final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Gilchrist County. Monica J.
L. Case of Stovash, Case & Tingley, P.A., Orlando;
Stephen K. Miller of Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller, P.A.,
Gainesville, for Appellant.
Lindsey B. Lander, Trenton, for Appellee.
Sharrit, Michael S., Associate Judge.
aftermath of the infamous Parkland shooting, the legislature
enacted section 790.401, Florida Statutes (2018), (otherwise
known as "The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Public Safety Act, " Chapter 2018-3, Laws of Florida).
The recently enacted "red flag" statute requires
courts to proactively remove firearms from individuals (upon
petitions filed by law enforcement agencies) who pose a
significant danger to themselves or others.
case of first impression, the Gilchrist County Sheriff's
Office, believing one of its own deputies, Appellant,
Jefferson Davis had become a danger, filed a petition with
the trial court, seeking a risk protection order (RPO) and
removal of his firearms. Upon reviewing the petition, the
Court below issued a temporary ex parte RPO and, in
accordance with the statute's protocol, scheduled an
a hearing and a determination that Appellant had expressed
homicidal ideation and an overt desire to shoot a fellow
officer, the trial court issued the amended RPO now under
raises three issues on appeal. First, he argues the trial
court misapplied the statute and asserts there was
insufficient evidence to support the RPO. Second, he asserts
the trial court deprived him of due process, and third, he
contends the statute is unconstitutional. We address each
issue separately below.
statute provides in pertinent part:
Upon notice and a hearing on the matter, if the court finds
by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a
significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or
herself or others by having in his or her custody or control,
or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or any
ammunition, the court must issue a risk protection order for
a period that it deems appropriate, up to and including but
not exceeding 12 months.
§ 790.401(3)(b), Fla. Stat.
events underlying the RPO and factual findings made by the
trial court may be summarized as follows:
Appellant and his long-time girlfriend were both employed as
Gilchrist County Sheriff's Officers. Suspicious of
infidelity and an ongoing affair with another officer, the
Appellant, while off-duty, confronted his girlfriend at her
assigned duty station. The Appellant became belligerent,
exhibited a hostile demeanor and threatened a
bystander-fellow officer who attempted to intervene. He
punched and damaged a solid wood door and a filing cabinet,
and inexplicably fell to the floor. In a moment of apparent
reflection, the Appellant reached out to his supervisor (the
Gilchrist County Sheriff) via text message, requested his
help and warned that "something bad was going to
happen." Thereafter, in a private meeting, the Appellant
told the Sheriff he wanted to kill his girlfriend's
paramour. He stated he "want[ed] to shoot him in the
face, eat his food, and wait for [law enforcement] to pick me
up.'' Upon further inquiry, Appellant told the
Sheriff he would utilize his police issued gun located in his
car. Shortly ...