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Week In Review

Headnotes of selected Florida Supreme Court and District Courts of Appeal cases filed the week of
November 21, 2022 - November 25, 2022

Civil Law Headnotes (Jump to Criminal Law Headnotes)

THESE ARE NOT ALL OF THE CASES RELEASED BY THE COURTS FOR THE WEEK.
To see others not presented here, log in for more comprehensive weekly listings.

Contracts -- Colleges and universities -- Sovereign immunity -- Dismissal -- Class action for breach of contract and unjust enrichment based on state university's alleged collection of student fees for on-campus services that were not offered as a result of COVID-19 pandemic -- Trial court erred by denying state university's motion to dismiss breach of contract claim on sovereign immunity grounds -- Assorted documents attached to complaint, which included tuition statements and university's financial liability agreement, did not constitute an express written contract sufficient to overcome sovereign immunity where documents did not contain any language obligating the university to provide specific, on-campus services to any student during any specific time, or any language that could be read to obligate the university to a refund of fees when any such services are paused, limited, or outright cancelled -- Questions certified: Whether sovereign immunity bars a breach of contract claim against a state university based on the university's failure to provide its students with access to on-campus services and facilities?
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Dissolution of marriage -- Equitable distribution -- Marital/nonmarital assets -- Retirement benefits -- Cost-of-living adjustments -- No error in determining that former wife was entitled to qualified domestic relations order providing for an increase in her distributions from former husband's Florida Retirement System pension based upon her proportionate share of any cost-of-living adjustment received by former husband -- Former wife's share of a cost-of-living adjustment benefit attributable to the portion of an FRS pension earned during the marriage falls within the scope of all vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement plans -- To extent that the years of service occurred during the marriage, an FRS member's entitlement to a cost-of-living adjustment is a benefit or right that accrued during the marriage and is thus a marital asset as a matter of law, even if the actual adjustment is paid after the dissolution -- Final judgment of dissolution was not required to make specific factual findings regarding the former wife's entitlement to a cost-of-living adjustment in the pension as a marital asset subject to equitable distribution -- It was sufficient that final judgment identified FRS pension as a marital asset and ordered an equal division of the asset pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order
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Insurance -- Homeowners -- Bad faith -- Civil remedy notice -- Trial court erred by dismissing first-party bad faith action based on its determination that CRN failed to comply with statutory requirements because “cure” amount was unclear -- CRN sufficiently complied with statutory specificity requirement where it listed the specific statutory provisions that insurer allegedly violated, referenced the specific policy language relevant to the violations, and gave a detailed recitation of the facts surrounding the violation -- Law does not require a CRN to include a specific cure amount
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Jurisdiction -- Service of process -- Substitute -- Trial court erred in denying motion to quash service of process where return of service did not include name of person served, as required by section 48.21 -- Indication that documents were served to “Jane Doe as sister/co-tenant” was not sufficient to comply with statute -- Further, plaintiff failed to prove that service occurred at defendant's usual place of abode, as required by section 48.031(1)(a)
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Torts -- Negligence -- Premises liability -- Action against engineering firm performing roadwork pursuant to contract with state Department of Transportation brought by plaintiff whose vehicle struck protruding manhole cover while traveling on roadway in area in which defendant was allegedly performing roadwork -- Trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of defendant on ground that plaintiff presented insufficient evidence to establish location of manhole cover -- Plaintiff's testimony was sufficient to establish disputed issue of material fact concerning location of manhole cover, and photographic evidence did not definitely disprove that testimony -- Taken together, plaintiff's testimony and photographic evidence clearly presented issue of fact for jury to decide
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Criminal Law Headnotes (Jump to Civil Law Headnotes)

THESE ARE NOT ALL OF THE CASES RELEASED BY THE COURTS FOR THE WEEK.
To see others not presented here, log in for more comprehensive weekly listings.

Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Correction -- Illegal sentence -- Resentencing -- The authority to resentence de novo, once the sixty-day time frame set forth in rule 3.800(c) has expired, applies only to those counts on which illegal sentences were previously imposed and does not extend to permit the trial court to alter any legal sentence on any other count -- Remand for trial court to reinstate original legal sentences
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