Deputy Court clerks can now collectively bargain: who's next?
Recently, in Service Employees International Union v. Public Employee Relations Commission, 25 Fla. L. Weekly S34 (Jan. 13, 2000), the Florida Supreme Court was asked to answer the following certified question: "Are deputy clerks, unlike deputy sheriffs, public employees within the contemplation Contemplation
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sculpture by Rodin, depicting contemplative man. of section 447.203(3), Florida Statutes The Florida Statutes are the codified, statutory laws of the state of Florida. The laws are approved by the Florida Legislature, and signed into law by the Governor of Florida. ?"
In answering the certified question in the affirmative, the court appears to have ignited ig·nite
v. ig·nit·ed, ig·nit·ing, ig·nites
a. To cause to burn.
b. To set fire to.
2. To subject to great heat, especially to make luminous by heat. a union brushfire brush·fire also brush fire
1. A fire in low-growing, scrubby trees and brush.
2. A relatively minor crisis.
adj. that is spreading throughout Florida. This article will address the Florida Supreme Court's holding in Service Employees International and discuss its potential ramifications ramifications npl → Auswirkungen pl for thousands of appointees and employees of constitutional officers in Florida, including deputy sheriffs.
Murphy v. Mack and its Prodigy An online information service that provides access to the Internet, e-mail and a variety of databases. Launched in 1988, Prodigy was the first consumer-oriented online service in the U.S.
In Murphy v. Mack, 358 So. 2d 822 (Fla. 1978), the Florida Supreme Court was confronted for the first time with the question of whether appointees of a constitutional officer possessed collective bargaining collective bargaining, in labor relations, procedure whereby an employer or employers agree to discuss the conditions of work by bargaining with representatives of the employees, usually a labor union. rights under F.S. Ch. 447, part II ("the act"). In Murphy, the Florida State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police The Fraternal Order of Police is a US-based organization of sworn law enforcement officers. It is the world's largest organization of rank and file sworn officers, with over 2100 local lodges and over 325,000 members. filed an amended petition for certification with the Public Employees Relations Commission seeking to represent certain deputy sheriffs of the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office for purposes of collective bargaining. The Osceola County Osceola County is the name of three counties in the United States:
1. Characterized by or suggestive of doing good.
2. Of, concerned with, or organized for the benefit of charity. Association also filed a petition for certification seeking to represent all deputy sheriffs of Osceola County Sheriff Ernest Murphy as their exclusive bargaining agent A union that possesses the sole authority to act on behalf of all the employees of a particular type in a company.
A bargaining agent is certified by the national labor relations board .
Both Sheriff Heidtmen, Palm Beach County, and Sheriff Murphy, Osceola County, filed motions to dismiss alleging, inter alia [Latin, Among other things.] A phrase used in Pleading to designate that a particular statute set out therein is only a part of the statute that is relevant to the facts of the lawsuit and not the entire statute. , that a sheriff is not a public employer and the deputy sheriffs are not public employees under the act. The motions were subsequently denied. On appeal, the First District Court of Appeal held that the sheriff is a public employer within the definition set forth in [sections] 447.203(2), and further determined that although deputy sheriffs are officers, they are also public employees within the definition of F.S. [sections] 447.203(3) (1975).
On appeal, the Florida Supreme Court in Murphy agreed with the lower court that sheriffs are "public employers." More significantly, for purposes of this article, the court opined that deputy sheriffs are not "public employees" within the meaning of F.S. Ch. 447.203(3), in view of the fact that deputy sheriffs hold office by appointment rather than employment and are vested with the same sovereign power as the sheriff, who is the chief law enforcement officer of the county. Additionally, the court noted in its analysis that deputy sheriffs have never been identified as public employees by state courts in the past. Because of their unique common law historical background, the court noted that there was only one way to change their status: "In the absence of language including deputy sheriffs within the definition set forth in Chapter 447, Florida Statutes (1975), we find that they are not encompassed by the act."
Thus it was up to the legislature to specifically grant deputy sheriffs' collective bargaining rights.
The following year, in Ison v. Zimmerman, 372 So. 2d 431 (Fla. 1979), the Florida Supreme Court once again held that deputy sheriffs are not "public employees" within the contemplation of Ch. 447, noting that deputy sheriffs were distinguished from other employees of the sheriffs, such as secretaries.
See: Preferred equity redemption stock followed the holdings in Murphy and Ison in Brevard County PBA PBA Professional Bowlers Association
PBA Palm Beach Atlantic University (West Palm Beach, Florida)
PBA Partial-Birth Abortion
PBA Philippine Basketball Association
PBA Public Broadcasting Atlanta (Georgia, USA) v. Brevard County Sheriff's Department, 7 FPER [paragraph] 12347 (PERC 1981), in which the commission voided void·ed
Having the central area cut out or left vacant, leaving an outline or narrow border: a voided lozenge. a certification covering Brevard County Sheriff's Office deputies that had been issued prior to the decisions in Murphy and Ison. The commission held that these two Florida Supreme Court rulings were dispositive dis·pos·i·tive
Relating to or having an effect on disposition or settlement, especially of a legal case or will. of the public employee status of deputy sheriffs. The First District Court of Appeal affirmed the commission's decision explaining that the determination in Murphy was not based simply on statutory construction, but also on interpretation of common law. In so ruling, the district court stated the deputies' status, having arisen out of common law, could be changed only by legislative action via state statute or appropriate local government law.
Not content with the Florida Supreme Court's determination regarding their lack of collective bargaining rights, certain Florida deputy sheriffs sought class action relief in federal court. In Sikes Sikes can refer to: People
Application to Other Constitutional Officers
PERC, as well as Florida courts, had little difficulty in extending Murphy's holding and rationale to the deputies of other constitutional officers. In Federation of Public Employees v. Public Employees Relations Commissions, 478 So.2d 117 (Fla. 4th DCA (1) (Document Content Architecture) IBM file formats for text documents. DCA/RFT (Revisable-Form Text) is the primary format and can be edited. DCA/FFT (Final-Form Text) has been formatted for a particular output device and cannot be changed. 1985), PERC and the Fourth District Court of Appeal determined that deputy clerks of the 17th Judicial Circuit of Broward County were not public employees insofar in·so·far
To such an extent.
Adv. 1. insofar - to the degree or extent that; "insofar as it can be ascertained, the horse lung is comparable to that of man"; "so far as it is reasonably practical he should practice as they were appointees pursuant to statutory authority. Similarly, the rationale of Murphy was found applicable to appointed deputies of property appraisers in Florida Public Employees Counsel 79, AFSCME AFSCME American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees v. Martin County Property Appraisers, 521 So.2d 243 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985). Finally, although not directly interpreting the act, the 11th Circuit in Beauregard v. Olsen, 84 F.3d 1402 (11th Cir. 1996), noted the significance of the appointee APPOINTEE. A person who is appointed or selected for a particular purpose; as the appointee under a power, is the person who is to receive the benefit of the trust or power. status of deputy tax collectors under Florida law The jurisprudence of this state offers major differences from doctrines prevailing in the United States at either the federal level or that of the various states.
Homestead exemption from forced sale, the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, the right to privacy, and the Williams .
So What Happened?
On April 1,1997, Patricia O'Brian was fired from her job as a clerk VI by the clerk of the circuit court in Orange County. O'Brian claimed that she had accumulated a good work record and was fired because she had met with a union official, signed a card supporting the union, and talked favorably about the union in the lunchroom with fellow workers. The clerk claimed that O'Brian had falsified time records. On Ms. O'Brian's behalf, the Service Employees Internal Union filed an unfair labor practice Conduct prohibited by federal law regulating relations between employers, employees, and labor organizations.
Before 1935 U.S. labor unions received little protection from the law. charge with PERC pursuant to the act, which protects a public employee's right to engage in collective bargaining activities. PERC summarily dismissed the charge, concluding that under existing case law deputy clerks are not considered "public employees" within the purview The part of a statute or a law that delineates its purpose and scope.
Purview refers to the enacting part of a statute. It generally begins with the words be it enacted and continues as far as the repealing clause. of the act.
On appeal, the Fifth District Court of Appeal recognized the holding in Murphy that deputy sheriffs are not "public employees," but questioned the wisdom of extending that holding to court clerks A court clerk, in British English clerk to the court or in American English clerk of the court is an officer of the court whose responsibilities include maintaining the records of a court. Another duty is to swear in witnesses, jurors, and grand jurors. . The district court observed that employees of the clerk's office, unlike deputy sheriffs, do not tote guns and their work is routine and involves little discretion. The court opined, "We recognize the logical extension of Murphy (from deputy sheriff to deputy clerk) made by the Federation court based on its interpretation of the Murphy holding." For this reason, the court affirmed. However, the court suggested that the Supreme Court might wish to consider the certified question as one of great public importance.
Supreme Court Weighs in
Are deputy clerks, unlike deputy sheriffs, public employees within the contemplation of F.S. [sections] 447.203(3)? The Florida Supreme Court unequivocally answered the certified question in the affirmative.
In Service Employees International, the court determined that when collective bargaining rights of public employees are at issue, the plain language of the act controls and applies across the board to all public workers, regardless of their job title. The court noted that "deputy" is not included in the list of statutory exemptions from the definition of public employee. The court further expressed that the "public employee/managerial employee" dichotomy di·chot·o·my
n. pl. di·chot·o·mies
1. Division into two usually contradictory parts or opinions: "the dichotomy of the one and the many" Louis Auchincloss. set forth in [sections] 447.203 is the bright line for determining coverage under part II. Accordingly, if an individual works as an employee in the ordinary sense of the word under the criteria set forth in [sections] 447.203(3), he or she is entitled to the protections of part II. If an individual works as a managerial level employee under the criteria set forth in [sections] 447.203(4) or falls within any of the other exceptions listed in [sections] 447.203(3), the protections of part II are inapplicable in·ap·pli·ca·ble
Not applicable: rules inapplicable to day students.
Not content with its refusal to extend Murphy's holding to deputy clerks of court, the court criticized Murphy's rationale. The court sent signals such as: "a deputy in days of yore of old time; long ago; as, in times or days of yore.
See also: Yore was an appointed official who could stand in the place of a principle for most purposes"; "times have changed"; "the court in Murphy appears to have exhalted form over substance in contravention A term of French law meaning an act violative of a law, a treaty, or an agreement made between parties; a breach of law punishable by a fine of fifteen francs or less and by an imprisonment of three days or less. In the U.S. of the plain language and broad purpose of the act"; and "[t]he fact that deputy sheriffs are said to be `appointed' rather than `employed' is of little import under Chapter 447--the definition of `public employee' and section 447.203 draws no such distinction." Despite the above criticism, the court did not overrule The refusal by a judge to sustain an objection set forth by an attorney during a trial, such as an objection to a particular question posed to a witness. To make void, annul, supersede, or reject through a subsequent decision or action. Murphy, but refused to extend that holding to deputy clerks.
Law Enforcement Unions React
Before the ink in Service Employees International was dry, three law enforcement unions filed a total of seven representation certification petitions against the sheriffs for Flagler, Brevard, Palm Beach, and Pasco counties seeking to represent for purposes of collective bargaining various ranks of deputy sheriffs.
PERC found each of the petitions sufficient based on its conclusion that:
The Florida Supreme Court's recent opinion in Service Employees International Union, Local 16AFL-CIO AFL-CIO: see American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
in full American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations
U.S. v. Public Employees Relations Commission, et al., No. SC. 99427 (Fla. January 13, 2000) "casts doubt" as to the validity of its prior decision in Murphy v. Mack, 358 So. 2d 822 (Fla. 1978), holding that deputy sheriffs are not public employees. Therefore, we find this petition to represent deputy sheriffs for the purpose of collective bargaining sufficient in order to develop a record as to the deputies' duties and responsibilities vis-a-vis the sheriff himself.
Is Murphy v. Mack Still Good Law?
On March 6, 2000, the sheriff of Brevard County filed a petition for a writ of prohibition writ of prohibition
n. pl. writs of prohibition
An order issued by a higher court commanding a lower court to cease from proceeding in some matter not within its jurisdiction.
Noun 1. or, in the alternative, a petition for review of nonfinal agency action in the Fifth District Court of Appeal. The petition alleges that PERC has improperly asserted jurisdiction over the sheriff's appointed deputies, contrary to Murphy's holding, and that there is no other adequate remedy at law Sufficient compensation by way of monetary damages.
Courts will not grant equitable remedies, such as Specific Performance or injunctions, where monetary damages can afford complete legal relief. . On March 7, 2000, the Fifth District Court of Appeal entered an order directing the respondent, Coastal Florida PBA, to show cause why the petition should not be granted. PERC sua sponte [Latin, Of his or her or its own will; voluntarily.]
For example, when a court takes action on its own motion, rather than at the request of one of the parties, it is acting sua sponte.
sua sponte (sooh-uh-spahn-tay) adj. filed a response to the show cause order suggesting that it is entitled to hold a hearing to determine its jurisdiction in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Service Employees International. The Florida Coastal PBA took a more direct approach in its response to the order to show cause by contending that the Supreme Court's decision in Service Employees International did in fact overrule Murphy. The Coastal Florida PBA further argued, inter alia, that a hearing is necessary for PERC to take evidence to determine whether the deputies in question "work as employees in the ordinary sense of the word."
In his reply to the PERC and Coastal Florida PBA responses, the Brevard County sheriff asserted that both PERC and the union ignored the import of the Murphy mandate: only the legislature can change the status of deputy sheriffs. The sheriff further pointed out that not only has the legislature revisited Ch. 447.203 11 times since the Murphy decision, it has on two occasions expressly refused to grant collective bargaining rights to this unique law enforcement position.
In 1993, the Florida Legislature The Florida Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The Florida Constitution mandates a bicameral state legislature with an upper house Florida Senate of 40 members and a lower Florida House of Representatives of 120 members. amended the Police Officer Bill of Rights to include deputy sheriffs by name after the statute had been construed to exclude them. In enacting 1993 Fla. Laws Ch. 19, the legislature, however, added a provision that stated the law would not be construed to grant collective bargaining rights to deputy sheriffs. Similarly, in 1994 the legislature enacted F.S. [sections] 30.071, providing certain appeal rights to deputy sheriffs who allege To state, recite, assert, or charge the existence of particular facts in a Pleading or an indictment; to make an allegation.
allege v. political or discriminatory discharge. The act specifically provided that it did not grant to deputy sheriffs the right to collectively bargain.
While the initial order to show cause has temporarily stayed the proceedings involving the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, PERC has since entered orders staying the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office and Pasco County Sheriffs Office proceedings pending the resolution by the Fifth District Court of Appeal.(22)
The Supreme Court's refusal to extend the Murphy rationale to deputy clerks has touched off a flurry of union activity. The final chapter in this saga has yet to be written. What can be said at this point is the following: Deputy court clerks now possess the right to collectively bargain under the act. Furthermore, it is a safe bet that deputies for all other constitutional officers except deputy sheriffs will also have the right to bargain collectively. Yet to be decided is whether the Florida Supreme Court will overturn Murphy and give collective bargaining rights to deputy sheriffs without action by the legislature. This issue may be resolved by an appeal of the Fifth District Court of Appeal's decision on the petition for writ of prohibition or an appeal of PERC's final order on the merits on the merits adj. referring to a judgment, decision or ruling of a court based upon the facts presented in evidence and the law applied to that evidence. A judge decides a case "on the merits" when he/she bases the decision on the fundamental issues and considers of the pending representation petitions.
 FLA. STAT. ch. 447, part II implements the rights of public employees to collectively bargain under FLA. CONST. art. 1, [sections] 6 as construed in Dade County Dade County can refer to the following places:
 FLA. STAT. [sections] 447.203(2) (1975) defines a public employer as follows: "`Public employer' or `employer' means the state or any county, municipality MUNICIPALITY. The body of officers, taken collectively, belonging to a city, who are appointed to manage its affairs and defend its interests. , or special district or any subdivision or agency thereof which the commission determines has sufficient legal distinctiveness properly to carry out the functions of a public employer...."
 The term "public employee" is defined in FLA. STAT. [sections] 447.230(3) (1975) as: "`Public Employee' means any person, employed by a public employer except:
(a) Those persons appointed by the governor or elected by the people, agency heads, members of boards and commissions,
(b) Those persons holding positions by appointment or employment in the organized militia militia (məlĭsh`ə), military organization composed of citizens enrolled and trained for service in times of national emergency. Its ranks may be filled either by enlistment or conscription. ,
(c) Those individuals acting as negotiating representatives for employer authorities,
(d) Those persons who are designated as managerial or confidential employees."
 Murphy, 358 So. 2d at 857.
 Southern Freightways v. Reed, 416 So. 2d 26 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 1982).
 Sikes, 562 F. Supp. at 81.
 Service Employees International Union v. PERC, 720 So. 2d 290 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1998).
 Id. at 291.
 Service Employees International Union v. PERC, 25 Fla. L. Weekly 534 (Fla. Jan. 13, 2000).
 FLA. STAT. [sections] 447.203(3) (1999) provides: "`Public employee' means any person employed by a public employer except:
(a) Those persons appointed by the Governor or elected by the people, agency heads, and members of boards and commissions,
(b) Those persons holding positions by appointment or employment in the organized militia,
(c) Those individuals acting as negotiating representatives for employer authorities,
(d) Those persons who are designated by the commission as managerial or confidential employees pursuant to criteria contained herein,
(e) Those persons holding positions of employment with the Florida Legislature,
(f) Those persons who have been convicted of a crime and are inmates confined con·fine
v. con·fined, con·fin·ing, con·fines
1. To keep within bounds; restrict: Please confine your remarks to the issues at hand. See Synonyms at limit. to institutions within the state.
(g) Those persons appointed to inspection positions in federal/state fruit and vegetable inspection service whose conditions of appointment are affected by the following:
1. Federal license requirement.
2. Federal autonomy regarding investigation and disciplining of appointees.
3. Frequent transfers due to harvesting conditions,
(h) Those persons employed by the Public Employees Relations Commission,
(i) Those persons enrolled as graduate students in the State University System who are employed as graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants, graduate teaching associates, graduate research assistants, or graduate research associates and those persons enrolled as undergraduate students in the State University System who perform part-time work for the State University System.
(j) Those persons who by virtue of their positions of employment are regulated by the Florida Supreme Court pursuant to s. 15, Art. V of the State Constitution."
 FLA. STAT. [sections] 440.203(4) (1999) provides: "`Managerial employees' are those employees who:
(a) Perform jobs that are not of a routine, clerical, or ministerial nature and require the exercise of independent judgment in the performance of such jobs and to whom one or more of the following applies:
1. They formulate or assist in formulating policies which are applicable to bargaining unit A bargaining unit in labor relations is a group of employees with a clear and identifiable community of interests who are (under U.S. law) represented by a single labor union in collective bargaining and other dealings with management. employees.
2. They may reasonably be required on behalf of the employer to assist in the preparation for the conduct of collective bargaining negotiations.
3. They have a role in the administration of agreements resulting from collective bargaining negotiations.
4. They have a significant role in personnel administration.
5. They have a significant role in employee relations.
6. They are included in the definition of administrative personnel contained in s. 228.041 (10).
7. They have a significant role in the preparation or administration of budgets for any public agency or institution or subdivision thereof.
(b) Serve as police chiefs, fire chiefs, or directors of public safety of any police, fire, or public safety department. Other police officers, as defined in s. 943.10 (1), and firefighters, as defined in s. 663.30(1), may be determined by the commission to be managerial employees of such departments. In making such determinations, the commission shall consider, in addition to the criteria established in paragraph (a), the paramilitary par·a·mil·i·tar·y
Of, relating to, or being a group of civilians organized in a military fashion, especially to operate in place of or assist regular army troops.
n. pl. organizational structure This article has no lead section.
To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, one should be written. of the department involved. However, in determining whether an individual is a managerial employee pursuant to either paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), above, the commission may consider historic relationships of the employee to the public employer and to coemployees."
 Service Employees International, 25 Fla. L. Weekly at S35.
 Coastal Florida Benevolent Association, Inc. v. Flagler County Sheriff's Office (deputies) RC-2000-002; Coastal Florida Benevolent Association, Inc. v. Flagler County Sheriffs Office (corporal/ sergeant) RC-2000-003; Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association, Inc. v. Brevard County Sheriff's Office (deputy/ field training office/corporal and sergeant) RC-2000-13; Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association, Inc. v. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (lieutenant) RC-2000-10; Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association, Inc. v. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (deputy sheriff/corporal/sergeant) RC-2000-15; Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, Inc. v. Pasco County Sheriff's Office (corporal/detectives/ deputies/correctional corporal CORPORAL. An epithet for anything belonging to the body, as, corporal punishment, for punishment inflicted on the person of the criminal; corporal oath, which is an oath by the party who takes it being obliged to lay his hand on the Bible.
CORPORAL, in the army. and correctional deputies) RC-2000-17; Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, Inc. v. Pasco County Sheriffs Office (sergeants/lieutenants/correctional sergeant/correctional lieutenant) RC-2000-18. Additionally, a support staff representation petition was also filed by the FOP with PERC. Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, Inc. v. Pasco County Sheriffs Office RC-2000-19. (secretary/clerk/switchboard operator/accountant II/computer programmer/dispatcher/mechanics/dispatcher supervisor/printer/crime scene technicians/protective investigators).
 Identical Notice of Sufficiencies were issued by PERC in RC-2000-002, RC-2000-003, RC-2000-013, RC-2000-10, RC-2000-15, RC-2000-17, RC-2000-18.
 Phillip B. (Phil) Williams, Etc. v. Coastal Florida Police Benevolent, Etc., Case No. 5D00-618.
 Respondent's Response to Order to Show Cause (March 20, 2000), Case No. 5D00-618.
 Id. at 8.
 Petitioner's Reply to Response from Respondent and Public Employees Relations Commission (March 28, 2000), Case No. 5D00-618.
 FLA. STAT. [sections] 112.535 (1995).
 FLA. STAT. [sections] 30.071(3) (1995).
 Florida State Lodge FOP, Inc. v. Pasco County Sheriff's Office, RC-2000-017 and RC-2000-018 (PERC March 28, 2000); Palm Beach PBA, Inc. v. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, RC-2000-010 and RC-2000-15 (PERC March 23, 2000); Coastal Florida PBA, Inc. v. Brevard County Sheriffs Office, RC-2000-013 (PERC March 10, 2000).
Leonard J. Dietzen III received his B.A. from the University of Central Florida “UCF” redirects here. For other uses, see UCF (disambiguation).
UCF is a member institution of the State University System of Florida. UCF was founded in 1963 as Florida Technological University with the goal of providing highly trained personnel to support the Kennedy in 1986 and a J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law Florida State University College of Law, a law school in the Southeastern U.S., is one of the professional graduate schools of Florida State University, located in Tallahassee, Florida. The law school borders the South-East quadrant of the University's campus, near the Donald L. , with honors, in 1989. He is a member of the Labor and Employment Section and the Florida Association of Police Attorneys. Mr. Dietzen has concentrated his area of practice exclusively to representing management in all areas of labor and civil rights liability matters. A considerable portion of his practice is representation of Florida sheriffs. He is with the firm of Powers, Quaschnick, Tischler, Evans & Dietzen, Tallahassee.
This column is submitted on behalf of the Labor and Employment Law Section, Robert J. Sniffen, chair, and F. Damon Kitchen, editor.