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Florida Supreme Court Recommends Additional Judges For Panhandle

The Florida Supreme Court is next up in the state's congressional redistricting case.
Nick Evans

The Florida Supreme Court said the panhandle needs two more circuit court judges. The recommendation is included in the court’s latest review of the judiciary’s workload.

Each year, the Florida Supreme Court examines the judiciary branch’s workload and makes recommendations to the legislature. In this year’s report, the Court says there’s a need for one more judge in the 1st Judicial Circuit, which covers Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties. It also recommends an additional judge seat in the 14th Judicial Circuit, which includes Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes and Jackson and Washington Counties.

In all, the court is recommending the legislature add four circuit judges and four county judges.

“We are also recommending the decertification of three county court judgeships,” justices wrote, “and we certify no need for additional judges in the district courts of appeal.”

It’s up to the legislature to approve new judicial seats, and lawmakers have seldom done so in the past.

Correction: This story has been changed to note the need for two additional circuit judges in the panhandle. 

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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