Wednesday, September 14, 2011

3d DCA Watch -- I Hate Dicta.



Dicta is like judicial gossip -- interesting sometimes but legally irrelevant and prone to subsequent misunderstandings, mistaken assumptions, and outright misinterpretations -- just like a good Three's Company episode!

Did you know...Oscar-nominated actress Sally Kirkland appeared in the 1977 episode "Jack Looks for a Job", shocking audiences by revealing more skin than had ever been seen on a prime time television sitcom at the time. 

I did not know that!

Anyways, someone dropped a big chunk of chocolate dicta into the coffee-swillers' brew this week in our patented 3d DCA Watch -- let's take a look:

Stand Up for Animals v. Monroe County:

A "prejudgment, ex parte injunction freezing the assets" of the defendant before any adjudication on the merits at all?

That's just not cool.

It's also really hard to obtain and the standard is pretty high (but you knew that):
The County’s claims in this case, while sounding in equity, are no more than a claim for damages stemming from a breach of contract: Count I of the complaint seeks a declaration determining whether SUFA charged and collected fees in excess of that allowed by the parties’ contract and, if so, whether the County is entitled to any portion of the excess collected; Count II seeks an accounting to determine whether any fees collected by SUFA should have been paid to the County; and Count III seeks only to freeze SUFA’s bank accounts because “[o]n information and belief,” SUFA had been collecting fees in excess of that allowed and had been either misusing these funds or failing to remit them to the County as alleged in Counts I and II of the complaint. Because the allegations assert no more than a breach of contract compensable by a damage award, no irreparable harm essential to secure injunctive relief freezing SUFA’s bank accounts could be demonstrated.
Eidessen v. Royal Caribbean:

This is a cert review of an order granting a motion to amend to add punis, let's see what the 3d has to say:
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. seeks certiorari review of an order granting Bjoern Eidisson’s motion to amend his complaint to add a claim for punitive damages. While we agree that the evidence adduced and proffered is legally insufficient to support a punitive damages claim, we deny the petition as we are without jurisdiction to address this determination on the merits.
Hmm, Chief Judge Wells -- does the first part of the sentence know what the second part of the sentence is saying?

Because I'm pretty sure you just determined the merits of the punitive damages claim somewhere in there?

Oh hail let's let Judge Ramirez explain what just happened:
I concur with the majority that the petition should be denied. In my view, the trial court followed the procedure required under Globe Newspaper Company v. King, 658 So. 2d 518, 519-20 (Fla. 1995) and Solis v. Calvo, 689 So. 2d 366, 368 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997). We should stop there, without commenting on whether we agree or disagree that the evidence proffered was insufficient to support a claim for punitive damages. That is not the function of a certiorari petition at this stage, and furthermore, it is a comment with which I disagree.
That was perfect, I mean he's so....wait a second -- why didn't you stop after the word "stage" -- didn't you also just pass judgment on the merits?

Forget it, I'm headed back to the Regal Beagle -- don't you think Jack and Janet always belonged together?

10 comments:

  1. I understood Judge Ramirez as saying he disagreed with Judge Wells making the comment on the merits, not that he was also making a judgment on the merits in dicta. But I can see your reading as well SFL.

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  2. I read it the same way as SFL.

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  3. I don't get it: what's the dictum in the first passage?

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  4. Her opinion on the sufficiency of the evidence.

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  5. Thanks for the advisory opinion ya'll.

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