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Fla. Const. art. V, § 4(2) reads as follows: The Supreme Court may issue writs of mandamus and quo warranto when a state officer, board, commission, or other agency authorized to represent the public generally, or a member of any such board, commission, or other agency, is named as respondent.
By an original proceeding for a writ of quo warranto, petitioners attacked the validity of the incorporation of the Town of Davie in Broward County. According to the petitioners, certain citizens attempted to incorporate the Town of Davie under Chapter 165, Florida Statutes, F.S.A. The petitioners alleged that there was a failure to meet various essential requirements of the statute.
Could the court take cognizance of the present petition for a writ of quo warranto?
The court concluded it had no jurisdiction under Fla. Const. art. V, § 4(2), because respondent city officials could not be classified as a state officer, board, commission, or other agency as required by that provision. Amendment to Fla. Const. art. V had substantially restricted the original jurisdiction of the court and contemplated that it should exercise its appellate functions to eliminate conflicts in precedents and test the validity of statutes and the construction of the constitution. The duty to solve problems affecting limited local areas was largely that of the lower courts. The doctrine of ejusdem generis was employed to construe the series of public officials mentioned in art. V, § 4(2), as modified in its entirety by the word "state" and the power of the court to issue writs of quo warranto was, therefore, limited to situations involving state officials. Further, because the proceeding was original the court was not authorized to direct a transfer to the appropriate court.