STATE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE OF THE SEVENTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT and SCHOOL BOARD OF BROWARD COUNTY, Appellants,
CABLE NEWS NETWORK, INC., MIAMI HERALD MEDIA COMPANY, SUN-SENTINEL COMPANY, LLC, ABC, INC., THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, THE BRADENTON HERALD, THE FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION, FLORIDA PRESS ASSOCIATION, GANNETT COMPANY, INC., LOS ANGELES TIMES COMMUNICATIONS LLC, THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY, ORLANDO SENTINEL COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY, LLC, BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, and SCOTT ISRAEL, in his official capacity as Broward County Sheriff, Appellees.
Consolidated appeals from the Circuit Court for the
Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Jeffrey R.
Levenson, Judge; L.T. Case No. CACE 18-004429 (09).
Michael J. Satz, State Attorney, and Joel Silvershein,
Assistant State Attorney, Fort Lauderdale, for appellant,
State Attorney's Office of the Seventeenth Judicial
K. Pettis and Debra Potter Klauber of Haliczer, Pettis &
Schwamm, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, for appellant, School Board
of Broward County.
J. McElroy, James J. McGuire, and Jon M. Philipson of Thomas
& LoCicero, PL, Fort Lauderdale, for appellees, Cable
News Network, Inc.; Miami Herald Media Company; and
Sun-Sentinel Company, LLC, ABC, Inc.; The Associated Press;
The Bradenton Herald; the First Amendment Foundation; the
Florida Press Association; Gannett Co., Inc.; Los Angeles
Times Communications LLC; The New York Times Company; and
Orlando Sentinel Communications Company, LLC.
MOTION TO CERTIFY QUESTION OF GREAT PUBLIC
the School Board's motion for certification. Because the
holding in this case is carefully tailored to the specific
facts of this case, the decision does not pass on a legal
issue of great public importance.
motion, the School Board seeks to invoke the Supreme
Court's discretionary jurisdiction. The Supreme Court
"[m]ay review any decision of a district court of appeal
that passes upon a question certified by it to be of great
public importance. . . ." Art. V, § 3(b)(4), Fla.
Const.; see Fla. R. App. P. 9.030(a)(2)(A)(v). The
suggested question submitted by the School Board reads:
When it is determined that a public records request
"relates directly" to a security system, and is
otherwise confidential and exempt from disclosure to the
public under §§ 119.071(3)(a) and 281.301(1),
whether the "good cause" exception to that
exemption requires a showing of more than the public's
need for the information.
issue is not "of great public importance" where the
issue is important only to the parties involved. See
generally Ansin v. Thurston, 101 So.2d 808, 811 (Fla.
1958). Where resolution of the question requires
"consideration of a narrow issue with very unique
facts," the Supreme Court will decline certification
review. Dade Cty. Prop. Appraiser v. Lisboa, 737
So.2d 1078 (Mem.) (Fla. 1999); see also State v.
Sowell, 734 So.2d 421, 422 (Fla. 1999) (finding
jurisdiction improvidently granted where question "deals
with an extremely narrow principle of law, and, as phrased,
does not present an issue of 'great public
importance.'"). In addition, the district courts are
discouraged from asking the Supreme Court to - "in
essence . . . check [their] work." Owens-Corning
Fiberglas Corp. v. Ballard, 749 So.2d 483, 485 n.3 (Fla.
1999) ("Although we accepted review in this case, the
certified question appears to be more of a request for our
approval of the conclusion reached by the court below than an
issue involving great public importance.").
motion seeking certification, the School Board advances the
• The opinion obviates the statutory exemption put in
place to maintain safety and security of public buildings.
• The decision could impact every child attending public
school in Florida (2, 804, 865 in Florida; 269, 610 in
the first argument, this court's opinion did not create
the good cause exception to the security plan exemption. The
Legislature placed the "good cause" exception in
the statute. Our determination affirming the circuit
judge's decision that the parties seeking the records