Legal Updates

JACKSONVILLE SURTAX Several citizens sued to prevent the implementation of a voter approved half-cent surtax benefiting Jacksonville’s pension system. The 1st District Court of Appeal concurred with a lower court’s decision that the objections did not meet the requirements to overturn the will of the voters.

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT The 2nd District Court of Appeal has affirmed a lower court’s decision concerning the involuntary commitment of an individual to a mental facility. The man claimed that the commitment was unlawful because he did not pose a threat to himself and therefore could have been placed in a group home. The Court ruled that because actions the man had taken in previous instances had caused him harm, the decision to commit was correct.

AMENDMENT 1 FUNDING A Leon County circuit court judge has ruled in favor of several environmental groups by saying that the Legislature failed to comply with the voter approved Amendment 1. The Legislature has been allocating funding to staffing, maintenance and other non-land purchase uses since the amendment’s passage. The judge ruled this violated the intent of the measure. The Legislature has appealed the decision.

PARKLAND LAWSUIT Fifteen survivors of the Parkland shooting have filed a lawsuit against the sheriff, school superintendent, and other officials in Broward County. The suit claims the defendants violated the survivors’ civil rights by not providing the necessary security.

PRISON GUARD RETIREMENT BENEFIT The State Board of Administration has agreed with an administrative law judge’s ruling that an ex-prison guard, and member of the Ku Klux Klan, would lose his retirement benefits after he was convicted of conspiring to murder a black former inmate. The guard had attempted to show that his job and the conspiracy were not connected; an idea rejected by the Board.