Florida Supreme Court Decisions 2021

Davis v. State  
Date: December 2, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-716

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that when a defendant voluntarily chooses to allocate at a sentencing hearing, the sentencing court is permitted to consider the defendant's freely offered statements, including those indicating th...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.410
Date: December 2, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-606
Martin v. Dixon  
Date: December 2, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-860

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court sanctioned Petitioner after dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, holding that Petitioner failed to show cause why he should not be barred from filing any further pro se requests for reli...

In Re: Trial Court Certification of Need for Additional Judges
Date: November 24, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-1542
Inquiry Concerning Judge Marni A. Bryson  
Date: November 24, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-546

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the stipulation entered into by Palm Beach County Judge Marni Bryson and the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) that Judge Bryson be publicly reprimanded, suspended without pay fo...

Sheffield v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  
Date: November 18, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-601

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the wrongful death action at issue in this case was covered by the Legislature's 1999 amendment of Fla. Stat. 768.73. In 1999, the Legislature amended section 768.73 to presumptively preclude...

The Florida Bar v. Derek Vashon James
Date: November 18, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-128
Robinson v. State  
Date: November 18, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-408

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the holding of the Second District Court of Appeal in this case, which involved an appeal of a conviction for driving as a habitual traffic offender (HTO) while one's driver's license is revoke...

Steiger v. State  
Date: November 10, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1404

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the decision of the First District Court of Appeal in this case, holding that Fla. Stat. 942.051(3), which prohibits raising an unpreserved claim of error on direct appeal absent a showing of f...

Noetzel v. State  
Date: November 10, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-466

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death, holding that Defendant's arguments on appeal were unavailing. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the trial court did...

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Probate Rules - 2021 Fast-Track Report
Date: November 4, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-1411
Rogers v. State  
Date: October 28, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1863

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court summarily denying Appellant's third successive motion for postconviction relief, filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that there was no error. Appellant w...

The Florida Bar v. Karl O. Koepke
Date: October 28, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-286
Smith v. State  
Date: October 21, 2021
Docket Numbers: SC18-1763, SC19-680

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the postconviction court denying Defendant's petition for postconviction relief as to the guilt phase of his trial and denied his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, holding t...

The Florida Bar Re: Brian John Murtha
Date: October 21, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1886
Florida Bar v. TIKD Services LLC  
Date: October 14, 2021
Docket Number: SC18-149

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court granted the petition of The Florida Bar to enjoin Respondents, TIKD Services, LLC and Christopher Riley (collectively TIKD) from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, holding that TIKD was engag...

Dodgen v. Grijalva  
Date: October 14, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1118

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered in the negative a question certified to it by the Fourth District Court of Appeal, holding that it is not a departure from the essential requirements of law to permit discovery regarding the fi...

Younkin v. Blackwelder  
Date: October 14, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-385

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered in the negative a question certified to it by the Fourth District Court of Appeal, holding that it is not a departure from the essential requirements of law to permit discovery regarding the fi...

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure
Date: October 14, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-627
Boston v. State  
Date: October 7, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1164

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the holding of the First District Court of Appeal concluding that a defendant convicted by a jury verdict after raising a self-defense claim is not entitled to a new immunity hearing if the tri...

Levy v. Levy  
Date: October 7, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1195

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action filed by Samuel Levy seeking to compel his former wife, Einath Levy, to comply with the parties' property settlement and support agreement (PSA), the Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Third Distric...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.280 and 1.340
Date: October 7, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-120
City of West Palm Beach, Inc. v. Haver  
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1284

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed in part the decision of the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirming the trial court's dismissal of Appellant's mandamus and certiorari claims and reversing as to Plaintiffs' claims for injunct...

State v. McKenzie  
Date: September 23, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-912

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Fifth District Court of Appeal concluding that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to impose a sexual predator designation on an offender who qualified under the Florida Se...

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...

James v. State  
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1036

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court summarily dismissing Defendant's successive motion for postconviction relief, holding that the trial court did not err. Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of f...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.510
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-966
Cruz v. State  
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-60

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for first-degree murder but reversed his sentence of death and remanded for the limited purpose of resentencing and a new sentencing order, holding that the trial court...

Puzio v. State  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1511

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Fourth District Court of Appeal in this juvenile sentencing case remanding for the trial judge to remedy a harmful Alleyne error through a "ministerial correction" of sentenc...

Bargo v. State  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1744

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the sentence of death that was imposed at Defendant's resentencing for the first-degree murder of Seath Jackson, holding that Defendant's claims of error were unavailing. The Supreme Court pr...

WVMF Funding v. Palmero  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1920

Justia Opinion Summary: In this foreclosure case, the Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal failing to follow precedent and concluding that the term "Borrower" means something different than both the mortgage...

In Re: Amendments to Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 5-1.1(g)
Date: June 18, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1543
Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General Re: Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol to Establish Age, Licensing, & Other Restrictions  
Date: June 17, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1536

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that an initiative petition circulated pursuant to Fla. Const. art. XI, 3 was affirmatively misleading and that the proposed initiative should not be placed on the ballot. At issue was an initiati...

Haliburton v. State  
Date: June 17, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1858

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court denying Appellant's motion for a determination of intellectual disability as a bar to execution and his amended successive motion for postconviction relief, holding...

Peoples Gas System v. Posen Construction, Inc.  
Date: June 10, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1305

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court accepted certification of a question about theUnderground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act, Fla. Stat. Chapter 556, and answered that the Act creates a standalone cause of action and that the c...

Kartsonis v. State  
Date: June 10, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1500

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for review of the decision of the First District Court of appeal concluding that it was not error for a successor judge to deny Petitioner's Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.800(b) motion...

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure
Date: June 10, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1564
Allen v. State  
Date: June 3, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1313

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for first-degree murder and his sentence of death, holding that Defendant's claims on appeal failed. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) the trial court's failure t...

Arch Insurance Co. v. Kubicki Draper, LLP  
Date: June 3, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-673

Justia Opinion Summary: In this legal malpractice action by an insurer against a law firm retained to represent its insured in a separate prior litigation, the Supreme Court held that, where the insurer had a duty to defend, the insurer had st...

State v. J.A.R.  
Date: June 3, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1604

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the Second District Court of Appeal's decision holding, in pertinent part, that the trial court erred in failing to notify J.A.R. of his asserted right to a hearing to challenge the $100 public...

Florida Department of Health v. Florigrown, LLC  
Date: May 27, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1464

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the First District Court of Appeals partially upholding a temporary injunction that prohibited enforcement of certain statutory provisions relating to the regulation of medical m...

The Florida Bar v. Bryon R. Aven
Date: May 27, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1879
Bogle v. State  
Date: May 27, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1054

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court summarily denying Appellant's third successive motion for postconviction relief, filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the postconviction court prop...

State v. Dortch  
Date: May 20, 2021
Docket Number: SC18-681

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a defendant who does not comply with the Florida rule of appellate procedure requiring a criminal defendant to file a motion to withdraw the plea in the trial court before appealing an involun...

Wall v. State  
Date: May 20, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1727

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting Defendant's motion to dismiss postconviction counsel and proceedings, filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the circuit court properly a...

Inquiry Concerning Judge Richard Howard  
Date: May 20, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1251

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the stipulation entered into by Judge Richard Howard of the Fifth Judicial Circuit and the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) that Judge Howard should be publicly reprimanded beca...

Boyd v. State  
Date: May 13, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-108

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the postconviction court summarily denying Appellant's second successive motion to vacate his judgment of conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death, holding that the...

In re Judge Scott Cupp  
Date: May 13, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-391

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved a stipulation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission and Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Scott Cupp agreeing to the discipline of a public reprimand, holding that a public reprimand w...

Deviney v. State  
Date: May 6, 2021
Docket Number: SC17-2231

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the sentence of death imposed on Defendant after a new penalty phase ordered by the Supreme Court, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. Defendant was convicted of first-de...

Martin v. State  
Date: May 6, 2021
Docket Number: SC18-896

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's second and third amended motions to vacate judgment and sentence, holding that the circuit court did not err. Defendant was convicted of one...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510
Date: April 29, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1490
C.N. v. I.G.C.  
Date: April 29, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-505

Justia Opinion Summary: In this certified conflict case, the Supreme Court held that a final judgment that modifies a preexisting parenting plan does not need to give a parent "concrete steps" to restore lost time-sharing and return to the prem...

Smith v. State  
Date: April 22, 2021
Docket Number: SC18-822

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of first-degree murder, sexual battery of a person under twelve years old, and kidnapping, and the imposition of the death penalty, holding that there was no prejudicial...

Advisory Opinion to Attorney General Re: Adult Use of Marijuana  
Date: April 22, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-2116

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court struck a proposed amendment that would add a new section to Fla. Const. art. X, 33, holding that the language in the ballot summary indicating that the proposed qualifiedly "[p]ermits" the use and distr...

Woodbury v. State  
Date: April 15, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-8

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first-degree murder and his sentence of death, holding that Defendant failed to demonstrate any reversible error. Defendant pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and...

In Re: Amendment to Rule Regulating The Florida Bar 6-10.3
Date: April 15, 2021
Docket Number: SC21-284
Earl v. State  
Date: April 8, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1506

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court approved the decision of the First District Court of Appeal dismissing Defendant's appeal of the denial of his motion filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.800(a), holding that Defendant could not show that th...

State v. Gabriel  
Date: April 8, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-2155

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered in the affirmative a question certified to it by the Fifth District Court of Appeals and quashed the Fifth District's decision in this case, holding that the lowest permissible sentence as defi...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.650
Date: April 8, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1239
In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.260
Date: April 8, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1240
Morris v. State  
Date: April 8, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-155

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the postconviction court denying Appellant's initial postconviction motion filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that Appellant was not entitled to relief on his allegatio...

Willacy v. State  
Date: April 1, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1261

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the postconviction court denying Appellant's successive motion for postconviction relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the postconviction court did not err. App...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.112
Date: April 1, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1563
Emerson v. Hillsborough County  
Date: February 25, 2021
Docket Numbers: SC19-1250, SC19-1343

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court struck in its entirety an amendment to the Hillsborough County Charter adopted in an initiative election that approved a transportation surtax and directives for allocating the tax proceeds, holding tha...

Krol v. FCA US, LLC  
Date: February 18, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-952

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the Federal Trade Commission's "single document rule," promulgated under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301-2312, does not require the disclosure of a binding arbitration agreement...

Harvey v. State  
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1275

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

Randolph v. State  
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-287

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court denying Appellant's second successive postconviction motion filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the trial court properly denied postconviction...

The Florida Bar v. Charles Paul-Thomas Phoenix
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: SC17-585
Casiano v. State  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1622

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a defendant's potential designation as a prison releasee reoffender (PRR) under Fla. Stat. 775.082(9)(a)1. is not a sufficient collateral legal consequence to preclude dismissal of an appeal c...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.140
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-2104
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Manor House, LLC  
Date: January 21, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-1394

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered in the negative a question certified by the Fifth District Court of Appeal, holding that in a first-party breach of insurance contract action brought by an insured against its insurer not invol...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420
Date: January 21, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1765
In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.142 (a)
Date: January 14, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1653
Wright v. State  
Date: January 7, 2021
Docket Number: SC19-2123

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court denying Appellant's successive post conviction motion file pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that Appellant's claims failed. In 1983, Appellant was convi...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.830
Date: January 7, 2021
Docket Number: SC20-1102
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.