Alachua County v. WatsonAnnotate this Case
In this dispute over the power to make changes to a county sheriff's budget the Supreme Court held that the Sheriff of Alachua County is not permitted under Florida Statutes chapters 30 and 129 to make object-level transfers without the approval of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners.
At issue was the Sheriff's authority to transfer money within the Sheriff's budget at a level of detail called the "object" level under chapters 30 and 129. The County brought this action seeking a declaratory judgment that the Sheriff had no authority to move approximately $840,000 between two objects in the budget without approval from the County. The court of appeal affirmed the trial court's conclusion that the Sheriff had the authority to make transfers at the object level without County approval. The Supreme Court quashed the decision below, holding that when seeking to transfer money between objects, the Sheriff must follow the budgetary amendment process set forth in chapter 129 and that the Sheriff failed to do so in this case.