Legal Updates

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases relating to the legality of fines collected from motorists caught by red light cameras. These cases involve drivers who were ticketed prior to the Legislature authorizing their use. The City of Orlando is asking the court to reverse an appellate ruling that cites red light camera fines as illegal if collected before the state passed the law allowing the cameras. At stake could be $20-$25 million in fines collected across the state.  A date for the hearing has not been set.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta denied Florida’s request earlier this month to allow drug testing for welfare recipients. Florida law requires welfare applicants to pay for and pass a drug test to receive benefits. It was in effect from July through October last year before being temporarily blocked by a federal judge in Orlando.  No date on the decision has been announced.

Florida will not appeal a recent decision that invalidated college and university rules that charged higher out-of-state tuition rates to Florida residents who are U.S. citizens but dependent on illegal immigrant parents.  A U.S. District Judge in Miami ruled last month that charging higher tuition to students because of their parents’ immigration status violates their equal protection rights.  The decision will reduce tuition for those students beginning with the Spring 2013 semester.

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