Legal Updates

TRI-STATE WATER WARS  In a case stretching back to 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case involving Florida, Georgia and Alabama’s claim to water flowing from the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint River Basin.  The Court had ordered a special master to hear the case earlier this year, with the decision going against Florida and for Georgia.  Florida’s appeal resulted in the Court decision to review the issue.

STAND YOUR GROUND  Since the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law was first enacted in 2005, there has been continuous litigation over the constitutionality of the law and its subsequent revisions.  The latest episode ended with the Florida Supreme Court ruling that a successful immunity criminal court ruling does not automatically void a civil action.  The case involved a Hillsborough County resident who successfully argued a stand your ground defense, but was subsequently sued in civil court for the altercation.

INVOLUNTARY HOME SEARCHES  The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused a defendant’s request for a rehearing before the entire court.  The ruling let stand a 2-1 vote on a case involving the search of a private residence by law enforcement.  The defendants stated the police has used a ruse to gain entry to their home where evidence was collected which led to their fraud convictions.  The Court determined that the ruse did not violate the involuntary search protections of private owners.

ABORTION FREE SPEECH  A Tallahassee based U.S. District Court judge has ruled against the State in a case involving a 2016 abortion bill signed into law by the Governor.  The judge blocked provisions requiring anyone who counsels women about abortions to register with the State and provide an explanation of the procedure and alternatives to the patient.  The judge ruled this was a violation of free speech.

 DWAYNE TAYLOR APPEAL  Former Daytona Beach State Representative Dwayne Taylor’s attorneys sought to overturn his conviction on nine counts of wire-fraud charges, or order a new trial.  U.S. District Judge Carlos Mendoza issued his ruling denying both requests.  As a result, his sentencing hearing is still scheduled for November 16th.

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