Legal Update

BLOOD ALCOHOL TESTS  The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case which effects Florida drivers.  The Court ruled that prior to administering a blood alcohol test to a suspected drunk driver, law enforcement officers must obtain a search warrant.  A warrant is not required to conduct a breath test.  The ruling effectively overrides Florida law which criminalizes the refusal of a blood test.

CREDIT CARD SURCHARGES  After a divided 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked businesses from collecting surcharges for credit card purchases, Florida’s Attorney General has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and take up the case.  The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a similar case from New York, which may affect laws in Florida and Texas.

PLAINTIFF LEGAL FEES  A U.S. District Court judge has ruled in favor of the Agency for Healthcare Administration when he overruled a decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court.  At issue was the awarding of $210,000 in attorneys’ fees after a court battle involving alternative treatment for children with autism.  The District Court ruled that ACHA modified their rules, rather than changed them, resulting in the non-award of fees.

SEMINOLE TRIBE GAMING  In a related gaming case, a federal judge appears ready to rule in favor of the Seminole Indian Tribe in their dispute with the State.  The Tribe objected to the pari-mutuel facilities having the ability to conduct designated player games and slot machines that simulate blackjack.  The stakes are high because the gaming agreement, known as the Gaming Compact, stipulates that if the State allows such games at other facilities, the Tribe would be allowed to continue to offer the games but not pay the State the fees required under the agreement.

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