Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Another 1st District Court of Appeal ruling challenged

TALLAHASSEE — Lawyers for a Lakeland firefighter have asked the Florida Supreme Court to step into yet another decision made by the 1st District Court of Appeal in a case heard while the appeals court was building a controversial $50 million courthouse.

Firefighter David Bivens and the city of Lakeland had appealed a lower court decision in 2008. The 1st District Court, in a decision written by Judge Paul Hawkes, refused to approve workers compensation medical benefits for Bivens.

Lakeland was represented by Dennis Ross, a Lakeland lawyer who was a member of the state House of Representatives at the time. Ross has since been elected to the U.S. House.

Ross is the connection between the Bivens case and the much-criticized "Taj Mahal" courthouse.

The appeals court judges named Ross as one of several "heroes" who greatly assisted the court in its lobbying efforts, in part because of his help in getting money for the new courthouse.

Geoffrey Bichler, the Maitland lawyer representing Bivens, contends that the court ignored evidence presented in the case and should have disclosed the relationship between the judges and Ross.

In a petition filed with the Supreme Court last month, Bichler asked that the court overturn the 1st District Court and assign the case to appellate judges from another district.

On Wednesday, the court designated the appeal as one of significant public interest and posted all pleadings on the court's website.

A similar appeal was filed last year on behalf of property owners in St. Joe who say the appeals court failed to disclose relationships between the judges and the St. Joe Co. when it overturned a class action approved by a Gulf County judge.

The Supreme Court rejected that appeal.

Another 1st District Court of Appeal ruling challenged 04/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2011 9:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Man faces charge of abuse after 2-month-old injured

    Crime

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 2-month-old child was taken to All Children's Hospital with multiple skull fractures Saturday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, and a 24-year-old man has been arrested.

    Jacob Brattain, 24, of Zephyrhills is charged with aggravated child abuse and was arrested Sunday. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, a 2-month-old child suffered multiple skull fractures under his care.
  2. Amazon receives 238 proposals from places eager to become its 2nd headquarters

    Business

    NEW YORK — Amazon said Monday that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters.

    Earlier this month, an Amazon employee gives her dog a biscuit as the pair head into a company building, where dogs are welcome, in Seattle. Amazon says it received 238 proposals from cities and regions hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters. 
[AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]
  3. Police may have found the body of a Texas toddler whose dad said he banished her to an alley

    Nation

    Police in Texas say they have "most likely" found the body of Sherin Mathews, the missing 3-year-old girl whose father claims he sent her alone into an alley when she wouldn't drink her milk.

    This undated photo provided by the Richardson Texas Police Department shows 3-year-old Sherin Mathews. Police in a Dallas suburb say they've found the body of a small child, not far from the home of Sherin Mathews, who's been missing since early this month. (Richardson Texas Police Department via AP)
  4. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: What went wrong on defense?

    Bucs

    Greg Auman is back from Buffalo, going back over a difficult finish and tough loss for the Bucs, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Jim McElwain: Florida Gators have received death threats after 3-3 start

    Blogs

    GAINESVILLE - The Florida Gators' 3-3 start is causing some fans to become irrational - even by college football standards.

    UF coach Jim McElwain said there have been death threats made against people related to his program.