Saturday, February 25, 2006

Certiorari Proceedings - Original, Not Appellate

In this opinion in Steinberg v. Becker (not a land use case), the 5th District noted that certiorari proceedings in the district court to review a circuit court action is not appellate in nature, but an original action.

Important or not? In this case, it meant that appellate attorney's fees weren't available.

But what does it mean for precedent? Is a decision made under certiorari jurisdiction not binding on other cases becuase it's an original decision in and under the particular facts of the case? What does it mean for the recent dustup where the 2d DCA held that cert proceedings are taken under R. Civ P. 1.630 instead of R. App P. 9.100 (which I have come to believe was wrong, even if it was the law).

Does it give a circuit court additional powers, once jurisdiction is invoked, to determine the rights of the parties? I would say it does, despite the unfortunate ruling in G.B.V. that the court's power is limited to remanding the action to the quasi-judicial board.

And we're going to find this one out soon: does it mean that if you have the right facts, you can bring a cert action to challenge a local government quasi-judicial decision in federal court if you have concurrent federal claim? I would say it does. And a major dustup over a project in Pasco County in which the local government basically changed the rules midstream to give the County Commission a denovo review over a Planning Board decision instead of an appeal has landed in federal court, with a cert petition and a bunch of federal claims.

But that's probably not how we want local government decisions reviewed. What to do? Pass a statute providing for minimal standards in local quasi-judicial decisions and providing for the constitutionally indicated appeal of those decisions to circuit court.

No comments:

Post a Comment