PUBLIC RECORDS: APPEALS: MANDAMUS    

Clay County Education Association v. Clay County School Board, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1792 (Fla. 1st DCA August 22, 2014)

The plaintiff filed a complaint for writ of mandamus to compel the defendant to produce public records.  Based upon the allegations of the complaint, the trial court issued an alternative writ of mandamus directing the defendant to file its written defenses.  The defendant filed an unsworn response alleging that it had already complied with the plaintiff’s request or that the information did not exist in the format requested or that the documents did not exist.  Based upon the response, the trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint, but the appellate court reversed because the complaint alleged a prima facie entitlement to relief, and the trial court failed to conduct “an evidentiary hearing to resolve disputed issues of fact.”  Section 119.11(1), Florida Statutes, provides, “Whenever an action is filed to enforce the provisions of this chapter, the court shall set an immediate hearing, giving the case priority over other pending cases.”