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Daily News Summary

The purpose of this summary provided by the Communications Department of The Florida Bar is to present media coverage that may be of interest to members. Opinions expressed in the articles are attributable solely to the authors. The Florida Bar does not adopt or endorse any opinions expressed below. For information on previous articles, please contact the publishing newspaper directly.

August 11, 2022

  1. The Florida Bar

    NEW STUDY EXAMINES THE NATION’S COURTS AND MENTAL ILLNESS

    The Florida Bar | Article | August 11, 2022

    A new study by the Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness, formed by the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Courts Administrators formed three years ago, calls for major changes to the way the nation’s courts treat people with mental illness and substance use disorders. The study includes model legislation and is designed to serve as a road map for the nation’s state policy makers and judges. Among the task force’s 11 findings was that “case flow management practices are not designed to address the behavioral health needs of individuals, and therefore increase recidivism and system costs.” The task force called for, among other things, creating a state-level “interbranch mental health task force and encourage and support local judges and courts in the creation of local or regional mental health task forces.”

  2. Judiciary

    FLORIDA, OTHER STATES TARGET MASK REQUIREMENT

    News Service of Florida | Article | August 10, 2022

    Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and other officials from 23 states filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Monday [Aug. 8], urging the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a Florida federal judge’s ruling that blocked a mask requirement during the Covid-19 pandemic. Tampa-based U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in April struck down a requirement that travelers wear masks in airports and on planes, trains and buses. Moody’s office, taking the lead in the brief, described the mask requirement as “overreach” by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a May 31 brief filed at the Atlanta-based appeals court, U.S. Department of Justice attorneys wrote that the mask requirement “falls easily within the CDC’s statutory authority, which includes measures that ‘directly relate to preventing the interstate spread of disease by identifying, isolating, and destroying the disease itself.’”

  3. Judiciary

    SIDES BATTLE OVER ELECTION LAW ‘SOLICITATION’ RESTRICTIONS

    News Service of Florida | Article | August 10, 2022

    Pointing to the First Amendment, voting-rights organizations Wednesday [Aug. 10] urged the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject part of a controversial Florida elections law that prevents groups from providing food and water to people waiting in line at polling places. In March, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker found parts of the 2021 elections law (SB 90) unconstitutional, including the law’s increased “solicitation” restrictions near polling places, which he said violate speech rights. The state, the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee appealed Judge Walker’s ruling to the Atlanta-based appeals court, which in May issued a stay that will allow the law to be in effect during this year’s elections. But the underlying legal battle continued, with the appeals court scheduled to hear arguments Sept. 15 in Miami.

  4. Judiciary

    RULING AGAINST CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE PUT ON HOLD

    News Service of Florida | Article | August 10, 2022

    The 1st District Court of Appeal on Monday [Aug. 8] approved a request by Republican congressional candidate Jerry Torres for a stay a circuit judge’s ruling that said he was ineligible to run because he did not properly qualify. The stay will remain in effect as the Tallahassee-based appeals court considers whether Torres is eligible to run in Congressional District 14 in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. The appeals court did not explain its reasons for granting the stay, But in a motion filed last week, Torres’ attorneys pointed, in part, to the fast-approaching Aug. 23 primary.

  5. Judiciary

    MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMMISSION SUED OVER SHERIFF ‘POWER GRAB’

    Florida Politics | Article | August 10, 2022

    Just over two months after Miami-Dade Commissioners voted to block a new sheriff from taking over many of the county police department’s existing duties, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) is suing to force the county into compliance. In a complaint filed Wednesday [Aug. 10] with the 11th Judicial Circuit Court, the FSA asserts that the county is in clear breach of a 2018 constitutional amendment that was approved by a supermajority of Florida voters. The amendment requires every Florida county in 2024 to elect a sheriff and four other local officers. Miami-Dade is the only county in the state not to have an elected sheriff. In June, the Miami-Dade Commission voted to allow the existing police force and future sheriff’s office to coexist. Under the policy, the police department would continue to operate under the mayor’s authority in the county’s unincorporated municipal service area (UMSA) and at county-controlled facilities.

  6. Judiciary

    APPEALS COURT OVERTURNS APPROVAL OF FLORIDA TOWNS’ HURRICANE EVACUATION PLANS

    Daily Business Review | Article | August 10, 2022

    A three-judge panel for Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals overturned a decision by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity approving hurricane evacuation plans for the cities of Islamorada and Marathon, finding that the plans violated Florida’s statute requiring a 24-hour hurricane evacuation clearance time for permanent residents. The panel agreed with the appellants, all permanent residents of the Florida Keys, that the department should have denied the comprehensive plan amendments for Islamorada and Marathon due to their improper evacuation model. However, the panel affirmed DEO’s order for Key West, which is considered a “an Area of Critical State Concern” and is not subject to the same statutory guidelines as the cities of Islamorada and Marathon, according to the appeals court’s Aug. 3 opinion.

  7. Civil Justice

    TITUSVILLE SENDS RIGHT TO CLEAN WATER TO BALLOT DESPITE WARNINGS IT COULD BE ILLEGAL

    Florida Today | Article | August 10, 2022

    Titusville City Council voted Tuesday [Aug. 9] to allow the petition-driven “right to clean water” charter amendment to appear on the November ballot, even though the initiative might run afoul of the Clean Waterways Act, signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2020, preventing local governments from protecting the “rights” of nature. The city council is still waiting for a declaratory judgment with the courts to determine whether the language in the referendum is pre-empted by the Florida statute, which would invalidate the ordinance and turn a vote on the issue into a moot point.

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