Monday, March 2, 2009

Gov't Appeals Collins Decision to Florida Supreme Court

For those who are following the New Year's Eve regulatory taking decisions in Collins, et al. v Monroe County, et al., and Shands v. City of Marathon, let it be known that no stone will remain unturned. Friday, the gov't served notice that it was petitioning the Florida supreme court to review the Third DCA's Collins decision under its discretionary jurisdiction to hear whatever it takes an an interest in. These are uphill battles, but the gov't's notice suggests it has located an inconsistency between the Collins decision, and a decision of another District Court of Appeal.

The Monroe County Attorney's office requested permission, in January 2009, to file this petition for discretionary review. But I could not fathom, from its request to the County Commission, what it was relying on for its argument that the Collins decision "conflicts with the decisions of other Florida District Courts of Appeal." Perhaps the field of regulatory taking law is so far from what these gov't lawyers do on a day-to-day basis, they just don't understand the law.

Anyway, the discretionary review process is constrained by time and space limits. The gov't now has 10 days to serve its 10-page "jurisdictional brief." Then, we get 20 days (plus 5 days for mailing) to serve our response. There is no reply brief, and the gov't petitioners are limited to the words in the District Court of Appeal's opinion (no references to the record before the trial court are allowed). This is a tough one for the government.

Meanwhile, there is no automatic stay at this point. If the gov't wants the proceedings below to be stayed, it must get the District Court of Appeal to enter a stay order. Stay tuned. This is far from over.

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