The Court quashed the decision of the Second District Court of Appeal below, which stated that the Florida Legislature did not intend pension plans, established by special law for one jurisdiction, to apply to statewide attorney fee provisions. Board of Trustees of the City Pension Fund for Firefighters & Police Officers in the City of Tampa v. Parker, 113 So. 3d 64 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013). Justice Canady, in his dissent, agreed that attorney fees should not be applicable to local pension plan requirements because they go beyond required minimum benefits of ch. 175 and 185, Fla. Stat. (2004).
Sections 175.061(5) and 185.05(5), Fla. Stat. (2004), each state that, “[i]n any judicial proceeding or administrative proceeding under chapter 120 brought or pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover the costs thereof, together with reasonable attorney’s fees.” (Emphasis added.)
The Court determined that “pursuant to” was broad language indicating that the Florida Legislature intended to cover local pension plans because those plans exist and operate within the framework established by ch. 175 and 185, Fla. Stat. (2004). The Court noted this legislative framework is supported by ss. 175.061(6) and 185.05(7), Fla. Stat. (2004), as each provision contains prohibitions on the alteration of any general governance provisions of the section, including attorney fees.
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