Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Breaking News- Third District Court of Appeal REVERSES the trial court order striking the Citizen's Initiative regarding private school expansion

Congratulations to our Village Attorney Dexter Lehtinen for a significant victory for Palmetto Bay before the Third District Court of Appeal in the appellate case, No. 3D16-1201, Lower Tribunal No. 15-24018, Village of Palmetto Bay, Florida, Appellant, vs. Alexander School, Inc., Appellee.

As I requested, Palmetto Bay defended the Village Charter.  (This is a duty of your Mayor and Village Council).

The Third District Court of Appeal released its opinion today, Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - finding in FAVOR of Palmetto Bay and reversing a trial court Summary Judgment striking the citizen Initiative Charter provision requiring a 75% vote of surrounding electors prior to a private school expansion. Note that this does NOT end the litigation - it is not the final ruling.  The Summary Judgment is reversed and the matter is remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings.

CLICK HERE - to view the full 7 page opinion posted online with the Third District Court of Appeal.

This is good news for the Village and establishes Attorney Lehtinen's reputation as a outstanding legal advocate for the Village of Palmetto Bay.  Palmetto Bay has been represented by Dexter W. Lehtinen and Claudio Riedi of Lehtinen Schultz Riedi Catalano de la Fuente, PLLC.

From the appellate order:  The Village of Palmetto Bay (the “Village”) appeals a final summary judgment entered in favor of Alexander Schools, Inc. (“Alexander School”) finding Section 10.1 of the Village’s Charter to be unconstitutional. We reverse the trial court’s ruling. We find Section 10.1 is not arbitrary or ambiguous and the record shows that Alexander School failed to meet the high burden required to show that the ordinance is unconstitutional.

It is far too early to determine what the next step will be, if any, from the Alexander Schools, Inc. 

I would expect a motion for rehearing, then, if unsuccessful, further proceedings before the trial court upon remand of this claim. There is no guaranteed time line for resolution of a motion for rehearing.

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