Supreme Court says no new judges needed


File photo: Judge Robert Hodges listens to George Franjola raise objections to attorneys fees during the May 10, 2022 hearing at the Marion County Judicial Center. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.

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Posted December 31, 2022 | Florida News Service

Florida lawmakers in 2023 should not add more judgeships and should consider trimming some, the state Supreme Court said Thursday as it made annual recommendations.

The Supreme Court said “we certify no need for additional county court, circuit court, or district court of appeal judgeships.” At the same time, it recommended eliminating a county-court judgeship in Brevard County and reducing the numbers of judges on the 1st District Court of Appeal and the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

The appeals-court recommendation came after the Legislature this year approved creating a 6th District Court of Appeal and revising the jurisdictions of the 1st District Court of Appeal, the 2nd District Court of Appeal and the 5th District Court of Appeal. The changes will take effect Jan. 1.

“Based on the workload analysis the (Supreme) Court conducted for this first certification since the creation of a Sixth District Court of Appeal, we have determined that there is an estimated excess capacity of one judgeship in the First District and three judgeships in the Second District,” the recommendation said.

“To address this situation, this (Supreme) Court recommends that during the 2023 regular session the Legislature consider enacting legislation that provides for reduction in the number of statutorily authorized district court judgeships based on attrition and without requiring a judge to vacate his or her position involuntarily.”

The Supreme Court is required each year to make such recommendations to the Legislature. In addition to revamping the appeals-court system this year, the Legislature approved adding a county-court judgeship in Lake County.