Florida Supreme Court
Splits 4-3 On Surprise
Last-Minute Filing In
Terri Schiavo Case

(Note - Mr. Watts lost 4-3 while Gov Jeb Bush lost 7-0 arguing before the same court.)
For Immediate Release
While many parties have become involved in the Terri Schiavo case, there has been much activity under the radar, not reported by the mainstream press.
The Register
LAKELAND, FL - Terri Schiavo supporters have been bolstered by a surprise, last-minute filing from an unexpected source. Lakeland, Florida resident, Gordon Watts, who filed a petition for writ of Habeas Corpus with Florida's high court on behalf of Schiavo in late November of 2003, shortly after Schiavo's feeding tube was removed and re-inserted, has struggled against powerful interests who have attempted to discredit and dismiss his involvement in this high-profile case. Watts also has experience in the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to hear his racial profiling case today, and can be found at the court's official website: regarding a situation in which he was asked to leave an establishment based allegedly on his minority ethnic background.
In spite of much opposition and ridicule from mainstream media and other parties, however, Watts' case has remained alive in Florida's Supreme Court for over a year until this past Wednesday.
Watts, who learned of the Schiavo case in 2003 from news reports, immediately moved to file as "next friend" to challenge Schiavo's alleged illegal detention in hospices, which, according to State Law, are only allowed to admit terminal patients, which are expected to die within six or fewer months. Watts' filings bear many similarities to filings made by the immediate family, but have additional elements, such as the direct challenge to the placement of Schiavo in a hospice facility and the use of the writ of habeas corpus. Watts has said that the immediate family would be more appropriate to file, but seeing no one else make these legal arguments, petitioned the court, noting that he need not be "closest friend" to satisfy legal Due Process requirements for the handicapped woman, who has been denied legal representation for much of her ordeal.
Mr. Watts also took issue with the fact that court orders only spoke to the feeding tube, but that parties removed both the feeding tube and also denied natural food, the latter a felony under chapter 825 state laws.
Due to the recent developments, many parties have asked Watts to request that the high court issue a stay on the probate court proceedings while the Supreme Court justices have a chance to review his petitions on an expedited basis. This past Tuesday, Watts requested the court review his legal arguments, and late Thursday, it was learned that the court had quickly moved the previous day to issue a decision. Justices voted 4-3 to uphold a previous tentative decision to dismiss the filing based on technical errors.
Voting to dismiss, without a written opinion, were Justices Kenneth Bell, Raoul Cantero, Peggy Quince, and Charles Wells. Voting to allow Watts to continue to file on behalf of Schiavo were Justices Harry Lee Anstead, R. Fred Lewis, and Chief Justice Barbara Pariente. The terse ruling can be found on the official website at: and is expected to be posted soon on Watts' online newspaper.
Responding to claims that he does not have legal right to challenge Schiavo's detention in the hospice network, Watts declares that "non-lawyers" may intervene in rare instances and quotes "The Operation and Jurisdiction of the Florida Supreme Court" by Gerald Kogan and Robert Craig Waters, the court's current spokesperson (18 Nova L. Rev. 1151, at 624., Fla. 1994), which states that "Even detention imposed on someone by a private individual potentially can be tested by habeas corpus. The most common use is where one parent alleges that the other parent has taken custody of a child wrongfully." Mr. Watts also cites other landmark cases to support his claim that he may intervene: State ex rel. Deeb v. Fabisinski, 111 Fla. 454; and, the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U.S. 149, which held that that to be a 'next friend,' one need only "provide an adequate explanation--such as inaccessibility, mental incompetence, or other disability--why the real party in interest cannot appear on his own behalf."
Some in the news media have made issue with the fact that Watts has filed other cases and labeled him as a "frivolous lawsuit" filer. Watts responds: "When, in the court of public opinion, a news writer wants to write multiple articles and deny me any coverage, I do not call him a 'frivolous news article' writer, and likewise, when I find several injustices, I would like to have my right to get a fair day in court to have our freedoms protected in this country of declining morals. Therefore, with everyone distracted by 'Terri's Law', I think it right for me to try to help Theresa Schiavo, the person."
Watts, a Biology and Chemical Science honor student and alumni from The Florida State University, hopes that the combined efforts of many people can prevent the danger of placement in medical facilities in which they are prohibited by law.
After being narrowly denied at Florida's High Court, Watts plans to appeal to the United State Supreme Court and ask the nation's highest court for permission to directly intervene on behalf of Terri Schiavo.
For further information, one may visit Watts web paper at: or or contact him at or 863-688-9880.
His personal website is:
with mirrors at:
The following is an excerpt from a recent court filing:
Motion to Expedite: Due to the fact that ward Theresa Schiavo has been illegally detained in hospice facilities NOT legally allowed to register her as a patient -as she is not terminally ill -and due to the felony victimization which jeopardizes her health and sets dangerous precedent, Petitioner shows the following in support thereof:
1) Sarah Scantlin, a Kansas woman, who suddenly came out of a 20-year coma, proves "PVS" is not certain. Thus, ward Theresa Schiavo is not valueless and petition herein is valid.,
Brain Damaged Woman Speaks after 20 Years, by Stuart Shepard, correspondent)
2) Mike Schiavo tried to hide bone scan records, to cover evidence of what?,
Michael Schiavo Wants Terri's Body Cremated If She Dies, by Steven Ertelt, Editor, October 20, 2003;, Michael Schiavo Could Face Criminal Charges, 2/4/05)
3) Mike S. is trying to prevent Theresa Schiavo from getting speech therapy, why?,
Schiavo parents request delay: The family thinks speech therapy will increase Terri Schiavo's chances of surviving without a feeding tube. By WILLIAM R. LEVESQUE, Times Staff Writer Published September 16, 2003)
4) Mike S. is in contempt of court in continually refusing to show up for deposition., Terri Schiavo's Estranged Husband Fails to Show to Second Deposition, by Steven Ertelt Editor August 23, 2004) This is criminal, and any court that aids him is criminal.
5) His misappropriation of med mal award funs is not only a felony, but, due to the amount of money taken in exploitation, is a FIRST degree felony. (§825.103(2)(a), Fla.Stats.) ("The money, which came from a 1992 medical malpractice case, has been used forher husband's attorney, who is fighting to remove her feeding tube",
Fund for Schiavo's medical care dwindles By ANITA KUMAR and J. NEALY-BROWN © St. Petersburg Times, published June 3, 2001)
6) Mike S. is trying to get wife cremated, to prevent autopsy for what reason?, Michael Schiavo Wants Terri's Body Cremated If She Dies, by Steven Ertelt, Editor, October 20, 2003)
7) Since wife is not terminal by the definition of chapter 400 state laws and federal laws, placement in a hospice, which deals only with the terminal, is illegal and sets legal precedent: Should any person reading this be checked into a hospital for any illness or injury, hospital staff could illegally place such person in a hospice and commit §825.102(3) felonies by deprivation of necessary medical services.
8) Since lower courts allow parties to exceed state and federal laws and courts' order regarding the feeding tube by allowing illegal denial of food, Florida chapter 744 therapy, medical services, this is the functional equivalent of a death penalty, and death is immanent, warranting the immediate expedition of the instant petition.
9) Matter of First Impression: Because no court to date has properly entertained the Florida chapter 400 arguments contained in the petitioner's case at bar, these and other arguments are a veritable matter of first impression: Due Process requires redress herein.
10) It would set troubling legal precedent for the Florida Supreme Court, widely regarded as the fairest court in the state, to disregard or challenge the US Supreme Court's holdings in Whitmore: While other Florida courts have denied Due Process in similar habeas petitions, This Court alone has continually refused to dismiss and deny redress rights here.
THEREFORE, in accordance with RULE 9.300, Fla.R.App.P., petitioner hereby makes application to this court for leave to file electronically, for grant of leave to stay all other related proceedings in this Court, in the Second District Court of Appeal and in the Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in and for Pinellas County, Florida indefinitely to afford This Court the opportunity to properly review this case, which is directed at the application of the holdings in Whitmore and similar, and moreover grant of motion to expedite.
FURTHERMORE, should This Court see fit to dispose of this case and deny any or all said petitions herein, petitioner hereby states intention to seeks review in the Supreme Court of the United States and would move Court for stay on state court proceedings to allow petitioner to seek review in the Supreme Court of the United States and obtain any further stay from that court. If, in that circumstance, no further stay of proceedings is granted by the United States Supreme Court, petitioner does not object that the Clerk of this Court would re-issue the mandate at the expiration of the thirty (30) days period, on November 30, 2004, with the sole caveat that petitioner shall wash his hands of participation in the violation of the civil and criminal rights of one Theresa Schindler-Schiavo and any and all other hospital patients who would be jeopardized by the dangerous precedent that would be set.
Arguments thereof: Petitioner does know how to file successfully in the U.S. Supreme Court, as evidenced by case number No. 04-8132, Watts v. Florida Commission on Human Relations, U.S. Supreme Court, lower tribunal, Fla. S.Ct., case number in the lower tribunal: SC04-68, disposition: Feb 10 2005 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of February 25, 2005.
Lastly, my websites below are a resource I offer to your readers, that is, where they can go to get insight.
God bless you,
Gordon Wayne Watts
BS, The Florida State University, Biological and Chemical Sciences
AS, United Electronics Institute



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