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 Escambia County. Jan
Thomas, Public Defender, Barbara J. Busharis, Assistant
Public Defender, and Kasey Lacey, Assistant Public Defender,
Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Damaris E. Reynolds, Assistant
Attorney General, and Jennifer J. Moore, Assistant Attorney
General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Roberts and Winokur, JJ., concur.
Bilbrey, J., specially concurs with opinion.
Bilbrey, J., specially concurring.
challenges the judgment and sentence following his no contest
plea to trafficking in cocaine and lesser drug charges. I
agree that we are correct to affirm because we cannot reach
the issue of whether the trial court committed error in
refusing to unseal the affidavit in support of the search
warrant which led to the discovery of the drugs. See
Fla. R. App. P. 9.140(b)(2)(A) (listing the limited
situations where a defendant can appeal following a guilty or
no contest plea). I write in hope of providing guidance to
trial courts regarding the sealing of affidavits in support
of search warrants and to defendants when confronted with a
trial court's refusal to unseal an affidavit.
search warrant was issued on December 21, 2017, to allow the
Escambia County Sheriff's Office (ECSO) to search a
residence. The search warrant was based on an
affidavit that purportedly established probable cause for the
search. See Art. I, § 12, Fla. Const.;
§§ 933.02, 933.04, & 933.18, Fla. Stat. (2017).
The search warrant directed that the affidavit was to be
sealed and held in the custody of the ECSO. Upon execution of
the warrant, Appellant was discovered in the residence along
with cocaine and various other evidence of drug trafficking.
Appellant was arrested and charged with the offenses that led
to his plea.
through counsel, filed a notice of discovery. See
Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.220(a). As part of its obligation in
response to the notice, the State should have disclosed and
allowed Appellant to copy "any documents relating"
to "any search or seizure." Fla. R. Crim. P.
3.200(b)(1)(I). This obligation includes disclosing the
documents supporting the issuance of the search warrant.
State v. Wooten, 260 So.3d 1060, 1066 (Fla. 4th DCA
2018) (holding that the application for issuance of a search
warrant must be provided to a defendant as part of
the State provided discovery exhibits that did not include
the affidavit, Appellant moved to unseal the affidavit filed
in support of the warrant. Appellant's motion alleged the
"State's entire case is based upon the execution of
the search warrant" and it was necessary to view the
affidavit to determine whether it supported probable cause
for the warrant.
written response, the State opposed unsealing the affidavit
and cited civil cases where third-parties were required to
overcome a presumption that the records were properly sealed.
See, e.g., Scott v. Nelson,697 So.2d 207 (Fla. 1st
DCA 1997); Russell v. Miami Herald Pub. Co., 570
So.2d 979 (Fla. 2d DCA 1990). The State further wrote that the
affidavit "is related to an on-going investigation with
law enforcement that ...