Author Topic: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida  (Read 3175 times)

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Offline Cylinder

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Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« on: August 26, 2013, 07:40:49 PM »
 O'Mara: Zimmerman to request reimbursement from state
 
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George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin, plans to ask the state of Florida to cover $200,000 to $300,000 of his legal expenses, his attorney told the Orlando Sentinel Monday evening.

Because Zimmerman was acquitted, state law requires Florida to pay all his legal costs, minus the biggest one: the fee that goes to his lawyers.

That includes the cost of expert witnesses, travel, depositions, photocopies, even that animated 3-D video that defense attorneys showed jurors during closing argument that depicts Trayvon punching Zimmerman.

Offline MJW

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 10:16:06 PM »
(I'll recycle a couple of comments I made at the Random Topics blog.)

I'm certain O'Mara knows a lot more about Florida law than I do, but I don't interpret that statute in question as granting reimbursement for most defense expenses. It says:

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939.06?Acquitted defendant not liable for costs.—
(1) A defendant in a criminal prosecution who is acquitted or discharged is not liable for any costs or fees of the court or any ministerial office, or for any charge of subsistence while detained in custody. If the defendant has paid any taxable costs, or fees required under s. 27.52(1)(b), in the case, the clerk or judge shall give him or her a certificate of the payment of such costs, with the items thereof, which, when audited and approved according to law, shall be refunded to the defendant.
(2) To receive a refund under this section, a defendant must submit a request for the refund to the Justice Administrative Commission on a form and in a manner prescribed by the commission. The defendant must attach to the form an order from the court demonstrating the defendant’s right to the refund and the amount of the refund.

That seems to me to say an acquitted defendant will be compensated for court fees, for expenses charged for holding the defendant in custody, and for prosecution expenses billed to the defendant.  Leyritz v. State, 93 So. 3d 1156 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012)  discusses the statute in relation to prosecution expenses charged to the defendant under section 938.

The issue seems to be controlled by Wolf v. County of Volusia, 703 So. 2d 1033 (Fla. 1997). The Florida supreme court considered a lower court decision on granting payment of certain expenses:

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Wolf was arrested, charged with committing sexual battery on a child under twelve years old, and acquitted following a six-day trial. He subsequently filed a complaint seeking $16,280.43 in costs from Volusia County to cover the following expenses: "expert witness and service fees, court reporter and transcription expenses, video-taped deposition expenses, process service expenses by private process servers, copy and duplicate expenses, Clerk of Court expenses, process service by the Sheriff expenses, and witness fees pursuant to § 914.09." The court awarded Wolf the full amount, but the district court reversed, limiting the award to $924.50 for "witness fees, sheriff expenses, and clerk of the court expenses."

The court concluded:

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[T]he district court properly limited Wolf's reimbursement to "witness fees, sheriff expenses, and clerk of the court expenses."

Offline ding7777

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 07:37:46 AM »

That seems to me to say an acquitted defendant will be compensated for court fees, for expenses charged for holding the defendant in custody, and for prosecution expenses billed to the defendant.

Would this include his bail payment? His body guards?

Offline annoyedbeyond

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 09:18:22 AM »
Ask high, settle low.

Hard to ask for more at the end of things.

Offline MJW

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 11:47:04 AM »
Would this include his bail payment? His body guards?

No to both, I believe.

Offline SuzieTampa

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 10:26:43 AM »
This Orlando Sentinel video interview of MOM has another great jab at the prosecution: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-wife-shellie-plea-20130828,0,3608738.story

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 11:40:58 AM »
This Orlando Sentinel video interview of MOM has another great jab at the prosecution: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-wife-shellie-plea-20130828,0,3608738.story

Direct link. It's on a different page from the interview with Shellie's lawyer.

I think Suzie means the part at 2:52.

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 08:03:24 PM »
Ask high, settle low.

Hard to ask for more at the end of things.
As far as I am concerned, anything over one red cent is a win for The Defense.  It is yet another "reminder" that the State was wrong to bring forth unwarranted charges.  I wish they would reimburse him but realistically, their auditors will go over everything with a fine tooth comb. They probably will deny a lot of it.

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 01:13:57 AM »
Here are the rules for what is allowable. O'Mara says the Justice Administrative Commission (JAC) is the one the petition gets filed with.  It doesn't cover legal fees.

Where will O'Mara and West's fees come from? O'Mara's book or the NBC case? Or a portion of what George earns from any book he might write or public appearances when he's no longer a threat?

I'm not surprised all has not returned to normal. GZ must have some serious PTSD after the trial, making him difficult to live with.  Last summer, I listened to all 6 or 8 hours of the jail tapes in one sitting, driving from Denver to Telluride. GZ was clearly the more dominant personality in the relationship, made all the decisions, etc, and in may instances, seemed to doubt she had the capability to get certain things done (which was wrong, because she did them all.) She apologized a lot in places, and sounded like a little girl in others. My point being, I don't think this speaks ill of either of them. It's not many couples who do survive together after an a life-threatening incident like this with all the media attention refusing to fairly review the evidence and see gz was not guilty.

I hope it's not too late for couples counseling for them -- I rhink they make a good couple.


Offline jeanmarc8

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2013, 06:42:50 AM »
IANAL

Maybe this should be on the Media Bias webpage, but I wish the Orlando Sentinel would move on to more responsible journalistic reporting reflecting the current status of the case.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-we-pay-his-bills-20130826,0,7750164.story

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  “George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin, plans to ask the state of Florida to cover $200,000 to $300,000 of his legal expenses, his attorney told the Orlando Sentinel Monday evening.”

The starting sentence of “George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin,…” may meet the lower bounds of journalistic accuracy but seems overly inflammatory and pejorative. I guess they did leave out “an unarmed teenager bringing Skittles to his step-brother, … ” I see signs for Neighborhood Watch programs in my drive through a predominantly African American neighborhood, so I don’t see those code words as meaningful.

I guess it is too much to expect for something more neutral like “George Zimmerman has requested reimbursement per state law after the jury acquitted him in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin..”

There is probably room in the masthead for the Orlando Sentinel to add “Unfair and Unbalanced by Choice”, and it might not infringe on some other trademarks.

Again, IANAL.

Offline turbo6

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2013, 08:57:22 AM »
Didn't O'Mara estimate they would only get around $50k? Makes me wonder how any incoming cash will be divided amongst him and Zimmerman (trial fees, lawsuits, books etc)

Offline jeanmarc8

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2013, 02:33:29 PM »
IANAL

turbo6:
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Didn't O'Mara estimate they would only get around $50k? Makes me wonder how any incoming cash will be divided amongst him and Zimmerman (trial fees, lawsuits, books etc)

While we may see some gross total for trial fees reimbursed by the state, I doubt we will have any visibility of the rest of that money, particularly the lawsuits.  I would think the big news organizations will settle long before this involves depositions, since they would likely be unpleasant. I would expect non-disclosure statements such as seen the HOA, so there will be no news announcements.   I would also doubt any lawsuit from Fulton-Martin on Zimmerman, due to amount of adverse information that was suggested at in the trial.  Even the book deals may not be that lucrative, and won’t change the views by most on outcome of the case.

I might guess that O’Mara would like this entire case to become a rare topic on the web and newspapers.  That is part of the healing process after events of this level.

Again IANAL

Offline SuzieTampa

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Re: Zimmerman to Ask For $200-300K Reimbursment From Florida
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2013, 09:47:54 AM »
Jeanmarc, I don't think the Sentinel was biased in its lede. GZ will be known to many people that way for a long time. I focus on the media outlets that are inaccurate and sensational.

 

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