Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Court Reviews Recall Petition Suit; A Group Wants a Ruling on the Number of Names to Be Required on a Recall Petition

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Court Reviews Recall Petition Suit; A Group Wants a Ruling on the Number of Names to Be Required on a Recall Petition

Article excerpt

Byline: DEBORAH CEARNAL

Judge William A. Wilkes has heard the oral arguments and will study them so he can rule on a lawsuit seeking to determine the number of signatures needed on a petition to recall a commissioner.

Attorneys were given 10 days to write a proposed final order representing their side in the case of Citizens for Term Limits and Accountability Inc. against the County Commission and individual commissioners.

Wilkes made the pronouncement Tuesday at the end of an afternoon hearing. Lawyers for the county and individual commissioners sought to have the complaint dismissed, while the attorney for the non-profit group hoped to get a ruling that would say how many residents must sign a petition to recall a commissioner or commissioners.

The group filed the action Sept. 3 against the commission and its members and is asking the courts to decide if the number of names on the recall petition should be based on the number of at-large or district electors. All commissioners were elected in at-large voting, but the charter has since changed to have them represent districts. The switch could mean gathering fewer signatures.

County Attorney Mark Scruby led the charge to dismiss the suit, telling Wilkes it "does not identify a controversy. Until there is a controversy, there is no cause of action," he said.

Scruby noted the complaint by the organization says it will "contemplate initiation of the process for recall."

Because they are only contemplating the action, "They [citizens group] haven't identified a target. If you don't take a position, how would you know what defense to take?" Scruby asked in speaking for the board of commissioners and the county.

Additionally, Scruby argued the group is "seeking a declaratory judgment to dispel their doubts."

"It's an academic question at this point. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.