Mills v. State, 79973

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Citation620 So.2d 1006
Parties18 Fla. L. Week. S337 Charles MILLS, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 79973,79973
Decision Date17 June 1993

Page 1006

620 So.2d 1006
18 Fla. L. Week. S337
Charles MILLS, Petitioner,
STATE of Florida, Respondent.
No. 79973.
Supreme Court of Florida.
June 17, 1993.

Page 1007

Kayo E. Morgan, Ft. Lauderdale, for petitioner.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen., Joan Fowler, Sr. Asst. Atty., Bureau Chief, and Georgina Jimenez-Orosa, West Palm Beach, for respondent.


We review Mills v. State, 596 So.2d 1148 (Fla. 4th DCA 1992), because of certified conflict with Cherry v. State, 572 So.2d 521 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990). We have jurisdiction under article V, section 3(b)(4) of the Florida Constitution.

Mills was convicted of armed trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy. During jury deliberations, the jury sent a note to the trial judge. The judge notified both counsel that the jury had a question. Defense counsel asked what the question was, but the judge declined to tell him, saying that there was no need to talk about it.

The jury was brought into the courtroom and the judge read its question: "Could you please clarify or provide a copy of the law on armed trafficking?" The judge said he could not do that, but he would reread the law that he read a few moments ago. After rereading the instructions on trafficking that he had given earlier, the judge asked, "Does that answer your question?" The jury said "yes" and resumed their deliberations.

After the jury left the courtroom, defense counsel objected to the fact that he did not get a chance to discuss the question. He asked the judge to read the entrapment instruction to the jurors so that they would be given a more complete answer to their question. The judge noted the objection and refused defense counsel's request.

On appeal, the district court held that the judge's failure to give counsel an opportunity to be heard before answering the jury's question was error, but harmless.

In Ivory v. State, 351 So.2d 26, 28 (Fla.1977), this Court established a per se reversible error rule where a trial court responds to a jury's question without giving counsel notice and "the opportunity to participate in the discussion of the action to be taken on the jury's request," recognizing that such communication with the jury is "so fraught with potential prejudice that it cannot be considered harmless." We have reaffirmed this per se reversible error rule in numerous cases since then. See, e.g., State v. Franklin, 618 So.2d 171 (Fla.1993); Colbert v. State, 569 So.2d 433 (Fla.1990); Williams v. State, 488 So.2d 62 (Fla.1986); Curtis v. State, 480 So.2d 1277 (Fla.1985). 1

Page 1008

The State attempts to distinguish these cases because here the trial judge did give...

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58 cases
  • Hendricks v. State Of Fla., 1D09-357.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 26 Mayo 2010
    ...” and that “an opportunity to contribute after the instruction has been given is insufficient.” 730 So.2d at 668 (quoting Mills v. State, 620 So.2d 1006, 1008 (Fla.1993) (internal citations omitted)). Based on the Thomas court's clarification that counsel must lodge a contemporaneous object......
  • Cruz v. State, SC20-60
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 1 Julio 2021
    ...was improper because the trial court did not consult with defense counsel before making the decision, citing to Mills v. State , 620 So. 2d 1006 (Fla. 1993). This Court's decision in Mills does not help Cruz. In that case, we concluded that the trial judge's failure to give counsel the oppo......
  • Thomas Jefferson University v. Romer, 97-1410
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 1 Abril 1998
    ...other intentional misconduct can be subject to personal jurisdiction," and cited several out of state cases but did not mention (1)(b). 620 So.2d at 1006. Allerton nonetheless concluded that the intentional tort rationale survived Doe even though it was not an issue in Doe and was therefore......
  • Wiggins v. Tigrent, Inc., 2D13–4033.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 30 Julio 2014
    ...of a corporate employee performed in a corporate capacity do not form the basis for personal jurisdiction over that employee, Thompson, 620 So.2d at 1006. See also Kennedy v. Reed, 533 So.2d 1200, 1202 (Fla. 2d DCA 1988) (“[J]urisdiction will not lie over an individual because of acts perfo......
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