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Week In Review

Headnotes of selected Florida Supreme Court and District Courts of Appeal cases filed the week of
August 15 - August 19, 2016

Civil Law Headnotes (Jump to Criminal Law Headnotes)

THESE ARE NOT ALL OF THE CASES RELEASED BY THE COURTS FOR THE WEEK.
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Attorney's fees -- Appellate -- Insurance -- Insured prevailing in action against insurer -- Attorney's fees may be awarded under section 627.428 for services in appellate court, whether proceeding is direct appeal or petition for writ of certiorari -- Insureds' amended motion for attorney's fees incurred in certiorari proceedings granted, conditioned upon their ultimately prevailing in trial court
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Civil rights -- Municipal corporations -- Equal protection -- Selective enforcement of ordinances and building code -- Evidence did not support verdict finding individual defendant, who served as town mayor and police commissioner, liable for damages awarded on property owners' claims that he violated plaintiffs' equal protection rights by selectively enforcing town ordinances against them for discriminatory or improper purpose where there was no evidence that defendant enforced any ordinance against plaintiffs or could even legally direct enforcement of any ordinance -- Complaints to police made by the defendant in his capacity as the plaintiffs' neighbor were not equivalent of selectively enforcing or directing town police to selectively enforce ordinances -- Defendant could not have been found liable under supervisory theory where no one under his supervision was found liable
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Restitution -- Contract implied by law -- Slander of title -- Oral agreement whereby defendant purportedly agreed to accept payment from the plaintiff in exchange for assignment of note, mortgage, and its position as the plaintiff in a pending foreclosure proceeding, with defendant contending that it received payment only for release of the mortgage -- Plaintiff clearly pled cause of action for restitution as a claim of contract implied by law where complaint alleged a payment conferred on the defendant, defendant's acceptance and retention of the payment, and circumstances indicating inequity by the defendant retaining the payment without plaintiff receiving value of the assignment of the mortgage -- Stipulated facts and evidence supported finding in plaintiff's favor on restitution claim -- Trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that plaintiff was entitled to judgment on restitution theory -- Slander of title -- Damages -- Trial court erred in awarding consequential or “special” damages which were not specifically pled -- Fact that defendant had been put on notice of plaintiff's claim does not overcome failure to plead special damages
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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 -- First degree murder with firearm -- Trial court abused its discretion by denying defendant's request to reopen case to allow defendant to testify where request was timely made before closing argument and jury instructions -- New trial required, although defendant failed to provide any reasons to justify reopening case or proffer the character of his testimony to demonstrate its need in fairly resolving case, where it appears that trial court thwarted any efforts to address these factors
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Criminal law -- Sexual battery by person eighteen years or older on person less than twelve years of age -- Evidence -- Hearsay -- Statements of child victim -- Claim that trial court erred in considering corroborating evidence at hearing on admission of child's out-of-court hearsay statement was not preserved for appeal by specific objection -- Even if objection to nurse's testimony corroborating victim's injuries were preserved, trial court did not err in hearing nurse's testimony regarding child's injury which corroborated child's statements where court did not use corroboration to conclude that child's statements were reliable -- Because child testified and was extensively cross-examined, defendant was not deprived of his Sixth Amendment right of confrontation -- Child's out-of-court statement, admitted in evidence, provided proof of two of four incidents of defendant's sexual abuse of his daughter -- Burden of proof was not improperly shifted in state's cross-examination of defendant when state asked defendant why his daughter would make such “outrageous lies” about him -- Even if questions to defendant about victim's motive to lie were improper, error was harmless beyond reasonable doubt
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