On April 16, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal upheld a summary judgment entered in favor of Pinellas County and several individual County Commissioners in a lawsuit seeking to impose term limits on the Commissioners and to remove them from office. In support of their suit, plaintiffs claimed the term limits were required pursuant to a 1996 proposed charter amendment passed by voters, and that the Commissioners were impermissibly serving beyond the term limits.
As explained by Pinellas County, however, the 1996 proposed charter amendment had no legal effect as a result of a 2002 decision by the Florida Supreme Court that held the charter amendment was unconstitutional. Although the supreme court later receded from that decision, Pinellas County argued the final judgment that was entered after mandate issued in the 2002 case remained intact and rendered the 1996 proposed charter amendment void.
The trial court agreed with Pinellas County and ruled that the current County charter did not impose term limits on the current Commissioners. Plaintiffs appealed from that judgment, and the Second District Court per curiam affirmed.