TALLAHASSEE — Saying that a lower-court judge “plainly encouraged” an appeal, a Northwest Florida attorney is disputing that his decision to continue pursuing a case against Gov. Ron DeSantis over COVID-19 beach closures was frivolous or in bad faith.
Santa Rosa Beach attorney Daniel Uhlfelder, who filed the lawsuit this spring to try to force DeSantis to close beaches statewide to prevent the spread of the disease, responded last week to an order by the 1st District Court of Appeal to show why he and his lawyers should not face sanctions for pursuing the appeal.
A panel of the Tallahassee-based appeals court on Nov. 13 rejected the case and suggested that the appeal and other documents filed by Uhlfelder “appear to be frivolous and/or filed in bad faith.”
But in the 19-page response Friday, Uhlfelder and lawyers Gautier Kitchen and Marie Mattox cited comments that Leon County Circuit Judge Kevin