The First District Court of Appeal (DCA) responded quickly to the appeal by Dr. Erwin Jackson of decisions recently made by circuit court Judge Charles Dodson.
This how the First DCA order on this appeal impacts the case moving forward.
First, the DCA denied an effort by Dr. Jackson to default City Commissioner Scott Maddox for his failure to file a proper response to the original claim by Dr.Jackson. The First DCA argued that Jackson failed to show material harm that could not be corrected on appeal.
Second, the First DCA, in a 2-1 vote, denied Dr. Jackson’s motion to disqualify Judge Dodson. The court argued that Dr. Jackson’s appeal was not timely filed. The DCA order stated:
While we find that Jackson’s November 15 motion for disqualification of the trial judge was legally sufficient, and was timely as to the conduct of the November 10 hearing, Jackson thereafter failed to take appropriate and timely steps to seek our review of the order denying disqualification and to prevent the trial judge from taking further action pending such appellate review.
And finally, the First DCA ruled that Maddox shall not take the oath of office pending a final judgment in the case. In addition, the court instructed Judge Dodson on how to move forward in the case. The DCA order stated:
for the sake of judicial economy we suggest that the parties make an evidentiary record of Maddox’s residency on all potentially applicable dates so that the issue can be resolved with finality in a single plenary appeal. We direct the trial court to determine the controlling legal definition of “residency,” refine the outstanding requests for discovery and set a discovery schedule, and, barring any extraordinary circumstances, to enter a final judgment by December 6, 2016.
This means the First DCA has ordered a hearing on Maddox’s residency on all the dates that have been raised (August 30th, September 6th, November 21st) and Dr. Jackson will get discovery relating to those issues.
Also, the order indicates the First DCA will be the final arbitrator of the issues at hand with an anticipated resolution by the next City Commission meeting, which is December 14th, 2016.
I’m confused as to why the qualification date in June is not mentioned as the definitive date for the residency requirement.
Tallahassee City Charter Sec. 7-5. – Candidates for nomination to office of mayor or city commissioner; eligibility, petition or filing fee requirement, oath.
(a) Any person who is a resident of the city and is a qualified elector therein may become a candidate for nomination to the office of mayor or city commissioner for the city by taking and subscribing to an oath or affirmation in substantially the following form and filing the same as provided by state law.
The Charter requires a candidate to be a resident of the City in order to become a candidate for City Commissioner.
Supervisor of Elections
Tallahassee City Commissioner: Candidate must reside in city at time of qualifying.
QUALIFYING DATES Noon, June 20 – Noon, June 24, 2016
In order to become a candidate, a person must file paperwork including a sworn oath with the Supervisor of Elections Office to “qualify” in June. If a candidate does not qualify, their name does not appear on the ballot.
So…Maddox swore under oath that he resided in the City in June, 2016 so that his name would appear on the Ballot.
Mr. Hougland, that’s too much like right. If we use the actual charter and election rules as they stand, how can we muddy the water? This whole fiasco is a prime example of what is wrong in local politics…meanwhile, taxpayers suffer.
You go five days between updates and all you write is something I already read in the local fishwrapper a few days ago but you label it exclusive? not impressed.
Unfortunately the court put a time limit on my discovery but failed to require Scott to provide evidence needed to prove his residency lies in a timely manner!