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Noteworthy Cases

Wacko's Too, Inc. v. City of Jacksonville, Case Nos. 3:20-cv-303-TJC-MCR and 3:22-cv-798-TJC-MCR 

These cases required the Court to determine whether the City's efforts to regulate adult entertainment establishments met constitutional requirements. Both cases involved challenges to Chapters 150 and 151 of the Jacksonville Code. The Court upheld as constitutional the age restriction requiring performers to be at least twenty-one-years-old. The Court also upheld several procedural aspects of the regulations but invalidated others, particularly some parts of the licensing scheme and certain penalty provisions in Chapters 150 and 151.

United States v. Bardell, Case No. 6:11-cr-401-RBD-EJK

The Court initiated contempt proceedings in response to its discovery that Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employees at Federal Correctional Institute in Seagoville, Texas had failed to comply with a condition in the Court's Order granting Frederick Mervin Bardell's motion for compassionate release. The condition required BOP to release Mr. Bardell, who had been diagnosed with terminal colon cancer, after the United States Probation Office approved a plan of release developed with Mr. Bardell's former counsel. This condition was not followed, and BOP released Mr. Bardell before Probation approved a release plan. Mr. Bardell died nine days after his release from FCI Seagoville. The Court charged a Special Master with investigating the circumstances of Mr. Bardell's release, determining whether BOP and/or Kristi Zook, then warden of FCI Seagoville, should be held in contempt, and advising on the imposition of sanctions.

Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP, et al., v. City of Jacksonville, et al., Case No. 3:22-cv-493-MMH-LLL

Following completion of the decennial federal census, the Jacksonville City Charter requires the City Council to redistrict the fourteen City Council districts, five at-large residence areas, and seven School Board districts. On March 22, 2022, the City Council passed Jacksonville Ordinance 2022-01-E setting forth the new district maps (the Enacted Plan).  Plaintiffs (the Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP, the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, Inc., the ACLU of Florida Northeast Chapter, Florida Rising Together, Inc., as well as individual Black resident voters) filed this lawsuit challenging the Enacted Plan on May 3, 2022.  Plaintiffs allege that certain districts in the Enacted Plan are the product of racial gerrymandering in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. On July 22, 2022, Plaintiffs filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction enjoining the implementation of the Enacted Plan and requiring new district lines to be drawn before the next election, scheduled for March 21, 2023. For the reasons stated in the Order, the Court granted the motion. See the Order for more details. 

United States of America v. William Arthur Vanholten, Case No. 3:12-cr-96-RBD-MCR

Order granting Motion for Compassionate Release under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A), reducing Mr. Vanholten's sentence to time-served, effective December 15, 2023, with five years of supervised release.

United States v. Aaron Zahn, et al., Case No. 3:22-cr-23-BJD-MCR

This criminal trial will begin on Thursday, February 15. Members of the press should review this order and information regarding trial.