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Case Law

Note: For information on
references cited in the Federal
Cases below, click here.

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Glossary of Terms

Case Law Citations (cites) - An excellent reference book for persons without any legal background is the one titled "Legal Research" seen on the right..

It will teach you the composition of a case cite that are frequently used in family law cases. It will demystify what you are reading and help you to understand the basis upon which courts rely to make rulings.

You will learn how to do your own research and understand what you are doing and why. This is an invaluable guide for the person who is self-represented in court. It is written in easy to understand layman's language.

The following case cites are from Florida. To find out if there are similar cases in your state, you might want to go to the courthouse to their legal library. If they have a computer, you can access one of the vendors who provide case cites at no charge to you. Another free place you can go online is LexisOne.

The use of appropriate words to be used as keywords is very important. Check the cases below and they will give you hints as to which keywords to search for.



Alimony and Attorney's Fees

  • Barna v. Barna, 850 So.2d 603 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003 - Petition for a Writ of Certiorari for fee shifting. Frivolous Motions.
  • Finol v. Finol, 869 So.2d 866 (2004): No client-attorney privilege exists in requests for discovery relating to the fees paid to an attorney. Bank accounts, credit card accounts, are all subject to a subpoena and your attorney will fork over that information to your former wife's attorney. Don't forget to get a receipt.
  • Messana v. Seaside Community Development Co. 1st DCA Case #1D04-3270 (Aug. 5, 2005) - awarding attorney’s fees is deficient if it does not set forth specific findings regarding the attorney’s hourly rate, the number of hours reasonably expended, and the appropriateness of reduction or enhancement factors.

Alimony and Extradition:

Alimony and Retirement:

Imputed Income:



Right to Privacy

  • Littlejohn v. Rose, 768 F. 2d 765, *6th Cir. (1985) - The case states that divorce is within the umbrella of the Right of Privacy. That means any statute written in that zone is privacy protected and presumptively unconstitutional. The only question remaining is: "Is there a compelling state interest for the alimony statute and is it minimally applied?"
  • Loving v. Virginia - 388 U.S. 1, 12, 87 S.Ct. 1817 (1967): Miscegenation law (marriage between races)  held violative of Equal Protection: "Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival."
  • Planned Parenthood v. Casey - (505 US 833) in 1992. "Our law affords constitutional protection to personal decisions relating to marriage."
  • Principles of Equal Protection - Site with many cites on Right to Privacy.
  • Richardson v. Richardson 734 So. 2d 1063 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999) - Has to do with the grandparent visitation parts violating the right of privacy of parents to decide who their kids can visit with...not the grandparents rights
  • Zablocki v. Redhail (434 US 374) in 1978

Separation of Powers

  • Bush  v. Schiavo, 885 So. 2d 321, (Fla. 2004) - A law permitting the governor to stay the court-ordered removal of a feeding tube enacted after the order had been rendered was an unconstitutional invasion of the separation of powers.

Federal Case Law

  • Section 1983 Litigation: The fundamental issues that arise in litigation under 42 U.S.C. 1983, the statute for redressing constitutional and federal statutory violations, and the case law interpreting those issues.



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Date last updated: 08/25/2011