Charlemagne ,Charles The Great, Charles I, laid the foundation for the thrones of England and Germany. He is a historical figure of some renown, and his name leads our first 3rd DCA roundup of the year in.....
Charlemagne v. State. which stands for the unfortunate legal position that a 10-20-life- min man must be consecutive to any other min man. Ouch.
At the same time, we find the trial court
had a mandatory obligation under section 775.087(2)(d) of the Florida Statutes
(2014), to impose the minimum mandatory sentences consecutively in this case. See, Morgan v. State, 137 So. 3d 1075 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014) (stating that section
775.087(2) requires “any mandatory minimum term required by section
775.087(2)―whether the defendant fires a gun or only carries or displays it―shall
be imposed consecutively to any other term imposed for any other felony
State v. Oliu. (This is the case we screwed up by misidentifying the judge involved for which we have apologized. )
This was before the 3rd on a writ of prohibition. The defendant in the case is/was a Sweetwater police officer (Motto: "the department that once employed a serial killer.") *
The Judge in the case was once in private practice and represented the defendant in an un-related case. This simplifies the trial judge's involvement with the defendant and the entire Sweetwater police department. Suffice to say, the trial judge was intimately involved with the problems of this officer, and the entire Sweetwater PD.
The State filed a motion to disqualify. Seem like a no-brainer. But alas, timing is everything in life and as we all know (well, most of us know this, but not the prosecution in this case) Florida Rule of Judicial Administration (AKA The Rules No One Reads) 2.330 requires that a motion to disqualify be filed within a reasonable time "not to exceed ten days" after discovery of the facts supporting the grounds for the motion. Disclosures about the Judge were made in July. The state got around to filing the motion in September. Bureaucracy in "action" or "inaction" as it were.
WRIT OF PROHIBITION DENIED.
In an subtle nudge to the trial judge, which requires the discerning reader to carefully peruse the opinion several times before seeing the true artistry of legal opinion writing, the 3rd noted that there was nothing...absolutely nothing that prevented the trial judge from sua sponte (literally "after eating spumoni ice cream" ) disqualifying himself.
Yes, without violating the biblical prohibitions against Onanism, a trial judge can engage in self reflection and grant a motion to disqualify without being asked; i.e., he can do it all by himself, and as the 3rd points out sometimes that's the safest way.
Note the artistry in how this is phrased:
"Although we have denied the petition, we note that rule 2.330(i)
permits a judge to enter an order of disqualification on his own initiative. Fla. R.
Jud. Adm. 2.330(i) (“Judge’s Initiative. Nothing in this rule limits the judge’s
authority to enter an order of disqualification on the judge’s own initiative.”)
The only thing the 3rd DCA left out was "hint hint" but then, they are professional legal writers, and we are a merely a hack.
* Manuel Pardo was a Sweetwater officer and a serial killer and was executed for his crimes in 2012. He was prosecuted, as we recall, by the late ASA David Waksman.
See You In Court.
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