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Florida First Amendment Law
United States of America v. Martin Alan Schnitzler

Tampa, FL - Florida Man Pleads Guilty To Hate Crime For Threatening To Firebomb Two Mosques And Shoot Worshippers

Martin Alan Schnitzler, 43, pleaded guilty to a hate crime in the Middle District of Florida for calling two mosques located in Pinellas County, Florida, and threatening to firebomb the mosques and shoot their congregants.

Schnitzler pleaded guilty to obstructing pers... More...
   $0 (02-13-2016 - FL)

United States of America v. Jamie Vincent Ward

Gainesville, FL - Jamie Vincent Ward, 38, of Bronson, Florida, was sentenced to 7 years in prison for two charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to documents filed in the case, Ward was previously convicted in Georgia for the felony offenses of Escape, Theft by Taking, First Degree Arson, and Possession of Methamphetamine. Ward was a fugitive from Georgia, h... More...
   $0 (10-27-2015 - FL)

Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, et al v. Governor of the State of Florida, et al

On June 2, 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the Act into law. The
Act created Fla. Stat. § 790.338, entitled “Medical privacy concerning firearms;
prohibitions; penalties; exceptions,” and amended the Florida Patient’s Bill of
Case: 12-14009 Date Filed: 07/28/2015 Page: 5 of 152
Rights and Responsibilities, Fla. Stat. § 381.026, to include several of the... More...
   $0 (08-09-2015 - FL)

Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida

Miami, FL - Eleventh Circuit holds that Florida may prohibit doctors from asking patients about gun ownership

The Governor of the State of Florida, other Florida officials, and members of the Board of Medicine of the Florida Department of Health (collectively, the “State”), appeal from the District Court’s grant of summary judgment and an
injunction in favor of a group of physicia... More...
   $0 (07-29-2015 - FL)

United State of America v. Louis Ruggiero

Louis Ruggiero pleaded guilty to producing child pornography, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a). As a condition of that plea, he reserved the right to appeal
the district court’s denial of his motion to dismiss the indictment. On appeal, he
contends that § 2251(a), both facially and as applied, is unconstitutional under the
Fifth and Sixth Amendments because it does not requi... More...
   $0 (06-30-2015 - FL)

Dale Norman v. State of Florida

The Second Amendment of the Constitution provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” U.S. Const. Amend. II. The Supreme Court has determined that this text confers “an individual right to keep and bear arms.” Dist. of Columbia v. Heller (Heller I), 554 U.S. 570, 577, 595 (2008)... More...   $0 (02-18-2015 - FL)

State of Florida v. William Crumbley

The State appeals an unusual pair of nonfinal orders sealing certain medical records that had been obtained by the State pursuant to a search warrant. The orders effectively deny the State all access to this potential evidence and will prevent its use as evidence in three pending criminal cases. We conclude that this court has jurisdiction to review the orders as orders suppressing evidence obtain... More...   $0 (07-25-2014 - FL)

Michael P. Brannon, Psy.D. v. Howard Finkelstein

Plaintiff Michael P. Brannon filed suit in the district court alleging that defendant Howard Finkelstein reduced and ultimately terminated Brannon’s consulting work as a forensic psychologist for the Broward County Public Defender’s office in retaliation for Brannon’s constitutionally protected testimony about a Florida state court judge. The United States District Court for the Southern Dis... More...   $0 (06-18-2014 - FL)

Irina Chevaldina v. R.K./FL Management, Inc.

Irina Chevaldina appeals an order granting a preliminary injunction1 to “enjoin tortious interference, stalking, trespass and defamatory blogs” entered in favor of Raanan Katz and the other named appellees, plaintiffs in the circuit court.2 We vacate the order and injunction.


Raanan Katz and RK Associates own and manage commercial properties in South Florida. Ms. Cheva... More...
   $0 (02-05-2014 - FL)

Jeff Greene v. Times Publishing Co.

Jeff Greene appeals a final judgment and order dismissing his complaint against Times Publishing Company, Miami Herald Media Company, and three reporters for libel. Concluding that the complaint states a legally sufficient cause of action against each defendant, we reverse and remand the case to the circuit court for further proceedings.

I. Parties

Greene was a candidate for nominati... More...
   $0 (01-15-2014 - FL)

Raquel Pascoal Wiliams v. Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Raquel Pascoal Williams appeals the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The District Court interpreted parts of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to prevent Ms. Pascoal from adjusting her immigration status to become a legal permanent resident. Her appeal raises a novel issue of statutory interpretation: whether the remar... More...   $0 (01-17-2014 - FL)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Carolyn Hiott

Appellant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (Reynolds) appeals a Final Judgment awarding damages to Appellee Carolyn Hiott, Personal Representative of the Estate of Kenneth Hiott (Hiott). Reynolds asserts three grounds of reversible error: 1) the trial court erred in admitting evidence that Reynolds successfully challenged new proposed tobacco warnings in federal court; 2) the trial court erred in den... More...   $730000 (01-03-2014 - FL)

Joe Houston v. Marod Supermarkets, Inc.

Plaintiff-Appellant Joe Houston, who is disabled, sued Defendant-Appellee Marod Supermarkets, Inc. (“Marod”) to compel Marod to bring one of its stores, the Presidente Supermarket, into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The district court determined that Plaintiff Houston lacked standing and dismissed his complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. After r... More...   $0 (11-01-2013 - FL)

City of West Palm Beach, Florida v. Terance Emmanuel Chatman

The issue presented for our review is whether a municipal ordinance criminalizing “loitering with intent to commit prostitution” is facially unconstitutional. We find that the ordinance is overbroad and vague, and as such, we affirm the trial court which correctly found this ordinance unconstitutional.

Appellee was charged with violating the City of West Palm Beach ordinance regarding â... More...
   $0 (05-08-2013 - FL)

Atheists of Florida v. City of Lakewood, Florida

Atheists of Florida and Ellenbeth Wachs, Director of the Lakeland Chapter
of the Atheists of Florida, (collectively “AOF”), appeal from the district court’s
order denying their motion for summary judgment and granting summary
judgment in favor of the City of Lakeland, Florida and its mayor, Gow Fields,
(collectively “Lakeland” or “Lakeland City”) in this action filed ... More...
   $0 (03-26-2013 - FL)

Todd M.J. Schnitt v. Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem

Todd M.J. Schnitt sued Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem on a defamation claim theory seeking damages caused by a "radio war" between the rival talk radio show hosts. Plaintiff claimed that he had been under attack for five years from what he called "Bubba's Army."

Defendant claimed that his actions were examples of free speech under the first amendment. He denied wrongdoing.

... More...
   $0 (01-31-2013 - FL)

Michaelle Vrasic v. Lorne Leibel

The parties to the instant appeal were once romantically involved. Some years after the end of their romantic relationship, Leibel sued Vrasic, alleging that, in the intervening years, she had engaged in a pattern of harassment, i.e., she hacked into his email—sending offensive letters and a naked photograph of him to those on his contact list—and created a website, using his name, to pre-sell... More...   $0 (01-15-2013 - FL)

Miami Children's Hospital Foundation, Inc. v. Estate of Elaine B. Hillman

Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, Inc. (MCHF), appeals a trial court’s order finding Miami Care Foundation, Inc. (Miami Care), to be the intended beneficiary of a pourover trust from the Estate of Elaine B. Hillman. At issue in this case is whether the trial court erred in concluding that there was an ambiguity in the trust document in order to conclude that Miami Care should be the benefi... More...   $0 (10-10-2012 - FL)

Kevin A. Morey v. Everbank and Air Craun, Inc.

As trustee of the Carlton W. Morey, Jr., Revocable Trust, Kevin A. Morey (Trustee), appeals the trial court’s ruling that life insurance proceeds payable to the trust were not, by virtue of the provisions on the subject in the trust instrument, exempt from the claims of creditors of the estate of his brother, Carlton W. Morey, Jr. (decedent), and also appeals the denial of a supplemental petitio... More...   $0 (07-26-2012 - FL)

Jeffrey H. Atwater v. Frederick W. Kortum

This case concerns a statutory regulation affecting public insurance adjusters, who are authorized to assist insureds and thirty-party claimants in the filing and settlement of insurance claims. We have on appeal Kortum v. Sink, 54 So. 3d 1012 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010), in which the First District Court of Appeal declared invalid section 626.854(6), Florida Statutes (2008), a provision regulating solici... More...   $0 (07-05-2012 - FL)

Mathew Rocca v. Irene Boyansky

Mathew Rocca challenges an order admitting a will executed by his grandfather, Sidney Boyansky, on November 16, 2007, into probate and appointing appellees, Irene Boyansky, his widow, and Victor K. Rones, Esq., as personal representatives of his estate. Rocca argues that because he filed a caveat and challenge to the validity of the will prior to the appointment of Irene Boyansky and Victor Rones ... More...   $0 (02-01-2012 - FL)

Curtis Sherrod v. Dr. Arthur Johnson

Curtis Sherrod filed this action against the defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that he was terminated as a teacher and employee of the Palm Beach County School District in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights. At all relevant times, Arthur Johnson was Superintendent of Schools, and Gloria Crutchfield served as Principal of Roosevelt Middle School where Sherrod was ... More...   $0 (01-23-2012 - FL)

Anthony Catron v. City of St. Petersburg

In this Section 1983 case, four homeless plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of two ordinances in the City Code of St. Petersburg, Florida (the “City”) and of the City’s enforcement of the ordinances.

One ordinance, Section 20-30 (or, the “trespass ordinance”), authorizes certain city agents to issue a temporary trespass warning for specific city land -- in effect, an exclu... More...
   $0 (10-05-2011 - FL)

Anthony Catron v. City of Petersburg

In this Section 1983 case, four homeless plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of two ordinances in the City Code of St. Petersburg, Florida (the “City”) and of the City’s enforcement of the ordinances.

One ordinance, Section 20-30 (or, the “trespass ordinance”), authorizes certain city agents to issue a temporary trespass warning for specific city land -- in effect, an exclu... More...
   $0 (09-28-2011 - FL)

Margaret A. Rosenberger v. Wesley Jamison

The underlying controversy in this case is over how the First Baptist Church of Micanopy, Inc., (“Church”) should be governed. The parties have divergent beliefs about church governance, and their disagreement fueled a struggle for control of the Church. Their power struggle ended up in circuit court, where the ousted group sued the Church and its pastors for breach of fiduciary duty. The plai... More...   $0 (09-16-2011 - FL)

Christopher Forrest v. Citi Residential Lending, Inc.

The Appellants, Christopher Forrest and The Forrest Law Group, challenge a nonfinal, temporary injunction, enjoining them "from posting, publishing, disseminating, or maintaining materials from the video depositions" of the individual Appellees "until further order" of the circuit court and directing them to remove the video depositions from YouTube.1 We reject the Appellants' argument that the in... More...   $0 (06-29-2011 - FL)

First Vagabonds Church of God v. City of Orlando, Florida

This appeal presents the question whether a municipal ordinance that limits the number of feedings of large groups that any person or political organization can sponsor in centrally located parks violates the First Amendment. A political organization, Orlando Food Not Bombs, contends that an ordinance that, as applied, restricts the frequency of its feedings of homeless persons in any park within ... More...   $0 (04-12-2011 - FL)

Bankshot Billiards, Inc. v. City of Ocala

In this case, we consider whether a business may sue a municipality under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to recover damages it sustained by cautiously complying with an ordinance that the business claims is unconstitutionally vague under the Fourteenth Amendment. The business does not engage in any constitutionally protected activities under the First Amendment or any other provision of the United States Const... More...   $0 (03-11-2011 - FL)

Eva Locke v. Joyce Shore

The question this appeal presents is whether Florida’s license requirement for interior designers practicing in commercial settings within the state violates the United States Constitution. The district court held that the license requirement is constitutional under each of the provisions Appellants’ relied on to challenge it: the First Amendment, the Dormant Commerce Clause, and the Equal Pro... More...   $0 (03-01-2011 - FL)

Plaintiff B v. Joseph R. Francis

Anonymous Plaintiffs-Appellants J, S, B, and V sued Joseph R. Francis and Mantra Films, Inc., MRA Holdings, LLC, and Aero Falcons, LLC—companies owned or controlled by Francis—for damages stemming from films the Defendants produced in which the Plaintiffs, while under the age of eighteen, exposed their breasts and engaged in sexually explicit acts. The Plaintiffs filed a motion to maintain the... More...   $0 (02-11-2011 - FL)

Peek-A-Boo Lounge of Bradenton, Inc. v. Manatee County, Florida

At issue today is the constitutionality of an ordinance that the Manatee County, Florida Board of County Commissioners (“the Board”) adopted to regulate sexually oriented businesses in Manatee County (“the County”). Peek-a-Boo Lounge of Bradenton, Inc. (“Peek-a-Boo”), an adult dancing establishment in Manatee County, along with two similar establishments, sued 1 the County claiming tha... More...   $0 (01-21-2011 - FL)

Martin Mulhall v. United Here Local 355

Martin Mulhall (“Mulhall”), an employee at the Hollywood Greyhound Track, Inc., d/b/a Mardi Gras Gaming (“Mardi Gras”), appeals from the district court’s dismissal of his complaint against Mardi Gras and UNITE HERE Local 355 (“Unite”), a labor union, for violations of § 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”). Mulhall sued Unite and Mardi Gras to enjoin enforcement of... More...   $0 (09-10-2010 - FL)

Lowell Joseph Kuvin v. City of Coral Gables

Lowell Joseph Kuvin (“Kuvin”) appeals the trial court’s order denying his motion for summary judgment, granting the City of Coral Gables’ (“the City”) motion for summary judgment, and issuing a final declaratory judgment in favor of the City. Upon en banc review, we affirm the trial court’s order upholding sections 8-11 and 8-12 of the City’s zoning code (“Zoning Code”) as a va... More...   $0 (08-25-2010 - FL)

First Vagabonds Church of God v. City of Orlando

This case is about a local government regulating the manner in which some of its parks are used. We decide whether the City of Orlando’s Large Group Feeding Ordinance, as applied to First Vagabonds Church of God and Orlando Food Not Bombs, violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. We also decide whether the ordinance, as applied to First Vagabonds Church of ... More...   $0 (07-07-2010 - FL)

David Dermer v. Miami-Dade County

In May 2007, Plaintiff-Appellee David Dermer sued Defendant-Appellant Miami-Dade County, inter alia, for declaratory and injunctive relief against Ordinance 06-167 (“the Ordinance”) on the ground that it violated his right to free speech under the First Amendment. Miami-Dade now appeals from an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida that partially grante... More...   $0 (03-15-2010 - FL)

Beta Upsilon Chi Upsilon Chapter at the University of Florida v. J. Bernard Machen, in his official capacity as President of the University of Florida

Beta Upsilon Chi a/k/a Brothers Under Christ (“BYX”) is a Christian fraternity. In 2007, the University 1 of Florida (“UF” or “University”) denied BYX official recognition because of its refusal to adhere to UF’s nondiscrimination policy. BYX thereafter brought this action for declaratory and injunctive relief against the University2 claiming that UF, by requiring it to comply with t... More...   $0 (10-27-2009 - FL)

Amnesty International, USA v. Louis Battle, Thomas Cannon

Amnesty International (“Amnesty”) appeals the dismissal of its complaint against police officers Louis Battle and Thomas Cannon brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and alleging violations of its First Amendment rights during a protest rally. The district court found that Battle and Cannon were entitled to qualified immunity. We hold that Amnesty’s complaint properly states a valid claim al... More...   $0 (02-23-2009 - FL)

Florida Family Policy Council v. Thomas B. Freeman

Florida Family Policy Council, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that distributes questionnaires to judicial candidates in order to gather and publish their views on legal and political issues. Florida Family’s attempts to gather judicial candidates’ views, however, have been hampered in part by Canon 3E(1) and 3E(1)(f) of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct. Those provisions address situation... More...   $0 (03-08-2009 - FL)

Donald Maynard v. The Florida Board of Education, acting by and through the University of South Florida

This action arises out of a contract between Donald Maynard and the University of South Florida ("the University") that regulated the terms and conditions of Maynard's participation as a resident in the University's surgical residency program.

The University's decision to terminate Maynard from the program resulted in both state and federal litigation, culminating in the instant appeal.
... More...
   $0 (01-16-2009 - FL)

Cameron Frazier v. John Winn, et al.

This case involves Florida’s Pledge of Allegiance statute, section 1003.44(1), Florida Statutes (“Pledge Statute”), which applies to students at all grade levels from kindergarten to twelfth grade. The statute states, in pertinent part:

The pledge of allegiance to the flag . . . shall be rendered by students. . . . The pledge of allegiance to the flag shall be recited at the beginning... More...
   $0 (07-23-2008 - FL)

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