Legal Updates

INSURANCE BENEFITS ASSIGNMENT A Florida appeals court has ruled in favor of insurance regulators to bar language proposed for new homeowners insurance policies.  The language, proposed by the industry, would have prohibited the assignment of benefits by the insured.

IMMIGRATION DETENTION  A U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel has elected not to rule on a case to determine if time spent in detention by an immigrant counts towards prison time under federal sentencing guidelines.  The case will now move to the U.S. Supreme Court.

EVERGLADES DRILLING The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has rejected the recommendation of a Florida administrative law judge regarding the issuance of an oil and gas drilling permit in the Everglades.  The judge had recommended approval of the permit, but DEP has determined the environmentally sensitive area should remain off limits.

GMO FOOD   The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to reconsider its decision to toss a proposed class action suit filed by a Chipotle restaurant patron. The patron alleged the restaurant lied in its advertisements concerning the use of genetically modified foods.

MINIMUM WAGE A panel of judges from the 3rd District Court of Appeal has upheld a circuit court ruling against the City of Miami Beach which sought to implement a citywide minimum wage of $10.31. The wage increase, scheduled to begin in 2018, would have been $2.06 higher than the 2018 State mandated wage of $8.25.  The increase was opposed by business groups throughout the State.

SPECIAL ELECTIONS Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson has rejected the request of the Florida Democratic Party to move the timetable up for two legislative seats vacated through resignations. Democrats wanted the elections held earlier so that the districts would have representation during the 2018 Session.  The judge cited the requirement of a 45 day window for absentee ballots required by Florida law to deny the request.

SMUGGLING SENTENCING A sports trainer has been sentenced to five years in prison and a sports agent to four years for their roles in a smuggling ring which brought Cuban baseball players to the U.S.  The pair profited from the lucrative fees associated with the players signing of league contracts.