Brooks v. Anastasia Mosquito Control Dist.

Decision Date03 January 1963
Docket NumberNo. D-326,D-326
Citation148 So.2d 64
PartiesThomas L. BROOKS, Fred T. Woolverton, Sr., William Barnes and Ben A. Parks, Appellants, v. ANASTASIA MOSQUITO CONTROL DISTRICT, a Public Corporation, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Ragland, Kurz, Toole & Martin, Jacksonville, for appellant.

Willard Howatt, St. Augustine, for appellee.

Carlton Maddox and Bjarne Anderson, Jr., Jacksonville, amici curiae.

RAWLS, Judge.

Plaintiff-appellants, freeholders of Precinct No. 2 (Ponte Vedra Beach), St. Johns County, filed their complaint against the defendant-appellee, Anastasia Mosquito Control District, seeking the construction of F.S. § 388.211, F.S.A., relative to the procedure for elimination of the geographical area of said precinct from the boundaries of the district. The chancellor dismissed the complaint with leave to amend. Appellants elected not to amend and brought this appeal.

Chapter 388, Florida Statutes, provides for the procedure to be followed in establishing a mosquito control district and for the changing of its boundaries. Appellants by their complaint alleged that a district was established by election which included their precinct, even though the electorate in Precinct No. 2 voted against the proposal; in September of 1961, more than 15% of the freeholders petitioned the Mosquito Control District Commissioners requesting that body to file a petition with the County Commissioners to call an election in accordance with the provisions of said Chapter; and the District Commissioners refused said request. Significantly the complaint failed to allege abuse of discretion on the part of the District Commissioners.

Appellants took the position that Chapter 388 as a whole does not vest any discretion in the District Commissioners, and that it was their mandatory duty to file the freeholder' petition with the Board of County Commissioners. The crux of this appeal involves the construction of the particular provisions of Chapter 388 pertaining to the forming of districts and changing of boundaries.

Section 388.211 is entitled 'Change in District Boundaries' and reads as follows:

'The board of commissioners of any district may, for and on behalf of said district or the owners of real estate within or without said district, file a petition with the board of county commissioners in each county having land within said district, requesting it to call an election of the qualified electors of the territory affected to determine whether or not the boundaries of the district shall be extended to include lands described in the petition, or ask that certain lands be eliminated therefrom, or that the boundary lines of the district be changed in any manner. When such a petition is filed, the board of county commissioners shall conduct an investigation and call an election as provided for in this chapter for the creation of districts. If the result of election favors the change in boundary, the board of county commissioners shall amend its order creating the district to include the change in boundary.'

Appellants contend that the word 'may' as used in this section must be construed to mean 'shall' inasmuch as the Board of County Commissioners are exclusively vested with any and all discretion in the matter. We do not agree. In statutory...

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25 cases
  • DeSisto College, Inc. v. Town of Howey-In-The-Hills
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Florida
    • January 23, 1989 omission from the statute, a court may not in the process of construction supply the omission. See Brooks v. Anastasia Mosquito Control Dist., 148 So.2d 64, 66 (Fla. 1st DCA 1963). The final principle of statutory construction applicable to this case requires a court 1) to presume that t......
  • Public Health Trust of Dade County v. Lopez
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • June 9, 1988
    ...provision, or supply an omission that was not in the minds of the people when the law was enacted. See Brooks v. Anastasia Mosquito Control Dist., 148 So.2d 64, 66 (Fla. 1st DCA 1963). The legislature, and in this case, the people who adopted the amendment, must be held to have intended wha......
  • Rinker Materials Corp. v. City of North Miami
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • December 6, 1973
    ...the plain and ordinary meaning of the words employed by the legislative body (here the City Council). Brooks v. Anastasia Mosquito Control District, 148 So.2d 64 (Fla.App.1st 1963). In Maryland Casualty Co. v. Sutherland, 125 Fla. 282, 169 So. 679 (1936), dealing with judicial construction ......
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Florida
    • September 8, 1995
    ...words where the legislature excludes things by omission. DeSisto College, 706 F.Supp. at 1495 (citing Brooks v. Anastasia Mosquito Control Dist., 148 So.2d 64, 66 (Fla. 1st DCA 1963)). Adhering to these rules of statutory construction, this Court must assume that the legislature intended to......
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1 books & journal articles
  • The unclear scope of unconscionability in FDUTPA.
    • United States
    • Florida Bar Journal Vol. 74 No. 7, July 2000
    • July 1, 2000
    ...decisions indicate that "may" denotes a permissive rather than a mandatory meaning. Brooks v. Anastasia Mosquito Control District, 148 So. 2d 64, 66 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 1963); accord, Dept. of Health and Rehabilitative Services v. Johnson, 504 So. 2d 423,425 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1987). The use of ......

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