Legal Update

DOCS VERSUS GLOCKS  The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta  ruled in a 2-1 vote to lift an injunction against the State enforcing the “docs vs. glocks” law passed in 2011.  The law prohibits doctors from asking patients about gun ownership and placing such information into medical records.  The Court has determined that the law is constitutional.  Physician groups have asked the Atlanta court to reconsider and  have the full 11th Circuit Court review the case.

LEGAL FEE SETTLEMENT Former House Speaker Ray Sansom, who resigned after corruption charges were brought against him in April, 2009, and the Florida House reached an agreement where the State will pay $600,000 towards Sansom’s legal fees.  A Leon County circuit judge ruled that the State owed $810,000, but the amount was reduced through negotiations.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE LEGAL FEES Attorney General Bondi is refusing to pay plaintiff appellate legal fees regarding the federal courts portion of the legal campaign she waged against same sex marriage.   It is estimated that the fees could total $500,000 for the appellate court fees.  Bondi reasons that since the State voluntarily dismissed the case, the plaintiffs are not entitled to the additional fees.  A court will ultimately decide whether the state will be forced to pay the fees.

FORMER GOVERNOR LEROY COLLINS PROPERTY  The Grove, Governor Collins’ family property located adjacent to the Governor’s Mansion, has been the subject of several lawsuits as a result of the State attempting to purchase the property. Tallahassee attorney Steven Andrews has battled Governor Scott over the property and an unrelated use of a private email account for state business by the Governor.  A settlement has been reached that will allow Andrews to purchase the property and receive $700,000 in reimbursed legal fees.  The State will have the first right of refusal to purchase the property in the future.

OPEN RECORDS LAWSUIT The Miami Herald has sued the Florida Department of Corrections over the release of records pertaining to inmate deaths, and the possible sexual and physical assaults of inmates by corrections officers.  The Herald had asked for the paperwork regarding investigations into such allegations, but the provided material was so heavily redacted as to render it useless.  The suit requests the judge order the release of all materials unredacted.

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