Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No Decisions Yet in Collins or Shands

It's been 22 weeks since the oral arguments in the regulatory taking lawsuits Collins v Monroe County & the State of Florida (11 plaintiffs), and Shands v the City of Marathon. No "substantial" [my adjective] opinions in civil appeals were released today. Only three civil opinions were released, and they were certiorari decisions -- appeals from non-final orders that are usually decided quickly. The Collins and Shands cases are appeals from final judgments -- which take much longer to decide. For the past three months it has taken 111 days (16 weeks) after oral argument -- on average -- for the 3rd DCA to release "substantial" civil opinions. But 25% of those opinions took from 112 to 519 days.

I think there is a high probability that Chief Judge Gersten is writing the Collins and Shands opinions. Two of the three longest gestation times for opinions released the past three months (385 and 427 days) were opinions signed by Judge Gersten -- Levin v. Lang and CNL Resort Hotel v City of Doral. Compared to the District Court's current 111-day average release time, Judge Gersten's opinions take longer to see daylight. His average release times in the past three years are 129 days after oral argument when affirming, and 169 days when reversing. Today is the 156th day since the oral arguments in Collins and Shands.

We filed two more regulatory taking appeals last month, McCole and Beyer (vs the City of Marathon), and both were dismissed by Judge Audlin on Statute of Limitation grounds. A third will be filed as soon as a Final Judgment is signed by Judge Garcia (Sutton v Monroe County). Judge Garcia's decision is based on the same flawed reasoning that Judge Audlin applied in Collins, Shands, McCole, and Beyer.

For more information on these appeals, click on "Takings Appeals under "Labels" in the left-hand margin. Unless special circumstances exist, the Third DCA releases its decisions on Wednesdays by 10:45 AM. Clicking on the title of this post will take you to the Third DCA's website.

Update: December 10, 2008. No decision today either.

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