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Senior judges are a vital judicial resource. When judicial workload exceeds capacity and the judicial need deficit is not addressed—as has been the case since 2007—senior judges significantly improve the services that Florida’s courts are able to provide citizens.
For instance, the continued public service of senior judges enables parties to:
Their service is especially crucial in times of budget austerity; currently, they are playing a critical role in helping the branch address the formidable mortgage foreclosure backlog.
The chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court has “the power to assign justices or judges, including consenting retired justices or judges, to temporary duty in any court for which the judge is qualified.” The chief justice also has the authority “to delegate to a chief judge of a judicial circuit court the power to assign judges for duty within that circuit” (Article V, section 2(b), Florida Constitution). The judges or justices who are assigned to temporary judicial duty are known as senior judges.
BECOMING A SENIOR JUDGE
To become a senior judge requires some effort and planning. Three months before retirement, judges who seek to become senior judges must submit a letter notifying the chief justice of their retirement and of their interest in serving as a senior judge.
They are then given two forms to complete.
After the supreme court receives these forms, it sends an inquiry to the Judicial Qualifications Commission to find out if any disciplinary action has been taken against those aspiring to become senior judges. In addition, their chief judges are asked to comment on their ability to serve. Once the various inquiries have been satisfied, the supreme court considers each application. If the application is approved, the judge’s name is placed in a database that chief judges use to assign senior judges.
Clearly, both Florida’s judicial system and the people of Florida benefit from the service of these competent, experienced jurists.
Instructions for senior judge applicants: Please complete and submit the following required documents:
DOWNLOAD THE PACKET: Click on what you need.
If you want to print and mail the entire packet, use this option:
If you need portions of the packet, they are listed individually here:
The Loyalty Oath must be notarized and the original returned by mail marked to the attention of:
For additional information, contact Della White at (850) 488-4973.