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New Releases
from Florida's Circuit and County Courts

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Torts -- Damages -- Property -- Estate's motion for leave to file amended complaint asserting claim for property damage due to insulation contractor's employees causing fiberglass insulation to be sucked into air handler and blown throughout decedent's residence is granted -- Punitive damages -- Estate is granted leave to assert claim for punitive damages where estate has made reasonable showing that contractor was guilty of intentional misconduct in failing to clean up fiberglass when it had actual knowledge that negligence of its employees caused fiberglass to be blown throughout residence and that fiberglass is irritant that could cause at least some harm when inhaled
VIEW OPINION

Contracts -- Motion for advancement of litigation costs filed by defendants that contracted to provide development and management services to plaintiff developers and are being sued for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty -- Organizational documents obligated plaintiffs to indemnify and advance expenses to defendants -- Motion for advancement is granted subject to defendants executing written agreement for repayment in event they are not entitled to indemnification due to breach of fiduciary duty -- Indemnity provisions of separate management and consulting agreements are applicable only to claims brought by third parties, not other parties to agreements, and, accordingly, advancement clauses of those agreements do not require advancement of expenses to defendants
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- No valid driver's license -- Discovery -- State's failure to comply -- Trial court properly found that state's failure to disclose defendant's alleged confession to crime until day of trial was inadvertent, but erred in finding no procedural prejudice to defense -- New trial required
VIEW OPINION

Insurance -- Discovery -- Trial court departed from essential requirements of law in ordering insurer to produce portions of its adjuster's notes to medical provider in first-party non-bad-faith case
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Contracts -- Appeals -- Failure to provide record -- Affirmance of lower court ruling
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Criminal law -- Driving under influence -- Evidence -- Statements of defendant -- Where unrefuted testimony established that officer asked defendant where she was coming from during initial encounter after traffic stop while she was still seated in her vehicle, not after he asked her to exit vehicle as found by trial court, defendant was not in custody requiring Miranda warnings at time of questioning -- Error to grant motion to suppress statements
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Driving under influence -- Search and seizure -- Blood draw -- Where defendant's own testimony that he was looking down to retrieve his cell phone established that defendant, at a minimum, contributed to accident in which his vehicle collided with rear of tractor-trailer, and officer
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Driving under influence -- Search and seizure -- Community caretaking -- Officer was exercising community caretaking function when he asked defendant, who appeared to be passed out in driver's seat of vehicle parked at closed gas station, to roll down window and, when defendant failed to do so, opened vehicle door -- Officer's actions did not amount to unconstitutional seizure -- Error to grant motion to suppress
VIEW OPINION

Counties -- Development orders -- Equitable estoppel -- Mistake of fact -- Board of county commissioners departed from essential requirements of law by refusing to apply doctrine of equitable estoppel and denying petitioner's application for approval of final site plan where petitioner purchased property based on county planner's misrepresentation that extension of deadline for approval of final site plan for infrastructure had been obtained and property was currently in compliance; thereafter county acknowledged petitioner's request for further extension of IFSP approval deadline and stated in six staff reports that timetable was extended, causing petitioner to expend additional monies on property under belief that property was in compliance; and there was no evidence that petitioner could have discovered mistake of fact regarding deadline extension prior to discovery of error by county staff four years later
VIEW OPINION

Counties -- Zoning -- Appeals -- Where parties notified appellate court that they had reached settlement in pending appeal and companion case, but parties failed to comply with rule 9.350 requirement that they file signed stipulation for dismissal, case proceeded to appellate panel on merits -- Where current zoning of property sought to be rezoned is not consistent with current density land use policy of county's comprehensive plan, board of county commissioners did not observe essential requirements of law established in land development code when it failed either to approve zoning change to one of five zoning options consistent with plan or initiate amendment to plan -- Order denying rezoning is quashed
VIEW OPINION

Counties -- Code enforcement -- Parked vehicles -- Error to find violation of county code at property primarily used as vacation rental, which by its very nature, involves visitors, where provision of code at issue plainly did not apply to visitors
VIEW OPINION

Licensing -- Driver's license -- Suspension -- Hearing -- Failure of subpoenaed witness to appear -- Licensee was denied due process when sheriff's office refused to accept service of subpoena for deputy in training -- Petition for writ of certiorari granted
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Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Restitution -- Victim testimony regarding medical expenses must be corroborated with billing records -- Remanded for restitution hearing on medical expenses supported by billing records
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Criminal law -- Exposure of sexual organs -- Evidence -- Hearsay -- Trial court erred in overruling hearsay objection to testimony as to what witness told police when interviewed at crime scene -- Error to overrule hearsay objections to questions asking officer whether prior statements made by witnesses were consistent with their court testimony where there was no express or implied charge of improper influence or motive or recent fabrication -- Officer's testimony that what neighbor who did testify at trial told him at scene was consistent with other witnesses' versions of events was inadmissible hearsay -- Because state has not proven that accumulated errors were harmless, new trial is required
VIEW OPINION

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