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Supreme Court Points To Need For More Judges

Nick Evans

The Florida Supreme Court said the state needs four more circuit judges, while Hillsborough County should have four more county judges.

Justices each year go through a process to “certify” a need for judges, with the recommendations then going to the Legislature.

The Supreme Court said the 9th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Orange and Osceola counties, should have two more circuit judges. It certified the need for one additional circuit judge in the 1st Judicial Circuit, made up of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.

Also, it pointed to a need for one more circuit judge in the 14th Judicial Circuit, made up of Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties.

Hillsborough was the only county with a need for more county judges, the Supreme Court said. Also, justices pointed to a need to “decertify” two county judge positions in Brevard County and one in Pasco County.

“Having conducted a quantitative assessment of trial court and appellate court judicial workload and …  having also considered the various qualitative factors, workload trends, and uncertainties under consideration by this (Supreme) Court, we certify the need for eight additional trial court judges in Florida, consisting of four in circuit court and four in county court,” the justices said.

“We are also recommending the decertification of three county court judgeships … and we certify no need for additional judges in the district courts of appeal.” The Legislature in the past has often not followed the Supreme Court’s recommendations on creating judicial positions.

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