State v. TG, No. SC96081.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtQUINCE, J.
Citation800 So.2d 204
PartiesSTATE of Florida, Petitioner, v. T.G., a child, Respondent.
Decision Date25 October 2001
Docket NumberNo. SC96081.

800 So.2d 204

STATE of Florida, Petitioner,
v.
T.G., a child, Respondent

No. SC96081.

Supreme Court of Florida.

October 25, 2001.


800 So.2d 205
Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General, and Belle B. Schumann, David H. Foxman, and Kellie A. Nielan, Assistant Attorneys General, Daytona Beach, FL, for Petitioner

James B. Gibson, Public Defender, and Susan A. Fagan, Assistant Public Defender, Seventh Judicial Circuit, Daytona Beach, FL, for Respondent.

QUINCE, J.

We have for review T.G. v. State, 741 So.2d 517 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999), which expressly and directly conflicts with the decisions in J.M.B. v. State, 750 So.2d 654 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999), J.S. v. State, 658 So.2d 638 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995), and J.L. v. State, 650 So.2d 219 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995). We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const. For the reasons expressed below, we approve the Fifth District's decision in T.G., but disapprove in part the court's reasoning, and remand this case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

800 So.2d 206
T.G., a juvenile, pled no contest to felony charges and violation of community control. Thereafter, the trial court entered an adjudication of delinquency and order of disposition. T.G. was without counsel at both the plea and disposition hearings. At the plea hearing, the trial court asked T.G. if he wished to have an attorney appointed for him; he replied in the negative, and no further inquiry was made. At the disposition hearing, the trial court made no inquiry as to whether T.G. desired counsel. As a result of these hearings, the trial court imposed the level eight commitment recommended by the Department of Juvenile Justice

Although T.G. was not represented in the trial court, he requested and received counsel for his direct appeal. On appeal, the Fifth District concluded that the trial court should have advised T.G. of his right to counsel and inquired whether his waiver of that right was freely and intelligently made. Accordingly, the court reversed the adjudication of delinquency and disposition due to the court's noncompliance with Florida Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.165. On motion for rehearing, the State contended that the appellate court lacked jurisdiction to consider the appeal because T.G. never moved the trial court to withdraw the plea. In its opinion denying rehearing, the Fifth District concluded that L.L. v. State, 429 So.2d 347 (Fla. 5th DCA 1983), had been implicitly overruled by State v. T.M.B., 716 So.2d 269 (Fla. 1998), thereby indicating that statutes and rules addressing appeals from guilty or nolo pleas in criminal cases did not apply to similar appeals in juvenile delinquency cases. The court further noted that Robinson v. State, 373 So.2d 898 (Fla.1979), and Walker v. State, 565 So.2d 873 (Fla. 4th DCA 1990), did not apply to juvenile appeals. The State sought review, and this Court subsequently accepted jurisdiction based on conflict with J.M.B., J.S., and J.L., which held that a juvenile's failure to preserve error with a motion to withdraw plea precludes appellate review of the plea.

Several cases, statutes, and court rules address the requirement of filing a motion to withdraw plea as a prerequisite to obtaining appellate review of the plea. In Robinson, this Court upheld the constitutionality of section 924.06(3), Florida Statutes (1977), which limited defendants' right of appeal from a guilty plea to matters occurring contemporaneously with the plea. See 373 So.2d at 900-02. Although we noted that contemporaneous matters— including the voluntary and intelligent character of the plea—are proper subjects of appeal, we held that defendants must attack the validity of guilty pleas in the trial court before challenging the plea on direct appeal. See id. at 902. Indeed, we stated:

Furthermore, we find that an appeal from a guilty plea should never be a substitute for a motion to withdraw a plea. If the record raises issues concerning the voluntary or intelligent character of the plea, that issue should first be presented to the trial court in accordance with the law and standards pertaining to a motion to withdraw a plea. If the action of the trial court on such motion were adverse to the defendant, it would be subject to review on direct appeal.... To adopt the view asserted by the appellant in this case would in effect eliminate both the necessity for a defendant to move for a withdrawal of his plea and the obligation to show a manifest injustice or prejudice as grounds for such a plea withdrawal after sentence.

Robinson, 373 So.2d at 902-03. Section 924.06(3), at issue in Robinson, currently provides that a defendant who pleads guilty or nolo contendere without reserving

800 So.2d 207
the right to appeal a legally dispositive issue has no right to appeal. See § 924.06(3), Fla. Stat. (1999). Section 924.051(4), Florida Statutes (1999), prohibits the right to appeal a judgment or sentence under the same circumstances. Indeed, this Court has recognized that
Section 924.051(b)(4) is directed to the same end but is worded slightly differently. Insofar as it says that a defendant who pleads nolo contendere or guilty without expressly reserving the right to appeal a legally dispositive issue cannot appeal the judgment, we believe that the principle of Robinson controls. A defendant must have the right to appeal that limited class of issues described in Robinson.

See Amendments to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, 696 So.2d 1103, 1105 (Fla.1996). We incorporated the holding in Robinson into Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140(b)(2)(B)(iii), which requires defendants to file a motion to withdraw plea before challenging the voluntariness of a plea. See Jones v. State, 708 So.2d 337 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998) (noting that rule 9.140(b)(2)(B) adopts the holding of Robinson). Rule 9.140 is applicable to juvenile delinquency appeals 1 by operation of Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.145(a).

The Fifth District applied Robinson to juvenile appeals in L.L. v. State, 429 So.2d 347 (Fla. 5th DCA 1983). In that case, the juvenile pled guilty, and on appeal, attacked the State's failure to serve a summons and delinquency petition and the validity of his written waiver of counsel. See id. The court recognized that both section 924.06(3) and rule 9.140 limit appeals in criminal cases from judgments entered upon pleas of guilty. See id. As a result, the court concluded that Robinson, which held that a motion to withdraw plea is a prerequisite to a direct appeal challenging the voluntariness of the plea, applied to the juvenile proceeding and, therefore, dismissed the appeal. See id. In the instant case, the Fifth District held that L.L. had been implicitly overruled in T.M.B., in light of the similarity between section 924.06(3), section 924.051(4), and rule 9.140. In T.M.B., the juveniles failed to preserve their claims for appellate review, as required by section 924.051(4). See 716 So.2d at 269. This Court, noting the differences between juvenile and adult criminal law, held that section 924.051(4) did not apply to juvenile delinquency proceedings. See id. at 269-71. In so doing, we adopted the lower court's rationale:

[T]he juvenile delinquency system is different from the adult criminal system. Among other differences is the fact that, in the juvenile delinquency system rehabilitation is the principal focus, while in the adult criminal system punishment is the principal focus. In addition, established principles of statutory construction
800 So.2d 208
militate against the conclusion that the legislature intended that section 924.051 apply to juvenile delinquency proceedings.
Section 924.051 was added by the legislature to chapter 924.... Appeals in juvenile delinquency proceedings are addressed in section 39.069, Florida Statutes.... Section 39.069 appears to have been intended by the legislature to deal exhaustively with the subject of appeals in juvenile delinquency proceedings.

Id. at 270 (quoting J.M.J. v. State, 742 So.2d 261 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997)) (citations omitted). Thus, we held that chapter 39 governed juvenile appeals.

However, in a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Pariente concurred, Justice Wells noted that the rules of appellate and juvenile procedure require juvenile defendants to preserve error in the same manner as the Criminal Appeals Reform Act of 1996. See T.M.B., 716 So.2d at 271(Wells, J., dissenting). Justice Wells outlined the statutes and rules pertaining to juvenile appeals: section 985.234(1), Florida Statutes, provides that appeals in delinquency proceedings may be taken pursuant to the rules of appellate procedure; Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.145 provides that rule 9.140 applies to juvenile appeals; and rule 9.140 requires defendants contesting the voluntariness of a plea to preserve error by a motion to withdraw plea before obtaining appellate review. See id. at 271-72. As a result, Justice Wells concluded that "the same limits on the appeals in criminal cases in which a defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere apply with equal force to delinquency proceedings in which a juvenile pleads guilty or nolo contendere." Id. at 272. Justice Wells' conclusion is buttressed by Florida Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.080(b)(4), which directs trial courts to inform juveniles pleading guilty or nolo contendere that, without express reservation of the right to appeal, the right to appeal is relinquished. See id. Further, the dissenters in T.M.B. concluded that public policy concerns, such as delay and unnecessary use of the appellate process resulting from a failure to cure error at an early stage in the proceedings, apply with equal force to juvenile cases. See id. The Second District in J.M.B., one of the alleged conflict cases decided subsequent to T.M.B., employed a similar rationale in concluding that juveniles cannot challenge the voluntariness of their pleas on direct appeal without first moving to...

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57 practice notes
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...based upon this conflict, it need not limit its review to that single issue, but may review the entire case. See, e.g., State v. T.G., 800 So.2d 204, 210 n. 4 (Fla.2001) ("[O]nce the Court grants jurisdiction, it may, in its discretion, address other issues properly raised and argued before......
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...based upon this conflict, it need not limit its review to that single issue, but may review the entire case. See, e.g., State v. T.G., 800 So.2d 204, 210 n. 4 (Fla.2001) ("[O]nce the Court grants jurisdiction, it may, in its discretion, address other issues properly raised and argued before......
  • Murphy v. State, No. 5D04-1095.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 11, 2005
    ..."expressly reserving the right to appeal a legally dispositive issue" the defendant may not appeal the judgment). See also State v. T.G., 800 So.2d 204 (Fla.2001) (failed to preserve); West v. State, 888 So.2d 730 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) (same); Kearse v. State, 858 So.2d 1247 (Fla. 5th DCA 200......
  • Saleeby v. Rocky Elson Const., Inc., No. SC07-2252.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • January 30, 2009
    ...Saleeby raises other issues in his brief. Although we have jurisdiction, we have determined to not address them. See State v. T.G., 800 So.2d 204, 210 n. 4 (Fla.2001) ("[O]nce the Court grants jurisdiction, it may, in its discretion, address other issues properly raised and argued before th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
57 cases
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...based upon this conflict, it need not limit its review to that single issue, but may review the entire case. See, e.g., State v. T.G., 800 So.2d 204, 210 n. 4 (Fla.2001) ("[O]nce the Court grants jurisdiction, it may, in its discretion, address other issues properly raised and argued before......
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...based upon this conflict, it need not limit its review to that single issue, but may review the entire case. See, e.g., State v. T.G., 800 So.2d 204, 210 n. 4 (Fla.2001) ("[O]nce the Court grants jurisdiction, it may, in its discretion, address other issues properly raised and argued before......
  • Murphy v. State, No. 5D04-1095.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 11, 2005
    ..."expressly reserving the right to appeal a legally dispositive issue" the defendant may not appeal the judgment). See also State v. T.G., 800 So.2d 204 (Fla.2001) (failed to preserve); West v. State, 888 So.2d 730 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) (same); Kearse v. State, 858 So.2d 1247 (Fla. 5th DCA 200......
  • Saleeby v. Rocky Elson Const., Inc., No. SC07-2252.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • January 30, 2009
    ...Saleeby raises other issues in his brief. Although we have jurisdiction, we have determined to not address them. See State v. T.G., 800 So.2d 204, 210 n. 4 (Fla.2001) ("[O]nce the Court grants jurisdiction, it may, in its discretion, address other issues properly raised and argued before th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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