State v. Johnson, Nos. 79150

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtOVERTON; BARKETT; GRIMES; GRIMES
Citation616 So.2d 1
Parties18 Fla. L. Week. S234, 18 Fla. L. Week. S55 STATE of Florida, Petitioner, v. Cecil B. JOHNSON, Respondent. STATE of Florida, Appellant, v. Cecil B. JOHNSON, Appellee.
Docket NumberNos. 79150,79204
Decision Date14 January 1993

Page 1

616 So.2d 1
18 Fla. L. Week. S234, 18 Fla. L. Week. S55
STATE of Florida, Petitioner,
v.
Cecil B. JOHNSON, Respondent.
STATE of Florida, Appellant,
v.
Cecil B. JOHNSON, Appellee.
Nos. 79150, 79204.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Jan. 14, 1993.
Rehearing and Clarification Denied April 8, 1993.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen., James W. Rogers, Asst. Atty. Gen., Bureau Chief, and Charlie McCoy, Asst. Atty. Gen., Dept. of Legal Affairs, Tallahassee, for petitioner/appellant.

Nancy A. Daniels, Public Defender, and Steven A. Rothenburg and Jamie Spivey, Asst. Public Defenders, Second Judicial Circuit, Tallahassee, for respondent/appellee.

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OVERTON, Justice.

We have for review Johnson v. State, 589 So.2d 1370 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991), in which the district court held that the amendments to section 775.084, Florida Statutes (1989) (the habitual violent felony offender statute), contained in chapter 89-280, Laws of Florida, violated the single subject rule of article III, section 6, of the Florida Constitution. 1 The district court acknowledged conflict with Jamison v. State, 583 So.2d 413 (4th DCA), rev. denied, 591 So.2d 182 (Fla.1991), and McCall v. State, 583 So.2d 411 (Fla. 4th DCA 1991), 2 and certified the following to be a question of great public importance:

WHETHER THE CHAPTER 89-280 AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 775.084(1)( [b] )(1), FLORIDA STATUTES (1989), WERE UNCONSTITUTIONAL PRIOR TO THEIR REENACTMENT AS PART OF THE FLORIDA STATUTES, BECAUSE IN VIOLATION OF THE SINGLE SUBJECT RULE OF THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION.

Johnson, 589 So.2d at 1372. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, Sec. 3(b)(1), (3)-(4), Fla. Const. We answer the certified question in the affirmative and, for the reasons expressed, approve the decision of the district court in this case.

Through an information filed on July 23, 1990, Johnson was charged with the sale or delivery of cocaine. The offense occurred on July 5, 1990. Subsequently, the prosecution filed a notice of intent to classify Johnson as a habitual violent felony offender pursuant to section 775.084. The notice was filed on February 1, 1991, and sought to have Johnson's sentence enhanced on the basis of a prior violent felony conviction on July 16, 1987, for "aggravated battery." On February 21, 1991, Johnson was sentenced to a term of twenty-five years as a habitual violent felony offender, with a ten-year minimum mandatory sentence.

On appeal, Johnson contested his sentence on the grounds that the amendments to the habitual offender statute contained in chapter 89-280 violated the single subject rule of article III, section 6, of the Florida Constitution. Chapter 89-280 contained amendments to sections 775.084, 775.0842, and 775.0843, Florida Statutes (1989), governing sentences for habitual felony offenders, and amendments to chapter 493, Florida Statutes (1989), relating to the repossession of personal property and the licensing requirements of persons authorized to repossess such property. Critical to Johnson's sentencing was the amendment to section 775.084(1)(b)(1)k, which added to the habitual violent felony offender category, a defendant who was previously convicted of an "aggravated battery."

Chapter 89-280 was enacted effective October 1, 1989. Chapter 91-44, Laws of Florida, reenacted the 1989 amendments contained in chapter 89-280, effective May 2, 1991, as part of the biennial adoption of the Florida Statutes. The reenactment has the effect of adopting as the official statutory law of the state those portions of statutes that are carried forward from the preceding adopted statutes. Once reenacted as a portion of the Florida Statutes, a chapter law is no longer subject to challenge on the grounds that it violates the single subject requirement of article III, section 6, of the Florida Constitution. See Loxahatchee River Envtl. Control Dist. v. School Bd., 515 So.2d 217 (Fla.1987); State v. Combs, 388 So.2d 1029 (Fla.1980) (the single subject requirement of article III, section 6, only applies to "chapter laws," and sections of the Florida Statutes need not conform to the requirement); see also

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Linda S. Jessen, Preface to Florida Statutes at vi (1991).

Johnson's offense was committed before the reenactment of chapter 89-280 and during the window period in which that chapter was subject to attack as being violative of the constitution's single subject requirement. The window period in this instance ran from October 1, 1989, the effective date of chapter 89-280, to May 2, 1991, the date on which chapter 89-280 was reenacted. Consequently, Johnson had standing to raise the single subject violation. This single subject challenge was not raised before the trial court. Nevertheless, the district court addressed the issue and agreed that the constitutional single subject requirement had been violated, certifying the aforementioned question to this Court.

The State now challenges the district court's decision on two grounds. The State first asserts that Johnson is prohibited from challenging the constitutionality of chapter 89-280's amendments for the first time on appeal because the issue does not constitute fundamental error. Alternatively, the State contends that the amendments contained in chapter 89-280 do not violate article III, section 6, because the amendments all relate to the single subject of controlling crime and, consequently, are properly connected as required by the Florida Constitution.

The Fundamental Error Question

A facial challenge to a statute's constitutional validity may be raised for the first time on appeal only if the error is fundamental. Trushin v. State, 425 So.2d 1126 (Fla.1982); Steinhorst v. State, 412 So.2d 332 (Fla.1982); Sanford v. Rubin, 237 So.2d 134 (Fla.1970). In Sanford, we reviewed an article III, section 6,...

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238 practice notes
  • Asay v. State, No. SC16–223
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 22 Diciembre 2016
    ...goes to the foundation of the case or the merits of the cause of action and is equivalent to a denial of due process. State v. Johnson , 616 So.2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1993). Further, it is " ‘[t]he essence of due process ... that fair notice and reasonable opportunity to be heard must be given to in......
  • Rosier v. State, No. 1D16-2327
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 28 Junio 2019
    ...of appeal, the error must be basic to the judicial decision under review and equivalent to a denial of due process." State v. Jackson, 616 So. 2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1993); see also Pressley v. State, 73 So. 3d 834, 836-37 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011) (holding error "equivalent to denial of due process" to b......
  • Del Valle v. State, No. SC08-2001
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 15 Diciembre 2011
    ...omitted). However, harmful due process violations are fundamental error, which need not be preserved for review. See State v. Johnson, 616 So. 2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1993) ("[F]or an error to be so fundamental that it can be raised for the first time on appeal, the error must be basic to the judicia......
  • Bush v. Holmes, Case No. 1D02-3160 (FL 8/16/2004), Case No. 1D02-3160.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 16 Agosto 2004
    ...is constitutional must be raised first at the trial level. Trushin v. State, 425 So. 2d 1126, 1129-30 (Fla. 1982); State v. Johnson, 616 So. 2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1993); Westerheide v. State, 831 So. 2d 93, 105 (Fla. Second, Florida courts have generally interpreted Florida's Free Exercise Clause a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
240 cases
  • Bush v. Holmes, No. 1D02-3160
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 12 Noviembre 2004
    ...is constitutional must be raised first at the trial level. Trushin v. State, 425 So.2d 1126, 1129-30 (Fla.1982); State v. Johnson, 616 So.2d 1, 3 (Fla.1993); Westerheide v. State, 831 So.2d 93, 105 Second, Florida courts have generally interpreted Florida's Free Exercise Clause as coequal t......
  • Del Valle v. State, SC08-2001
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 15 Diciembre 2011
    ...omitted). However, harmful due process violations are fundamental error, which need not be preserved for review. See State v. Johnson, 616 So. 2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1993) ("[F]or an error to be so fundamental that it can be raised for the first time on appeal, the error must be basic to the judicia......
  • Bush v. Holmes, Case No. 1D02-3160 (FL 8/16/2004), Case No. 1D02-3160.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 16 Agosto 2004
    ...is constitutional must be raised first at the trial level. Trushin v. State, 425 So. 2d 1126, 1129-30 (Fla. 1982); State v. Johnson, 616 So. 2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1993); Westerheide v. State, 831 So. 2d 93, 105 (Fla. Second, Florida courts have generally interpreted Florida's Free Exercise Clause a......
  • Asay v. State, SC16–223
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 22 Diciembre 2016
    ...goes to the foundation of the case or the merits of the cause of action and is equivalent to a denial of due process. State v. Johnson , 616 So.2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1993). Further, it is " ‘[t]he essence of due process ... that fair notice and reasonable opportunity to be heard must be given to in......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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