Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Certiorari Denied Becuase Legal Issue Not Yet Settled by Florida Courts

In Citizens Prop. Ins. Co. v. Bertot (3D08-2952 & 3D08-2467), the Third District denied the petition for certiorari because the legal issue is not yet settled. In this case, the issue was recently certified to the Florida Supreme Court by the Eleventh Circuit [here] and, therefore, the legal issues are clearly not settled. The court held:

"In order to obtain a writ of certiorari, Citizens must demonstrate that, among other things, the trial court departed from the essential requirements of the law. See Gov’t Employees Ins. Co. v. Rodriguez, 960 So. 2d 794 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007). In this case, the “essential requirements of the law” are in vigorous flux, with divergent conclusions reached by diligent and experienced federal judges after extensive briefing and analysis of Florida law. Indeed, the U.S. circuit court of appeals for this circuit has engaged in the judicial equivalent of "your guess is as good as mine" in certifying the questions to our Supreme Court. Against that backdrop, we cannot conclude that the trial court’s denial of the motion to dismiss was a departure from a settled legal principle.

We therefore deny Citizens’ petition, but we do so without prejudice to the right of Citizens to pursue these legal theories to the extent appropriate following the Florida Supreme Court’s determination of the certified questions. We will also reconsider the issue in a new and updated petition by Citizens in the unlikely event that the Supreme Court of Florida declines jurisdiction or does not answer the certified questions of Chalfonte, 2009 WL 580775, at *7."


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