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Week In Review

Headnotes of selected Florida Supreme Court and District Courts of Appeal cases filed the week of
October 27 - October 31, 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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Dissolution of marriage -- Judgment reversed where there was a ten-month delay between final hearing and final judgment, and there were discrepancies between oral pronouncements at final hearing and final judgment -- Alimony -- Trial court calculated amount of alimony based on erroneous calculation of former wife's expenses, and erred in failing to make required findings with regard to amount of alimony -- Trial court abused discretion by ordering former husband to procure life insurance to secure alimony obligation in an amount that exceeded amount of insurance that is available to him
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Insurance -- Homeowners -- Sinkhole claim -- Breach of contract action against insurer which denied sinkhole claim after its expert determined that sinkhole was not the cause of damage to insureds' home -- Trial court erred in entering summary judgment for insurer in insureds' breach of contract action on ground that insureds breached concealment provision of policy by withholding report of insureds' expert, which determined that sinkhole activity caused damage to home, until after insureds filed suit -- Policy did not require insureds to give report to insurer unless they had the report at the time of the claim but before insurer denied it -- “Duties After Loss” provision of policy did not obligate insureds to produce documents to insurer unsolicited
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Rules of Judicial Administration -- Amendments -- Retention of court records -- Extension of retention periods for misdemeanor and criminal traffic violation records -- Clarification that criminal traffic violation records are considered either misdemeanor records or felony records -- Foreign attorneys -- Waiver by court of pro hac vice filing fee in pro bono cases in which foreign attorney's client may not be technically indigent where good cause is shown -- Provision that certificate of good standing from foreign attorney's home jurisdiction is not required -- Clarification of requirements regarding disclosure of all disciplinary, suspension, disbarment, or contempt proceedings that have been initiated against attorney in preceding five years
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Torts -- Automobile accident -- Damages -- Setoff of personal injury protection benefits paid to plaintiff -- Where trial court erroneously ruled during trial that issue of PIP setoff would be addressed by court postverdict rather than having issue determined by jury, with result that defense counsel failed to present any evidence of PIP payments, defendant should not be penalized for reasonably relying on trial court's erroneous midtrial ruling -- Trial court erred by denying defendant's request to apply PIP payments as a setoff to jury's verdict
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Torts -- Workers' compensation immunity -- Trial court properly entered summary judgment finding that defendant who utilized the services of injured plaintiff who was supplied by a help supply services company was entitled to workers' compensation immunity -- Party may not rely on an affidavit that contradicts or repudiates prior deposition testimony to defeat a motion for summary judgment
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Workers' compensation -- Jurisdiction -- Judge of compensation claims had jurisdiction to decide the reasonableness or appropriateness of the fee imposed by a physician as a pre-condition to allowing the performance of an independent medical examination to be videotaped
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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 -- Evidence -- Hearsay -- Exceptions -- Past recollection recorded -- Foundation -- Totality of circumstances is an improper test for admission of past recollection recorded evidence -- Victim's deposition was properly admitted under past recollection recorded exception to hearsay rule where victim's testimony established that he then had an insufficient memory of events, that he once had knowledge of events, that he described events in his deposition when they were still fresh in his mind, and that he told the truth in his deposition about events he remembered at that time
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Criminal law -- Juveniles -- Discovery violation by state -- State committed a discovery violation by listing victim as a Category B witness rather than a Category A witness -- Where victim's testimony placed juvenile in the vicinity of charged crimes at time they were committed, victim should have been classified as a Category A witness -- Trial court erred in failing to conduct a full Richardson inquiry to address discovery violation -- Error was not harmless
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Criminal law -- Lewd and lascivious molestation -- Sexual battery by person in familial or custodial authority -- Inherent prejudice resulted where jurors came into close proximity with men wearing jackets embroidered with “Bikers Against Child Abuse” -- Defendant is entitled to new trial
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Criminal law -- Probation -- Revocation -- Counsel -- Forfeiture of right to counsel -- Trial court erred by discharging appointed counsel and requiring defendant to represent himself at violation of probation hearing without holding hearing -- Although defendant's writing of abusive letters to counsel may have been conduct resulting in forfeiture of right to counsel, the only evidence of such conduct came in from trial court's own statements
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Criminal law -- Search and seizure -- Residence -- Warrant -- Defects -- Premises to be searched -- No error in denying motion to suppress despite inaccuracies in warrant regarding description of premises to be searched -- Independent knowledge of the premises by an officer executing a search warrant, where that knowledge was obtained from prior surveillance of the premises, may be considered in assessing whether the warrant's description of the premises is sufficiently particular
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Criminal law -- Sexual battery on child under 12 years of age by defendant 18 years of age or older -- Lewd or lascivious molestation of child under 12 years of age by defendant 18 years of age or older -- Evidence -- Statements of defendant -- Trial court did not err in denying motion to suppress statements made to investigator during interrogation at which defendant was not read Miranda rights where defendant was not in custody at time of interrogation -- Defendant was not in custody where interview took place in an unlocked conference room on a college campus, defendant was escorted into room by his football coach rather than a law enforcement officer, investigator did not use coercive measures to elicit information, and defendant was repeatedly told that he was free to leave the room at any time -- Fact that investigator already had a warrant for defendant's arrest did not conclusively establish that defendant was in custody -- Appeals -- Claim that evidence was insufficient to prove that defendant was 18 years of age or older at time of offense was not properly preserved for appellate review and did not rise to level of fundamental error -- Failure to prove that defendant committed charged offense did not constitute fundamental error where evidence was sufficient to prove that defendant committed a lesser included offense -- Question certified: Do F.B v. State, 852 So. 2d 226 (Fla. 2003), and Young v. State, 141 So. 3d 161 (Fla. 2013), require preservation of an evidentiary deficiency where the state proved only a lesser included offense and the sentence required for the greater offense would be unconstitutional as applied to the lesser offense?
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