Legal Updates

PHOSPHATE MINE LAWSUIT Three residents living near a phosphate fertilizer plant in Mulberry have filed a federal lawsuit and are seeking class action for the case. The Mulberry sinkhole and the subsequent contaminated water draining into the underground aquifer is the basis of the suit.  The plaintiffs, who operate private residential wells near the facility, fear contamination and seek relief.

MIAMI GARDENS ELECTION  The Florida Supreme Court has ruled a law governing returned checks in payment of candidate qualifying fees to be unconstitutional.  Because of the bank error, a candidate was removed from the mayoral ballot in Miami Gardens.  The candidate sued, but lost in both the circuit court and the 3rd District Court of Appeal, before appealing to the Florida Supreme Court.  The Court ordered a new election for mayor, which is scheduled for the November general election.

WRITE-IN CANDIDATE  The Florida Supreme Court has declined to hear a case involving the State’s write-in candidate law, which often effectively closes primaries.  Opponents of the law point to cases where races are decided by one party’s voters rather than the entire electorate.

EX-FELONS VOTING RIGHTS  The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to consider a ballot initiative which would restore ex-felons voting rights after completion of their sentences.  The measure may appear on the 2018 ballot.

TAX CREDIT SCHOLARSHIPS  The Florida Education Association has elected to appeal the decision of the 1st District Court of Appeal which ruled the Association had no standing in the case against Florida’s tax credit scholarship program.  The program allows corporations to receive tax credits for contributing scholarships to private schools for low income students and is opposed by the FEA.

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