Friday, July 17, 2009

Government Denied Review by Florida Supreme Court in Collins v Monroe County

Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court denied the governments' petition for discretionary review in Collins, et al v. Monroe County & the State of Florida, 999 So. 2d 709 (2008), rev. denied (Fla. 7/16/2009). The governments' argument -- that Monroe County's Beneficial Use Determination administrative procedure did not trump prior Florida ripeness decisions of the 1st and 4th DCAs -- was without merit. The supreme court saw no conflict between the 3rd DCA's decision in Collins (BUD ripens) and the ripeness decisions in jurisdictions with no BUD (or similar) administrative process.

As Florida's "discretionary review" process is not an "appeal," the 90-day clock for appealing to the United States Supreme Court ran out on May 20, 2009.

The denial of review was rendered only 66 days after the last brief was filed -- which is 26 days quicker that the 92-day average for all review denials in the past 12 months. The result was hardly in doubt. Only 11% of 9,874 petitions for discretionary review were granted by the Florida Supreme Court in the 10 year period 1990-99, and there is no reason to believe anything has changed since the 1990's. If a horse in the Kentucky Derby had an 89% probability of success, a lot of people would bet on it. (Or maybe not, because the payout would be so low.)

As an aside, we note that the supreme court also awarded attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs (landowners).

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