Court News

Constitution Day Open House September 14

9/13/19, 3:20 PM

To celebrate Constitution Day, the Florida Supreme Court is opening its doors to the public on Saturday, September 14 from 10 am - 3 pm to walk-in visitors.

This is a rare opportunity to see the state's highest courtroom outside of regular business hours and sit in the Justices' chairs for a picture.

Court staff will be available to answer questions about Florida’s judicial branch of government and provide information about the history of the Florida Supreme Court. 


Storm-Related Orders Extending Deadlines

9/5/19, 8:00 AM

Missed a legal deadline due to Hurricane Dorian? After the storm, orders now are being issued by the Chief Justice retroactively extending deadlines in storm-damaged areas. Attorneys and others who missed legal deadlines or hearing dates in areas hard-hit by a hurricane will be protected by these orders, which will be issued once the courts in these areas reopen. They are being posted on our Administrative Orders page as they are issued.


Chief Justice Presents Award for Judicial Excellence to Judge Scott Bernstein

8/9/19, 9:24 AM

Eleventh Judicial Circuit Judge Scott M. Bernstein is the 2019 recipient of the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence, honoring his service to and leadership within Florida’s judicial branch. Chief Justice Charles T. Canady presented the award to Judge Bernstein during a ceremony at the Conference of Circuit Court Judges of Florida. Said to be “no stranger to blazing trails,” Judge Bernstein is appreciated for “his intellectual curiosity and thirst for knowledge.”  He is especially known for his efforts to improve the quality of the judiciary—both for court users and for the people who work in the courts system.  

The Chief Justice Awards for Judicial Excellence, established in 2015 and presented annually, recognize one county court judge and one circuit judge who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the judicial branch and who personify judicial excellence, embodying qualities such as strength of character, integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, sound judgment, professional ethics, intellectual courage, compassion, and decisiveness.  These prestigious awards are bestowed at the annual education programs for each level of the trial court. The circuit judge recipient will be announced in August.

Read more about Judge Bernstein and the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence.

Read the August 5 Press ReleasePDF Download.


Chief Justice Presents Award for Judicial Excellence to Judge David Denkin

7/11/19, 10:42 AM

Sarasota County Judge David Denkin, a devoted and successful judicial educator and leader in county court advocacy, is the 2019 recipient of the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence.  Chief Justice Charles T. Canady presented the award to Judge Denkin at the Conference of County Court Judges of Florida.  “Judge Denkin exhibits the discipline of a committed scholar, the passion of a gifted educator, and the fidelity of a public servant,” wrote one fellow judge in support of Judge Denkin’s nomination for the award. Judge Denkin, a county court judge since 2003, has been recognized for his efforts in Sarasota County and as a leader within the branch for many years.   

The Chief Justice Awards for Judicial Excellence, established in 2015 and presented annually, recognize one county court judge and one circuit judge who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the judicial branch and who personify judicial excellence, embodying qualities such as strength of character, integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, sound judgment, professional ethics, intellectual courage, compassion, and decisiveness.  These prestigious awards are bestowed at the annual education programs for each level of the trial court. The circuit judge recipient will be announced in August.

Read more about Judge Denkin and the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence.

Read the July 11 Press ReleasePDF Download


Florida Bar Annual Convention 2019: A Conversation with Chief Justice Charles T. Canady

7/1/19, 9:24 AM

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Canady took time out of his busy schedule during the 2019 Florida Bar Convention to talk about the newest members of the Supreme Court, their new budget, and their plans with tech.

“I think we’ve got to be looking at innovative ways of doing the work that needs to be done. We can’t be stuck in the past. We’ve got to look at the opportunities we have to do things more effectively and in a way that’s going to work better for the people we’re serving.”

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:

EPISODE NOTES:

Following a Judicial Luncheon with Governor DeSantis at this year’s Florida Bar’s Annual Convention, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady joins host Renee Thompson to discuss the recent appointment of three new justices to his court, the influx of funding to help the court attract and retain a talented staff, and the steps the court is taking to better serve the community through new technology programs.


July is Florida Courts Opioid Awareness Month

6/26/19, 12:28 PM

Florida and the nation are experiencing a well-documented opioid crisis. There are now more annual deaths from accidental opioid overdose than from traffic crashes.

In response to this crisis, Chief Justice Charles T. Canady has signed a proclamationPDF Download designating July 2019 within the State Courts System as Opioid Awareness Month, a time for awareness and treatment for opioid-use disorder.

“I call upon judicial officers and court staff members to increase their efforts to understand the effect of opioid use disorder throughout the judicial system and in the cases before them,” Chief Justice Canady’s proclamation states.

Widespread, debilitating, and sometimes fatal opioid-use disorder among Floridians requires judges and court staff members, especially those working in the state’s problem-solving treatment courts as well as family courts, to understand addiction and its effect on the brain, along with treatment standards.  The statewide judicial branch opioid initiative offers a six-pronged approach, including training and technical assistance for Florida’s judges and courts staff. 

Read the full press releasePDF Download


Full Court Press Spring 2019 newsletter

6/11/19, 4:31 PM

The spring 2019 Full Court Press is now online.  This edition includes stories on the following: 

  • The Seventeenth Circuit’s Community Court;
  • Guardianship Update: Accomplishments of the WINGS Initiative;
  • The New Appellate Judges Program;
  • The Florida Supreme Court Teacher Institute (formerly the JTI);  
  • Teachers’ Perspectives on the Court Teacher Institute;
  • Take Our Children to Work Day and Law Day at the Florida Supreme Court;
  • The Florida Supreme Court Archives; and
  • Awards & Honors, In Memoriam, and On the Horizon.

Supreme Court Remembers Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte

5/21/19, 11:35 AM

"Sandy was a force of nature. His beneficial impact on Florida law is immeasurable. If I had to choose any one person as the most important mover and shaker behind Florida’s open government movement in the Twentieth Century, it would be Sandy D’Alemberte. He is the main reason Florida’s courts have been open to cameras for the last 40 years.” - Chief Justice Charles T. Canady

Few lawyers had as great an impact on the Florida Supreme Court as Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, whose death last night has left Tallahassee in mourning.

D'Alemberte came from a family whose lives were deeply intertwined with the Court's history. His great uncle James B. Whitfield was one of the longest serving Supreme Court Justices in state history, deeply influencing D'Alemberte's life.

But it was D'Alemberte's professional work that truly defined his relationship with the Court and its governance practices.

Read more about Sandy D'Alemberte


May 20: The Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice Meeting

5/20/19, 11:13 AM

Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga will lead a media availability to highlight disaster recovery and access to civil justice efforts in response to Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael ahead of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission on Access to Civil Justice in Tallahassee on Monday, May 20.

The livestream begins at 12:15 p.m. on The Florida Channel.

Justice Labarga will provide an overview of the full presentation about recovery and access efforts by Legal Aid, volunteers with the Florida Bar, and staff of the State Courts System after these storms. The commission is also scheduled to receive a report on a recent grant, debut an informational video for self-represented litigants, and get an update on driver license clinics.

Among those scheduled to take part in the meeting are Trial Court Administrator Robyn Gable and Chief Technology Officer Gary Hagan of the 14th Judicial Circuit, as well as Monica Viques-Pitan, executive director of Legal Services of Greater Miami, and Leslie Powell-Boudreaux, executive director of Legal Services of Northwest Florida. The Commission on Access to Civil Justice will hold its full meeting immediately following Justice Labarga’s availability. Both are scheduled to be aired on The Florida Channel.


Investiture of Justice Barbara Lagoa: May 10 @ 3 p.m. EST

5/10/19, 10:26 AM

The Investiture of Justice Barbara Lagoa as the 87th Justice of the Florida Supreme Court is set for May 10, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. ET, in the courtroom at the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee. Justice Lagoa was appointed to the Court in January by Gov. Ron DeSantis. An Investiture is the formal ceremony during which the Governor presents the new Justice’s credentials to the Court. Watch as Governor Ron DeSantis formally presents her credentials to the Court at a ceremony open to the public and broadcast on the web, Facebook, and television. Photos from this historic ceremony will be posted on the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society website. 

Investiture Photos 


Take Our Children to Work Day at the Florida Supreme Court

5/9/19, 4:59 PM

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day at the Florida Supreme Court is but one example of the judicial branch’s commitment to creating an abundance of opportunities for all “students,” regardless of age, to learn about the functions, processes, and accomplishments of their courts.  And, by all accounts, this year’s event was a huge success.


2017-18 Annual Report Message from Chief Justice Canady

5/9/19, 3:34 PM

The Florida State Courts Annual Reports provide a detailed account of the court system’s activities, programs, initiatives, and developments throughout the preceding fiscal year. The annual reports also supply court filings data as well as information about the structure of Florida’s judiciary, the state budget, and state courts systems appropriations.

Message from Chief Justice Canady 2017-18 Annual Report 


Law Day at the Florida Supreme Court

5/8/19, 8:56 AM

This year, the Florida Supreme Court observed Law Day with an open house on Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.  During this rare opportunity to tour the court on a weekend, court staff were on hand to answer questions about Florida’s judicial branch and provide information about the Florida Supreme Court and the treasures in its rare book room.


Courthouse Open to Visitors: Saturday, May 4 for Law Day

4/23/19, 11:11 AM

To celebrate Law Day, the Florida Supreme Court is opening its doors to the public on Saturday, May 4 from 10 am - 3 pm to walk-in visitors.

This is a rare opportunity to see the state's highest courtroom outside of regular business hours and sit in the Justices' chairs for a picture.

Court staff will be available to answer questions about Florida’s judicial branch of government and provide information about the history of the Florida Supreme Court. 


Teaching Teachers: 2019 Court Teacher Institute

4/1/19, 8:32 AM

The Florida Supreme Court Teacher Institute is an annual education program that invites approximately 25 middle and high school teachers from across the state to learn about the supreme court and our judicial system.  The Court Teacher Institute is highly selective in choosing from among its applicants, and those invited to participate in the program are exposed to the teachings of all seven justices of the supreme court, as well as other legal professionals, who prepare them to educate their students about justice and the rule of law when they return home.  Although the rigorous educational program of the Court Teacher Institute lasted for only five days, from Sunday, February 17, to Thursday, February 21, 2019, it has sparked a lasting desire in its participants to inform and educate others, especially students, about the operations and importance of the court system and the constitutional rights we are fortunate to have.


Press Release: Florida Supreme Court Warns of Scam Emails Targeting the Public

2/13/19, 7:51 AM

Press Release: Florida Supreme Court Warns of Scam Emails Targeting the Public


Press Release: Florida Supreme Court Announces New Interim State Courts Administrator

2/12/19, 9:15 AM

The Florida Supreme Court has named as its new Interim State Courts Administrator Lisa Goodner Kiel, who has worked in Florida state government for over 35 years.


Welcome, Justice Muñiz

1/22/19, 2:01 PM

The Florida Supreme Court has a long tradition of having at least one member who was a practicing lawyer at the time of appointment. That tradition continued Tuesday when Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Carlos G. Muñiz as the 89th Justice since statehood.


Welcome, Justice Luck

1/14/19, 12:39 PM

A school's greatest reward comes when a former student returns as a successful adult. Today, Robert J. Luck stood in the same place where he went to kindergarten and grade school, Scheck Hillel Community School in North Miami Beach, and watched the Governor make him the 88th Justice of the Florida Supreme Court since statehood in 1845.


Welcome, Justice Lagoa

1/9/19, 1:45 PM

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis named Barbara Lagoa of Miami-Dade County as the 87th Justice of the Florida Supreme Court since statehood in 1845. She is the first Cuban American woman as well as the first graduate of Florida International University to serve on the state's highest court.


Chief Justice Charles Canady Administers Oath of Office to Governor

1/9/19, 1:22 PM

By long tradition, Florida's Chief Justices usually swear Governors into office. It happened again Tuesday when Chief Justice Charles Canady gave the prescribed oath to Florida's new Governor Ron DeSantis on the east steps of the Old Capitol Building in Tallahassee.


Judicial Papers Donated to the Florida Supreme Court Library and Archives

1/9/19, 1:08 PM

Retiring Justices Barbara J. Pariente and Peggy A. Quince donated some of their judicial papers to the Florida Supreme Court Library and Archives. 


Press Release: New Smartphone-friendly Website

12/27/18, 9:06 AM

Press Release: December 27, 2018 - Florida Supreme Court launches first smartphone-friendly website today.


Justice Pariente Appointed 21 Years Ago

12/10/18, 1:45 PM

Twenty-one years ago today, a West Palm Beach judge named Barbara J. Pariente was suddenly cast inside Tallahassee's intrusive world of public scrutiny. It happened on December 10, 1997, when Governor Lawton Chiles named her as just the second woman who ever served on the state's highest court. 


Justice Quince Appointed 20 Years Ago

12/8/18, 10:35 AM

Exactly twenty years ago today. On December 8, 1998, a lower appeals court judge and former Central Florida assistant attorney general named Peggy A. Quince was elevated to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Lawton Chiles. She was the first African-American woman ever appointed. 


Justice Lewis Appointed 20 Years Ago

12/7/18, 11:28 AM

Twenty years ago today, a West Virginia native with a distinguished college football career in Florida was named to the state's highest court. Few of the wizened Tallahassee capital news reporters who attended the press conference will ever forget what happened next. 


Chief Justice Canady on Open Ninth podcast

11/26/18, 8:25 PM

In the newest episode of Open Ninth, Chief Justice Charles Canady joins Ninth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Fred Lauten to shed some light on the judicial branch of government, giving us an insider’s look into the Florida courts.


Farewell, Justice Lewis article

11/15/18, 12:30 PM

Retiring Justice Fred Lewis shares his memories about his 20 years on the supreme court. Including the important impact teachers had on his life and career.


Farewell, Justice Quince article

11/14/18, 6:57 PM

Retiring Justice Peggy Quince shares her poignant memories and incisive insights about her 20 years on the supreme court. Including the case that was a "shining moment for the court."


Farewell, Justice Pariente article

11/13/18, 2:51 PM

Retiring Justice Barbara Pariente shares some poignant memories and incisive insights about her 21 years on the supreme court. Including what issues and accomplishments make her "beam with pride."