AMERICAN OPTICAL CORPORATION v. WALTER R. SPIEWAK – Retroactive Application of Statute

This recent Florida Supreme Court decisions explains the two part test for retroactive application of a statute:

First, the Court must ascertain whether the Legislature intended for the statute to apply retroactively. Second, if such an intent is clearly expressed, the Court must determine whether retroactive application would violate any constitutional principles. See Metro. Dade County v. Chase Fed. Hous. Corp., 737 So. 2d 494, 499 (Fla. 1999), see also Menendez v. Progressive Exp. Ins. Co., Inc., 35 So. 3d 873, 877 (Fla. 2010). A retroactive statute violates the The Florida Constitution if it “impairs vested rights, creates new obligations, or imposes new penalties.” State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. Laforet, 658 So. 2d 55, 61 (Fla. 1995); see also McCord v. Smith, 43 So. 2d 704, 708-09 (Fla. 1949) (noting that a retroactive provision of legislation is invalid where it adversely affects or destroys vested rights).

The information has been added to the Florida Legal Wiki.