TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Citing a “demonstrable need for additional circuit judges” in parts of the state, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday recommended the creation of 10 new circuit and county judge positions next year.
The Florida Supreme Court each year makes recommendations to the Legislature about judgeships --- a process known as “certification of need” for judges. In the report released Thursday, the Supreme Court cited a need for four new circuit judges and six county-court judges.
Two of the circuit judges would be in the 9th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Orange and Osceola counties. One of the judges would be in the 1st Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties, while the other new judge would be in the 14th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties.
The Supreme Court also is recommending four additional county-court judgeships in Hillsborough County and one each in Orange and Lee counties. It did not recommend adding judges to appellate courts.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also pointed to areas where the number of county-court judges could be reduced. It made a recommendation to “decertify” two county judgeships in Brevard County and one each in Monroe and Collier counties. The Legislature is not required to follow the recommendations and often veers away from what the Supreme Court wants.
During the 2019 legislative session, it created one circuit judge in the 9th Judicial Circuit and one circuit judge in the 12th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties. Also, it approved county-court judgeships in Flagler and Citrus counties.
© 2019 The News Service of Florida.