Solomon v. Sanitarians' Registration Bd., 31997

Decision Date17 July 1963
Docket NumberNo. 31997,31997
Citation155 So.2d 353
PartiesEugene L. SOLOMON, Petitioner, v. SANITARIANS' REGISTRATION BOARD of the State of Florida, and Lyman A. Schribner, James W. Messer, J. W. Kirkland, C. E. Brettell, B. G. Tennant, constituting the members of the said Sanitarians' Registration Board, Respondents.
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Norman F. Solomon, Miami Beach, and Larkin, Lewis & Decker, Jacksonville, for petitioner.

Richard W. Ervin, Atty. Gen., Robert C. Parker, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Jones & Harrell, for respondents.

THORNAL, Justice.

By a petition for a writ of certiorari we are requested to review a decision of the District Court of Appeal, First District because of an alleged conflict with a decision of the District Court of Appeal, Third District.

The point for decision is whether mandamus is an appropriate remedy to compel the issuance of certificate of registration to a 'sanitarian' under the statutory grandfather clause contained in Section 491.07, Florida Statutes, F.S.A.

The development of the litigation and the factual background is reflected by the decision under review. Sanitarians' Registration Board et al. v. Solomon (Fla.App.), 148 So.2d 744. The original decision of the District Court reflected an absence of a majority opinion on the reasons for reversal of the trial court. Sanitarians' Registration Board et al. v. Solomon (Fla.App.), 142 So.2d 301. We remanded the cause to the District Court with the request that the majority endeavor to reconcile their views in an opinion which would announce the theory and reasoning upon which their judgment of reversal was based. Solomon v. Sanitarians' Registration Board (Fla.), 147 So.2d 132. The District Court has complied with our request. We are indebted to that Court for the expression of its views in response to our invitation. Sanitarians' Registration Board v. Solomon, Fla.App., 148 So.2d 744. It is this decision which we now review.

Chapter 491, Florida Statutes, designated as 'Sanitarians Registration Act', was enacted as Chapter 59-191, Laws of 1959. Section 491.02, defines various terms including a description of a 'sanitarian.' Fortunately, we are not called upon to categorize the various businesses and professions which appear to be comprehended by the sweeping language of the definition of a 'sanitarian.' The issue is not submitted for consideration.

The problem before us presents the contention of Solomon that he was entitled to registration as a sanitarian without examination under Section 491.07, Florida Statutes, F.S.A., which, in the parlance of statutory interpretation, is known as 'a grandfather clause.'

Within the time prescribed by Section 491.07, supra, Solomon applied to the respondent Board for a certificate of registration without examination. The essential content of the application is recited by the opinion of the District Court. The so-called 'grandfather clause' provided that '[t]he board shall register as a sanitarian and shall furnish [a] certificate of registration for the year 1959', to any person who applies therefor before October 1, 1959, and who on June 30, 1959, is employed as a sanitarian and who meets certain statutory qualifications. Among the qualifications which would entitle one to registration under the grandfather clause without examination the statute provides:

'(1) Two years of college (fifteen units in basic science) plus one year experience in environmental sanitation.

or

'(2) College graduate in science or engineering plus one year of experience in environmental sanitation or a special training course.'

As we read the content of Solomon's application as it is revealed by the opinion of the District Court, he asserted the qualifications for registration without examination required by the above quoted provisions of the grandfather clause.

Apparently, without a hearing of any sort, the respondent Board thereafter notified Solomon that it had reviewed his application in the light of applicable law and had determined that he did not 'meet the requirements for registration as a sanitarian under the grandfather clause of said Act.' The Board advised the applicant that he appeared to have the qualifications to take an examination for registration as a sanitarian and tendered to him an opportunity to take such an examination. Sections 491.06, 491.09, Florida Statutes, F.S.A. It will be seen that the Board examined the application and on the basis of such examination concluded as a matter of law that Solomon was not entitled to registration under the grandfather clause albeit the application reflected the presence of qualifications which, if factually undisputed, would entitle him to the grandfather privilege.

Thereupon, Solomon instituted the instant proceeding in the circuit court seeking a writ of mandamus to compel the issuance of a certificate. His petition for the writ contained in detail the factual background which we have epitomized. The trial judge denied the Board's motion to quash the alternative writ. After hearing extensive testimony he issued the peremptory writ. On appeal, the District Court of Appeal, First District, held that error was committed in denying the motion to quash. The judgment awarding the peremptory writ was reversed without an exploration of testimony.

The crux of the holding of the District Court was that in passing on the adequacy of the application the respondent Board was endowed by the statute with a discretionary power which, when performed, constituted the exercise of a quasi-judicial function which places it beyond the scope of the compulsive process of a writ of mandamus. The District Court announced the view that Section 491.07, Florida Statutes, F.S.A., when read in the light of Section 491.04(3), Florida Statutes, F.S.A., granted to the Board the power to exercise a quasi-judicial authority in passing upon the sufficiency of the initial application.

Solomon here contends that the decision of the District Court of Appeal, First District, collides with the decision of the District Court of Appeal, Third District, in State ex rel. Greenberg v. Dade County et al., 120 So.2d 625. We have concluded that the contention is meritorious and that there is a conflict of decision which supports the jurisdiction of this Court.

Greenberg involved the application of an analogous grandfather clause. In a mandamus proceeding the District Court of Appeal, Third District, held that a Board of Electrical Examiners had no discretion in applying the requirements of a legislative directive in awarding a certificate of competency without an examination. The sum of the Third District's holding was that the examining Board was bound as a matter of law to issue the certificate upon the showing of facts prescribed...

To continue reading

Request your trial
32 cases
  • Fla. Dep't of Corr. v. Gould
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 10, 2022
    ...a review of an order entered by a judicial or quasi-judicial agency acting within its jurisdiction"); Solomon v. Sanitarians’ Registration Bd., 155 So. 2d 353, 356 (Fla. 1963) ("Similarly, mandamus cannot be employed as an appellate remedy to review quasi-judicial action of an administrativ......
  • Villa Bellini Ristorante & Lounge, Inc. v. Mancini
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • November 15, 2019
    ...424, 426 (Fla. 1908) ; and then citing Sanitarians' Registration Bd. v. Solomon, 148 So. 2d 744, 749 (Fla. 1st DCA 1963), quashed, 155 So. 2d 353 (Fla. 1963) )). The circuit court's convening a show cause hearing did nothing to rectify this error. Contrary to Mr. Mancini's argument here and......
  • Fla. Dep't of Corr. v. Gould
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 10, 2022
    ...as an appellate remedy to review quasi-judicial action of an administrative agency."). To be sure, even for the court in De Groot and Solomon, some discretionary administrative could be subject to judicial review. In both cases, the court distinguished between a "quasi-judicial" function an......
  • Doe v. State
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • September 28, 2016
    ...People have imposed upon their public officials, either through legislation or constitutional provision. Cf. Solomon v. Sanitarians' Registration Bd., 155 So.2d 353, 356 (Fla.1963) (explaining that "official action is considered ministerial when it is arrived at as the result of the perform......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT