Judge Jason Nimeth will preside in a hearing set for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 1 on Zoom in the case of Wayne and Bonnie Anderson who have a little white cross on display at their home in the Village of Tamarind Grove. The little white cross has been declared a “lawn ornament” by Community Standards. The couple has been ordered to remove it, but the Andersons have racked up thousands of dollars in deed compliance fines because they have refused to take it down.
The Community Development District 8 Board of Supervisors huddled in secret on Friday at SeaBreeze Recreation Center to discuss the legal case which has been dragging on for years. The executive session took place during the CDD 8 board meeting and members of the public and press were ordered to leave.
Nimeth was first appointed to the bench in 2019 by DeSantis. The governor earlier this year promoted Nimeth to a seat on the bench in the Fifth Judicial Circuit.
Last June Judge Michelle Morley ruled in favor of Community Development District 8 in its protracted legal battle with Wayne and Bonnie Anderson of the Village of Tamarind Grove. She dismissed their most-recent counter complaint.
The Andersons had claimed that their display of the little white cross should be protected under the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act. However, CDD 8 has long held that the cross is considered a “lawn ornament” and therefore forbidden under deed compliance rules.
At the time the Andersons were granted 30 days to come back with a counter argument to the judge’s ruling.