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Week In Review

Headnotes of selected Florida Supreme Court and District Courts of Appeal cases filed the week of
July 21 - July 25, 2014

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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Administrative law -- Torts -- Medical malpractice -- Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act -- Notice of physician's participation in plan -- Obstetrical patient -- Formation of provider-obstetrical patient relationship triggers obligation to furnish notice -- Because administrative law judge did not make specific finding as to when relationship between patient and physician commenced, remand is necessary
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Contracts -- Arbitration -- Waiver -- Defendant did not waive its right to arbitration by filing a motion to transfer venue based on forum non conveniens while simultaneously filing a motion to compel arbitration
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Injunctions -- Protection against domestic violence -- Cyberstalking -- Trial court did not err in entering injunction for protection against domestic violence on basis that petitioner was stalked by e-mails although petitioner was not threatened and suffered no violence -- Proof of recent stalking can be sufficient to establish the act of “violence” required for the issuance of a domestic violence injunction -- Petitioner is not required to demonstrate reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any future act of domestic violence
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Jurisdiction -- Non-residents -- Minimum contacts -- Contracts -- Stock purchase agreement -- Error to deny non-resident's motion to dismiss complaint for specific performance of stock purchase agreement, breach of contract, and injunctive relief where complaint and evidence failed to establish requisite minimum contacts required by U.S. Constitution -- Although parties' agreement contained choice of law provision designating Florida law as governing law, included a provision whereby non-resident agreed to submit to jurisdiction of Florida courts, and involved consideration of not less than $250,000, lack of requisite minimum contacts with state required dismissal -- Injunction -- Temporary injunction entered against defendant was invalid given lack of personal jurisdiction
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Municipal corporations -- Ordinance which creates a non-resident surcharge that requires non-residents of the city to pay $100 more than residents of the city who use city's emergency medical transportation services is a user fee, not a tax, and does not violate constitutional guarantee of equal protection or unconstitutionally burden intrastate travel -- Trial court erred in striking the non-resident surcharge
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Torts -- Conversion -- Damages -- Error to enter judgment awarding unliquidated damages to plaintiff without conducting hearing to determine value of converted property -- Trial court erred in treating damages as liquidated where complaint did not demand specific amount -- As prevailing party in conversion action, plaintiff was entitled to damage award amounting to market value of subject property on date of conversion plus interest accruing from that date -- Remand for further proceedings
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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 -- Jurors -- Trial court erred in denying motion to dismiss juror and motion for mistrial after juror revealed, during trial, his knowledge of and relationship with testifying state witness -- In denying motion to dismiss juror, court applied an incorrect standard by focusing its inquiry on whether there was any reasonable doubt that juror could be fair and impartial -- In determining whether a juror's nondisclosure of information during voir dire warrants a new trial, issues to be addressed are whether information is relevant and material to jury service in case, whether juror concealed information during questioning, and whether failure to disclose information was attributable to complaining party's lack of diligence -- Juror's nondisclosure was relevant and material because the nondisclosure prevented counsel from making an informed judgment whether to exercise a peremptory challenge of juror
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Criminal law -- Lewd or lascivious battery -- Sentencing -- Dangerous sexual felony offender -- Life sentence with mandatory minimum term of twenty-five years for offense for which statutory maximum sentence under section 775.082 was fifteen years was illegal -- When mandatory minimum under section 794.0115 exceeds maximum sentence authorized under section 775.082, the mandatory minimum must be imposed -- Remand for resentencing to twenty-five year minimum mandatory prison term
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Criminal law -- Robbery with firearm while wearing mask -- Aggravated assault with firearm while wearing mask -- Search and seizure -- Inevitable discovery -- Consensual encounter was transformed into stop without requisite reasonable suspicion when deputy placed hands on defendant's chest and back, admittedly to gain information about defendant's heart rate and temperature -- Error to deny motion to suppress evidence discovered when second deputy, who recognized defendant as a man he had seen earlier in a different location, went back to search bushes at that location -- Inevitable discovery doctrine does not apply where it was unlikely that deputy would have returned to defendant's prior location to search without benefit of unlawful stop and questioning of defendant -- Evidence -- Other crimes, wrongs, or bad acts -- No error in permitting evidence of prior robbery at same location committed six days earlier in similar manner by single suspect wearing similar clothing and carrying similar bag
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Criminal law -- Search and seizure -- Residence -- Consent -- Trial court erred in granting motion to suppress evidence discovered in search of defendant's residence on ground that consent to search was unlawfully procured through an overwhelming show of police authority -- Under totality of circumstances, defendant's consent was objectively voluntary -- Administration of Miranda warnings to defendant did not compromise his decision-making faculties -- Court also erred by finding detective's testimony not to be credible -- Independent source exception to exclusionary rule -- In another case, trial court erred in suppressing evidence discovered in illegal protective sweep of home where officer's detection of the odor of marijuana emanating from the home upon lawfully approaching the front door provided an independent basis for discovery of the evidence
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Criminal law -- Search and seizure -- Residence -- Warrant -- Based on totality of circumstances, affidavit in support of warrant did not establish a fair probability that evidence of methamphetamine sales would be found at residence when warrant was signed -- Good faith exception not applicable where objectively reasonable officer would have known that affidavit was insufficient to establish probable cause for search
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Criminal law -- Search and seizure -- Trial court erred by sealing medical records obtained by state pursuant to warrant for search of allegedly illegal pain management clinic, effectively denying state all access to the records and preventing use of information in the records as evidence in criminal cases against persons operating the clinic -- Search warrant for medical records at clinic could properly be issued without an affidavit establishing probable cause for each patient -- Appeals -- Patients are not necessary parties to appeal of order sealing medical records -- Order is appealable as functional equivalent of order suppressing evidence seized by search and seizure -- Remand for further proceedings at which court may fashion appropriate remedy, permitting state limited access to information in medical records but with a method that is essentially the least intrusive means of interference with patients' rights of privacy
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