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The post below was published on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 at 8:21 AM.

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Florida Supreme Court: Help On Jimmy Ryce

In December, I published this post about a Second District pass-through order that sent a Jimmy Ryce Act dilemma straight to the Florida Supreme Court. As the post explained in some detail, the case involves a man who has been detained for eight years under Florida’s Jimmy Ryce Act without receiving a trial or treatment. The act permits the involuntary civil commitment of sexually violent persons.

The man’s Jimmy Ryce case is proceeding Broward County, in the Fourth District’s territory, but he is being detained in DeSoto County, in the Second District’s territory, and filed a habeas corpus petition in DeSoto. The circuit court denied the petition and the man appealed. Under these geographic circumstances, the Second District doubted its jurisdictional authority to order relief, so the district court certified the matter for immediate resolution by the state supreme court.

In this order, a divided supreme court stayed the Jimmy Ryce proceeding and relinquished jurisdiction to the Broward court to resolve a number of issues relating to how things got where they are. From the list of issues, which include obtaining details about the lack of treatment for pretrial detainees and whether the case’s inordinate delay has rendered the man’s commitment unlawful, it appears that the high court is interested in learning more about the larger picture of detainees, trials, and treatment.

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