Florida Supreme Court

Gun rights advocates say they could gain more from a pending Florida Supreme Court case than controversial open-carry legislation that failed this year.

A utility-backed measure intended to put existing solar-energy regulations into the state Constitution drew indications of skepticism and support Monday from Florida Supreme Court justices

jury box
John Jackson via Flickr

Hundreds of Florida death penalty sentences are in limbo Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out the way the state sentences people to death.

The ruling could lead state lawmakers to require unanimous juries.


The Florida Supreme Court will decide the fate of a Jacksonville man convicted of murdering two people with a hammer.

The state is challenging a judge’s decision to throw out a jury’s recommendation that Raymond Bright be put to death.


marijuana plant
Brett Levin / Flickr

In a key step for supporters of legalizing medical marijuana, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would go on the November 2016 ballot.

Justices said the proposal, spearheaded by the group People United for Medical Marijuana, meets legal tests that include dealing with a single subject and having a clearly worded ballot title and summary. The Supreme Court does not consider the merits of proposed constitutional amendments but reviews them, in part, to make sure voters would not be misled.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court will decide whether a Gadsden County racetrack should be allowed to have slot machines without the express permission of the Legislature, in a case with widespread implications for gambling throughout the state.

The court on Tuesday accepted jurisdiction in the Gretna Racing case after a split appellate court reversed itself on the issue in October.

A coalition of voting-rights groups has unveiled six possible maps for the Florida Senate's 40 districts, setting up a court battle that could boost Democrats' hopes of retaking a toehold in state government now dominated by Republicans.

The maps, released Wednesday shortly before midnight, will be considered by Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds. He will decide among the plans submitted by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause Florida, the plaintiffs in a long-running legal fight, and a proposal floated earlier Wednesday by Senate leaders.

A Leon County judge on Friday quickly rejected a Florida Senate request to bring in an outside expert to redraw the Senate's 40 districts.

Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds III, who turned down the Senate proposal during a 30-minute hearing conducted over the phone, said there wasn't enough time remaining to bring in a "special master" to help draw new district lines.

The Florida Channel

A last-ditch effort to keep the courts from drawing state Senate districts collapsed Thursday, as senators voted down a plan proposed by the House and a special session called to draw the lines crashed to an end.

On a 23-16 vote, the Senate killed the House version of the map (SJR 2-C) and any hope that the Legislature would decide the lines. Nine Republicans bucked their party's leadership and joined all 14 Democrats in opposing the plan.

Just days before lawmakers go into a special session to redraw Senate lines, a federal judge this week tossed out a challenge to the way Florida has carried out redistricting standards approved by voters in 2010.

Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers rejected arguments by Republican Party leaders from Walton and Pasco counties who contended that their First Amendment rights are being violated amid long-running legal and political battles about Senate and congressional maps.

Trying to make legal services more accessible in Florida, recommendations released Monday call for a "robust" website outlining local, state and national legal resources that low- and moderate-income residents could access at home or on an increased number of public computers.

The Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, created by Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, also called in an interim report for additional people providing pro bono services and to draw leftover money from class-action lawsuits to help fund legal-aid efforts.

The Florida Supreme Court has issued an order for Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford to retire. The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission made the recommendation in August.

State of Florida

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner has asked a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of redistricting standards approved by voters in 2010, saying he doesn't enforce the "Fair Districts" requirements.

Phillip Pessar via Flickr

Nassau, St. Johns and 15 other Florida counties will not be able to squeeze more tax money from online-travel companies. The state Supreme Court has declined to reconsider their ruling siding with the companies.


The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday attorneys shouldn’t have to pay an extra $100 in annual bar dues to fund legal services for the poor.  Advocates say they’re in a financial crisis and already turning away domestic violence clients and others.

Lindsey Turner / Flickr

In a major victory for the online travel industry, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected arguments that companies such as Expedia and Travelocity should pay more in county tourist-development taxes.

Five of the seven justices sided with the industry in a long-running legal and political battle that has involved at least 20 counties.

Auld & White Constructors, LLC / auld-white.com

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in after Jacksonville property owners sued the city for building a fire station next door.

The case will settle the question of how much local governments should held responsible when property values plummet.

Jacksonville property owners, R. Lee and Christy Smith, sued the city after it built a fire station on a riverfront lot on Hecksher Drive across from Mayport — and right next to the Smiths’ undeveloped lot.

Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court has denied Florida Senate Democrats’ request to force the House of Representatives to get back to Tallahassee and finish the lawmaking session.

n a unanimous ruling, the justices said requiring the lower chamber to continue working until the end of the day Friday would provide no real benefit.

defibrillator
David Bruce via Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court has sided with the family of a high-school soccer player who suffered brain damage after collapsing during a game. The Lee County family will now have the chance to seek damages from his school district.

The ruling in favor of the family overturns two lower court rulings that sided with the school district and dismissed the case.

Bay County, Florida

Hundreds of people serving life in prison for crimes they committed as teenagers could get a chance at a reduced sentence, after a Florida Supreme Court ruling this month.

The court considered the case of Rebecca Falcon, who was convicted in the shooting death of a Panama City Beach cab driver when she was 15.

Bruin79 / Wikimedia Commons

Florida inmates serving life sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles should be resentenced under guidelines that went into effect last year, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday.

In four separate cases, the justices ordered lower courts to apply the 2014 law to inmates who, as juveniles, were sentenced in the past either to life in prison or to terms that would have effectively kept them behind bars until they die. Two of the inmates were convicted of murder.

Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court should order a third draft of the state's congressional districts to fully eliminate illegal gerrymandering, attorneys for groups that have challenged the map argued Wednesday.

But lawyers for the Legislature said Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis acted appropriately last year when he upheld lawmakers' second version of the map, drawn after Lewis found that political consultants managed to "taint the redistricting process and the resulting map with improper partisan intent" the first time around.

Court Backs Jacksonville In Property-Rights Battle Over Fire Station

Feb 27, 2015
Auld & White Constructors, LLC / auld-white.com

In a property-rights case that could ultimately go to the Florida Supreme Court, a divided appeals court ruled Thursday that Jacksonville does not have to compensate owners of a riverfront lot who say construction of a fire station caused the lot's value to plummet.

Bill Would Clear Way For Recordings In Sexual-Abuse Cases

Dec 23, 2014
kev_hickey_uk / Flickr

Moving quickly after the Florida Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man convicted of sexually abusing his stepdaughter, a state lawmaker Friday filed a bill that would allow secretly recorded conversations to be used as evidence in such cases.

Florida Division of Elections

  Lawyers for the Legislature told the Florida Supreme Court in a brief filed late Friday that part of a state ban on political gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution.

The filing is the latest chapter in a long-running battle over whether lawmakers rigged congressional districts during the 2012 redistricting process to benefit Republicans. Voting-rights organizations argue that the maps were influenced by politics, contrary to an amendment to the Florida Constitution approved by voters in 2010.

One constitutional amendment proposal on the November ballot could affect Florida politics and policies for decades to come, but it hasn’t gotten much attention. Still, Amendment Three  could give a future governor the power to change the balance of the Florida Supreme Court.

Tropical Depression One, Jorge Labarga, and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles are in the headlines today.

Rep. Charles McBurney, Nippers Beach Grille, and the World Cup are in the headlines today.

Redistricting, the U.S. Supreme Court, and Blake Bortles are in the headlines today.

Florida Supreme Court exterior
Tim Ross / Wikimedia Commons

TALLAHASSEE (The News Service of Florida) — Overturning an appellate court ruling, the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a Tallahassee judge to allow a GOP consultant's documents to be considered in a trial about the Legislature's 2012 redistricting effort, a move one justice called "unprecedented."

Pages