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.

Rogers v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Second District

August 14, 2019

STEPHEN CHARLES ROGERS, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Respondent.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

          Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Circuit Court for the Judicial Circuit for Pinellas County; sitting in its appellate capacity.

          Stephen Charles Rogers, pro se.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Christina Z. Pacheco, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Respondent.

          CASANUEVA, JUDGE

         Stephen Rogers has petitioned for a writ of certiorari asking us to quash an order in which the circuit court, sitting in its appellate capacity, dismissed Mr. Rogers' appeal of the denial of his amended motion for postconviction relief. Because the extreme sanction of dismissal is not warranted under the circumstances of this case, we grant the petition and quash the order of dismissal.

         Mr. Rogers filed a pro se notice of appeal with the circuit court on July 11, 2018. No filing fee was required for the appeal, but the circuit court issued an order requiring Mr. Rogers to pay a "preparation fee" totaling $925.30. Mr. Rogers was given ten days to either pay the fee, establish a payment plan, or file for a determination of indigent status. Failure to take such action within ten days, the order warned, would result in dismissal of the appeal.

         The order to pay shows that a copy of the order was sent to Mr. Rogers, but he alleges that he never received a copy. Mr. Rogers did not pay the fee or file for a determination of indigent status, and the circuit court dismissed the appeal on August 23, 2018.[1]

         In reviewing a petition for certiorari challenging an order of a circuit court sitting in its appellate capacity, we are limited to "assessing whether the circuit court afforded procedural due process and observed the essential requirements of the law." Altman v. State, 41 So.3d 1030, 1031 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010) (quoting Gould v. State, 974 So.2d 441, 444 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007)). "A ruling constitutes a departure from the essential requirements of [the] law when it amounts to 'a violation of a clearly established principle of law resulting in a miscarriage of justice.'" Id. (alteration in original) (quoting Gould, 974 So.2d at 445).

         It is well established that the sanction of dismissal is an extreme sanction and "should be employed sparingly and only after repeated violations or contumacious disregard of a court's orders." Id. at 1034 (quoting Krebs v. State, 588 So.2d 38, 38 (Fla. 5th DCA 1991)). It is also well established that Florida's public policy favors resolving cases on their merits. Fla. Wellness & Rehab. Ctr., Inc. v. Mark J. Feldman, P.A., 262 So.3d 234, 237 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018).

Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.410(a) provides:
After 10 days' notice, on its own motion, the court may impose sanctions for any violation of these rules, or for the filing of any proceeding, motion, brief, or other paper that is frivolous or in bad faith. Such sanctions may include reprimand, contempt, striking of briefs or pleadings, dismissal of proceedings, costs, attorneys' fees, or other sanctions.

         While an appellate court clearly possesses the authority to dismiss an appeal as a sanction where appropriate, this extreme sanction should be "reserved for the most ¶agrant violations of the appellate rules." Forehand v. State, 264 So.3d 333, 335 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019) (citing Lindsey v. King, 894 So.2d 1058, 1059 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005)); see also Fla. Wellness & Rehab. Ctr., Inc., 262 So.3d at 237 ("[D]ismissal is an extreme sanction that is reserved for only the most flagrant violations of procedural rules."). "Implicit within the concept is some degree of disrespect for court processes bordering on, if not explicitly constituting, willful noncompliance." I Creatives, Inc. v. Premier Printing Sols., Inc., 163 So.3d 606, 608 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015); compare Rodriguez v. Rodriguez, 640 So.2d 133, 134 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994) (dismissing appeal after husband's "flagrant noncompliance with the trial court's order" where husband willfully refused to pay child support and flagrantly failed to comply with a contempt order requiring that he either pay a purge amount or surrender himself), with Altman, 41 So.3d at 1034-35 (determining that dismissal for failure to timely file initial brief constituted departure from the essential requirements of the law because the failure to comply was not sufficiently egregious to justify dismissal), and Fla. Wellness & Rehab. Ctr., Inc., 262 So.3d at 237 (quashing order of dismissal where petitioner negligently failed to timely pay invoice issued by clerk's office warning of dismissal for failure to pay by deadline).

         Mr. Rogers filed a timely notice of appeal with the circuit court. The circuit court issued an order giving Mr. Rogers ten days to pay a fee of $925.30 for preparation of the appellate record, establish a payment plan, or file for a determination of indigent status. The order, rendered August 10, 2018, warned that failure to take ...


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.