LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT K. LINCOLN, P.A.

Land Use and Local Government Law and Litigation

The Law Office of Robert K. Lincoln, P.A.  provides legal services to private and public entities involved in complex land use disputes.  Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.  Before you decide, ask and I will provide free information about my experience and qualifications. 

Fla Supremes - Administrative Officers Can't Challenge Constitutionality of Statutes

In The Crossings at Fleming Island CDD v. Lisa Reinhardt Echevarria et al, the Florida Supreme Court issued a well-reasoned opinion that Property Appraisers can't challenge the constitutionality of provisions of state law governing appraisal of property. The problem: understanding the scope of the decision in other contexts.

It has long been held - mostly in cases involving taxation statutes - that a "ministerial officer" cannot challenge the constitutionality of a statute that the officer must implement. The reason - to avoid chaos and executive nullification of legislative acts. Some question had been raised whether a tax appraiser could raise the constitutionality of a provision "defensively" - as a defense to a challenge to a decision by the Appraiser or Value Adjustment Board. Here, the Court put those cases to bed.

The problem: what about a city/county commission challenging the application of a charter provision? a proposed charter provision? an ordinance proposed by initiative? What about "as applied" challenges rather than facial? And can a local government - which is not a "ministerial officer" of the state -- challenge a state statute as violative of the home rule or other provisions of the state constitution?

These issues are not addressed - but I suspect that they will be in the future.

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Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask and I will send you free written information about my qualifications and experience. Additionally, the comments, statements and articles contained herein are general in nature and should not be relied upon as a basis for any legal opinion, action or conclusion on the part of the reader with respect to any particular set of facts or circumstances, or to establish an attorney-client relationship between us.