Constitution Revision Commission Update – February 2, 2018

February 2, 2018

After a couple of full weeks of committee meetings, the Legislative Committee has some updates to report on the CRC, one of which is of particular note. Proposal 81, which sought to make all meetings of the judicial branch open to the public and subject to public records law, was unanimously voted down in committee this week. The Section had submitted a white paper on that proposal, pointing out the potential havoc it could wreak in appellate courts in particular. See below for additional updates. You can also check the status of proposals, get information about the process, or view upcoming agendas at this website: https://flcrc.gov/. And feel free to contact me at cbrewer@mills-appeals.com if you are aware of any Public Proposals the Section should monitor.

No. Substance/potential effect on appellate issues Provisions affected or created Status as of 1/22/18
6 Requires a state court or an administrative law judge to interpret a state statute or rule de novo in litigation between an administrative agency and a private party and not merely defer to the agency’s interpretation Art. V, § 21 Passed Judicial Committee on 11/2/17; on 2/2/18 agenda for Executive Committee
28 Requires clerks of circuit courts store, maintain, transmit, and make records available to courts in accordance with standards and requirements established by supreme court; also deals with funding for trial court communications services Art. V, § 16(b) Passed Judicial Committee on 1/19/18; on 2/2/18 agenda for Local Government Committee
40 Creates new right to counsel for children in dependency proceedings who have been removed from the custody of their parents or guardians due to abuse or neglect Art. I Voted unfavorable by Declaration of Rights Committee on 1/25/18 by 2-5 vote; “laid on Table”
41 Increases judicial retirement age to 75 and removes provision that permits appellate jurist to complete a term if one half has been served upon reaching retirement age; effective date 7/1/19 Art. V, § 8 Passed Judicial Committee on 11/10/17; Passed Ethics and Elections Committee on 1/12/18; on 2nd reading
42 Amends composition of JNCs to require 3 members appointed by Board of Governors, 3 members by Governor, and 3 members selected by a majority vote of the other 6 members; limits terms of JNC members to 4 years with no consecutive reappointment; establishes diversity goal for JNCs Art. V, § 11 Passed Judicial Committee on 1/12/18; on 2/2/18 agenda for Executive Committee
47 Amends requirements for service as judge of any court to require 10 years of Florida Bar membership Art. V, § 8 Passed Judicial Committee on 11/28/17; passed Executive Committee on 1/19/18; on 2nd reading
81 Amends provision for access to public records and meetings to expressly include all meetings of “the judicial branch, including meetings between judges and justices” at which official acts are to be taken or at which public business is to be transacted and discussed Art. I, § 24; Art. III, § 4 Voted unfavorable by Declaration of Rights Committee on 1/31/18 by 0-7 vote; “laid on Table”
96 Creates additional rights for crime victims and requires that “[a]ll state-level appeals and collateral attacks on any judgment must be complete within two years from the date of appeal in non-capital cases and five years in capital cases” Art. I, § 16 Passed Declaration of Rights Committee on 1/19/18; currently on second reading

Courtney Brewer

Courtney Brewer

Courtney Brewer is a shareholder in The Mills Firm in Tallahassee. She has served as Legislative Chair for the Section since 2016.