KENNETH R. MCCORMICK,Petitioner,
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
Petition for Writ of Certiorari Review of Decision from the
Circuit Court for St. Johns County, Acting in its Appellate
Kenneth R. McCormick, St. Augustine, pro se.
Salfity, New Palestine, IN., pro se. 
Kenneth R. McCormick, appearing pro se, seeks second-tier
certiorari review of a final order entered by the circuit
court in its appellate capacity summarily affirming a county
court final judgment for damages entered against him and in
favor of Respondent, Makram Salfity. Based upon our limited scope of
second-tier certiorari review, we deny the petition.
case began in county court, where Respondent sued Petitioner
in negligence for water damage to his condominium unit caused
by the failure of a hot water heater in Petitioner's
unit, which is situated directly above Respondent's. A
bench trial was held, and the county court judge found the
evidence "virtually undisputed" that the damage to
Respondent's unit was caused by flooding from
Petitioner's water heater. The court then analyzed the
trial evidence under "negligence principles" and
entered final judgment in favor of Respondent in the sum of
appealed the judgment to the circuit court. In its final
order summarily affirming the final judgment without
elaboration, the circuit court indicated that it had reviewed
and considered the parties' briefs, as well as the record
on appeal, which included the county court's approved
statement of the evidence. Petitioner timely filed a notice appealing
the circuit court's order, which this court treated as a
petition for writ of certiorari.
conducting a 'second-tier' [certiorari] review a
district court of appeal must determine whether the circuit
court afforded procedural due process and whether it applied
the correct law." State Farm Fla. Ins. Co. v.
Unlimited Restoration Specialists, Inc., 84 So. 3d 390,
393 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012) (citing Broward Cty. v. G.B.V.
Int'l, Ltd., 787 So. 2d 838, 843 (Fla. 2001)). In
this case, the circuit court clearly provided procedural due
process. Our focus is thus confined to whether the circuit
court applied the correct law, which is synonymous with
"observing the essential requirements of law,"
Haines City Cmty. Dev. v. Heggs, 658 So. 2d
523, 530 (Fla. 1995) (citing Manatee Cty. v.
Kuehnel, 542 So. 2d 1356, 1358 (Fla. 2d DCA 1989)), with
its summary affirmance. Accordingly, second-tier certiorari
relief is appropriate here only if the circuit court's
final order "departed from the essential requirements of
law," which would necessitate our finding that its
decision "violated a clearly established principle of
law resulting in a miscarriage of justice."
Stamitoles v. State, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D891, D892
(Fla. 1st DCA Apr. 5, 2019) (quoting Custer Med. Ctr. v.
United Auto. Ins. Co., 62 So. 3d 1086');">62 So. 3d 1086, 1092 (Fla. 2010);
Balzer v. Ryan, 263 So. 3d 189, 190 (Fla. 1st DCA
se Petitioner's filings in our court indicate that he is
treating the present proceeding as an opportunity to reargue
legal errors allegedly committed by the lower courts, as well
as the insufficiency of the trial evidence. However,
"[s]econd-tier certiorari is not a second appeal; it is
extraordinarily limited, and narrow in scope." State
Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Pembroke Pines MRI, Inc.,
171 So. 3d 814, 816 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) (quoting Advanced
Chiropractic & Rehab. Ctr. Corp. v. United Auto Ins.
Co., 103 So. 3d 866, 868 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012)). For
example, mere legal error in a county court's decision
does not itself justify second-tier certiorari relief.
Stamitoles, 44 Fla. L. Weekly at D892 (citing
State Farm Auto Ins. Co. v. CC Chiropractic, LLC,
245 So. 3d 755, 758–59 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) (recognizing
that even if the county court's decision contained legal
errors, "the circuit court's per curiam affirmance
was not a violation of a clearly established principle of law
resulting in a miscarriage of justice so as to permit our
review by second-tier certiorari")). Additionally, a
district court in its second-tier certiorari review capacity
cannot second-guess the circuit court as to whether the
county court's decision was supported by competent
substantial evidence. Cf. Bencivenga v. Osceola
Cty., 140 So. 3d 1035, 1036 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).
these principles, we deny the amended petition for
second-tier certiorari review. Petitioner has not shown that
the circuit court's summary affirmance of the county
court's final judgment violated a clearly established
principle of law resulting in a miscarriage of justice.
See Custer, 62 So. 3d at 1092.
PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI DENIED.