The case that seemingly wouldn't end -- Coy Koontz, Jr.'s continuation of his late father's case against the St. Johns River Water Management District over the WMD's demand that they "pay to play" -- has ended with its eighth appellate decision (including the now-famous visit to the U.S. Supreme Court), with another win for Koontz.
In St. Johns River Water Management District v. Koontz, No. 5D06-01116 (Apr. 30, 2014), the Florida District Court of Appeals made short work of the WMD's argument that there were some loose threads left over from the prior decisions. The opinion doesn't say much about the substantive law, except to say "we said this all before, and we haven't changed our minds."
Because our decision in Koontz IV is entirely consistent with the decision of the United States Supreme Court, we adopt and reaffirm Koontz IV in its entirety and affirm the judgment below. We deny Appellant’s request to reopen the briefing. The constitutional issues decided by the United States Supreme Court were fully briefed here, and that Court’s holding does not set forth a new legal construct with which we must re-analyze these issues. To the extent that Appellant seeks to brief the state law issues left open by the Supreme Court, we conclude that those issues were either disposed of in Koontz I or Koontz IV, or they were not preserved and presented in those proceedings.
Slip op. at 3 (footnote omitted).Professor Kanner comments on the decision here:
By the way, we learn from this opinion that the Koontz controversy has been the subject of four — count ‘em, four — previous reported appellate decisions, this being the fifth one, that may yet be joined by No. 6 because we think its a snap that the Water District will seek further review in the Florida Supreme Court. Which gives rise to a question or two. You call this law? Aren’t those Florida Judges ashamed of themselves for subjecting a citizen whose constitutional rights were violated to this kind of economically ruinous intellectual torture that goes back to before 1998 (that’s 16 years ago, folks). All this to decide what is after all a simple legal issue: is the exactions doctrine applicable to money as well as to land, and does it meet the nexus requirement when it is sought to be applied offsite to the private project, as well as onsite?Will there be a Koontz IX? We hope not, but don't bet against it, as Prof. K notes.