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Buhler v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

May 16, 2018

DONALD BUHLER, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Respondent.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          Petition for writ of prohibition to the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County; Samantha Schosberg Feuer, Judge; L.T. Case No. 502016CF007497A.

          Scott Berry of Scott Berry Law, P.A., West Palm Beach, for petitioner.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Richard Valuntas, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for respondent.

          GERBER, C.J.

         The defendant petitions for a writ of prohibition, following the circuit court's order denying the defendant's motion for discharge based on an alleged violation of the speedy trial rule, Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.191. The circuit court reasoned that, following this court's disposition of the state's certiorari challenge to a pretrial evidentiary order, the circuit court had ninety days to bring the defendant to trial under rules 3.191(i)(4) and (m). The defendant argues that the court's ruling to extend speedy trial for ninety days following this court's disposition was erroneous because rule 3.191(m) did not apply. Case law from our supreme court, this court, and our sister courts have rejected such an argument. Therefore, we deny the defendant's petition.

         Procedural History

         On April 26, 2017, the defendant filed and served a demand for speedy trial pursuant to rule 3.191(b) ("(1) Except as otherwise provided by this rule, . . . every person charged with a crime by indictment or information shall have the right to demand a trial within 60 days, by filing with the court a separate pleading entitled 'Demand for Speedy Trial, ' and serving a copy on the prosecuting authority. . . . (4) If the defendant has not been brought to trial within 50 days of the filing of the demand, the defendant shall have the right to the appropriate remedy as set forth in subdivision (p)."). Rule 3.191(b) would have required trial by June 15, 2017, not including the recapture period specified in rule 3.191(p)(3). The court set the defendant's case for trial on June 5, 2017.

         On June 2, 2017, the circuit court entered an order sustaining the defendant's objection to the state's notice of intent to offer evidence under section 90.404(2), Florida Statutes (2016).

         On June 5, 2017, the day set for trial, the state filed its "Motion to Stay Trial Proceedings, Extend Speedy Trial Limits and Continue the Case Pending Final Disposition of the Petition for Writ of Certiorari." In the motion, the state notified the court that the state would be filing a certiorari petition seeking this court's review of the circuit court's June 2 evidentiary order. The state argued it was entitled to an extension of the speedy trial limits under rules 3.191(i)(4) and (m). Rule 3.191(i)(4) provides:

(i) When Time May Be Extended. The periods of time established by this rule may be extended, provided the period of time sought to be extended has not expired at the time the extension was procured. An extension may be procured by:

(4) written or recorded order of the court for a period of reasonable and necessary delay resulting from proceedings including but not limited to an examination and hearing to determine the mental competency or physical ability of the defendant to stand trial, for hearings on pretrial motions, for appeals by the state, for DNA testing ordered on the defendant's behalf upon defendant's motion . . . and for trial of other pending criminal charges against the accused . . . .

(emphasis added). Further, rule 3.191(m) provides:

(m) Effect of Mistrial; Appeal; Order of New Trial. A person who is to be tried again or whose trial has been delayed by an appeal by the state or the defendant shall be brought to trial within 90 days from the date of declaration of a mistrial by the trial court, the date of an order by the trial court granting a new trial, the date of an order by the trial court granting a motion in arrest of judgment, or the date of receipt by the trial court of a mandate, order, or notice of whatever form from a reviewing court that makes possible a new trial for the defendant, whichever is last in time. If a ...

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