A Hollow Victory in Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Timeliness of Habeas Claims, and Disqualification of Judges Who Are Facebook Friends with Prosecutors

It’s already mid-week, but I wanted to pass along a few things that might interest you.  Remember the guy Fane Lozman who was fighting the City of Riveira Beach over marina fees owed for his houseboat?  Well, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in his case, Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, No. 11-626.  The Supreme Court reversed the Eleventh Circuit, making Lozman the victor.  Too bad the City already destroyed his houseboat.

The Eleventh Circuit recently issued an en banc opinion in Michael Duane Zack v. Kenneth Tucker, No. 09-12717, wherein the Court held that the AEPDA statute of limitations applies claim-by-claim, rather than to the petition as a whole.  If you handle a lot of habeas cases, the opinion is worth a quick read.  My least favorite part of the opinion?  Judge Carnes’ concurrence, where he ridicules the position taken at oral argument by one of the attorneys as absurd.  Ouch.

Finally, attorneys throughout the State of Florida, civil and criminal alike, might want to monitor the case of Pierre Domville v. State, 4D12-556, where the Fourth District Court of Appeal has certified a question of great public importance to the Florida Supreme Court:  “Where the presiding judge in a criminal case has accepted the prosecutor assigned to the case as a Facebook “friend,” would a reasonably prudent person fear that he could not get a fair and impartial trial, so that the defendant’s motion for disqualification should be granted?”  An article in the Palm Beach Post can be read here.