Florida's First DCA Affirms Trial Court's Dismissal with Prejudice

March 15, 2021 |

On March 11, 2021, the Florida First District Court of Appeal entered an order affirming the trial court's order dismissing the claims against a law enforcement agency with prejudice for negligence and false arrest/imprisonment.

The claims involved the Plaintiff operating a farm tractor on the roadway without a license. The Plaintiff claimed a license was not needed; however, the Plaintiff was not operating the farm tractor in accordance with the statutory exemptions. The Plaintiff alleged he was returning home on his farm tractor after refueling at a nearby gas station, when he call 911 to report a neighbor driving in circles in his front yard. The neighbor fled, but the responding officer saw the Plaintiff operating his farm tractor on his way to the Plaintiff's home. The Plaintiff had a suspended license. The officer arrested the Plaintiff for driving with a suspended license. The Plaintiff contested the charges, based on a statutory exemption, and the charges were eventually dropped. The Plaintiff brought suit for negligence and false arrest/imprisonment. The law enforcement agency moved to dismiss the claims with prejudice and the trial granted the Motion. The Plaintiff appealed and the First District Court of Appeal held the Plaintiff was required to have a valid license to operate the tractor on the roadway. This is another big win for law enforcement!

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