Jenise M. ORTIZ, Appellant,
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Orange County, Keith F.
Wesley, Public Defender, and David L. Redfearn, Assistant
Public Defender, Orlando, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Kristen L.
Davenport, Assistant Attorney General, Daytona Beach, for
Jenise M. Ortiz, appeals the postconviction courts denial of
her "Successive Motion for Postconviction Relief: to
Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence on Count Two"
filed pursuant to Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.850
and 3.800(a). She argues that the thirty-year sentence
without provision for periodic judicial review she received
as a juvenile when she pled guilty to first-degree arson in
2000, is illegal due to the Eighth Amendments prohibition
against cruel and unusual punishment. She also claims that
it is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause to deny
periodic judicial review of her thirty-year sentence prior to
its completion as would be compelled for more serious crimes
by sections 775.082, 921.1401, and 921.1402, Florida Statutes
(2017). The postconviction courts denial was based upon an
issue not raised by Appellant and its erroneous conclusion
that Appellant was barred, by the doctrine of collateral
estoppel, from litigating the issues she did raise. We
reverse for the postconviction court to entertain Appellants
motion on its merits.
relies upon Kelsey v. State, 206 So.3d 5 (Fla.
2016), substantively to establish her claim and procedurally
to justify filing the motion after the normal two-year
deadline, asserting that her motion was filed in accordance
with rule 3.850(b)(2) within two years of the Kelsey
decision, which constituted the pronouncement of a new
fundamental constitutional right, which applies
retroactively. Essentially, Appellant argues that
Kelsey expands upon Miller v. Alabama, 567
U.S. 460, 479-80, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), and
Henry v. State, 175 So.3d 675, 679-80 (Fla. 2015),
to provide a basis for holding that juveniles who are serving
lengthy— although not life-long— prison sentences
are entitled by the Eighth Amendment to periodic judicial
review to determine whether they can demonstrate sufficient
maturation and rehabilitation so as to be entitled to release
prior to completion of their original sentences.
State v. Purdy, 252 So.3d 723, 726-27 (Fla. 2018),
the Florida Supreme Court acknowledged that Floridas
post-Miller juvenile statutory sentencing scheme
provides periodic judicial review only for defined homicide
offenses and nonhomicide offenses punishable by life, with no
review mechanism provided for lower-level offenses. That
potential for disparate treatment seems to be the basis of
Appellants Equal Protection claim. As Purdy focused
on a certified question regarding statutory interpretation,
it did not resolve the Eighth Amendment or Equal Protection
issues raised by Appellant in her motion. Id. at
725. We express no opinion on the merits or resolution of
those issues at this time to allow the postconviction court
to consider them on remand.
previously filed other postconviction motions, but none
raised the issues she argues in her current motion. The
doctrine of collateral estoppel only precludes a defendant
from relitigating the "same issues between the same
parties in connection with a different cause of action."
Topps v. State, 865 So.2d 1253, 1255 (Fla. 2004)
(citing Clean Water, Inc. v. Dept of Envtl. Reg.,
402 So.2d 456, 458 (Fla. 1st DCA 1981)). This Court has
stated the following:
For the doctrine of collateral estoppel to apply to bar
relitigation of an issue, five elements must be present:
"(1) an identical issue must have been presented in the
prior proceedings; (2) the issue must have been a critical
and necessary part of the prior determination; (3) there must
have been a full and fair opportunity to litigate that issue;
(4) the parties in the two proceedings must be identical; and
(5) the issues must have been actually litigated."
Cook v. State, 921 So.2d 631, 634 (Fla. 2d DCA
2005). Whether collateral estoppel precludes litigation of an
issue is reviewed de novo.
Criner v. State, 138 So.3d 557, 558 (Fla. 5th DCA
Applying the de novo standard of review, only one
element— number four— is satisfied in determining
whether collateral estoppel applies because, given the nature
of the underlying criminal case, Appellant and the State are
the same parties. As for the other elements of collateral
estoppel, Appellants prior challenges predate the genesis of
juvenile sentencing reform. As only one element out of the
five required elements is met, we ...