Supreme Court of Florida
Fried v. State of Florida--(J. Polson; FLSC; 1/19/23). This is a quick summary of a case of public importance. Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried and the City of Weston both sued the State of Florida to attempt to prevent the State from punishing local government officials and local governments for violating section 790.33, Fla. Stat. (2021). The new statute preempts local firearm regulations and provides punishment for local government decisions that are more restrictive on firearms than the state statute. The fines can be up to $5,000 for officials and up to $100,000 for local governments. The argument that survived to the appellate level was that enforcement of the penalty against officials would violate legislative immunity, and enforcement against local governments would violate the immunity for discretionary government functions. The trial court agreed with the challengers, but both the First District and the Supreme Court of Florida agreed with the governor and legislature that the fines were permissible and that the two types of immunity did not prohibit enforcement. As with many recent opinions, JUSTICE FRANCIS DID NOT PARTICIPATE, and JUSTICE LABARGA DISSENTED, arguing that courts cannot punish for legislative processes.