Dixon v. State, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1005a (Fla. 2d DCA May 8, 2013): Dixon was charged with possession of controlled substances (alprazolam, a.k.a. Xanax, and amphetamine, a.k.a. Aderall). She filed a Motion to Dismiss (under Rule 3.190), attaching a copy of her prescription for those meds. The State filed a response, called a traverse, not disputing that the prescription was valid, but simply saying that the prosecutor could not verify it. The rule calls for the traverse to deny with specificity the material fact(s) alleged in the motion to dismiss – otherwise, the traverse is insufficient.
In this case, the Florida criminal court judge ruled that the State’s response was valid, and denied the motion to dismiss charges. REVERSED: the Florida appeals court stated it this way:
[T]he traverse offered no facts to counter Ms. Dixon’s factual assertions. Rather, it offered only an unsupported conclusory allegation that Ms. Dixon did not have a valid prescription, based only on its statement that Ms. Dixon’s pharmacy printout in her sworn motion was “unverified” and that the doctor had not been located. It presented no evidence that the prescription was invalid or a forgery. The traverse failed to show that a reasonable jury could find Ms. Dixon guilty under the most favorable construction of the evidence, which then consisted of only the undisputed fact that Ms. Dixon possessed the alprazolam, her sworn assertion that she had a valid prescription, and a copy of a prescription and pharmacy printout showing that Friends Pharmacy had filled it.
Conviction for possession of controlled substances reversed. The point of this case is that where there is no facts at issue, and the facts do not equal a crime, then the case has to be dismissed. If the State can proved that there are facts in dispute, then the issue is for a Florida criminal trial jury to decide.