Former president Donald Trump is facing a criminal probe by the Manhattan District Attorney, and is also the subject of investigations by the Southern District of New York.

I read somewhere that if somebody is convicted of a crime in New York, the governor of Florida can refuse to send the convicted person to Florida. Is this true, if he were charged with a crime in New York could the governor of Florida refuse to hand him over to the New York authorities?

  • 3
    Can you give more of an explanation on your question?
    – CDA
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 13:25
  • I read that he could stop Trump from being sent to New York if he is convicted of a crime there. I asked if Ron DeSantis does have the authority to refuse to extradite him.
    – The Mamba
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 13:31
  • Here's an article in the Independent making such claims. The importance here is the emphasis on it being an indictment and extradition from the state of New York. Commented May 25, 2021 at 14:18
  • To further clarify, you are asking if the City or State were to indict Trump, in addition to the Southern District court?
    – CGCampbell
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 16:52

3 Answers 3


Does Governor Ron DeSantis have to the power to stop Trump's extradition?

If any criminal charges were brought against Trump for violation of laws of the United States, the FBI would deal with the issue and the State of New York is not relevant to that case.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is “actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity”. Politico

In the event that the State of New York were to charge Trump with a violation of state law. DeSantis could delay, but not stop, an extradition request from New York. Under Florida statute 941.04, Governor DeSantis could deny extradition; but note that the statutes were written in 1941. At that time, Kentucky v. Dennison (1861) was the ruling decision of the court. In 1987, Dennison was overturned by Puerto Rico v. Branstad. The decision in Branstad means that, if Governor DeSantis were to refuse extradition, New York could request a federal court order to require the governor to arrest Trump then release Trump to agents for New York.

Florida Statutes, Uniform Interstate Extradition

941.02 Fugitives from justice; duty of Governor.—Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the provisions of the Constitution of the United States controlling, and any and all Acts of Congress enacted in pursuance thereof, it is the duty of the Governor of this state to have arrested and delivered up to the executive authority of any other state of the United States any person charged in that state with treason, felony, or other crime, who has fled from justice and is found in this state.
History.—s. 2, ch. 20460, 1941.


941.04 Governor may investigate case.—When a demand shall be made upon the Governor of this state by the executive authority of another state for the surrender of a person so charged with crime, the Governor may call upon the Department of Legal Affairs or any prosecuting officer in this state to investigate or assist in investigating the demand, and to report to him or her the situation and circumstances of the person so demanded, and whether the person ought to be surrendered.
History.—s. 4, ch. 20460, 1941; ss. 11, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1597, ch. 97-102.

Puerto Rico v. Branstad

Puerto Rico v. Branstad, 483 U.S. 219 (1987), was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that ruled unanimously that federal courts have the power to enforce extraditions based on the Extradition Clause of Article Four of the United States Constitution. The decision overruled a prior decision in Kentucky v. Dennison, which had made federal courts powerless to order governors of other U.S. states to fulfill their obligations in the Extradition Clause.

  • 1
    Isn't the SDNY the US Federal Court?
    – CGCampbell
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 16:49
  • @CGCampbell - Yes. SDNY is investigating potential charges relating to money for Trump's inauguration. The State of New York is investigating the business dealings of the Trump Organization. Either, or both, could result in charges against Trump. The question was unclear as to which the asker was asking. I tried to answer both with respect to extradition.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 17:12

When someone is facing criminal charges in another state, any warrants for their arrest will show up if they have any contact with law enforcement in their own state. Generally speaking, those officers will carry out that warrant and make the arrest. Extradition is customary unless there are multiple charges in both remote and local jurisdictions in which case the local authorities are often inclined to pursue their own authority first.

New York police have no authority to make an arrest in Florida, directly, and so depend upon Florida police to locate, capture, and then turn over (extradite) a suspect they have an outstanding warrant for who lives in (or flees to) Florida.

Since the Florida State Police are directly under the Governor's office as an executive branch agency, then it seems likely that yes, he could order his law enforcement agencies to deny any extradition request from New York state courts.

The term "Southern District of New York," however, refers to the Federal court system. In that case the arrest would be carried out by the FBI, over whom the Governor of Florida has no authority and they could readily extradite him to New York themselves.

  • 1
    The claim that DeSantis could do this against a state extradition request wasn't made from a generic "he's the executive" standpoint (you can still force non-discretionary actions against the Executive's will), but rather a specific Florida statute that allows the governor to review and investigate any extradition request to determine if they "ought to be surrendered". Commented May 25, 2021 at 14:22
  • @zibadawatimmy The legitimacy of that statute extends from the general principles described in my answer. However Florida's state government writ large decides to justify it to themselves, the ability of any Governor to take this action is a function of how state authority exists vs. federal authority. tl;dr - that statute only matters if you live in Florida. It doesn't mean a damned thing to someone who lives in New York. Commented May 25, 2021 at 14:24
  • There are only four grounds upon which the governor of the asylum state may deny another state's request for extradition: the extradition documents facially are not in order; the person has not been charged with a crime in the demanding state; the person is not the person named in the extradition documents; or the person is not a fugitive. Commented May 25, 2023 at 21:57

No, he doesn't have the power and is required to extradite based on the constitution and federal law


The Extradition Clause in the US Constitution requires states, upon demand of another state, to deliver a fugitive from justice who has committed a "treason, felony or other crime" to the state from which the fugitive has fled. 18 U.S.C. § 3182 sets the process by which an executive of a state, district, or territory of the United States must arrest and turn over a fugitive from another state, district, or territory.

For a person to be extradited interstate, 18 U.S.C. § 3182 requires:

  • An executive authority demand of the jurisdiction to which a person that is a fugitive from justice has fled.
  • The requesting executive must also produce a copy of an indictment found or an affidavit made before a magistrate of any state or territory. The document must charge the fugitive demanded with having committed treason, felony, or other crime, and it must be certified as authentic by the governor or chief magistrate of the state or territory from where the person so charged has fled.
  • The executive receiving the request must then cause the fugitive to be arrested and secure and to notify the requesting executive authority or agent to receive the fugitive.
  • An agent of the executive of the state demanding extradition must appear to receive the prisoner, which must occur within 30 days from time of arrest, or the prisoner may be released. Some states allow longer waiting periods, of up to 90 days.
  • Cases of kidnapping by a parent to another state see automatic involvement by the US Marshals Service.

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