Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

City of Miami v. Miami Lodge #20

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

May 16, 2018

City of Miami, Appellant,
v.
Miami Lodge #20, Fraternal Order of Police, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from the State of Florida Lower Tribunal No. CA-2017-001, Public Employees Relations Commission.

          Victoria Méndez, City Attorney, and Kevin R. Jones, Stephanie K. Panoff, and Forrest L. Andrews, Assistant City Attorneys, for appellant.

          Buschel Gibbons, P.A., and Robert C. Buschel and Eugene G. Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale), for appellee.

          Before ROTHENBERG, C.J., and SALTER and SCALES, JJ.

          ROTHENBERG, C.J.

         The City of Miami (the "City") appeals the corrected final order issued by the Public Employees Relations Commission ("PERC") in favor of Miami Lodge #20, Fraternal Order of Police ("FOP"), which found that the City engaged in an unfair labor practice. We have jurisdiction under Article V, Section 4(b)(2) of the Florida Constitution and section 447.504(1), Florida Statutes (2016). For the reasons that follow, we reverse.

         BACKGROUND

         This cause is again before this Court after a protracted series of reviews of the disciplinary action taken against Larry Hagan ("Hagan"), a now former City of Miami police officer, for workplace misconduct. Although, the facts regarding the alleged misconduct are not relevant to this appeal, the procedural history is.

         On November 12, 2013, Hagan was suspended for 120 hours without pay and notified of his right to either: (1) appeal his suspension to the City of Miami Civil Service Board ("Civil Service Board"); or (2) initiate the grievance procedure outlined in the governing Collective Bargaining Agreement. Hagan elected to appeal to the Civil Service Board. Under this process, the Civil Service Board reviews the evidence and makes a recommendation to the City Manager who may sustain, reverse, or modify the Civil Service Board's findings and/or recommendations. The City Manager's determination may then be appealed to the appellate division of the circuit court, and upon a determination by the circuit court appellate panel, the parties may petition for second-tier certiorari review in this Court. See City of Miami v. Hagan, 235 So.3d 977 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017) ("Hagan I").

         A. Hagan's election to appeal his suspension to the Civil Service Board

         Hagan elected to appeal his suspension, and on November 13, 2013, he filed a request for a hearing with the Civil Service Board. On March 31, 2015, the Civil Service Board found Hagan guilty of most of the charges and recommended upholding Hagan's 120-hour suspension. The Civil Service Board's findings and recommendation were then submitted to the City Manager. On April 17, 2015, the City Manager affirmed the Civil Service Board's factual findings. However, he modified Hagan's discipline from a 120-hour suspension to a termination of employment.

         After obtaining the adverse ruling by the City Manager, Hagan took two inconsistent actions: (1) on April 29, 2015, through the FOP, he filed a grievance under the Collective Bargaining Agreement; and (2) on May 21, 2015, Hagan sought review of the City Manager's determination by the circuit court appellate division. In his petition for certiorari filed in the circuit court appellate division, Hagan argued that: (1) the City Manager abused his power by terminating Hagan, who had already been suspended for the same conduct and after he had already served the suspension; (2) the termination, in effect, resulted in "double jeopardy" because Hagan was being punished twice for the same offense; and (3) the decision to terminate Hagan was made without affording Hagan due process because he allegedly was not put on notice or given an opportunity to be heard. Hagan also specifically asked the circuit court appellate panel to consider certain sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

         On May 31, 2016, the circuit court appellate panel overturned the City Manager's termination of Hagan based upon its conclusions that: (1) the Civil Service Board lacked jurisdiction to hear Hagan's appeal because the Civil Service Board failed to conduct a hearing within thirty days of Hagan's request for a hearing; (2) the City Manager's decision to terminate Hagan without conducting a separate hearing resulted in successive sanctions for the same offense; and (3) the City Manager's termination of Hagan resulted in cumulative and successive punishments for the same offense.

         Thereafter, the City filed a second-tier petition for writ of certiorari in this Court, seeking review of the circuit court appellate panel's opinion reversing the City Manager's termination of Hagan. In his response to the City's petition for second-tier certiorari review, Hagan argued that, although he had chosen to appeal his suspension to the Civil Service Board instead of pursuing the alternative route of selecting arbitration, as authorized by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the City Manager's termination of Hagan was improper.

         On November 13, 2017, this Court granted certiorari review and quashed the circuit court appellate panel opinion, finding that the circuit court appellate panel departed from the essential requirements of law in reversing the City Manager's termination of Hagan. Hagan I, 235 So.3d at 977. In Hagan I, this Court examined the City's Code and the relevant case law, and concluded that it was clear that the City Manager had the authority to terminate Hagan, and that Hagan was on notice of that possibility when he elected to appeal his suspension to the Civil Service Board. Id.

         B. Hagan's Grievance

         After Hagan elected to appeal his suspension to the Civil Service Board on April 17, 2015, the FOP filed a grievance on Hagan's behalf on April 29, 2015, under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. On July 1, 2015, the Director of the Department of Human Resources for the City denied Hagan's grievance based on his prior election of remedies.[1] The FOP sought to arbitrate the grievance ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.