final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower
Tribunal No. 16-4968, Milton Hirsch, Judge.
J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Jeffrey Paul DeSousa,
Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jeffrey R. Geldens, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
ROTHENBERG, C.J., and FERNANDEZ and LUCK, JJ.
Paul ("the defendant") appeals the trial
court's entry of an order denying his motion to dismiss
for lack of jurisdiction, wherein the trial court determined
that jurisdiction was justified based on the effect of the
defendant's conduct in Florida. Because we find that the
State of Florida properly and reasonably exercised
jurisdiction, we affirm.
defendant, a crewmember aboard the Norwegian Pearl, attempted
to commit a sexual battery against a fellow crewmember
("the victim") while the Norwegian Pearl was in
international waters. The defendant is a citizen of Grenada,
and the victim is a citizen of Nicaragua. Neither the
defendant nor the victim are Florida residents. The Norwegian
Pearl flies under the Bahamian flag. Norwegian Cruise Line
Holdings, Ltd., owns the Norwegian Pearl and is a Bermudian
company, but the company's headquarters is in Miami,
Florida. The Norwegian Pearl departed from Miami and returned
to Miami, and nearly all of the revenue passengers embarked
and disembarked in Miami.
the attempted sexual battery was reported, the defendant was
taken into custody by the ship's Captain (master of the
ship) and confined to the brig on the Norwegian Pearl until
the ship returned to Miami. Upon its return to Miami,
Miami-Dade law enforcement was contacted, and Miami-Dade
police subsequently took the defendant into custody. The
State of Florida charged the defendant by information with
battery, attempted sexual battery, and false imprisonment.
defendant filed a motion to dismiss the charges brought by
the State for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The trial
court denied the motion based on its determination that
Florida's exercise of jurisdiction under section
910.006(3)(d), Florida Statutes (2016), was appropriate and
justified based on the effect of the defendant's criminal
conduct in Florida. Thereafter, the defendant pled guilty to
one count of attempted sexual battery without serious
personal injury, reserving his right to appeal the order
denying his motion to dismiss. The defendant's appeal
a court has subject matter jurisdiction is a question of law,
which we review de novo. Mobley v. State, 197 So.3d
572, 574 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016); Nissen v. Cortez
Moreno, 10 So.3d 1110, 1111 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009).
to section 910.006(3)(d), Florida has criminal jurisdiction
over acts taking place on board a ship outside of
Florida's territory where "[t]he act or omission
occurs during a voyage on which over half of the revenue
passengers on board the ship originally embarked and plan to
finally disembark in this state, without regard to
intermediate stopovers." In the instant case, it is
undisputed that over half of the Norwegian Pearl's
revenue passengers embarked from and disembarked in Miami,
Florida. In fact, 2, 885 of the 2, 888 revenue passengers
aboard the ...