Glossary of FL CON. LAW.

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Created by toomuch386

LAW FORM - Unconstitutional Statues
1. vague
2. overbroad
3. reasonably related

1. vague - clearly worded so that a person of average intelligence can understand
2. over-broad - prohibits constitutionally protected activities
3. Must be reasonably related to HEALTH, SAFETY, MORALS or WELFARE of the people.

LAW FORM - Single Subject
Every law must have only one subject that is expressed in the title of the act

- TEST is whether there is a natural or logical connection among the sections

LAW FORM - Adequate title
Subject must be briefly expressed in the title
General Laws
apply uniformly throughout the state
LAW FORM - Enacting clause
must use the words
"be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Florida"
General laws of local applicability
Law limited to a geographic area that is established by POPULATION
- applies to an area restricted by minimum or maximum population figures


RELATE to, designate, operate on, KNOWN specific persons/things in specifically indicated part of State.
NOTICE is PUBLISHED in newspaper of gen. circulation in ea. affected county
OR APPROVED by REFERENDUM VOTE of electors of area affected.


Prohibited Laws
Ex Post Facto
Criminalizes previously legal behavior
Prohibited Laws
Retroactively impairing obligations of contracts
Valid only if:
 Serves and important legitimate public interest; and
 It is a reasonable and narrowly tailored means of promoting that interest

Prohibited Laws
Special laws
Special laws cannot be used to grant a privilege to a private corporation
• FC req. statewide uniformity as to certain important subjects & prohibits special laws or gen. laws of local app. w/
respect to:
 Election, jdx or duties of officers
 Assess or collect taxes for state or county purposes
 Rules of EVID.
 Punish for crimes
 Petit juries

Access to the Courts 2
The FC provides courts shall be open to every person for redress of any injury, & justice shall be administered w/out sale, denial or delay. If leg. abolishes a COA, a reasonable alt. MUST be provided UNLESS leg. can show a compelling public necessity or no alternative can be estab. - Kluger

Separation of Powers
(if access to courts issue -> separation of powers issue):
FC provides that the powers of the state gov’t shall be divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. No person belonging to one branch shall exercise any powers appertaining to either of the other branches UNLESS expressly provided herein. Encroachment occurs when one branch of gov’t usurps the function of another branch
FC provides powers of state gov’t shall be divided into legislative, executive & judicial branches.
No person belonging to one branch shall exercise any powers appertaining other branches UNLESS expressly provided herein.
Encroachment occurs when one branch of gov’t usurps function of another.

Strict Scrutiny Test
Applied to laws affecting fundamental rights & protected classes. Strict scrutiny req’s the state to show a compelling state interest
The rat’l relationship test req’s that the PL show that the law is not rationally related to a legitimate state purpose.
Procedural due process req’s
o Procedural due process req’s the state to act fairly when the gov’t is depriving a person of property or liberty. Procedural due process contemplates that a person will be given fair notice and a real opportunity to be heard. Examples include notice, fair trial, etc.
Substantive due process
Concerns fundamental rights.
State must pass strict scrutiny test to interfere w/ fundamental rights contained in US & FL Const. (ex: Right to refuse medical treatment)
Sunshine Law
Every person has a right to access public records and meetings of the state and local gov’t. The legislature may provide exemptions by stating a public necessity justifying the exception so long as the law is no broader than is necessary to accomplish the stated purpose.
FC expressly provides a right of privacy.
Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from Gov’t intrusion into his/her private life. Florida’s privacy right is considered to be MORE protective than the federal right. Think of this w/ regards to Abortion; Right to Refuse Medical Treatment; Right to Raise One’s Children; Identity Theft
FINANCE - General Obligations Bonds
Issued by the state or its subdivisions in order to finance capital projects (land or buildings) for a public purpose. B/c the taxing power of the state is being used; there must be authority to issue the bonds as well as approval by the voters. They are secured by a pledge of the revenue derived from the taxing power of the issuing entity.
FINANCE - Revenue Bonds
Issued for trad. municipal purposes & secured by revenue of project (ex: toll bridges, baseball stadiums, turnpikes).
Any valid public purpose. “Primary public purpose” test - CL: place for recreational activities is a public purpose. Project must be a capital (airport, stadium). Referendum NOT needed for approval. Payable from revenue sources OTHER THAN Ad Valorem Tax. County’s full faith & credit not pledged.
Sovereign Immunity:
FC and statutes permit waiver of sovereign immunity. Statute places a cap on damages at $100,000.
o Step 1: Planning v. Operational? If it’s an operational function, you can sue. If it’s a planning function, the government cannot be sued!
o Step 2: Underlying duty? If gov’t employee operating under ordinance or statute has NO underlying duty to injured party, no suit.

Jdx of FL Courts: established in Article V.
FC vests judicial power in SCt., DCA’s, Circuit & County. NO other courts may be estab.
Except: Leg. ,by gen. law, MAY establish hearings for civil traffic infractions.

5 ways changes to FC may be proposed & placed on ballot for approval by a vote of people
Proposal may be made by: (i) the legislature; (ii) the Const. Revision Commission; (iii) initiative by the people; (iv) Const. Amendment or (v) the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission.
Right to a Trial by Jury:
there is a constitutional right in Florida to trial by jury in criminal and civil proceedings where the right existed for that axn at the time Florida’s first constitution became effective in 1845.
Supremacy Clause restricts overreaching ordinances
It strikes down conflicting local ordinances. The Florida Constitution seeks uniformity of criminal laws throughout the state. This protects Floridians and all others from unknowingly being criminally liable in one place for actions that are permissible elsewhere.
1st AMENDMENT: Content-Neutral Speech Reg - subject to intermediate scrutiny.
Upheld ONLY if Gov’t can show
(i) they advance important interest unrelated to the suppression of speech, and (ii) they do not burden substantially more speech than necessary to further those interest.
(street, sidewalk, & park)
Must be narrowly tailored to achieve an important gov’t interest. Regulations involving NON-public forums MUST have a reasonable relationship to a legitimate regulatory purpose.
FC protects homestead property from levy by creditors of owner.
Also restrains voluntary conveyances of property away from spouse & devise of property away from spouse or minor child.
Natural persons may claim homestead. Homestead must be estab. before levy of judgment creditor.

Local Government -
Charter Counties (CC)
Chartered Counties - a written grant a creating a county & defining its rights & privileges
 Chartering a county broadens local government power
(CC) have all powers not inconsistent w/ general law or with special law approved by vote of electors
(CC) may enact any ordinance not inconsistent with general law
• Exception Dade (CC) supersedes special law

Local Government
Non-Charter Counties
Non-chartered Counties - county is not created through a written grant
 May enact ordinances only as provided by general or special law
Local government
County + municipality consolidation
Municipalities - a city or town with a local government and corporate status
 Performs traditional function to protect the health, welfare, safety and
morals of their citizens
 Threshold determination of the validity of an ordinance is whether it is
valid for a municipal purpose

State v. County
State laws still preempts conflicting county laws whether the county is chartered or non-chartered
Non-charter County v. Municipality
The municipality prevails over non-chartered counties
o In non-charter counties, a municipality may void a county ordinance within its
boundaries simply by passing its own ordinance that conflicts with the county ordinance

Individual Rights
Rational Basis
Rational Basis review
 Used when the law at issue does not involve a suspect classification or
infringe on a fundamental right
 A statute or ordinance must be rationally related to the legitimate
government interest

Individual Rights
Intermediate Scrutiny
Intermediate Scrutiny
 Invoked for quasi-suspect groups such as age or gender
 The ordinance must be substantially related to the achievement of
important government interest

Individual Rights
Strict Scrutiny
Strict Scrutiny
 When a statute or ordinance infringes on fundamental rights of adults, the law must pass the most exacting standard of review.
The ordinance or law must be necessary
to promote a compelling
governmental interest
and must be narrowly tailored to advance that interest

Individual Rights
Fundamental Rights
Strict scrutiny applies
 Strict scrutiny requires the state to show that the law is necessary (or
the least restrictive means) to achieve a compelling state interest
 The Florida Constitution expressly provides a right to privacy
• Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from
government intrusion into his/her private life.
• Other fundamental rights include the right to work, freedom of
religion, freedom of speech and press, freedom of assembly, right to raise
children, etc.
• Florida's privacy right is considered to be more protective than the federal right

Except for ad valorem taxes, municipalities may not tax except as authorized by
general law
• Ad valorem tax is a property tax by the county, municipality and/or school
district on real estate or personal property
 Must be taxed at a uniform rate within the taxing unit
 Property is assessed at just valuation or fair market value at the
property's highest and best use for the immediate future
• Except for agricultural and noncommercial recreational land,
which may be assessed according to character of use

The Florida Constitution limits the state's right to tax
 Only local governments may levy ad valorem taxes on real estate or
tangible personal property
• Millage cap is 10 mills ($1 per $1,000 of value).
 The state may levy an ad valorem tax on intangible property that cannot
exceed 2 mills
 Estate tax is limited to an amount not in excess of the amount allowed
to be credited or deducted from federal estate taxes or the taxes of another

Local Exemptions
Municipally owned property
• Unless the property is leased to a profit-making venture
• For purposes of furthering economic development

Homestead exemption
• For the first $25,000 of the value of a person's
permanent residence
• May grant additional $50,000 to persons older
than 65 with income less than $20,000
- Renewable energy source devices
- Histories properties based on character or use of property;
- Florida veterans over 65 with combat-related disability

New Business Exemptions
New business and expansion of business (improvements)
• Limited to improvements to the new business' real
property and tangible property
• The county may not exempt from taxation the
entire value of the land
• The economic development tax exemption is subject to
approval by referendum

o The legislature, via statute, delegates to executive agencies the right to make
administrative rules.
o The delegating statute must contain specific guidelines
o Unauthorized delegation of legislative power occurs when the legislature delegates the
power to make law or fundamental policy decisions

Administrative agencies
An administrative agency cannot act like a court, i.e., levy penalties or
send to jail (unless authority is delegated) but they can give quantifiable

• A person must have a concrete stake in the outcome of the case
• There must be redressability
 A decision in the litigant's favor must be capable of eliminating her


o Occurs when one branch of the government usurps the function of another branch
• Legislative encroachment upon the judiciary
 E.g., when the Legislature passes statutes which change judicial
procedural rules

• Judiciary encroachment upon the legislature or executive branch
• Executive encroachment on the judiciary or legislative branch

 Administrative agency can't act like a court (unless authority is delegated) but can give quantifiable damages
 FC expressly provides for certain commissions,
departments of veterans affairs, and elderly affairs, and up to 25 other
executive departments
• Circuit & county judges arent authorized to designate
anyone as an employee to executive branch (magistrates)

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