Legal Updates

RAILS TO TRAILS The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled on a case originating in Florida regarding the conversion of abandoned railroads to recreational uses.  Over 100 property owners had sued seeking financial compensation when such a conversion occurred.  In the state case, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendants, and in the appeal to the federal courts, that decision was upheld.

PHYSICIAN GUN GAG LAW  A Florida law which restricts doctors from asking about gun ownership and maintaining gun ownership records of patients has once again been challenged by medical interests.  The law has been found constitutional in three separate cases, most recently by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The plaintiffs have requested that the full circuit review the case.

TEACHER BONUSES The $44 million Florida program which financially awards teachers has had a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint filed against it by Florida’s largest teacher union.  The complaint alleges the process is discriminatory against older and minority teachers who would not have immediate access to the required application information.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSES CHALLENGES Administrative law judges handling the fourteen challenges to the Florida Department of Health’s decision to award five licenses to medical marijuana growers decided to divide their work. One judge will handle the challenges filed in the Central region, another in the Northeast region and another will address challenges filed in the Southeast, Southwest and Northwest regions. No hearings have been scheduled yet. Additionally, open government advocate Michael Barfield filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health for withholding public records related to the medical marijuana licensing awards.


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