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.