BREAKING And this is big. You should sit down for this. Now steady yourself for some really really big news.
That new Florida Grand Theft Statute that raises the threshold for a felony to $750 bucks? Well the 5th DCA has said it is...steady now...RETROACTIVE! 45 FLW D2088.
And if the defendant has not been sentenced the case MUST be transferred to County Court. The circuit court has no...zero...zip...nada...jurisdiction. You can stick out your tongue at your favourite circuit judge and tell them there is nothing they can do with the case. Enjoy. (h/t to Judge De La O who sent a memo to inter alia FACDL, who shared it with us. Apparently Judge De La O is the one person in Miami who reads the FLWs).
Query- doesn't jurisdiction flow downward? Can't a misdemeanor be handled in circuit court? We always thought so, but we have always been in the minority. And if we are wrong does that mean possession of an undersized Snook cannot be attached to a murder indictment if the crimes are related?
LETS PICK SIX
Lots of email and putative comments that Jury trials are back in October and everyone needs to get their trial suits on.
Just hold on a second before pulling out those juror seating charts.
There are a lot of moving parts here. We have to enter phase two and that means that the virus numbers need to continue to fall. Do you have any faith that the good and responsible citizens of Miami Dade County are not going to be reckless this weekend? Judging by the pictures sent to us of covidiot mask-less groups of people at parks, beaches, golf courses, bocce courts, and social gathering spots, we have no faith these numbers will fall.
Even if we do enter phase two there are a lot of issues to resolve. Masks in court or not? Will jurors come? Who pays for the hand wash and does the building need to be cleared if someone on Six sneezes?
This we know- there are no good options for getting around. Elevators are out. And for our money so are enclosed stairwells with a bunch of out of shape lawyers huffing and puffing out covid infected aerosols as they walk from two to four. And unless we have escalator monitors, no one wants to be crowded on those and if we do have escalator monitors then there will be lines and no one wants those.
So we are not running out to Hart Schaffner & Marx or Barneys to buy some new trial suits just yet.
What we do know is that Judges are working and planning for the day when they can turn to their bailiff and confidently say "bring me a panel".
Personally we believe that should not be until there is either a vaccine or a ten minute test, or preferably both.
To dispel the rumors that seem to be arising from meetings taking place:
1- there is no rocket docket; 2- no orders demanding judges try a certain number of cases a week have been or will ever be issued. After all, we are not Broward.
There are planning sessions and meetings that have been and will continue to take place.
And that is how it should be. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
And with that we bid you adieu and wish you a safe and socially distant holiday weekend. A few drinks? Sure! In a Bar? Surely not.