Petition for writ of certiorari to the Circuit Court for the
Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Susan L.
Alspector, Judge; L.T. Case No. 18-001533CF10A.
Finkelstein, Public Defender, and Lisa S. Lawlor, Assistant
Public Defender, Fort Lauderdale, for petitioner.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Rachael Kaiman,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for respondent.
defendant in a pending criminal case petitions for certiorari
review of an order that grants the States request to have
Defendants third competency evaluation video-recorded. As no
departure from the essential requirements of law is shown, we
deny the petition.
Defendant was arrested and charged with armed burglary of a
dwelling, felony battery (prior conviction), and possession
of cannabis. His attorney filed a motion to appoint experts
to evaluate Defendants competence to stand trial. The first
two court-appointed experts reached differing conclusions:
one opined that Defendant was incompetent, while the second
believed Defendant was malingering. The trial court announced
it would appoint a third expert to conduct an evaluation. The
State subsequently filed a written motion seeking
the courts permission to have the evaluation video-recorded.
Defendant objected and, as discussed below, the trial court
granted the States request that the evaluation be
video-recorded. In so doing, the court noted that the
statutes, rules, and caselaw governing competency evaluations
do not preclude video-recording.
filed two written objections to the trial court order. The
State filed a response. The trial court then heard legal
arguments at a non-evidentiary hearing. The court noted that
Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.210(b) allows attorneys
for the State and the defendant to be present during any
court-ordered competency examinations. It rejected
Defendants objection to the video-recording, concluding that
allowing video-recording was not materially different from
the States lawyer being present during the evaluation.
third competency evaluation of Defendant has been stayed
pending our ...