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Burnett v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Management Co., Inc.

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

June 6, 2018

Shane Burnett, Petitioner,
v.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Management Company, Inc., Wyndham Worldwide Operations, Inc., J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc., Office Depot, Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Respondents.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          Cases of Original Jurisdiction - Mandamus. Lower Tribunal Nos. 17-340, 17-287, 17-232, 17-385, 15-14478, 16-2542, 15-14370, 16-4929

          Shane Burnett, in proper person.

          Corvo & Calas, and Cristina Fernandez; Foley & Lardner LLP, and Brandon Williams, for respondents Starwood Hotels & Resort Management Company, Inc., and Wyndham Worldwide Operations, Inc.; Resnick & Louis, P.C., and Robert Squire, for respondent J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc.; Wicker, Smith, O'Hara, McCoy & Ford, P.A., and Brandon J. Hechtman, for respondent Office Depot, Inc.; Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., and Reginald Clyne, for respondent Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

          Before LAGOA, LOGUE, and LINDSEY, JJ.

          LINDSEY, JUDGE

         In these consolidated petitions, Shane Burnett seeks writs of mandamus from this Court compelling the Appellate Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit (the "Appellate Division") to exercise jurisdiction over, or transfer to the appropriate court, petitions for writs of mandamus arising in four cases that originated in the Civil Division of Miami-Dade County Court. For the reasons set forth below, we dismiss in part, grant in part, and deny in part.

         Mr. Burnett filed the following four cases in Miami-Dade County Court: (i). Burnett v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Management Co., No. 15-14478-SP-25, alleging false policies, procedures, practices and impractical monitoring; (ii). Burnett v. J.C. Penny Corp., No. 16-2542-SP-25, alleging false return policies, procedures, practices and impractical monitoring; (iii). Burnett v. Office Depot, Inc., No. 15-14370-SP-25; and, (iv). Burnett v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 16-4929-SP-25, alleging unfair acts or practices, procedures and false refund policies.[1]

         First, this Court has previously entered orders disposing of the petitions filed in the Office Depot and J.C. Penny cases. See Burnett v. Office Depot, Inc., No. 3D17-1305 (Fla. 3d DCA June 20, 2017) (order transferring cause to the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit for Miami-Dade County, Florida); Burnett v. J.C. Penney Corp., No. 3D17-1988 (Fla. 3d DCA Nov. 14, 2017), reh'g denied, (Dec. 22, 2017) (order denying petition for certiorari). Thus, the instant petitions filed in both of those cases are dismissed.

         Turning to the two remaining petitions, the Appellate Division entered an order in the Wal-Mart case striking Mr. Burnett's petition pursuant to Administrative Order 82-22. In the Starwood case, the Appellate Division entered an order transferring Mr. Burnett's case to the Circuit Civil Division on the grounds that the Appellate Division lacked jurisdiction. Mr. Burnett seeks orders from this Court compelling the Appellate Division to either exercise jurisdiction over his petitions or, in the alternative, transfer them to the appropriate division of the court. In support of this position, he argues Administrative Order 82-22 is invalid because it limits judicial discretion, is inconsistent with Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.040(b), and was not promulgated by the Florida Supreme Court.

         The Appellate Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County was established in 1982 pursuant to Local Rule R-3-1, "Establishment and Defining Jurisdiction of the Appellate Division of the Circuit Court." Local Rule R-3-1 was approved by the Florida Supreme Court on December 14, 1982 and assigned to the Appellate Division responsibility for the disposition of appeals from Miami-Dade County Courts, petitions for writs of certiorari seeking review of decisions of "any public body, city or county commission or council, administrative board or agency, or the County Court." Local Rule R-3-1 further provided that cases in the Appellate Division would be heard by panels of three judges randomly selected.

         A week later, on December 21, 1981, Administrative Order 82-22 was promulgated as approved by the Florida Supreme Court. It requires writs of prohibition, mandamus and habeas corpus to be filed as original actions in the respective Circuit Court Division corresponding to the type of action from which it arose:

WHEREAS the Supreme Court of Florida has approved an amendment to the Local Rule for the Appellate Division of the Circuit Court concerning jurisdiction of said Division, and
WHEREAS said amendment has removed from the jurisdiction of the Appellate Division those petitions for Writs of Prohibition and Mandamus directed to the County Court or judges thereof, or to any public body or agency; and ...

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