Local governments in Florida have diverse decision-making capacties—executive, legislative, and quasi-judicial. The Florida Constitution provides litigants the right to appeal quasi-judicial decisions of local governments to a circuit court; however, executive and legislative decisions are immune from appeal.
This Article examines a lower court’s constraints on reviewing quasi-judicial decisions. The Author analyzes the reasons that quasijudicial decisions are subject to appeal, as opposed to legislative and executive decisions that are outside a court’s scope of review, Further, the Author examines the constraints of judicial review at three stages of the appellate process—before the appeal, during the review, and after the appeal. First, the Author explains why, before the appeal, a court may only review a quasi-judicial decision from a proceeding that
requires notice and a full evidentiary hearing. Then, the Author identiﬁes why, during the review, a court must follow a standard that accords deference to reasonable agency decisions. Finally, the Author explains why, after the appeal, a court has a limited ability to direct a local government’s tribunal. This Article, therefore, provides a comprehensive understanding of the limitations of appealing local government decisions.