Garcia v. Metro-Dade Police Dept., METRO-DADE

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtGERSTEN
Citation16 Fla. L. Weekly 520,576 So.2d 751
Decision Date19 February 1991
Docket NumberNo. 90-1755,METRO-DADE
Parties16 Fla. L. Weekly 520 Luis GARCIA, Appellant, v.POLICE DEPARTMENT, Appellee.

Page 751

576 So.2d 751
16 Fla. L. Weekly 520
Luis GARCIA, Appellant,
v.
METRO-DADE POLICE DEPARTMENT, Appellee.
No. 90-1755.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Third District.
Feb. 19, 1991.
Rehearing Denied April 23, 1991.

Alan R. Soven, Miami, for appellant.

Richard Grande, Miami, and Metro-Dade Police Dept., for appellee.

Before NESBITT, JORGENSON and GERSTEN, JJ.

ON MOTION TO DISMISS APPEAL

GERSTEN, Judge.

Appellant, Luis Garcia, appeals a final order of forfeiture and a final judgment in favor of appellee, Metro-Dade Police Department. We grant appellee's motion to dismiss the appeal.

Appellant was arrested and charged with trafficking in cocaine, but failed to appear for his criminal court trial. At the time of the arrest, $10,000 in currency in appellant's possession was confiscated. Although appellant is a fugitive from justice, the civil action for the forfeiture of the currency proceeded. The trial court ordered the money forfeited. Appellant appealed the forfeiture and appellee filed a motion to dismiss the appeal.

Appellee asserts that this appeal should be dismissed because appellant is a fugitive from justice. Appellant contends that although

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the federal "escape rule" bars fugitives from justice from determining their case in federal courts, the State of Florida has not adopted such a rule.

Florida has adopted such a rule in the much stricter context of criminal defendants' rights. In State v. Gurican, 576 So.2d 709 (Fla.1991) the Florida Supreme Court addressed the question of whether Florida appellate courts should apply the federal escape rule, and dismiss an appeal of an accused who has fled the jurisdiction. Gurican fled the jurisdiction but sought to appeal her conviction. The Supreme Court held:

A fugitive has no right whatever to frustrate the orderly procedures of the courts by voluntarily absenting himself and upon his apprehension complain that his rights were violated when his appeal was dismissed.

Gurican, 576 So.2d at 711 (quoting Bretti v. Wainwright, 225 So.2d 516 (Fla.1969), approved in part, expunged in part, 255 So.2d 266 (Fla.1971)).

In Florida, the federal escape rule clearly applies to appeals from a criminal conviction where the appellant is a fugitive. However, the issue in this case is whether the federal escape rule will be applied to civil forfeiture cases. We hold that it does.

Appellant, on the one hand, wields a sword against our judicial system by escaping criminal...

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3 practice notes
  • Jaffe v. Snow, No. 91-1918
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 13 Noviembre 1992
    ...justice is not entitled to call upon the resources of court for determination of his case." Garcia v. Metro-Dade Police Department, 576 So.2d 751, 752 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991); United States v. One Lot of U.S. Currency Totalling $506,537, 628 F.Supp. 1473, 1475 (S.D.Fla.1986). Stated another......
  • Tejada v. IN RE FORFEITURE OF THE FOLLOWING DESCRIBED PROPERTY …, No. 3D00-3145.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 29 Mayo 2002
    ...from justice" doctrine to civil forfeiture cases when they arise out of criminal charges. In Garcia v. Metro-Dade Police Dep't., 576 So.2d 751, 752 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991), we dismissed an appeal solely because the appellant failed to appear for his criminal court trial and remained a fugit......
  • Kenrick v. Coleman, No. 96-1015
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 18 Septiembre 1996
    ...Kenrick "is not entitled to call upon the resources of court for determination of his case." Garcia v. Metro-Dade Police Dept., 576 So.2d 751, 752 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991); see also Jaffe v. Snow, 610 So.2d 482 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992), rev. denied, 621 So.2d 432 (Fla.1993), cert. denied, 51......
3 cases
  • Jaffe v. Snow, No. 91-1918
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 13 Noviembre 1992
    ...justice is not entitled to call upon the resources of court for determination of his case." Garcia v. Metro-Dade Police Department, 576 So.2d 751, 752 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991); United States v. One Lot of U.S. Currency Totalling $506,537, 628 F.Supp. 1473, 1475 (S.D.Fla.1986). Stated another......
  • Tejada v. IN RE FORFEITURE OF THE FOLLOWING DESCRIBED PROPERTY …, No. 3D00-3145.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 29 Mayo 2002
    ...from justice" doctrine to civil forfeiture cases when they arise out of criminal charges. In Garcia v. Metro-Dade Police Dep't., 576 So.2d 751, 752 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991), we dismissed an appeal solely because the appellant failed to appear for his criminal court trial and remained a fugit......
  • Kenrick v. Coleman, No. 96-1015
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 18 Septiembre 1996
    ...Kenrick "is not entitled to call upon the resources of court for determination of his case." Garcia v. Metro-Dade Police Dept., 576 So.2d 751, 752 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991); see also Jaffe v. Snow, 610 So.2d 482 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992), rev. denied, 621 So.2d 432 (Fla.1993), cert. denied, 51......

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