L.J.M. v. State, No. 88-3044

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtZEHMER
Citation541 So.2d 1321,14 Fla. L. Weekly 944
Docket NumberNo. 88-3044
Decision Date14 April 1989
Parties14 Fla. L. Weekly 944 L.J.M., A Child, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.

Page 1321

541 So.2d 1321
14 Fla. L. Weekly 944
L.J.M., A Child, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
No. 88-3044.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
First District.
April 14, 1989.

Michael E. Allen, Public Defender, and Nancy L. Showalter, Asst. Public Defender, Tallahassee, for appellant.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen., and Bradley R. Bischoff, Asst. Atty. Gen., Tallahassee, for appellee.

ZEHMER, Judge.

This appeal requires us to consider whether appellant's utterance of certain vulgar words to a police officer amounts to protected speech under the first amendment of the United States Constitution so

Page 1322

as to void the finding that appellant was guilty of disorderly conduct in violation of section 877.03, Florida Statutes (1987). 1 Concluding there is no error in the finding of guilt, we affirm.

The offense occurred under the following circumstances, viewing the evidence most favorably for the state. Officers Goldrich and Blackburn of the Tallahassee Police Department were standing at the side of the street talking to a group of people when appellant approached and addressed certain remarks to officer Goldrich concerning his arrest of appellant the night before. Appellant's statements were said to be loud and rude, and "everybody was watching him as he yelled at Officer Goldrich." Officer Goldrich tried to ignore the remarks, saying "We'll see you in court." Then appellant shouted in a loud voice to officer Goldrich, "Man, you pussy-assed mother fucker." At that point, officer Goldrich placed appellant under arrest and charged him with disorderly conduct under section 877.03. The circuit court held appellant's words and conduct constituted a violation of that statute. Appellant was also found guilty of felony petit theft as a result of his arrest the night before this incident. He was declared a juvenile delinquent and was committed to the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services for the imposition of punishment.

Appellant contends that the trial court erred in finding that his words amounted to a violation of the subject statute because they were neither fighting words nor false words likely to cause harm to others. He argues that his words, by the manner of their use, did not invade the rights of others to pursue their lawful activities and that the officer's testimony that appellant's words were "most disruptive" does not meet the burden established by law. We do not agree with this argument.

In State v....

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10 practice notes
  • Morris v. State, No. 1D99-4286.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 29 d2 Maio d2 2001
    ...court is one of many which have recognized the concept of a verbal act in the context of a criminal proscription. E.g., L.J.M. v. State, 541 So.2d 1321 (Fla. 1st DCA), review denied, 549 So.2d 1014 789 So.2d 1034 (Fla.1989). There is no question but that the appellant understood that he was......
  • Gold v. City of Miami, No. 95-4996
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • 7 d2 Abril d2 1998
    ...statute to speech critical of the police, citing instead only a single case to support its position, the decision in L.J.M. v. State, 541 So.2d 1321 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989). As explained below, however, L.J.M. is wholly inapposite At the time of Gold's arrest, there were no fewer than five prec......
  • B.E.S. v. State, CR-92-253
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 9 d5 Julho d5 1993
    ...263 N.W.2d at 419-20 (saying "fuck you pigs" to police officers did not amount to fighting words). But see, e.g., L.J.M. v. State, 541 So.2d 1321, 1322-23 (Fla.App.) (calling police officer "pussy-assed mother fucker" amounted to fighting words), review denied, 549 So.2d 1014 (Fla.1989); Ro......
  • Robinson v. State, No. 49A02-9108-CR-357
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 17 d2 Março d2 1992
    ...(1986), 6 Conn.App. 407, 505 A.2d 1266, certification denied, 199 Conn. 810, 508 A.2d 771; L.J.M. v. State (1989), Fla.Dist.Ct.App., 541 So.2d 1321, review denied, Fla., 549 So.2d 1014; City of Saint Paul v. Morris (1960), 258 Minn. 467, 104 N.W.2d 902, cert. denied, (1961), 365 U.S. 815, 8......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Morris v. State, No. 1D99-4286.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 29 d2 Maio d2 2001
    ...court is one of many which have recognized the concept of a verbal act in the context of a criminal proscription. E.g., L.J.M. v. State, 541 So.2d 1321 (Fla. 1st DCA), review denied, 549 So.2d 1014 789 So.2d 1034 (Fla.1989). There is no question but that the appellant understood that he was......
  • Gold v. City of Miami, No. 95-4996
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • 7 d2 Abril d2 1998
    ...statute to speech critical of the police, citing instead only a single case to support its position, the decision in L.J.M. v. State, 541 So.2d 1321 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989). As explained below, however, L.J.M. is wholly inapposite At the time of Gold's arrest, there were no fewer than five prec......
  • B.E.S. v. State, CR-92-253
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 9 d5 Julho d5 1993
    ...263 N.W.2d at 419-20 (saying "fuck you pigs" to police officers did not amount to fighting words). But see, e.g., L.J.M. v. State, 541 So.2d 1321, 1322-23 (Fla.App.) (calling police officer "pussy-assed mother fucker" amounted to fighting words), review denied, 549 So.2d 1014 (Fla.1989); Ro......
  • Robinson v. State, No. 49A02-9108-CR-357
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 17 d2 Março d2 1992
    ...(1986), 6 Conn.App. 407, 505 A.2d 1266, certification denied, 199 Conn. 810, 508 A.2d 771; L.J.M. v. State (1989), Fla.Dist.Ct.App., 541 So.2d 1321, review denied, Fla., 549 So.2d 1014; City of Saint Paul v. Morris (1960), 258 Minn. 467, 104 N.W.2d 902, cert. denied, (1961), 365 U.S. 815, 8......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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