Shadwick v. City of Tampa

RESPONDENT: City of Tampa
LOCATION: Odessa Junior College

DOCKET NO.: 71-5445
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: Florida Supreme Court

CITATION: 407 US 345 (1972)
ARGUED: Apr 10, 1972
DECIDED: Jun 19, 1972

Daniel A. Rezneck - for appellant
Gerald H. Bee - for appellee

Facts of the case


Media for Shadwick v. City of Tampa

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 10, 1972 in Shadwick v. City of Tampa

Warren E. Burger:

-- next in number 71-5445, Shadwick against City of Tampa.

Mr. Rezneck.

Daniel A. Rezneck:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This is an appeal from a decision of the Supreme Court of Florida.

The Court below upheld the constitutionality of certain Florida statute which authorized clerks of the municipal Court of the City of Tampa to issue arrest warrants for persons who were accused of violations of municipal ordinances is raises the issue --

Harry A. Blackmun:

Mr. Rezneck, let me know at the start, has Mr. Shadwick ever been tried and convicted?

Daniel A. Rezneck:

No sir.

Harry A. Blackmun:

Well, do we have a final judgment here then?

Daniel A. Rezneck:

I believe that you do.

In first place, I think that a counsel for the city as I understand at page 2 of his brief does characterize this as a final judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida.

I think, that it is a final judgment under state law.

Harry A. Blackmun:

Well, it is a final judgment under federal statute --

Daniel A. Rezneck:

Well, I believe that it is.

This was commenced as an independent proceeding by way of common law certiorari in the Circuit Court of Hills Brooklyn County, which is a Court of journal jurisdiction to review the decision of the Municipal Court of Tampa refusing to quash the warrant in this case and it was -- the writ of certiorari was denied and that was affirmed by the District Court of Appeals and by the Florida Supreme Court.

So that this common law certiorari proceeding which is an independent and separable proceeding under Florida law is at an end and I think that does make this final for this Court's purposes as well.

In other words, it's not a part of the pending criminal proceeding.

I would in that connection, Your Honor, refer you to this Court's decision in Camara, the Municipal Court, the case involving administrative searches in this Court, which involved a writ of prohibition in advance of a trial for the violation of municipal ordinance and the case came all the way through this Court on the writ of prohibition without any factual record or without any trial of the issue and it was decided by this Court and thereby deemed final.

So, that I do think that under the test that this Court has laid down, that you do have a final judgment under the judicial code.

William H. Rehnquist:

Was that passed upon specifically in Camara, Mr. Rezneck?

Daniel A. Rezneck:

That particular issue?

William H. Rehnquist:


Daniel A. Rezneck:

I do not believe that it was raised and that issue was litigated as to whether it was a final judgment or not, but since that I suppose would be deemed a jurisdictional matter for this Court, I think the fact that this Court went on to decide the case, does decide the jurisdictional issue, at least by implication.

The appellant here was arrested in March, 1969 on a warrant which charged him with violation of a Tampa ordinance, careless driving of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or a drug.

This warrant was applied for by a police officer of the City of Tampa and it was issued by a deputy clerk of the City of Tampa who had been designated as a clerk of the municipal court.

The affidavit and the warrant appear at pages 6 and 7 of the joint appendix here.

This offense is triable in the Tampa Municipal Court and it carries a penalty of not less than five days, no more than six months in jail or fine of not less than $250 or more than $500 or both.

As I indicated there was a motion to quash the arrest warrant in the Municipal Court which was denied and then the common-law certiorari proceeding was brought in the Circuit Court.

It was denied there, affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals and by the Florida Supreme Court.

The Florida Supreme Court opinion is at pages 41 to 43 of the appendix and the Florida Supreme Court held that clerks and deputy clerks of the municipal court are authorized under Florida law to issue arrest warrants.

And it further held that such clerks are neutral and detached magistrates under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, “by virtue of the Florida statues fixing their powers and duties to issue arrest warrants.”