Fraternal Order of Police, Miami Lodge No. 20, Appellant,
City of Miami, Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Rosa I.
Rodriguez, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 98-7760
Klausner, Kaufman, Jensen & Levinson, and Robert D.
Klausner and Paul A. Daragjati (Plantation), for appellant.
Victoria Méndez, City Attorney, and Kerri L. McNulty,
Assistant City Attorney, for appellee.
ROTHENBERG, C.J., and SALTER and LINDSEY, JJ.
Fraternal Order of Police, etc. ("the FOP") appeals
from the trial court's entry of a final order determining
that the FOP lacks standing to seek damages against the City
of Miami ("the City") on behalf of some of the
FOP's members. Based on our review of the record on
appeal and the relevant case law, we agree with the trial
court's determination that the FOP lacks standing to
pursue damages on behalf of its members because the
determination of damages will require the individual
participation of the affected FOP members.
appeal concerns a promotional exam for the position of police
sergeant administered by the City in 1994. In 1996, the FOP
filed a complaint, and ultimately a second amended complaint,
seeking declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and damages
against the City, alleging that the oral portion of the exam
was unlawful. Following discovery, the trial court entered an
order bifurcating the liability and damages phases of the
litigation. After conducting a bench trial on liability, the
trial court entered a partial final declaratory judgment in
2007 in favor of the FOP, declaring the oral portion of the
the City sought clarification as to the FOP's
associational standing to recover damages on behalf of its
individually affected members. The trial court entered an
order in 2008 finding that, although the FOP may possess
associational standing to seek declaratory, injunctive, or
other prospective relief for its members, it lacks
associational standing to recover damages on behalf of the
members affected by the flawed promotion examination.
Specifically, the trial court found that because the
determination of the damages sought by the FOP will require
extensive and individualized discovery to determine whether
and to what extent each individual member was damaged, the
FOP does not have standing to recover damages on their
years after the trial court entered its order finding that
the FOP lacked standing to pursue damages on behalf of its
affected members, the FOP filed a motion for reconsideration
of that order, but failed to set the motion for a hearing.
Three years later, at the City's prompting, the motion
was heard and denied. The FOP now seeks a reversal of the
trial court's determination that it lacks standing to
seek damages in its representational capacity on behalf of
the determination of whether a plaintiff has standing is a
legal issue subject to de novo appellate review. . . . To the
extent that the trial court's standing determination
involves factual findings, we uphold such findings only if
supported by competent, substantial evidence."
Citibank, N.A. v. Olsak, 208 So.3d 227, 229 (Fla. 3d
DCA 2016) (citations omitted).
outset, we note that this case appears to present an issue of
first impression. Neither of the parties on appeal have cited
to any Florida case that directly addresses whether and in
what circumstances a union has standing to seek damages on
behalf of its members, nor have we found such a case.
However, based on our review of other union standing cases
and related case law in the context of associational
standing, we conclude that a union does not have standing to
seek damages ...