In spite of each of the Justices winning the retention vote on November 6 with approximately 68% in favor as opposed to 32% against, at least one Florida taxpayer, the Petitioner in Jones v. Detzner, believes the answer to the above question is no.

On November 5, 2012, Denny Jones filed in the Supreme Court a Petition for a Writ of Quo Warranto directed at the Secretary of State, alleging that the justices were not qualified to appear on the ballot for retention votes, seeking to revoke the Secretary of State’s certification that each of the justices was qualified to appear on the ballot, and asking that any certification of the election results be revoked.

Petitioner Jones states essentially three grounds for the relief sought. First, he alleges that the justices failed to file completed forms appointing campaign treasurers and designating depository accounts within a statutorily mandated qualifying or pre-qualifying time period running from April 2 through April 20, as required by ss. 105.031(5)(a) and 106.021, Fla. Stat. The Petitioner argues that while all justices provided this information in January, they were required to do so again during the qualifying or pre-qualifying periods, and that failure to do so is mandatory grounds for disqualification. Second, Petitioner asserts that two of the justices failed to file complete and accurate financial disclosures. Justice Pariente is alleged to have failed to attach mandatory W-2s to her disclosure, and the veracity of Justice Lewis’ and Justice Pariente’s other disclosures is challenged. Finally, the Petitioner argues that the Secretary improperly contacted the justices at the last moment to inform them that they had not properly submitted all necessary paperwork.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Supreme Court declined to exercise original jurisdiction of this matter and instead transferred the case to the Second Judicial Circuit Court in and for Leon County, where it was assigned to Judge Carroll. Most recently, an attempt by the Petitioner to present by motion a claim for a writ of prohibition to the Election Canvassing Commission was denied.

Case filings in this matter can be viewed here. The docket is available here.

Have Justices Lewis, Pariente, and Quince Properly Retained Their Seats on the Florida Supreme Court?

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