Last Thursday Judge Charles Dodson, after being ordered by the District Court of Appeal, held a two hour hearing and ruled that Scott Maddox was a city resident.
Dr. Erwin Jackson, who filed the original action questioning the residency of City Commissioner Scott Maddox, was dumbfounded by the lack of due process in Dodson’s court room, and on Monday, filed objections with the District Court of Appeal.
The First District Court of Appeal responded late Monday with a two page order that requires Maddox to respond by Tuesday.
The two page order stated that “On or before 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, Appellees (Maddox) shall file their answer briefs, which shall address all points raised in the initial brief” filed by Dr. Jackson.
The First DCA expressed particular interest in Dr. Jackson’s claims about due process.
The First DCA directed Maddox to answer “whether the November 10, 2016, hearing afforded Appellant procedural due process, including, but not limited to, whether Appellant received timely and sufficient notice that the trial court would hold a final evidentiary hearing, whether Appellant was afforded adequate time for preparation, and whether the trial court properly ruled that discovery was not available.”
Dr. Jackson and his lawyer claim they were not notified that the initial hearing would be a final evidentiary hearing. In fact, Dr. Jackson, through his lawyer, notified Judge Dodson’s judicial assistant that they wanted to discuss the dates for discovery and procedures for a hearing at the November 10th meeting.
However, upon arrival Judge Dodson informed Dr. Jackson there would be no discovery and a final evidentiary hearing would be held immediately. About forty minutes later, Judge Dodson ruled Maddox lives in the City of Tallahassee.
When asked about the hearing Dodson held last week, local lawyers expressed disbelief about the procedures and predicted the First DCA would weigh-in on the due process claims.
That prediction has come to fruition.
Also, included in Dr. Jackson’s appeal was a request to disqualify Judge Dodson from the case. In response to the request the First DCA said;
We do not pass upon Appellant’s request that we disqualify Judge Dodson from presiding over further proceedings in this matter, pending Appellant’s filing in the trial court a motion to disqualify that complies with section 38.10 of the Florida Statutes and Rule 2.330 of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration.
This language means the First DCA will rule on the disqualification request when Dr. Jackson files a motion that meets the requirements outlined in Florida statutes.