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Florida First Amendment Law
 

ENOCH D. HALL vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

This Court has previously detailed the underlying facts of this case. Hall v.
State (Hall I), 107 So. 3d 262, 267-71 (Fla. 2012). Relevant to the instant
proceeding, Hall, an inmate at Tomoka Correctional Institution (TCI), was
convicted and sentenced to death for the first-degree murder of Correctional
Officer (CO) Donna Fitzgerald. Hall v. State (Hall II), 212 So. 3d 1001,... More...
   $0 (04-16-2018 - FL)

RONNIE TRAY ATMORE vs STATE OF FLORIDA

Resisting arrest with violence is third-degree felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison. See §§ 775.082(3)(e), 843.01, Fla. Stat. (2015). Where the State demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant qualifies to be sentenced as a PRR, the defendant must be sentenced to five years in prison for a third-degree felony. § 775.082(9)(a)(3)(d). A trial court may im... More...   $0 (04-09-2018 - FL)

Jesse Loor vs. The State of Florida

On December 12, 2012, Loor was charged with one count of lewd and
lascivious molestation of a person less than twelve (12) years of age under section
800.04(5)(b), Florida Statutes (2012), and one count of sexual battery on a victim
less than twelve (12) years of age under section 794.011(2), Florida Statutes
(2012). Both counts involved Loor’s alleged conduct against his biol... More...
   $0 (04-01-2018 - FL)

Loyd P. Cadwell v. Kaufman, Englett & Lynd, P.L.L.C.

Middle District of Florida Federal Courthouse - Tampa, Florida

This case arises under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which, among other things, amended federal law to impose new requirements and prohibitions on professionals who assist with the preparation of bankruptcy petitions. The provision specifically at issue here, 11 U.S.C. § 526(a)(4), provides in relevant part that a “debt relief agency”—including a law firm tha... More...   $0 (03-30-2018 - FL)

JAMES GUZMAN vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

In September 1992, James Guzman was convicted for the August 10, 1991,
armed robbery and first-degree murder of David Colvin and was subsequently
sentenced to death for the murder conviction. On direct appeal, we reversed

1. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const.


- 2 -
Guzman’s convictions an... More...
   $0 (03-26-2018 - FL)

KENTRELL F. JOHNSON vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

On March 30, 2010, Johnson and codefendants Quentin Truehill1 and Peter
Hughes escaped custody at Avoyelles Parish Sherriff’s Office in Marksville,
Louisiana. Johnson and his codefendants stole a truck and traveled to Florida,
committing a series of violent crimes along the way, including the kidnapping and
killing of Vincent Binder.
On the day of their escape, the code... More...
   $0 (03-25-2018 - FL)

United States of America v. Hernando Javier Vergara

Middle District of Florida Federal Courthouse - Tampa, Florida

This appeal presents the issue whether warrantless forensic searches of two cell phones at the border violated the Fourth Amendment. U.S. Const. amend IV. Hernando Javier Vergara appeals the denial of his motion to suppress evidence found on two cell phones that he carried on a cruise from Cozumel, Mexico to Tampa, Florida. He argues that the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Riley v. Califo... More...   $0 (03-21-2018 - FL)

Edward Lewis Tobinick, M.D. v. M.D. Seven Novella, et al.

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. Edward Tobinick appeals the District Court’s award of attorney’s fees to Dr. Steven Novella. Dr. Tobinick argues both that the District Court’s decision to award attorney’s fees and the amount of fees it awarded were made in error. This case presents an issue of first impression for our circuit. That is, whether the “exceptional case” standard for awarding attorney’s fees in Patent Act cases, ... More...   $0 (03-12-2018 - FL)

United States of America v. Michael St. Hurbert

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida - Miami, Florida

On February 16, 2016, Michael St. Hubert pled guilty to two counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during, in relation to, and in furtherance Case: 16-10874 Date Filed: 02/28/2018 Page: 1 of 39
2
of a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). The district court sentenced St. Hubert to 84 months’ imprisonment for the first § 924(c) conviction and 300 consecutive m... More...
   $0 (02-28-2018 - FL)

Dennis Godelia v. Zoll Services, LLC

Southern District of Florida Courthouse - Miami, Florida

Dennis Godelia and Sterling Youmas appeal the District Court’s dismissal of their case against ZOLL Services, LLC (“ZOLL”), which brought seven claims under Florida law. Mr. Godelia is suing individually and as the personal representative of the estate of Debra Godelia, who was his wife. Mr. Youmas was Ms. Godelia’s son. Ms. Godelia went into cardiac arrest while wearing an external defibrillator ... More...   $0 (02-11-2018 - FL)

Juan Aguilar vs. The State of Florida

On Sunday, December 9, 2007, at approximately 3:00 a.m., a three-car
accident occurred in the four westbound lanes of State Road 836 near the 27th
Avenue exit. At approximately 3:11 a.m., Florida Highway Patrol Trooper
Bobadilla (“Trooper Bobadilla”) received a dispatch regarding this accident.
When he arrived at the scene, Miami Dade Expressway Authority (“MDX”) Road
Ra... More...
   $0 (01-23-2018 - FL)

Vibe Micro, Inc. v. Igor Shabanets, et al.

Southern District of Florida Courthouse - Miami, Florida

This appeal concerns the discretion of a district court to dismiss a complaint
on shotgun pleading grounds. Plaintiff Edward Mandel1 appeals the district court’s
dismissal with prejudice of his Second Amended Complaint (SAC). The district
court, lamenting the shotgun pleading nature of the First Amended Complaint
(FAC), had given Mandel—represented by counsel that failed to request... More...
   $0 (01-21-2018 - FL)

James L. Turner v. Theodore V. Wells, Jr. and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, L.L.P.

Southern District of Florida Courthouse - Miami, Florida

This appeal involves a law firm’s investigation of the Miami Dolphins professional football organization. The National Football League (“NFL”) hired the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and one of its partners, Theodore Wells, to investigate allegations of bullying within the Dolphins organization. After receiving Paul, Weiss’s report, the Dolphins fired their offensive lin... More...   $0 (01-18-2018 - FL)

United States of America v. Stanley Presendieu and Scarlee Valias Jean

Southern District of Florida Courthouse - Miami, Florida

After their guilty pleas, defendant Stanley Presendieu appeals his convictions and defendant Scarlee Valias Jean appeals her sentence. Having carefully reviewed the record and the parties’ briefs, and with the benefit of oral argument, we (1) affirm Presendieu’s convictions and (2) vacate Jean’s sentence and remand for further proceedings.
I. BACKGROUND
This case involves an illegal check-... More...
   $0 (01-19-2018 - FL)

Juan Aguilar vs. The State of Florida

On Sunday, December 9, 2007, at approximately 3:00 a.m., a three-car
accident occurred in the four westbound lanes of State Road 836 near the 27th
Avenue exit. At approximately 3:11 a.m., Florida Highway Patrol Trooper
Bobadilla (“Trooper Bobadilla”) received a dispatch regarding this accident.
When he arrived at the scene, Miami Dade Expressway Authority (“MDX”) Road
Ra... More...
   $0 (01-18-2018 - FL)

United States of America v. Stephanie Lois Watkins, a/k/a Stephanie Harrell

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

Stephanie Watkins, a native and citizen of Jamaica—and until her deportation in 2003, a lawful permanent resident of the United States—appeals her conviction for reentering the country illegally following deportation. On appeal, Watkins argues that her indictment should have been dismissed because her deportation order was invalid due to a change in what crimes are considered “crimes involving mor... More...   $0 (01-05-2018 - FL)

Commodores Entertainment Corporation v. Thomas McClary and Fifth Avenue Entertainment, LLC

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

In this common-law trademark case, Thomas McClary appeals from an order granting judgment as a matter of law to Commodores Entertainment Corporation (CEC) and converting a preliminary injunction into a permanent one against McClary and his corporation, Fifth Avenue Entertainment, LLC. The dispute concerned ownership of the mark “The Commodores,” the name of a famous Grammy Award–winning rhythm and... More...   $0 (01-09-2018 - FL)

Evertee Simmons and Dontell Stephens v. Ric Bradshaw, Palm Beach Sheriff

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

Dontrell Stephens was shot four times by Deputy Sheriff Adams Lin during
an encounter in West Palm Beach, Florida, on September 13, 2013. As a result,
Stephens now suffers from permanent paralysis.
In an action brought against Deputy Lin as an individual and Sheriff Ric
Bradshaw in his official capacity as the sheriff of Palm Beach County, the district
court granted summary jud... More...
   $0 (01-11-2018 - FL)

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA v. ERIC J. HENDRICKSEN

The evidence showed that on the night of 28 July 2014, a masked man armed
with a gun, later identified as defendant, entered the I-40 Supergas gas station and
convenience store in Johnston County, North Carolina. Defendant demanded money
from the clerk behind the counter, Sunny Kapoor. When Mr. Kapoor informed
defendant that the cash register was locked and had to be opened u... More...
   $0 (01-07-2018 - FL)

Kristen Elizabeth Wagner vs State of Florida

On the night of July 26, 2014, Appellant and her husband got into an argument
that turned violent. Appellant had been drinking (she said she had two rum-and
cokes; he said she had as many as five), and the husband claimed that she was the
aggressor. However, the husband admitted that during the argument, he held
Appellant down on the bed, pushed her to the floor, and took her ... More...
   $0 (12-31-2017 - FL)

Sylvester Hooks vs State of Florida

Prior to trial on two counts2 and on violation of probation, Hooks informed
the trial court that he wished to represent himself. The trial court had Hooks read,
initial, and sign a form entitled “Self-Representation Advisory Form/Trial” (“the
form”). The trial court then asked if Hooks read over the form carefully. Hooks
answered in the affirmative. The trial court then proceed... More...
   $0 (12-31-2017 - FL)

William Roberts, II, a/k/a Rick Ross and Andrew Harr v. Stefan Kendal Gordy, Skyler Austen Gorday

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

William L. Roberts II, Andrew Harr, and Jermaine Jackson (collectively “Appellants”), who are artists in the hip-hop industry, appeal the dismissal of their copyright infringement case. On appeal, they argue that their copyright registrations were improperly invalidated under 17 U.S.C. § 411 without a showing of scienter and that they made a proper showing of copyright ownership. Appellees counter... More...   $0 (12-15-2017 - FL)

United States of America v. Alfredo Castaneda-Pozo

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

Alfredo Castaneda-Pozo appeals from his sentence of 63 months’
____________________
Case: 16-16031 Date Filed: 12/19/2017 Page: 1 of 7
2
imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release, along with $429,044.96 in restitution, after he was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, and ten counts of bank fraud, in violation of... More...
   $0 (12-22-2017 - FL)

United States of America v. Jean Oscar, a/ki/a ZB, Hypico Beaulieu, a/k/a Pico, a/k/a Dred

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

Defendant Hypico Beaulieu appeals his six criminal convictions and his sentence, all related to drug trafficking and the illegal possession of firearms. Co-defendant Jean Oscar appeals his two convictions for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm on two different dates. Their appeals present five issues, implicating the lengthy investigation that led to their arrests and their joint c... More...   $0 (12-22-2017 - FL)

James Tracy v. Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees, et al.

Southern District of Florida Courthouse - Miami, Florida

Miami, FL - Jury Finds For Defendants In Free Speech Case

James Tracy sued Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees and others on civil rights violations theories claiming that he was fired in retaliation for blogging that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. He claimed that he was punished for exercising his First Amendment right of free speech.

Tracy was a communications ... More...
   $0 (12-12-2017 - FL)

Michael J. Giles v. State of Florida

Leon County Courthouse - Tallahassee, Florida

Appellant Michael J. Giles challenges the denial of his motion for postconviction relief alleging several grounds of ineffective assistance of trial
2
counsel. The only claim at issue in this appeal is that counsel was ineffective for advising Appellant not to testify, despite the court’s offer to allow him to do so, after the court permitted the State to introduce as rebuttal a recorded i... More...
   $0 (11-21-2017 - FL)

STATE OF FLORIDA vs. RAYMOND MORRISON, JR.

Jacksonville man gets off Death Row after judge finds original lawyer was ineffective

In 1998, Morrison was convicted of “first-degree murder for the January 8,
1997, killing of Albert Dwelle, which occurred during the course of a robbery upon
Dwelle in his apartment in Duval County,” and “armed robbery with a deadly
weapon and burglary of a dwelling with intent to commit a battery, with an assault
or battery on Dwelle.” Morrison v. State, 818 So. 2d 432, 437 (... More...
   $0 (11-18-2017 - FL)

DARRIUS MONTGOMERY v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Darrius Montgomery, seventeen years old at the time he committed his offenses,
was convicted of attempted robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a firearm,
aggravated battery with a firearm, and attempted felony murder with a firearm. On each
count, the jury found that he discharged a firearm resulting in great bodily harm but not
death. Montgomery was later sentence... More...
   $0 (11-13-2017 - FL)

ANTONIO JONES vs STATE OF FLORIDA

Appellant moved to withdraw his plea after sentencing. The trial court ordered an evidentiary hearing on the issue of whether his counsel misadvised him regarding the strength of his case. Nevertheless, the court refused to appoint counsel to represent him at the evidentiary hearing. On appeal from the denial of the motion to withdraw his plea, appellant argues that the failure to appoint couns... More...   $0 (11-13-2017 - FL)

LAWTON COHEN vs STATE OF FLORIDA

Appellant rammed his vehicle through a security gate and entered Port Everglades. A fifteen-minute police chase ensued, during which Appellant ran a red light, drove over sidewalks, crossed over medians, jumped over curbs, and zig-zagged across roads. At one point, Appellant crossed four lanes of traffic, nearly hitting two civilian vehicles. Appellant was eventually forced off the road by poli... More...   $0 (11-13-2017 - FL)

STATE OF FLORIDA V. KEVIN RATLIFF

The State seeks review of a postconviction order declaring unconstitutional two life sentences for the crimes of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder which Kevin Ratliff committed when he was a juvenile. The postconviction court granted relief under Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), and Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010), as interpreted in Atwell v. State, 197 So. 3d 104... More...   $0 (11-12-2017 - FL)

TIPPY MCCULLOUGH v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Tippy McCullough stole a 2013 Cadillac XTS out of a car wash in Manatee
County. McCullough's theft precipitated a high-speed police chase, during which she
struck—and caused the death of—a bicyclist. She now appeals her judgment and
sentences after entering an open plea of no contest to leaving the scene of a crash with
death, fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer caus... More...
   $0 (11-12-2017 - FL)

Michael Frank Burgess v. United States of America

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

Efficiency can be a virtue, particularly for a court. But sometimes we can have too much of even a good thing.1 That’s what happened here. In this case, Petitioner-Appellant Michael Frank Burgess filed a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion challenging his conviction and sentence. Although the government opposed Burgess’s motion on the merits, the district court instead, and of its own volition, invoked a coll... More...   $0 (11-06-2017 - FL)

Technology Training Associates, Inc. v. Buccaneers Limited Partnership

Middle District of Florida Federal Courthouse - Tampa, Florida

In 2013 Cin-Q Automobiles, Inc., filed a complaint on behalf of a putative class, alleging that Buccaneers Limited Partnership was responsible for unsolicited faxes that violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227. (See Below) The two sides litigated that case, which we will call the Cin-Q case, for three years, with Medical & Chiropractic Clinic, Inc., eventually joining as a ... More...   $0 (10-31-2017 - FL)

John Casserly v. The City of Delray Beach

Palm Beach County Courthouse - West Palm Beach, Florida

The plaintiff appeals from the circuit court’s final order granting the City’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice. In the complaint, the plaintiff alleged, in sum, that the City’s negligence in failing to repair or warn against a pothole in the City’s street caused him injuries when he tripped over the pothole while rollerblading in the street. The circuit court reasoned th... More...   $0 (10-02-2017 - FL)

Nam Dang v. Sheriff, Seminole County, Florida

Middle District of Florida Federal Courthouse - Tampa, Florida

Nam Dang’s health deteriorated while he was a pretrial detainee in the John E. Polk Correctional Facility (the “Jail”). Ultimately, Dang was diagnosed with meningitis, which caused him to suffer multiple strokes resulting in permanent injuries. Dang alleges § 1983 liability against several health care providers for providing inadequate medical care while Dang was in Jail and Seminole County Sherif... More...   $0 (10-01-2017 - FL)

Thomas Larsen v. Citibank, FSB

Southern District of Florida Federal Courthouse - Miami, Florida

Plaintiff David Johnson filed a putative class-action suit against Defendant KeyBank National Association in 2010, alleging that KeyBank improperly manipulated the order of debit card transactions in customer accounts in order to maximize collection of overdraft fees. This appeal relates not to the substance of Johnson’s suit but to the enforceability of an arbitration provision contained in the a... More...   $0 (10-01-2017 - FL)

United States of America v. Larry L. Masino and Dixie L. Masino

Eleventh Circuit - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

We must decide whether an indictment that alleges that a business was in violation of the Florida bingo and gambling house statutes, Fla. Stat. §§ 849.01, 849.02, 849.03, 849.0931, sufficiently alleges one of the essential elements needed to obtain a conviction under the federal gambling statute: that the business “is a violation of” state law, 18 U.S.C. § 1955(b)(1)(i). Larry Masino and his ex-wi... More...   $0 (09-07-2017 - FL)

United States of America v. Eddy Wilmer Vail-Bailon

Eleventh Circuit - Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

This appeal requires us to decide whether Florida felony battery is a crime of
violence under the Sentencing Guidelines. Defendant Eddy Wilmer Vail-Bailon
was convicted in 2014 of illegally reentering the United States, in violation of 8
U.S.C. §§ 1326(a) and (b)(1), after having been deported following a conviction
for felony battery under Florida Statute § 784.041. Base... More...
   $0 (08-25-2017 - FL)

Omega Insurance Company v. William Wallace and Joan Wallace

Omega Insurance Company seeks review of a final judgment awarding
William and Joan Wallace just over $200,000 for subsurface remediation in their
sinkhole action. The final judgment was based on a directed verdict entered after the
trial court refused to consider the testimony of Omega's expert engineers and the
- 2 -
neutral evaluator regarding the proper method of subsurface ... More...
   $0 (08-16-2017 - FL)

 
 
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