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Posts tagged as: judiciary

Supreme Court Orders Flagler’s Judge Scott DuPont Removed in Unanimous Decision

| June 26, 2018

Scott DuPont, who’d served on Flagler’s and Putnam’s civil benches since 2010, was investigated for improprieties on and off the bench.

Flagler Judge Scott DuPont Called “Unfit,” “Outrageous,” “Disturbing,” “Beyond Reckless” and Contemptuous of Law

| April 13, 2018

A devastating 21-page opinion by a disciplinary judicial commission repeats in harsher language a call for Judge Scott DuPont’s removal, a recommendation going before the Supreme Court.

Trump Picks 5th District Court of Appeal’s Wendy Berger for Central Florida Federal Court

| April 10, 2018

Wendy Berger serves on the Daytona Beach-based 5th DCA and was a Jeb Bush aide. Trump nominated her to the federal bench’s Middle District of Florida.

Judge Craig Is Out, Judge Perkins Is In As Flagler’s Felony and Civil Benches Again Flip

| March 28, 2018

Circuit Judge Terence Perkins will replace Dennis Craig, who’s headed back to Volusia, becoming the sixth judge in eight years to preside over Flagler County’s felony court.

Zambrano Orders Judge Scott DuPont to Clear Out of His Offices In Flagler and Putnam

| February 23, 2018

Chief Judge Raul Zambrano’s order, delivered to DuPont by letter today, is as close to the firing of a judge short of a Supreme Court impeachment, and follows an investigation’s withering recommendation for removal.

Chief Judge Has Discouraging News For Flagler’s Hope of Landing 2nd County Judge

| February 5, 2018

Despite certifying Flagler for an additional county court judge in 2016 and recognizing a still-increasing workload last year the Supreme Court has ruled against certifying an additional judge this year.

Why Is Judge Craig Looking to Crucify Maria Howell?

| January 18, 2018

Twice prosecutors and the defense agreed to a deal in the molestation case involving Maria Howell. Twice Judge Craig rejected the deal. The case is now headed for trial.

When Flagler’s Judicial System Makes a 10-Year Error In a 40-Year Prison Sentence

| October 24, 2017

William Copeland is serving 40 years for shooting his daughter’s grandfather in Palm Coast in 2011. The court made a 10-year error in one of his sentences.

Judge Kim C. Hammond, Legend From Seminole Gridiron to Flagler Courtroom, Dies at 72

| July 17, 2017

Judge Kim C. Hammond was appointed to the bench by Gov. Bob Graham in 1979 and spent his entire judicial in Flagler County, where the county courthouse now bears his name.

In Rare Joint Appearance, Flagler’s 3 Judges Speak Candidly About the Job’s Challenges On and Off Bench

| June 22, 2017

Circuit Court judges Dennis Craig and R. Lee Smith and County Court Melissa Moore-Stens spoke of personal and professional challenges and addressed the Flagler bench’s workload.

Against Counsel: House Panel Backs Term Limits for Supreme Court and Appeals Judges

| February 9, 2017

The proposal would revamp a decades-old system in which Supreme Court justices and appeals-court judges do not face term limits — though they are required to go before voters every six years for merit-retention.

Musical Chairs Continue as Flagler Will Have 5th Different Criminal Court Judge in 7 Years

| November 16, 2016

Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman, in Flagler less than a year, is being reassigned to Volusia County, and will be replaced by Judge Dennis Craig, a Flagler resident who’d previously presided over civil and family court law.

Racism Allegations Against Jacksonville Judge Hulsey Enter Case of Black Man on Death Row

| August 4, 2016

Other black defendants whose cases were overseen by Hulsey “are living with the fear that the proceedings were infected by racial prejudice,” but questions about Hulsey’s impartiality also affect “the public at large and all residents of Florida,” lawyer Martin McClain wrote.

Profiling By Computer in Florida: What Algorithmic Injustice Looks Like in Broward

| May 26, 2016

Courtrooms are using computer programs to predict who will be a future criminal, informing decisions from bail to sentencing. Meant to be fairer than human biases, one such program in Florida is particularly likely to falsely flag black defendants as future criminals, wrongly labeling them this way at almost twice the rate as white defendants.

Ex-Traffic Homicide Prosecutor Ray Lee Smith Joins Flagler Bench as Family Law Judge

| May 23, 2016

Smith, 43, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident, will preside over family law cases. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge J. David Walsh earlier this year.

Florida Justices: Cops May Not Keep Lawyer From Client Even in Voluntary Interviews

| April 22, 2016

While a murder suspect was being voluntarily interrogated before he confessed, his lawyer appeared at the sheriff’s office but cops wouldn’t let the lawyer see his client.

Criminal Immunity: Prosecutors Are Rarely Punished for Mistakes and Misconduct

| April 4, 2016

The Innocence Project alleges that prosecutors across the country are almost never punished when they withhold evidence or commit other forms of misconduct that land innocent people in prison.

For 1st Time in 9 Years, Bonding Out of Jail in Flagler Made More Expensive for Most Suspects

| March 9, 2016

The new bond schedule in some cases doubles bonds or eliminates them for many offenses, but the schedule applies for only a brief period between arrest and first appearance before a judge, when any amount bond (or no bond) can be set.

As Judge Calls Pot Laws “Harsh,” Sheriff and Public Defender Will Propose De-Criminalization Ordinance

| February 15, 2016

Flagler Sheriff Jim Manfre and Public Defender Jim Purdy will craft a proposal to de-criminalize pot and move to a civil citation program. The proposal will first be vetted by the Public Safety Coordinating Council before heading for the county commission.

Chief Justice Jorge Labarga Will Serve Second Successive Term, a First Since 1865

| February 5, 2016

Chief justices preside over the Supreme Court and, more broadly, head the state’s judicial branch. In the broader role, Labarga has focused on taking steps to try to expand access to legal services for low-income people, creating a commission to work on the issue.

In “Fair Sentencing” Push, an Attempt to Reconsider Florida’s Get-Tough-On-Crime Laws

| February 1, 2016

Fair Sentencing seeks to change laws of the 1990s, such as 10-20-Life, mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and habitual-offender laws, as other states have done.

Term Limits for Supreme Court and Appellate Judges? Measure Moving Closer to Ballot

| January 24, 2016

Under the proposal, members of the Supreme Court and district courts of appeal would be limited to two full six-year terms. Judges currently have to retire in the election cycle after they turn 70 years old.

Angry With Liberal Court, Florida Lawmakers Propose Judicial Term Limits

| November 3, 2015

The proposal comes after years of rising anger in the Legislature at members of the Supreme Court. With its more-liberal majority, the state’s highest court has emerged as the only major hurdle in Tallahassee to Republicans’ conservative agenda.

Bad Judges: Florida Supreme Court Seeks to Rein in Rogues and Hotheads

| June 26, 2015

The number of judges facing sanctions in Florida jumped last year, and the high court is more often seeking harsher penalties than those originally proposed by the state Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Florida Ban on Judges’ Campaign Cash Teeters as Supreme Court Takes On The Case

| January 15, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ultimate decision in the Florida case could have far-reaching ramifications, as 30 of the 39 states that elect judges have some kind of restriction on judicial candidates making personal pitches for campaign money.

Supreme Court Removes Leon County Judge For Running Religious Business Out of Her Chambers

| October 30, 2014

Leon County Judge Judith Hawkins was running a business called Gaza Road Ministries, used a judicial assistant and sold her own books to attorneys who appeared before her.

Florida Justice Barbara Pariente’s Crusade: Jurors Need Help Understanding that Eyewitness Testimony Is Unreliable

| June 28, 2014

Justice Pariente noted that the Innocence Commission analyzed wrongful convictions and highlighted eyewitness misidentification, which has been a factor in 75 percent of convictions later exonerated through DNA evidence nationally.

Stare Decisis Their Ass: The GOP’s Activist Judges

| April 9, 2012

Scorn for “activist judges” has been a staple of the Republican playbook ever since it was Earl Warren’s Supreme Court. Now that it’s John Roberts’s court–or should we say Antonin Scalia’s?–and a Democratic president is calling them out, the rhetorical roles have reversed overnight.

Flagler Clerk Gail Wadsworth Tries a Hail Mary As Courts Take Yet Another Budget Hit

| March 29, 2012

The $31 million statewide budget cut in clerks of court’s budgets translates to a loss of $90,000 to Flagler County’s court system, and up to three jobs, adding to successive cuts going back to 2008 that Clerk Gail Wadsworth calls unsustainable.

Proposal to Split Florida Supreme Court Faces Long Odds in the Senate

| April 28, 2011

The proposed constitutional amendment would create a criminal and civil supreme court, change the way justices are picked and the way the judicial system is funded, but the idea may be dying.

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