Legal Updates

FLOWER SALES TAX Florida’s Supreme Court ruled on a case involving the application of sales tax on flowers ordered by out-of-state customers and filled by out-of-state florists.  An internet company had sought protection from sales tax collection.  The Court ruled that because the company was registered in Florida and had a physical presence in the state that they were subject to the collection.

FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that state regulators overstepped their authority in allowing Florida Power & Light to charge all of its Florida customers up to $750 million per year for five years.  The money was earmarked for an investment in an Oklahoma based fracking company.  The Court ruled the company would have to seek legislative approval to pass such costs to consumers.

BROWN REDISTRICTING LAWSUIT Congresswoman Corrine Brown’s continued legal attempt to invalidate Florida’s redistricting has suffered another setback.  A panel of three federal judges unanimously ruled that Brown could not prove that the redistricting hindered the election of an African-American.  The Congresswoman has subsequently stated that she is considering appealing to the Florida Supreme Court.

EDUCATION FUNDING Circuit Judge George Reynolds threw out a lawsuit filed by education groups and parents over alleged inadequate education funding of Florida’s schools.  The judge ruled that while Florida’s schools were not “perfect,” the plaintiffs had failed to prove that not enough money was being appropriated by the State.  The plaintiffs have said they will appeal the ruling. In the meantime, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office on Friday filed a motion to recoup $378,799 from the plaintiffs in the case

SCHOOL VOUCHER PROGRAM The Florida Education Association is appealing a ruling by Circuit Judge George Reynolds to the First District Court of Appeals.  The Association is challenging the ruling that they had no standing in bringing a lawsuit concerning Florida’s school voucher program.  Once this issue is settled, the courts will still have to rule on the constitutionality of the voucher program.

GAME DAY WEAPONS Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruled that Florida State University does not have to pay damages to plaintiffs regarding an error in a “game day guide”.  The guide originally prohibited the storage of firearms in vehicles, which is contradictory to existing law.  The judge ruled that there was no liability because the university corrected its guide once the error was pointed out.  A Judge Dodson denied a motion by the plaintiffs seeking to vacate the ruling over an alleged conflict of interest by the judge.

LEGAL FEES In response to an order from U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, who oversaw the same sex marriage case, Attorney General Bondi has agreed to pay $500,000 in legal fees to the plaintiffs.  She had previously refused to pay the fees.


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