TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) The 2007 Legislature created regional counsel offices to replace court-appointed attorneys. Twenty-five counties claimed that legislation violated the Florida Constitution by shifting funding responsibilities for those offices from the state to the counties.
Circuit Court Judge John C. Cooper agreed Thursday that the
Legislature had ``run afoul'' of the constitution by requiring
counties to pay for the regional offices. He also said the
constitution clearly spells out that counties are not responsible
for funding court-appointed counsel.
The Florida Association of Counties calls the judge's opinion
"a great order for the counties.''