Justia Florida Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Education Law
Citizens for Strong Schools, Inc. v. State Board of Education
The Supreme Court approved the result reached by the First District Court of Appeal affirming the trial court’s rejection of Petitioners’ challenge to the State’s K-12 public education system based on the State’s alleged failure to comply with Fla. Const. art. IX, 1(a), holding that Coalition for Adequacy & Fairness in School Funding, Inc. v. Chiles (Coalition), 680 So. 2d 400 (Fla. 1996) defeated Petitioners’ claim.In their complaint, Petitioners sought a declaration that the State was breaching its duty to make adequate provision for an “efficient” and “high quality” system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education. Petitioners requested that the courts order the State to establish a remedial plan including studies to determine what resources are necessary to provide a high quality education to Florida students. The trial court rejected Petitioners’ challenge, and the court of appeal affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that because Petitioners failed to present any manageable standard by which to avoid judicial intrusion into the powers of the other branches of government, the court of appeal properly affirmed the trial court’s rejection of Petitioners’ blanket challenge to the adequacy of the funding of the entire K-12 education system. View "Citizens for Strong Schools, Inc. v. State Board of Education" on Justia Law
Plancher v. UCF Athletics Ass’n, Inc.
After Ereck Plancher, a University of Central Florida (UCF) football player, collapsed and died during football practice conditioning drills, Ereck’s parents (the Planchers) filed a negligence action against UCF and UCF Athletic’s Association, Inc. (UCFAA). A jury found UCFAA, the statutorily authorized direct-support organization responsible for administering UCF’s athletics department, liable and awarded the Planchers $10 million in damages. The Court of Appeal reversed, concluding that UCFAA was entitled to limited sovereign immunity. The Planchers appealed, arguing that UCF did not have sufficient control over UCFAA’s day-to-day operations to entitle UCFAA to limited sovereign immunity. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that UCFAA was entitled to limited sovereign immunity under Fla. Stat. 768.28 because it primarily acts as an instrumentality of the state. Remanded for entry of a judgment corresponding to the jury’s award of damages but limiting UCFAA’s liability to $200,000. View "Plancher v. UCF Athletics Ass’n, Inc." on Justia Law
Limones v. Sch. Dist. of Lee County
Fifteen-year-old Abel Limones suddenly collapsed during a high school soccer game from a previously undetected underlying heart condition. Twenty-six minutes after Abel’s initial collapse, emergency responders revived him. Abel survived but suffered a severe brain injury due to a lack of oxygen over the time delay involved. Abel’s parents (Petitioners) filed this action against the School Board of Lee County (Respondent) alleging that Respondent breached both a common law and a statutory duty when it failed to apply an automated external defibrillator on Abel after his collapse. The trial court granted summary judgment for Respondent. The Second District Court of Appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court quashed the decision below and remanded for trial, holding that Respondent owed a common law duty to supervise Abel, and once Abel was injured, Respondent owed a duty to take reasonable measures and come to his aid to prevent aggravation of his injury. View "Limones v. Sch. Dist. of Lee County" on Justia Law
Fla. Virtual Sch. v. K12, Inc.
The Florida Virtual School sued K12, Inc. and K12, Florida, LLC (collectively, K12) for trademark infringement. K12 asserted that the Florida Virtual School had no standing because the authority to file an action with regard to the trademarks at issue was vested exclusively in the Florida Department of State. The district court dismissed the case for lack of standing. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit certified a question to the Supreme Court for determination under Florida law. The Supreme Court answered that the Florida Virtual School’s statutory authority to acquire, enjoy, use, and dispose of trademarks, and the designation of its board of trustees as a body corporate with the powers of a body corporate and the authority for the proper operation and improvement of the School, necessarily included the authority to file an action to protect those trademarks. View "Fla. Virtual Sch. v. K12, Inc." on Justia Law
Graham v. Haridopolos
In 2007, the Legislature passed several statutes and included a provision in the 2007-2008 General Appropriations Act that exerted control over the setting of and appropriating for the expenditure of tuition and fees for the Florida university system. Petitioners challenged these statutes as unconstitutional, contending that the 2002 constitutional amendment creating the Board of Governors transferred the authority over tuition and fees to the Board, thus divesting the Legislature of any power over these funds. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Legislature, and the court of appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the challenged statutes by which the Legislature exercised control over the funds was facially constitutional, as (1) the constitutional source of the Legislature's control over the setting of and appropriating for the expenditure of tuition and fees derives from its power under Fla. Const. art. VII, 1(c) and (d) to raise revenue and appropriate for the expenditure of state funds; and (2) the language of the 2002 amendment is devoid of any indication of an intent to transfer this power to the Board. View "Graham v. Haridopolos" on Justia Law