Legal Action

Second District Court of Appeals, ruling

The second District Court of Appeal has denied our appeal per curium which means without a written opinion.
This type of ruling is frustrating. Here is an explanation of PCA, as it is called:

Second District Court of Appeals, argument heard on 6/23/20.

Please visit Media Coverage page for details.




Second District Court of Appeals update 5/15/20

June 23, 2020 2nd District Court of Appeals hearing update: BY ORDER OF THE COURT: To mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak while continuing with the orderly processing of cases, the oral argument in this case will be conducted by video conference on the date scheduled. The Clerk of the Court will provide connection instructions to each participant one week before the argument. If the assigned judges decide that the Court will not benefit from oral argument or the parties file a joint stipulation to waive oral argument, the parties will be notified by order that the oral argument is canceled and the case will be resolved on the record and briefs.





Second District Court of Appeals, status update 4/7/20

A provisional date has been set for the oral arguments in our appeal.  It is scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 11am at the 2nd District Court of Appeals, Tampa Branch Headquarters, in the courtroom of the Stetson University College of Law, Tampa Campus, First Floor, 1700 North Tampa Street, Tampa, FL.  The panel of judges consists of:  Judge Robert J. Morris, Jr.; Judge Daniel H. Sleet; and Judge Matthew C. Lucas.
Here’s the link to the Brief filed by Ralf Brookes, Esq. if you’d like to review (20 pages filed in the 2nd District Court of Appeals)

Second District Court of Appeals, status update

In January, 2020 Ralf Brooks, Attorney at Law, filed the appeal.  Subsequently, Sarasota County and Benderson (as respondent) filed their responses.  During the week of March 23, Ralf filed his response to their arguments.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it is unclear as to when the case will be heard.




District Court of Appeal will hear the the appeal, respondents notified on 1/8/20.

DCA accepts appeal, notice to respondents

District Court of Appeal receives the filing for an appeal of Judge McHugh’s ruling.

Petition For Appeal, Certiorari Filed 1.2.20

Ralf Brookes, our attorney has some preliminary comments and observations about the Order:

 “Of course, we are disappointed we lost. The court did not rule in our favor because the court held that the CAP was legislative and not quasi-judicial,  and therefore the court did not have jurisdiction to consider the heart of our case.  We are considering appealing, or filing a declaratory judgment to seek judicial review of the legislative CAP decision, within the next 30 days.” 

As more information becomes available, I will let you know.

Oral arguments took place 10/14/19 at 10:30am.  This was a rescheduled date due to the death of the judge’s father. Lawyers for Benderson, the county, and us were heard and the judge stated that she would write up her ruling. No action was taken today, and we do not have a time frame within which we expect to receive her ruling.

Oral arguments have been scheduled for 10/10/19 at 3:30pm before Judge McHugh at the 12th Circuit Court.


Both Sarasota County and Benderson have filed their responses to Judge McHugh’s “show cause” order.  Ralf Brookes has sent in to the judge his reply and filed a request for oral arguments.

The most recent status on the lawsuit (Writ of Certiorari) is that Judge McHugh issued a “Show Cause” order on 4/17 to the County, giving it 30 days to explain why she should not overturn the County Commission December 2018 approval.  This was based on all of the information that was filed in the Writ, and that it “demonstrates a preliminary basis for relief.”  (see below article from the Newsleader).  The County must respond to the court by 5/18/19.


Writ of Certiorari amended filing 1/22/19

writ of certiorari, amended and filed 1_22_19

Writ of Certiorari, Legal Action filed 1/11/19

A very concerned and motivated resident of Siesta Key has been pursuing an avenue through which the approval of the Siesta Promenade application by the Board of County Commissioners could be overturned.

This resident has, on his own, raised funds which enabled Attorney Ralf Brookes to be  engaged to handle this case with the pro bono assistance of Morgan Bentley.  As most of you may know, Morgan laid the groundwork for an appeal by sending letters to County Attorney Alan Roddy, pointing out the many procedural and other errors that were taking place. To see these letters, please see entries on the Updates tab of this website.

A Petition for a Writ of Certiorari was filed on Friday, 1/11/19 with the 12th Circuit Court of Appeal.

This Writ of Certiorari is a request for an order of the court to quash and remand the decision for failure to afford procedural due process and failure to comply with essential requirements of law.  A link to the Writ will be made available on this page once amendments are finalized.

To continue go forward with this legal action, we will need additional funding.  Morgan Bentley is providing an Attorney Trust account for all donations, without any charge. Having an Attorney Trust account provides a guarantee that all funds will be used correctly and also, returned, pro rata, should they not be fully utilized.

This case is winnable!  Our goal is to ensure that development of the land located at the Stickney Point Road/US-41 intersection is developed in a compatible manner with the surrounding residential neighborhoods and retail establishments. It should not be detrimental to their quality of life, health, safety and welfare, nor cause undue hardship for anyone wishing to access Siesta Key.

Your support is crucial and can be accomplished with a check made out to the following:

Bentley & Bruning, P.A.
Re: Siesta Promenade Trust Account
783 S Orange Ave, Suite 300
Sarasota, FL  34236

The mission statement for this legal action is:

Siesta Promenade Litigation Mission Statement