State v. Levine

Decision Date16 June 1970
Docket NumberNo. 69--661,69--661
PartiesThe STATE of Florida, Appellant, v. Stanley Joel LEVINE and Malvin englander, Appellees.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Earl Faircloth, Atty. Gen., and Richard E. Gerstein, State's Atty., and Joseph Durant, Asst. State's Atty., for appellant.

Cohen & Hogan, Miami Beach, Frates, Fay, Floyd & Pearson, Jepeway, Gassen & Jepeway, Miami, for appellees.



The Dade County Grand Jury indicted the defendants, Levine and Englander (appellees) for conspiracy to solicit a bribe and soliciting a bribe. An information based on the indictment was filed charging them with the same crimes alleged in the indictment. The trial court entered an order granting their motion to dismiss which held that they had been immunized from prosecution for the crimes alleged in the information. The state has appealed from the order dismissing the information.

The record shows that defendant Levine, an attorney in Dade County, was requested by an assistant state attorney to come in and give a statement concerning a certain zoning matter involving one of his clients. Levine agreed to do so. The following day, Levine appeared at the state attorney's office and prior to making a statement, signed a document entitled 'Waiver of Immunity by Person Appearing Voluntarily Before the State Attorney'. Levine testified before the assistant state attorney that he had read the waiver before he signed it, understood its contents and had voluntarily signed it.

On April 9, 1969, Levine was subpoenaed to appear before the Dade County Grand Jury on April 10, 1969. Before testifying, Levine signed another document entitled 'Waiver of Immunity by a Witness Appearing at the Request of the Dade County Grand Jury'. Levine testified before the Grand Jury that he had read the waiver; understood its contents based upon his legal experience; understood that he was waiving any immunity and that anything he said could be used against him; and that he freely and voluntarily signed the waiver without hesitation.

At the hearing on the motion to dismiss the information, Levine testified that he was never told he was a potential defendant prior to appearing before the state attorney or the Grand Jury. He further testified that he did not fully understand the waivers he signed and was never informed of his right of immunity from prosecution under § 932.29, Fla.Stat., F.S.A.

The record reveals that Levine intelligently executed the waivers of immunity freely and voluntarily and without duress or coercion and testified before the assistant state attorney and Grand Jury.

Having intelligently and voluntarily waived immunity, the order of dismissal as to Stanley Joel Levine must be reversed. See Mattox v. Carson, 424 F.2d 202, (5th Cir.1970) opinion filed March 25, 1970; McKown v. State, Fla.1951, 54 So.2d 54; State ex rel. Reynolds v. Newell, Fla.1958, 102 So.2d 613; State ex rel. Lowe v. Nelson, Fla.App.1967, 202 So.2d 232, aff'd, Fla.1968, 210 So.2d 197; State ex rel. Foster v. Hall, Fla.App.1970, 230 So.2d 722; State of Florida v. Chadroff, Fla.App.1970, 234 So.2d 412; filed April 20, 1970; and State Bar of Michigan v. Block, 175 N.W.2d 769 (Mich.1970).

The facts concerning Englander are different. Englander was a councilman in the City of Miami Beach, Florida. He received a telephone call from an assistant state attorney. At the hearing on the motion to dismiss Englander testified that the assistant state attorney was 'calling me to appear before the Grand Jury the following day * * *.' The assistant state attorney testified he called and said:

'Mr. Englander, the Dade County Grand Jury is conducting an investigation into a matter in which you are involved.

'They have asked me to extend an invitation to you to appear to tell your side of it, if you want to appear.

'I told him that, 'You are not being subpoenaed, you are being invited to appear, and if you do not wish to do so, you do not have to do so.'

'He said that he did want to appear and tell his side of it and I said, 'Very well. The Grand Jury will be glad to hear from you at three.''

Englander appeared without subpoena the following day before the Grand Jury and after being sworn was asked:

'Q. Mr. Englander, have you read this waiver of immunity you brought into the room with you?

'A. I have.

'Q. Do you understand its contents, sir?

'A. Yes.

'Q. You understand that by voluntarily executing it you waive any right you might have from immunity to prosecution for anything you testify to here today and that anything you may say here which is incriminating can be used against you in a court of law?

'A. Yes.

'Q. Did you voluntarily sign this waiver, sir?

'A. Yes.

'Q. Did you sign it because of some fear of losing your official position as a City Councilman of the City of Miami Beach?

'A. No.

'Q. Did you sign it because of some fear that you might be prosecuted in the Metropolitan Court if you refuse to sign it?

'A. No.'

Subsequently, he thanked the Grand Jury and the assistant state attorney for inviting him to appear and later the following occurred before the Grand Jury.

'Q. For the record, did you understand from our telephone conversation of yesterday that you were to appear here only if you wanted to?

'A. Yes, sir.

'Q. That it was an invitation for you to appear if you wanted to?

'A. You made that clear to me, yes. And I again state that I am grateful for the opportunity, because I can appreciate that a lot of subsequent heartache can be avoided by coming in at this stage of the proceedings and making revelations that are requested.'

At the hearing on the motion to dismiss the information Englander stated that he agreed to testify before the Grand Jury and to waive immunity because of the...

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3 cases
  • Englander v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • April 7, 1971
    ...cause is before us on petition for writ of certiorari to review the decision of the District Court of Appeal, Third District, reported at 237 So.2d 193. The decision sought to be reviewed conflicts with Davis v. State, 233 So.2d 641 (Fla.App.2d The Dade County Grand Jury indicted Stanley Jo......
  • Levine v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • November 13, 1970
    ...Petitioners, v. The STATE of Florida, Respondent. No. 40193. Supreme Court of Florida. Nov. 13, 1970. Certiorari dismissed sua sponte. 237 So.2d 193. DREW, CARLTON, ADKINS and BOYD, JJ., ERVIN, C.J., dissents. ...
  • State v. Englander, 69-661
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 14, 1971
    ...Before CHARLES CARROLL, HENDRY and SWANN, JJ. ORDER ON MANDATE PER CURIAM. Whereas, the judgment of this court was entered on June 16, 1970 (237 So.2d 193) reversing the order of dismissal of the Criminal Court of Record of Dade County, Florida, in the above styled cause; Whereas, on review......

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