentence of death, holding that this Court now joins fe...

Smiley v. State  
Date: May 14, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-385

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first-degree felony murder, robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a firearm, and burglary of a dwelling with an assault or battery while armed with a firearm...

The Florida Bar v. Rita Horwitz Altman
Date: May 7, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-724
Barringer v. Halkitis  
Date: May 7, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1071

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Jay Barringer's quo warranto petition filed in this case was a frivolous proceeding brought before the Supreme Court by a state prisoner and sanctioned Barringer by barring him from filing any...

Hicks v. State  
Date: May 7, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1978

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied the instant mandamus petition filed by Hicks and sanctioned Hicks by barring him from filing any further pro se requests for relief related to his criminal case. Hicks was convicted of one count...

Franqui v. State  
Date: May 7, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-203

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court denying Appellant's claim of intellectual disability, raised in successive motions for postconviction relief under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the circui...

Archer v. State  
Date: April 23, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-841

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court denying Appellant's successive motion to vacate his sentence of death under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the circuit court did not err in denying the Rule...

Ponticelli v. State  
Date: April 16, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-607

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

Bright v. State  
Date: April 2, 2020
Docket Number: SC17-2244

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's death sentences that were imposed after a second penalty phase, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion. Defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree murde...

Inquiry Concerning a Judge No. 18-572  
Date: March 26, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1377

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reviewed the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) concerning five judges (Respondents) and approved the stipulated discipline entered into between R...

Boyd v. State  
Date: March 19, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-1589

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court summarily denying Appellant's successive motion for post conviction relief pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851 and, alternatively, to correct an illegal sentence pur...

Advisory Opinion to Attorney General Re All Voters Vote in Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor & Cabinet  
Date: March 19, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1267

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved for placement on the ballot an initiative petition to amend the Florida Constitution titled "All Voters Vote in Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet," holding that the...

Reed v. State  
Date: March 19, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-714

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court denying Appellant's successive postconviction motion filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851 seeking relief from his sentence of death pursuant to Hurst v. Florida...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.205
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: SC20-346
Pedroza v. State  
Date: March 12, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-964

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the court of appeal's decision to uphold Defendant's sentence and disapproved of several recent court decisions to the extent they held that resentencing is required for all juvenile offenders...

Sanchez-Torres v. State  
Date: March 12, 2020
Docket Numbers: SC19-211, SC19-836

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed an order denying in part and dismissing in part Hector Sanchez-Torres's third amended motion filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851 to vacate judgments of conviction and sentence of death and denie...

Anderson v. State  
Date: March 5, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-1059

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the First District Court of Appeal's decision affirming Defendant's felony conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, an automobile, and rejecting Defendant's argument that his jur...

Smith v. State  
Date: March 5, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-42

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the post conviction court denying Appellant's motion for postconviction relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the postconviction court properly denied all claims...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases - Report No. 19-03
Date: February 27, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1246
In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases - Report 2019-11
Date: February 27, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1806
In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases - Report 2019-12
Date: February 27, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1856
Sweet v. State  
Date: February 27, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-195

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the post conviction court summarily denying Defendant's eighth successive motion to vacate his judgment of conviction and sentence, holding that all of Defendant's postconvictio...

Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General re Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments  
Date: February 20, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1911

Justia Opinion Summary: In this advisory opinion, the Supreme Court approved for placement on the ballot a proposed amendment entitled "Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments," holding that the proposed amendment complies with the single-s...

Mungin v. State  
Date: February 13, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-635

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the postconviction court denying Appellant's third successive motion for postconviction relief filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that Appellant's claims were proced...

Doty v. State  
Date: February 13, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-973

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's sentence of death imposed in connection with his conviction for the murder of a fellow prison inmate, holding that Defendant's claims on appeal were without merit and that Defendant...

Cannon v. State  
Date: February 13, 2020
Docket Numbers: SC19-84, SC19-973

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court denying in part Marvin Cannon's initial postconviction motion filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851 and denied Cannon's petition for writ of habeas corpus, hol...

Griffin v. LaSalle Bank, N.A.  
Date: February 6, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-1132

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the First District Court of Appeal regarding whether the circuit court presiding over a foreclosure action has continuing jurisdiction to consider a third-party purchaser's motio...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.140
Date: February 6, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-2104
In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases - Report 2019-03
Date: February 6, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-470
Kocaker v. State  
Date: January 23, 2020
Docket Numbers: SC17-1975, SC18-878

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court dismissing in part, denying in part, and granting in part Genghis Nicholas Kocaker's initial motion to vacate his conviction of first-degree murder and sentence o...

State v. Poole  
Date: January 23, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-245

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court's judgment ordering a new penalty phase proceeding after finding Defendant was entitled to relief under Hurst v. State, 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016), a...

Florida Highway Patrol v. Jackson  
Date: January 23, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-468

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered a certified question by concluding that Fla. R. App. P. 9.130(a)(3)(C)(xi) does not permit an appeal of a non-final order denying immunity if the record shows that the defendant is entitled to...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases - Report No. 19-04
Date: January 23, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1350
In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.130
Date: January 23, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1734
Gaymon v. State  
Date: January 23, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-712

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the First District Court of Appeal vacating Defendant's sentence and remanding for resentencing under the prior version of Fla. Stat. 775.082(1), which could have resulted in rei...

Martin v. State  
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Numbers: SC18-214, SC18-1696

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court denying Appellant's third amended motion to vacate his conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851 and denied...

Advisory Opinion to Attorney General re Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections  
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1165

Justia Opinion Summary: In this advisory opinion, the Supreme Court approved a proposed amendment, which would amend article VI, section 2 of the Florida Constitution, for placement on the ballot, concluding that the proposed amendment complied...

Advisory Opinion to Governor re Implementation of Amendment 4, The Voting Restoration Amendment  
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1341

Justia Opinion Summary: In this advisory opinion, the Supreme Court answered a question asked by Governor Ron DeSantis regarding the interpretation of a portion of the Florida Constitution affecting his executive powers and duties by stating th...

In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases - Report 2019-08
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1654
In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases - Report 2019-09
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1696
In Re: Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases - Report 2019-10
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-1760
In Re: Amendments to the Florida Probate Rules - 2019 Fast-Track Report
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-2071
Richards v. State  
Date: January 16, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-24

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversing the trial court's decision denying Defendant's motion to correct his sentence on the grounds that the trial court could not impose in...

State v. Pacchiana  
Date: January 9, 2020
Docket Number: SC18-655

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruling that a peremptory strike was constitutionally impermissible because it was based on the prospective juror's religion, holding that the...

Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General re Right to Competitive Energy Market for Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities; Allowing Energy Choice  
Date: January 9, 2020
Docket Number: SC19-328

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court rendered this advisory opinion to address the issue of the validity of a citizen initiative petition circulated pursuant to Fla. Const. art. XI, 3, concluding that the proposed initiative should not be...

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