Florida Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to ‘Marsy’s Law’ Over Tallahassee Shootings

Florida Supreme Court Building

The Florida Supreme Court is set to take up a legal battle regarding “Marsy’s Law,” which is a 2018 constitutional amendment passed by voters that shields the identities of victims of crimes. An official date has not yet been set.

The City of Tallahassee and several news organizations are appealing a decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal backing the law and protecting the identities of Tallahassee police officers when they utilized use-of-force in more than one shooting incident. The law enforcement officers maintain they were the victims and felt compelled to use deadly force.

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Florida Supreme Court Calls for Additional State Appeals Court

Florida Supreme Court Building

The Florida Supreme Court is calling for creating a sixth state appeals court. One of their reasons for making the call is “serious underrepresentation” of appellate judges from Jacksonville.

“The creation of a new district court, like any other significant change in the judicial system, would be accompanied by some degree of internal disruption, but we conclude that any such internal disruption in the district courts associated with the creation of a sixth district court would be short-lived and would be outweighed by the benefit of enhanced public trust and confidence,” said the Florida Supreme Court’s majority opinion shared by Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justices Jorge Labarga, Alan Lawson, Carlos Muniz and John Couriel.

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Florida Supreme Court Hears Case Regarding Red-Light Cameras, Fees

After hearing arguments in a potential class-action lawsuit regarding credit card fees and red-light cameras, Florida Supreme Court justices seemed skeptical in siding with the motorist who filed the suit.

The motorist, Steven Pincus, filed the lawsuit in Miami against American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS), who Pincus says improperly charged him with a $7.90 credit card fee after paying a $158 fine for running a red light in 2018.

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Florida Lawmakers Launch Congressional Redistricting

Florida Senate Capitol

As a result of the 2020 census, Florida will gain one additional congressional seat, and Florida lawmakers will begin the process to redraw district lines in the upcoming fall committee weeks with the 2022 legislative session beginning in January.

“Prior to the start of the 2022 Regular Session the Legislature will hold interim committee meetings, at which time the committees that conduct the redistricting and reapportionment processes may meet,” according to the Florida Senate’s redistricting site.

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Florida Supreme Court Justice Stephen Grimes Dies at 93

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Stephen Grimes passed away at 93. He was the 72nd justice to serve on Florida’s high court since Florida’s statehood. Grimes served from 1987 to 1997 and served as Chief Justice from 1994 to 1996.

Grimes was appointed by Florida Gov. Bob Martinez after a long career as a lawyer with Holland & Knight in Bartow, Fla. After his Supreme Court retirement in 1997, Grimes returned to Holland & Knight to continue practicing law.

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Florida Appeals Court Denies Motion Related to Concealed Weapons Licensing Case

A motion to move a case concerning concealed-weapons licensing to the Florida Supreme Court was denied by the 1st District Court of Appeals in a 12-3 vote on Friday.

The case was filed by a Floridian by the name of R.C. in court documents, who was denied a concealed-weapons license by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS). R.C. was convicted of a felony in 1969 his civil right to possess a weapon was restored. 

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Parkland Victims Could Receive $25 Million

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Florida State Sen. Joe Gruters (R-23) is filing a bill which would direct the Broward County School Board to pay out as much at $25 million to the victims and families of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

The bill would only allow for 51 people to be eligible to receive the payments, 34 survivors and 14 families of students and teachers killed.

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Florida Supreme Court to Hear Tobacco Industry Case

The Florida Supreme Court announced they will be taking up a case potentially making it harder to sue cigarette companies.

Florida’s high court decided to hear the case after the 1st District Court of Appeals overturned a verdict in a 2006 class-action lawsuit which saw individuals had the ability to sue cigarette companies for potentially misleading information regarding the dangers of smoking.

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Florida Supreme Court Denies to Review Case Related to Mask Mandate

A motion proposing a temporary injunction against a Palm Beach County Emergency Order (EO-12) involving a mask mandate, was denied for review by the Florida Supreme Court Friday.

The proposal was initially rejected by Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeals in January and sent for the “discretionary jurisdiction” of the Supreme Court in February.

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SCOTUS to Take Up Florida Medicaid Case

United States Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States has announced they will be taking up a legal battle over a decade in the making regarding how much money a state can recoup after a legal settlement.
The issue revolves around Gianinna Gallardo, who was struck by a bus in 2008 and suffered drastic injuries. Gallardo’s parents reached an $800,000 legal settlement, and the accident left Gallardo in a vegetative state.

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Florida Will Not Vote on Marijuana Legalization in 2022

The Florida Supreme Court Thursday struck down a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have put marijuana legalization up for a vote in 2022. 

The Court ruled that the language proposed for the ballot did not match the language in the amendment itself. 

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Florida Supreme Court Rules Against Marijuana Industry Challenge

Florida Supreme Court Building

Earlier this week the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled against a challenge from the medical marijuana industry, backing the state’s strict regulation of the industry’s business model standardized by the Florida legislature.

The challenge was filed by a marijuana company, Florigrown, where they contested the legislation put in place which limits the amount of medical marijuana licenses issued in Florida and requires dispensaries to grow and process their product. Florigrown was denied a license to become a medical marijuana treatment center in 2017.

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Police Protection Under Marsy’s Law Heads to Florida Supreme Court

Florida Supreme Court Building

A lawsuit filed by two police officers after separate use-of-force incidents claiming that they are entitled to protection under Florida’s recently-adopted Marsy’s Law Constitutional amendment will head to the state Supreme Court for a decision. 

“A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal last month sided with two Tallahassee police officers, who argued that, as victims, they were entitled to privacy protections included in Marsy’s Law,” WFSU reported. 

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Florida’s First Black Supreme Court Justice, Joseph Hatchett, Dies at 88

The Florida Supreme Court announced on Saturday that former Florida Supreme Court Justice Joseph W. Hatchett died in Tallahassee on Friday, April 30, 2021 at age 88.

Hatchett became the first African American to serve on Florida’s highest court when he was appointed by Governor Reubin Askew in 1975. Hatchett was Florida’s 65th Justice since statehood was granted in 1845.

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