TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The City of Tallahassee will appeal the First District Court of Appeals’ decision on Marsy’s Law.
The appeals court previously ruled that Marsy’s Law applies to police officers, allowing their identities to remain secret in officer-involved shootings.
The City of Tallahassee has released a statement on its intent to ask for a review from the Florida Supreme Court on the First DCA’s Marsy’s Law decision.
The statement from City Attorney Cassandra Jackson reads as follows:
“The City of Tallahassee intends to seek review before the Florida Supreme Court of the First District Court of Appeal’s April 6, 2021, decision finding that police officers, while performing their public duties, are to be afforded the protections of Marsy’s Law. This case is one of great public importance to the State of Florida in its appellate level interpretation of Article 1, Section 16 of the Florida Constitution (Marsy’s Law). With respect for the Court’s opinion and appreciation of the difficult work performed by police officers every day, the decision has far-reaching implications related to public transparency and is deserving of final review by Florida’s highest court.”
The City has until Thursday, May 6, 2021, to officially apply for the appeal.
From there, both sides have 10 days to submit their notice to invoke jurisdiction, or why the case should or should not be heard in the Supreme Court.
Then, the Florida Supreme Court can decide if they want to hear it or not. If the Supreme Court says no, the process ends and the DCA ruling stands. There’s no timeline for the Supreme Court to make that decision. It can take months for the Supreme Court to decide if they want to take the case or not.
It is likely the decision would be known mid to late summer. From there, it’s another six months to a year for the Supreme Court to hear it.
Criminal defense attorney Don Pumphrey says this case is important statewide.
“If it goes to the supreme court, then that’s a big deal,” said Pumphrey.
He says what happens in this case, will set precedent for how the law is used moving forward. It’s a case people throughout the state are watching.
“We live in the Sunshine state, we govern under the sunshine. But I also understand there are issues if you release an officers name,” he said.
The City of Tallahassee argues that under the Sunshine law and in an effort to be more transparent, Marsy’s Law should not apply to law enforcement.
The Big Bend Police Benevolent Association says those identities should be protected for the safety of the officers and their families.
If another District Court of Appeals rules differently from the First District, the Supreme Court could still come back at a later date to decide on Marsy’s Law interpretation. That’s even if it makes a ruling in this case.