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The post below was published on Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 at 8:55 PM.

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Certified Question, Conflict: Writs, Sovereign Immunity

When Citizens asserts sovereign immunity in defense to a bad faith claim and the trial court refuses to dismiss the claim, can the district court review the decision by an extraordinary writ petition?

The Fifth District has utilized prohibition to address the immunity issue on its merits.

In this case, however, the First District disagreed. All three judges concluded that prohibition is not available because, in their view, Citizens’ sovereign immunity is not a matter of subject matter jurisdiction. Judge Wetherell dissented in part on grounds that certiorari should be available.

The First District certified conflict and certified the following to the state supreme court as a question of great public importance:

Whether, in light of the supreme court’s ruling in Department of Education v. Roe, 679 So. 2d 756 (Fla. 1996), review of the denial of a motion to dismiss based on a claim of sovereign immunity should await the entry of a final judgment in the trial court?

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