Legal Updates

LAW ENFORCEMENT SEIZURES The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously against excessive seizure of property by law enforcement.  The practice has resulted in the loss of private property including homes, automobiles and cash.  The Court ruled that states must abide by the 8th Amendment prohibiting excessive fines.  The Court did not rule on the amount considered excessive, but Florida law is very specific about maximum fines for offensives.

CARNIVAL NOT NEGLIGENT Cruise line operator Carnival Corporation was not held liable by a Florida federal judge in a negligence suit.  The family of a woman who fell overboard and died claimed negligence, but the judge ruled Carnival was not put on notice that the woman was dangerously intoxicated prior to the accident.

BONG TRADEMARK Roor, a leading worldwide bong manufacturer, lost its trademark infringement and counterfeiting suit when a federal judge ruled there would be no confusion between its products and a clearly inferior knockoff manufactured by a Florida company.

ALLIGATOR EGGS A Seminole Tribe member who was accused of selling nearly 4,000 alligator eggs can be charged under conservation laws.  The federal judge ruled that tribal sovereignty does not apply in the instance of conservation.

DEVOUT VERDICT A dishwasher has won a $21.5 million judgment against Park Hotels & Resort, a spin-off of Hilton Worldwide, Inc.  A Florida federal jury determined the employee was religiously discriminated against when she refused to work on a Sunday and was subsequently fired by the hotel management. 

NEW JUDGESHIPS The Florida Supreme Court is requesting that the Legislature fund eight new trial court judgeships statewide for the upcoming year.

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE As we have reported, the City of Miami Beach passed an ordinance establishing a minimum wage significantly higher than state law.  The City had lost both in the trial and appeals court.  The Florida Supreme Court refused to hear the final appeal due to a 2003 state law barring local minimum wage ordinances.