Smith v. State, Nos. 96-00365

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation696 So.2d 814
Parties22 Fla. L. Weekly D694 Kurtis J. SMITH, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee. Kurtis J. SMITH, Appellant, v. Christopher M. SIERRA, Appellee. Kurtis J. SMITH, Appellant, v. Joseph ROBLES, Appellee.
Decision Date12 March 1997
Docket NumberNos. 96-00365,96-00599 and 96-00606

Page 814

696 So.2d 814
22 Fla. L. Weekly D694
Kurtis J. SMITH, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Kurtis J. SMITH, Appellant,
v.
Christopher M. SIERRA, Appellee.
Kurtis J. SMITH, Appellant,
v.
Joseph ROBLES, Appellee.
Nos. 96-00365, 96-00599 and 96-00606.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Second District.
March 12, 1997.

Kurtis J. Smith, pro se.

Page 815

Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Tonja R. Vickers, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee State of Florida in case number 96-00365.

Julianne M. Holt, Public Defender, and Theda R. James, Assistant Public Defender, Tampa, for Appellees Christopher M. Sierra in case number 96-00599 and Joseph Robles in case number 96-00606.

PER CURIAM.

The appellant, Kurtis J. Smith, challenges the trial courts' orders denying his complaints for writs of mandamus in case numbers 96-00365, 96-00606, and 96-00599. 1 Appellant sought disclosure of records under the public records law, chapter 119, Florida Statutes (1995). Because we conclude that appellant has established prima facie cases for relief under chapter 119, we reverse and remand for each trial court to issue an alternative writ of mandamus as mandated by Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.630(d). Appellees may then answer the alternative writs raising any applicable defenses.

In each case, appellant was convicted of various misdemeanors in county court. He was represented by assistant public defenders during the proceedings leading to his convictions and has no pending appeals or motions for post-conviction relief in the county court cases. Following the convictions, appellant furnished each of his former assistant public defenders with a "formal request" for documents pertaining to his convictions. The formal requests sought the records on appeal and the records of trial proceedings, including all reports, depositions, motions and responses, orders, correspondence, and any trial transcripts. The formal requests do not demand free copies of such records. The records on appeal in the instant cases do not indicate that there has been any written response to the formal requests by the assistant public defenders.

Thereafter, appellant filed three separate civil actions in circuit court for writs of mandamus ordering disclosure of these documents from the respective assistant public defenders. The relief sought in the complaints is based on multiple grounds, including the public records law. Each complaint is verified and attaches the formal requests. Although the trial courts found appellant to be indigent, the complaints do not specifically ask for free copies of the records. The trial courts subsequently denied and dismissed the complaints without ordering any response to the complaints by the assistant public defenders.

Prisoners are entitled to disclosure of public records related to their convictions under chapter 119, Florida Statutes. See State v. Kokal, 562 So.2d 324 (Fla.1990); Campbell v. State, 593 So.2d 1148 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992). However, indigent prisoners may not receive free copies of documents requested under the public records law. See Roesch v. State, 633 So.2d 1 (Fla.1993); Yanke v. State, 588 So.2d 4 (Fla. 2d DCA 1991), rev. denied, 595 So.2d 559 (Fla.1992). See also Thompson v. Unterberger, 577 So.2d 684 (Fla. 2d DCA 1991) (transcripts paid for at public expense...

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33 practice notes
  • Banks v. Jones, No. 1D15–0330.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 12, 2016
    ...was an act “likely to cause injury” is a discretionary decision, and may not be the basis for mandamus relief. Smith v. State, 696 So.2d 814, 815 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997) (recognizing that mandamus “is a common law remedy to be used to enforce an ‘established legal right by compelling a person in......
  • Villa Bellini Ristorante & Lounge, Inc. v. Mancini, Case No. 2D18-2249
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 15, 2019
    ...v. State, 813 So. 2d 10, 11 (Fla. 2000) ; see also Radford v. Brock, 914 So. 2d 1066, 1067 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005) (quoting Smith v. State, 696 So. 2d 814, 815 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997) ). Our court summarized the parameters of mandamus proceedings in Radford:"When a trial court receives a petition for......
  • Smith v. State, 2D21-1874
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 25, 2022
    ...legal duty to perform the requested action, and (3) the petitioner otherwise lacks an adequate legal remedy. Smith v. State , 696 So. 2d 814, 815 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997)."When a trial court receives a petition for a writ of mandamus, its initial task is assessing the petition to determine whethe......
  • Donahue v. Vaughn, No. 98-1750.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 23, 1998
    ...(Fla. 5th DCA 1994) (free copies and services allowed only on plenary appeals, not for post-conviction relief); accord Smith v. State, 696 So.2d 814 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997); Coates v. McWilliams, 650 So.2d 695 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995); Campbell v. State, 593 So.2d 1148 (Fla. 1st DCA PETITION DENIED. C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • Banks v. Jones, No. 1D15–0330.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 12, 2016
    ...was an act “likely to cause injury” is a discretionary decision, and may not be the basis for mandamus relief. Smith v. State, 696 So.2d 814, 815 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997) (recognizing that mandamus “is a common law remedy to be used to enforce an ‘established legal right by compelling a person in......
  • Villa Bellini Ristorante & Lounge, Inc. v. Mancini, Case No. 2D18-2249
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 15, 2019
    ...v. State, 813 So. 2d 10, 11 (Fla. 2000) ; see also Radford v. Brock, 914 So. 2d 1066, 1067 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005) (quoting Smith v. State, 696 So. 2d 814, 815 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997) ). Our court summarized the parameters of mandamus proceedings in Radford:"When a trial court receives a petition for......
  • Smith v. State, 2D21-1874
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 25, 2022
    ...legal duty to perform the requested action, and (3) the petitioner otherwise lacks an adequate legal remedy. Smith v. State , 696 So. 2d 814, 815 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997)."When a trial court receives a petition for a writ of mandamus, its initial task is assessing the petition to determine whethe......
  • Donahue v. Vaughn, No. 98-1750.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 23, 1998
    ...(Fla. 5th DCA 1994) (free copies and services allowed only on plenary appeals, not for post-conviction relief); accord Smith v. State, 696 So.2d 814 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997); Coates v. McWilliams, 650 So.2d 695 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995); Campbell v. State, 593 So.2d 1148 (Fla. 1st DCA PETITION DENIED. C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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