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2.050(b)(4). Supreme Court of Florida. The Honorable Joe A. WILD, As Acting Circuit Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Petitioner, v. Robert Lee DOZIER, Respondent. No. 85050. Feb. 8, 1996. Rehearing Denied April 11, 1996. Defendant in felony case being tried in circuit court petitioned for writ of prohibition claiming that county court judge assigned to his trial lacked authority to preside over his trial. The District Court of Appeal, 659 So.2d 1103, granted writ, quashed circuit judge's order denying disqualification and administrative order appointing county court judge for six-month period, and certified question for review. The Supreme Court held that: (1) Supreme Court had exclusive jurisdiction to review judicial assignments; (2) county court judge was properly assigned successively and repeatedly in six-month assignments over several years to preside in circuit court over half of all felony cases in county; but (3) another county judge was improperly assigned to hear cases. Certified question answered, decision below quashed, and petition for prohibition denied. Kogan, J., filed opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Shaw and Anstead, JJ., concurred. West Headnotes [1] Courts 106 70 [2] Courts 106 472.2
106 Courts 106VII Concurrent and Conflicting Jurisdiction 106VII(A) Courts of Same State 106VII(A)1 In General 106k472 Exclusive or Concurrent Jurisdiction 106k472.2 k. Appellate or Supreme Courts. Most Cited Cases Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to review judicial assignments and litigant who is affected by judicial assignment made by chief judge of judicial district must challenge assignment in trial court and then seek review in Supreme Court either by petition for writ of prohibition or petition for relief under “all writs” power. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, §§ 2(a, b), 3(b)(7). [3] Courts 106 216
106 Courts 106VI Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction 106VI(B) Courts of Particular States 106k216 k. Florida. Most Cited Cases District Court of Appeal lacked authority to review administrative order reassigning county court judge to circuit court duty. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(a, b). [4] Courts 106 70
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases County court judge may be assigned successively and repeatedly in six-month assignments over several years to preside in circuit court over half of all felony cases in county. West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases Whether judicial assignment is proper “temporary assignment” is not merely function of duration of assignment, but rather successive nature of assignment, type of case covered by assignment, and practical effect of assignment on circuit court jurisdiction over particular type of case must also be considered. West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4).
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[5] Courts 106
70
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases County judge was properly appointed to successive six-month assignments to preside in circuit court over half of criminal cases in county, where judge continued to do all his county judge work and criminal division was only one of several division in circuit court. West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4). [6] Courts 106 70
1103 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995), wherein the Fourth District Court of Appeal quashed an administrative order of the Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit assigning a county court judge to circuit court duty and certified the following question to be of great public importance: MAY A COUNTY COURT JUDGE BE ASSIGNED SUCCESSIVELY AND REPEATEDLY IN SIX MONTH ASSIGNMENTS OVER SEVERAL YEARS TO PRESIDE IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OVER HALF OF ALL FELONY CASES IN A COUNTY? Id. at 1106. We have jurisdiction decision under review.
FN1
and quash the
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases County judge was improperly appointed to six-month assignment to preside in circuit court over half of criminal cases in county, after another county judge had been appointed to six-month assignment to preside over other half of criminal cases in county, since assignments in combination effectively usurped major segment of circuit court work within county. West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4). *16 Application for Review of the Decision of the District Court of Appeal-Certified Great Public Importance Fourth District-Case No. 94-1104 and An Original Proceeding-Writ of Prohibition. Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General; Joan Fowler, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Chief, West Palm Beach Bureau, and *17 Georgina Jimenez-Orosa, Senior Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for Petitioner. Jeffrey H. Garland of Kirschner & Garland, P.A., Fort Pierce, for Respondent. Louis B. Vocelle, Jr. of Clem, Polackwich & Vocelle, Vero Beach, for Honorable L.B. Vocelle, Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Amicus Curiae. PER CURIAM. [1] We have for review Dozier v. Wild, 659 So.2d
FN1. Art. V, § 3(b)(4), Fla. Const. Since July 1990 the Honorable Joe A. Wild, Judge of the County Court of Indian River County, has been assigned by the various Chief Judges of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit to serve for six-month periods as an acting circuit court judge to preside over one half of all felony cases in Indian River County. During this period, Judge Wild has continued to handle a county court docket. In January 1994 the Chief Judge assigned a second county judge to preside over the other half of felony cases arising within the county. In April 1994 the respondent, Robert Lee Dozier, sought to disqualify Judge Wild from presiding over his felony case, alleging that the judge had become a “de facto permanent” circuit judge and therefore lacked jurisdiction to hear his case. Judge Wild denied the motion. Dozier then filed a petition for writ of prohibition in the Fourth District Court of Appeal, claiming that as a county court judge assigned to de facto permanent duty in the circuit court, Judge Wild lacked authority to preside over his case. The district court agreed, granted the writ, and quashed the order denying disqualification along with the administrative order appointing Judge Wild through 1994. 659 So.2d at 1105-06. In holding the assignment invalid, the district court relied on this Court's decisions in Payret v. Adams, 500 So.2d 136 (Fla.1986), and Crusoe v. Rowls, 472 So.2d 1163 (Fla.1985), but certified the above question for our consideration. Judge Wild seeks review.FN2
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FN2. The Honorable L.B. Vocelle, Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, who was not allowed to intervene in the district court, has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Judge Wild's position. First, Judge Wild claims that the district court lacked authority to quash the administrative order assigning him to circuit court duty. Judge Wild correctly points out that this Court's decisions in Payret and Crusoe, wherein judicial assignments were reviewed by the district court, do not control because the district court's jurisdiction was not challenged in those cases. [2] After considering the issue, we conclude that this Court has exclusive jurisdiction to review judicial assignments. This authority derives from article V, sections 2(a) and (b) of the Florida Constitution. Article V, section 2(a) gives this Court authority to adopt rules for the administrative supervision of all courts. Article V, section 2(b) gives the Chief Justice of this Court, as the chief administrative officer of the judicial system, power to assign justices or judges to temporary duty in any court for which the judge is qualified and to delegate that power to the chief judges of the judicial circuits. Delegation of the Chief Justice's assignment power to the chief judges of the judicial circuits is necessary to the proper administration of our court system. This is because, as the administrative officer of all courts within a judicial circuit,FN3 the chief judge is *18 best equipped to assess the needs of each trial court and to allocate the judicial labor available within the circuit accordingly. With this reality in mind, Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.050(b)(4) expressly authorizes the chief judges of the judicial circuits to “assign any judge to temporary service for which the judge is qualified in any court in the same circuit.” We explained in State ex rel. Treadwell v. Hall, 274 So.2d 537, 539 (Fla.1973), that the rule FN4 delegating the power to assign judges FN3. Art. V, § 2(d), Fla. Fla.R.Jud.Admin. 2.050(b)(2). Const.;
539 (Fla.1973). was designed, in part, to obviate the need for each incoming chief justice to specifically delegate to the twenty chief judges of the circuits the authority to make assignments; it also was designed to obviate the need for specific delegations when the chief judges within the circuits were re-elected or changed. Unless a chief justice indicates otherwise, his desire to continue delegation via the Rule is assumed. When a chief judge exercises this delegated assignment authority, the judge is acting under the Chief Justice's constitutional power to make temporary judicial assignments to ensure the speedy, efficient, and proper administration of justice within the various circuits. Because of the vital role temporary judicial assignments play in the administration of our court system, this Court must have exclusive jurisdiction to review such assignments under its article V, section 2(a) authority to oversee the administrative supervision of all courts. This grant of exclusive authority ensures this Court's plenary control over the state's court system and avoids the disruptive effect allowing district courts to quash judicial assignments would have on that system. Moreover, there is nothing in our Constitution to indicate that district courts are to share in the administrative supervision of our trial courts, and we decline to read our Constitution to sanction the disruption to the judicial system inherent in such shared authority. Accordingly, we hold that a litigant who is affected by a judicial assignment made by a chief judge of a judicial circuit must challenge the assignment in the trial court and then seek review in this Court by way of petition for writ of prohibition or petition for relief under the “all writs” power.FN5 SeeArt. V, § 3(b)(7), Fla. Const. (this Court “may issue writs of prohibition to courts and all writs necessary to the complete exercise of its jurisdiction”); accord State ex rel. Treadwell v. Hall, 274 So.2d 537 (Fla.1973) (challenge of assigned judge's jurisdiction raised in trial court, followed by petition for writ of prohibition filed in this Court). FN5. General questions concerning the administration or management of the courts of the circuit should be directed to the Chief Justice through the state courts administrator, as provided in Florida Rule of Judicial
FN4. Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.050(b)(4) is substantially the same as former Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.020(b)(3)(ii), which was approved in State ex rel. Treadwell v. Hall, 274 So.2d 537,
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Administration 2.050(b)(3). Likewise, administrative orders also may be challenged as court rules or local rules by applying for a determination by the Local Rules Advisory Committee, as provided in Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.050(e)(2). [3] Accordingly, we hold that the district court of appeal lacked authority to review the administrative order assigning Judge Wild to circuit court duty. However, we treat the petition for writ of prohibition filed in the district court as if it had been filed in this Court FN6 and address the certified question in an attempt to further define the parameters of a proper temporary assignment under rule 2.050(b)(4). FN6. Art. V, § 2(a), Fla. Const. In Treadwell we approved an order appointing a county judge to act as a circuit judge in DeSoto County “in all matters of probate, guardianship, incompetency, trusts, proceedings under the ‘Florida Mental Health Act’ and all juvenile proceedings, dissolutions of marriage, and all uncontested civil matters in circuit court.” 274 So.2d at 538. Likewise, in Crusoe v. Rowls, 472 So.2d 1163 (Fla.1985), we upheld the successive and repetitive assignment of county court judges to hear all petitions to enforce child support orders that directed support payments to be made through the child support section of the sheriff's office. In addressing whether the assignment was proper, we explained that an *19 assignment is “temporary” under rule 2.050(b)(4) if it is not “permanent:” “Temporary” is an antonym for “permanent.” It is a comparative term. It can be said that if a duty is not permanent it is temporary. If a county judge is assigned to perform solely circuit court work, the assignment must be for a relatively short time for it to be temporary. If a county judge is assigned to spend a portion of his time performing circuit work, the assignment can be longer, but the assignment cannot usurp, supplant, or effectively deprive circuit court jurisdiction of a particular type of case on a permanent basis. 472 So.2d at 1165 (footnotes omitted). Where a county judge is assigned solely to perform circuit court duties, we suggested that a sixty-day assignment was acceptable; where the judge is ordered to
spend only a portion of his time performing circuit court work, we suggested that a six-month assignment was acceptable. Id. at 1165 nn. 2-3. These time periods were suggested with the recognition that chief judges must be given flexibility to effectively utilize available judicial labor. Id. at 1165. Although the successive assignments at issue in Crusoe totalled two-and-one-half years, we upheld them as proper temporary assignments in part because the county judges were assigned only a limited class of support orders and the assignment was to “supplement and aid the circuit judges rather than to replace them.” Id. Shortly after the decision in Crusoe, this Court was asked to further define the parameters of a temporary judicial assignment under rule 2.050(b)(4). In Payret v. Adams, 500 So.2d 136 (Fla.1986), the Court held that a county court judge may not be indefinitely assigned, by successive orders, circuit court duties in a specially created jury district. The county judge in Payret had been annually reassigned for a five-year period to be the acting circuit judge for a specially created district of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. We noted: Rather than being assigned to aid or assist the circuit judges in a limited class of cases, respondent has been assigned to hear all circuit court matters in the Glades district. Indeed, respondent has conceded that for all intents and purposes, he is the circuit judge for the Glades district. Id. at 138. Under the circumstances, this Court held the successive one-year assignments invalid as a de facto permanent assignment. Id. at 138. [4] These decisions illustrate that whether a judicial assignment is a proper “temporary” assignment under rule 2.050(b)(4) is not merely a function of the duration of an individual assignment. The successive nature of the assignment, the type of case covered by the assignment, and the practical effect of the assignment on circuit court jurisdiction over a particular type of case also must be considered. For example, Crusoe illustrates that successive assignments totalling more than two years may be considered temporary if the class of circuit court case covered by the assignment is limited and the practical effect of the assignment is to aid and assist circuit judges
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rather than to usurp circuit court jurisdiction over a particular type of case. 472 So.2d at 1165. Similarly, Payret demonstrates that successive and repetitive assignments that, when considered individually, may be facially valid will not be considered temporary where their practical effect is to create a de facto permanent circuit judge by administrative order. 500 So.2d at 138. In multi-county circuits the county judges in the less populous counties are often underutilized, yet they are willing to do circuit judge work. In some instances there are no circuit judges resident within those counties. The most efficient use of scarce judicial resources dictates the assignment of county judges to handle limited aspects of circuit judge work in such counties, provided that the assignments do not interfere with the full performance of county judge duties. [5] In the instant case, Judge Wild continues to do all of his county judge work. In addition, Judge Wild has received new assignments every six months to hear one half of the criminal circuit court work. Obviously, the criminal division is only one of several divisions of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court, and Judge Wild is assigned to only *20 half of the cases within that division. The orders appointing Judge Wild more nearly resemble those approved in Treadwell and Crusoe rather than the order disapproved in Payret. See also J.G. v. Holtzendorf, 648 So.2d 781 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994) (approving successive six-month assignments of county judge to hear juvenile and domestic matters in circuit court), review granted, 659 So.2d 271 (Fla.1995). Thus, we conclude that the successive six-month assignments of Judge Wild to hear half of the cases in Indian River County are permissible. [6] However, we cannot ignore the fact that County Judge Balsiger has now been assigned to hear the other half of the felony cases in Indian River County. To permit this practice to continue would have the effect of permanently usurping a major segment of circuit court work within the county. Therefore, we direct the Chief Judge of Indian River County to make the appropriate judicial reassignments in order that county judges not be assigned to more than half of the felony cases within the county. However, in view of the fact that Judge Wild and Judge Balsiger have each been sitting on felony cases pursuant to
valid orders, this directive shall not be construed to mean that they have been without jurisdiction to hear these cases. We answer the certified question in the affirmative, quash the decision below, and deny the petition for prohibition. It is so ordered. GRIMES, C.J., and OVERTON, HARDING and WELLS, JJ., concur. KOGAN, J., concurs in part and dissents in part with an opinion, in which SHAW and ANSTEAD, JJ., concur.KOGAN, Justice, concurring in part and dissenting in part. I agree that this Court has exclusive jurisdiction to review judicial assignments. However, I cannot agree that the successive assignments at issue here are proper temporary assignments under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.050(b)(4) and article V, section 2(b) of the Florida Constitution. The majority recognizes that an assignment is “temporary” under rule 2.050(b)(4) if it is not “permanent”: “ ‘Temporary” is an antonym for ‘permanent.’ It is a comparative term. It can be said that if a duty is not permanent it is temporary. If a county judge is assigned to perform solely circuit court work, the assignment must be for a relatively short time for it to be temporary. If a county judge is assigned to spend a portion of his time performing circuit work, the assignment can be longer, but the assignment cannot usurp, supplant, or effectively deprive circuit court jurisdiction of a particular type of case on a permanent basis.” Majority op. at 19 (quoting Crusoe v. Rowls, 472 So.2d 1163, 1165 (Fla.1985)). It further recognizes that, under our caselaw, whether a judicial assignment is a proper “temporary” assignment under rule 2.050(b)(4) is not merely a function of the duration of an individual assignment. The successive nature of the assignment, the type of case covered by the assignment, and the practical effect of the assignment on circuit court jurisdiction over a particular type of case also must be considered.
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Majority op. at 19. The majority properly finds support for this proposition in this Court's decisions in Crusoe and Payret v. Adams, 500 So.2d 136 (Fla.1986). As the majority notes, this Court upheld successive assignments of county court judges to circuit court duty in Crusoe, where 1) the class of case covered by the assignment-a limited class of support orders-was much more limited than the class of case affected here-all felony cases-and 2) the practical effect of the assignment was to aid and assist circuit judges rather than to usurp circuit court jurisdiction over a particular type of case. 472 So.2d at 1165. Whereas, in Payret, the Court held invalid successive and repetitive assignments that when considered individually were facially valid because their practical effect was to create a de facto permanent circuit judge by administrative order. 500 So.2d at 138. Although the majority recognizes the considerations relevant to the determination at *21 hand, it fails to consider those factors in the context of this case and merely concludes, without explanation, that the assignments at issue here are more like those approved in Treadwell and Crusoe than the assignments disapproved in Payret. Majority op. at 20. The Treadwell decision lends no support to the majority's conclusion because the issue in Treadwell was whether the chief judge was authorized to assign a county court judge to circuit court duty, not whether the assignment was “temporary.” The majority appears to base its holding on the need for “efficient use of scarce judicial resources.” Id. at 19. While no one could dispute this basic premise, it is equally clear that judicial resources must be utilized within the constraints of our constitution. This is what our decisions in Crusoe and Payret teach. Turning to the assignment at issue here, I agree with the Fourth District Court of Appeal that it is a de facto permanent assignment of a county court judge to circuit judge duties, in violation of article V, sections 2(b) and 10(b) of the Florida Constitution. As of April 1994, Judge Wild had been assigned in eight consecutive administrative orders to preside over half of the felony cases in Indian River County. Although each successive assignment was limited to the sixmonth term suggested by this Court in Crusoe, the effect of the automatic reassignments was to give a county court judge jurisdiction over half of all felony
cases arising in Indian River County for a period of at least four years. To my mind, the assignment cannot be considered “temporary.” Such automatic reassignments have the practical effect of creating a de facto permanent circuit court judge and are no different than the indefinite assignment by successive order that was held improper in Payret. Moreover, as of January 1994, when a second county judge was assigned to preside over the other half of felony cases arising in Indian River County, circuit court jurisdiction over felony cases effectively was redesignated by administrative order, contrary to this Court's decision in Crusoe. The majority recognizes as much when it states that to “permit this practice to continue would have the effect of permanently usurping a major segment of circuit court work within the county.” Majority op. at 20. Even under the majority's analysis, the petition for writ of prohibition should be granted and the order denying disqualification of Judge Wild in Dozier's case quashed. Such relief is warranted because at the time Dozier's felony case was assigned, he had no chance of having it heard by a duly elected circuit judge since jurisdiction over all felony cases had been unconstitutionally placed in the hands of two county court judges. Accordingly, I would answer the certified question in the negative, grant the petition for writ of prohibition and quash both the order denying disqualification of Judge Wild in Dozier's case and the administrative order at issue here. Moreover, regardless of how this case is resolved, I agree with Justice Anstead that this Court should enact specific guidelines for making temporary judicial assignments. See Wallace v. State, 609 So.2d 64, 65 (Fla. 4th DCA 1992) (Anstead, J., concurring specially). Thus, in the hope of eliminating much of the confusion that exists in this area, I would ask the Judicial Administration Rules Committee to propose specific guidelines for assignments made under rule 2.050(b)(4). SHAW and ANSTEAD, JJ., concur. Fla.,1996. Wild v. Dozier 672 So.2d 16, 21 Fla. L. Weekly S57
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END OF DOCUMENT
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Date of Printing: Apr 20, 2009 KEYCITE Wild v. Dozier, 672 So.2d 16, 21 Fla. L. Weekly S57 (Fla.,Feb 08, 1996) (NO. 85,050) History Direct History
1 Dozier v. Wild, 1994 WL 524292, 19 Fla. L. Weekly D2068 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. Sep 28, 1994) (NO. 94-1104) Opinion Superseded on Rehearing by 2 Dozier v. Wild, 659 So.2d 1103, 20 Fla. L. Weekly D199 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. Jan 18, 1995) (NO. 941104) Review Granted by 3 Wild v. Dozier, 652 So.2d 819 (Fla. Feb 27, 1995) (Table, NO. 85,050) AND Decision Quashed by => 4 Wild v. Dozier, 672 So.2d 16, 21 Fla. L. Weekly S57 (Fla. Feb 08, 1996) (NO. 85,050), rehearing denied (Apr 11, 1996)
Negative Citing References (U.S.A.) Holding Limited by 5 1-888-Traffic Schools v. Chief Circuit Judge, Fourth Judicial Circuit, 734 So.2d 413, 24 Fla. L. Weekly S239 (Fla. May 27, 1999) (NO. 94,314) HN: 2,3,4 (So.2d) Distinguished by 6 Diaz v. State, 868 So.2d 1281, 29 Fla. L. Weekly D808 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. Mar 31, 2004) (NO. 4D034016) HN: 2 (So.2d)
Related References 7 Dozier v. State, 662 So.2d 382, 20 Fla. L. Weekly D2433 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. Nov 01, 1995) (NO. 942178), rehearing denied (Nov 22, 1995) Review Granted by 8 State v. Dozier, 669 So.2d 252 (Fla. Feb 13, 1996) (Table, NO. 86,956) AND Decision Quashed by 9 State v. Dozier, 675 So.2d 110, 21 Fla. L. Weekly S199 (Fla. May 09, 1996) (NO. 86,956), rehearing
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denied (Jun 17, 1996) On Remand to 10 Dozier v. State, 677 So.2d 1007, 21 Fla. L. Weekly D1933 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. Aug 28, 1996) (NO. 942178)
Court Documents Appellate Court Documents (U.S.A.)
Fla. Appellate Briefs 11 Joe A. WILD, Judge, etc., Petitioner, v. Robert Lee DOZIER, Respondents., 1995 WL 17015638 (Appellate Brief) (Fla. Feb. 03, 1995) Amicus Curiae Brief of L. B. Vocelle, Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, in Support of Joe A. Wild, Judge, etc., Petitioner (NO. 85050) 12 The Honorable Joe A. WILD, County Court Judge, Petitioner, v. Robert Lee DOZIER, Respondent., 1995 WL 17015639 (Appellate Brief) (Fla. Feb. 13, 1995) Respondent's Answer Brief on the Merits (NO. 85050) 13 The Honorable Joe A. WILD, County Court Judge, Petitioner, v. Robert Lee DOZIER, Respondent., 1995 WL 17015640 (Appellate Brief) (Fla. Feb. 17, 1995) Petitioner's Reply Brief on the Merits (NO. 85050)
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Supreme Court of Florida. PHYSICIANS HEALTHCARE PLANS, INC., et al., Petitioners, v. Raymond PFEIFLER, et ux., Respondents. Kurshid Kahn, M.D., et al., Petitioners, v. Raymond Pfeifler, et ux., Respondents. Nos. SC01-2062, SC01-2079. May 1, 2003. Medical malpractice action was brought and set for trial on the senior judges' docket in the circuit court. Defendant physicians filed motion to return the case to the elected circuit judge. The Circuit Court, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, denied motion. Defendant physicians then petitioned for writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court held that: (1) appointment of nonelected judges as senior judges did not violate suffrage rights; (2) use of senior judge docket amounted to a proper “temporary assignment”; (3) use of senior judges to relieve overcrowding of dockets did not constitute a “division” that had to be created by local rule and approved by the Supreme Court; and (4) eligibility for temporary appointment as a retired judge was not restricted to only those judges who reached retirement age. Petition denied. Wells, J., filed concurring opinion. Lewis, J., filed opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. Pariente and Quince, JJ., concurred in result only. West Headnotes [1] Courts 106 472.2
106VII(A)1 In General 106k472 Exclusive or Concurrent Jurisdiction 106k472.2 k. Appellate or Supreme Courts. Most Cited Cases The Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to review judicial assignments. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(a, b). [2] Courts 106 70
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases When a chief judge of a judicial circuit exercises his or her delegated assignment authority, the judge is acting under the Chief Justice's constitutional power to make temporary judicial assignments to ensure the speedy, efficient, and proper administration of justice within the various circuits. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(a, b); West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4). [3] Courts 106 472.2
106 Courts 106VII Concurrent and Conflicting Jurisdiction 106VII(A) Courts of Same State 106VII(A)1 In General 106k472 Exclusive or Concurrent Jurisdiction 106k472.2 k. Appellate or Supreme Courts. Most Cited Cases Because of the vital role temporary judicial assignments play in the administration of the state court system, the Supreme Court must have exclusive jurisdiction to review such assignments under its constitutional authority to oversee the administrative supervision of all courts. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(a); West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4). [4] Prohibition 314 17
106 Courts 106VII Concurrent and Conflicting Jurisdiction 106VII(A) Courts of Same State
314 Prohibition 314II Procedure
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314k17 k. Presentation of Objections in Original Proceeding. Most Cited Cases The Supreme Court should not address by writ of prohibition issues relating to judicial assignments that have not been raised to the trial court. [5] Courts 106 70
to senior judges primarily to relieve overcrowded and backlogged calendars in both the civil and criminal court dockets or because a case was likely to be one of long duration, and not all long-duration trials were transferred to senior judge docket. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(b); West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4). [8] Courts 106 70
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases Constitutional provision specifically granting the Chief Justice power to assign retired justices or judges to temporary duty in any court for which they were qualified, together with the authority to delegate this power to the chief judge of a judicial circuit, permitted appointment of nonelected judges, and thus such appointment was not a violation of suffrage rights. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, §§ 2(b), 10(b). [6] Constitutional Law 92 602
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases A county judge cannot be assigned to perform solely circuit court work, and vice versa, unless the assignment is for a relatively short time. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(b); West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4). [9] Courts 106 70
92 Constitutional Law 92V Construction and Operation of Constitutional Provisions 92V(A) General Rules of Construction 92k595 Intrinsic Aids to Construction 92k602 k. In Pari Materia. Most Cited Cases (Formerly 92k15) Constitutional provisions must be read in pari materia to form a congruous whole so as not to render any language superfluous. [7] Courts 106 70
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases A judge may be assigned to hear other court work on a temporary, regular basis as long as the assignment is directed to a specified class of cases, is used to maximize the efficient administration of justice, and supplements and assists the judges in the other court rather than replaces them. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(b); West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4). [10] Courts 106 70
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases Use of senior judge docket in one circuit amounted to a “temporary assignment,” and not an improper permanent assignment in violation of Chief Justice's constitutional authority to assign retired judges to temporary duty, even if some senior judge assignments were successive, where assignment records and docket records indicated that cases were assigned
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases In determining whether a judicial assignment is a “temporary assignment,” the Supreme Court considers more than the duration of the individual assignment; the successive nature of the assignment, the type of case covered by the assignment, and the practical effect of the assignment on the court's jurisdic-
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tion over a particular type of case also must be considered. West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4). [11] Courts 106 70
A special court division may not be created by means of the temporary appointment power of the Chief Justice which is delegated to the chief judges of the circuit courts. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, §§ 2(b), 7. [14] Courts 106 81
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases Successive and repetitive judicial assignments of nonelected judges, which might be valid if considered individually, are not temporary where the practical effect is to create a de facto permanent circuit judge by administrative order. West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(4). [12] Courts 106 50
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(F) Rules of Court and Conduct of Business 106k81 k. Making and Promulgation of Rules. Most Cited Cases Unlike local court rules, administrative orders of a chief judge of a judicial circuit generally do not have to be approved by the Supreme Court. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 7; West's F.S.A. § 43.30; West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050. [15] Judges 227 16(2)
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(A) Creation and Constitution 106k50 k. Divisions and Parts of Courts. Most Cited Cases Courts 106 70
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases Use of senior judges to relieve overcrowding of the civil and criminal dockets in a judicial circuit by assigning them to cases of long duration did not constitute a complex case “division” that had to be created by local rule and approved by the Supreme Court, but could be created by administrative order of the chief judge of the circuit court. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 7; West's F.S.A. § 43.30; West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050. [13] Courts 106 50
227 Judges 227II Special or Substitute Judges 227k16 Appointment, Qualification, and Tenure 227k16(2) k. Qualification. Most Cited Cases A senior judge may be assigned temporarily to serve in a circuit other than the one in which he or she resides. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 8. [16] Judges 227 16(2)
106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(A) Creation and Constitution 106k50 k. Divisions and Parts of Courts. Most Cited Cases
227 Judges 227II Special or Substitute Judges 227k16 Appointment, Qualification, and Tenure 227k16(2) k. Qualification. Most Cited Cases The accountability for senior judges rests with the Chief Justice rather than the voters of a particular circuit or district; because the Chief Justice's authority and responsibility extend throughout the state, the Chief Justice can assign a senior judge to duty without limitation to the jurisdiction of the senior judge's prior service. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 8. [17] Courts 106 106 Courts 70
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106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(E) Places and Times of Holding Court 106k70 k. Designation or Assignment of Judges. Most Cited Cases As the administrative officer of all courts within a judicial circuit, the chief judge is best equipped to assess the needs of each trial court and to allocate the judicial labor available within the circuit accordingly. West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.050(b)(3). [18] Judges 227 16(2)
227 Judges 227II Special or Substitute Judges 227k16 Appointment, Qualification, and Tenure 227k16(2) k. Qualification. Most Cited Cases Eligibility for temporary appointment as a “retired judge” was not restricted to only those judges who reached retirement age. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(b); West's F.S.A. § 25.073(1); West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.030(a)(3)(B). [19] Judges 227 16(2)
that gives the Chief Justice the power to appoint temporary judges does not restrict the power to emergencies. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(b). *1131 Louise H. McMurray and Douglas M. McIntosh of McIntosh, Sawran, Peltz & Cartaya, Miami, FL, on behalf of Physicians Healthcare Plans, Inc.; F. Bryant Blevins of Marlow, Connell, Valerius, Abrams, Adler & Newman, Miami, FL, on behalf of Ronald S. Gup, M.A., etc.; Kevin P. O'Connor of O'Connor, Chimpoulis, Restani, Marreo & McAllister, P.A., Coral Gables, FL, on behalf of Ralph Greenwasser, Jr., D.O.; and Nancy W. Gregoire and Michael J. Rotundo of Bunnell, Woulfe, Kirschbaum, Keller, McIntyre & Gregoire, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, FL, on behalf of Khurshid Khan, M.D., et al., Petitioners. Gary M. Farmer, Jr. of Gillespie, Goldman, Kronengold & Farmer, P.A., Fort *1132 Lauderdale, FL; Charles J. Crist, Jr., Attorney General, and Charles M. Fahlbusch, Assistant Attorney General, Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Michael S. Freedland of The Law Offices of Freedland & Glassman, Weston, FL, for Respondents. PER CURIAM. Physicians Healthcare Plans, Inc., Dr. Kurshid Kahn, and others petition this Court for a writ of prohibition. We have jurisdiction. Seeart. V, § 3(b)(7), Fla. Const. The instant case arose from a 1998 medical malpractice action by Raymond and Cynthia Pfeifler against Physicians Healthcare Plans, Inc. (Physicians), Dr. Kurshid Kahn (Kahn), and others, which was set for trial on the senior judges' docket in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit. In July 2000, the codefendants filed a motion in circuit court to return the case to the elected circuit judge, arguing that the assignment to a senior judge violated both this Court's general guidelines and procedures for the assignment of senior judges and the Florida Constitution. The circuit court heard argument in November 2000, denied the motion, but certified the issue as being of great public importance and invited the codefendants to seek a writ of prohibition to resolve the issues presented. Petitioners Physicians and Kahn have filed two separate petitions for writs of prohibition with this Court. Both petitions raise a number of challenges to the
227 Judges 227II Special or Substitute Judges 227k16 Appointment, Qualification, and Tenure 227k16(2) k. Qualification. Most Cited Cases Under both the Rules of Judicial Administration and statutory definition of a retired judge, there are only two restrictions on the eligibility of retired judges who may be assigned to temporary judicial duty: they may not be engaged in the practice of law; and they may not have been defeated for reelection or retention in their last judicial office. West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 5, § 2(b); West's F.S.A. § 25.073(1); West's F.S.A. R.Jud.Admin.Rule 2.030(a)(3)(B). [20] Judges 227 15(1)
227 Judges 227II Special or Substitute Judges 227k15 Necessity and Grounds for Appointment 227k15(1) k. In General. Most Cited Cases The express language of the constitutional provision
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senior judges' docket in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit and ask this Court to prohibit the assignment of senior judges to preside over “long trial” medical malpractice and other “complex litigation” cases.FN1 We have consolidated the cases as they present the same issues for the Court's resolution. FN1. In our recent review of the Report and Recommendations of the Committee On Appointment and Assignment of Senior Judges, “we acknowledge [d] the reality of problems in isolated cases with senior judges presiding over complex and lengthy trials” and urged chief judges “to respond directly to concerns expressed when such problems are presented to them.” In re Report & Recommendations of the Comm. on Appointment & Assignment of Senior Judges, op. at 15, 847 So.2d 415, 422, 2003 WL 1987980 (Fla. May 1, 2003). Despite such problems, we declined to adopt “either a per se prohibition on the assignment of senior judges to complex cases or a requirement that chief judges be required to show a good cause for such assignments,” recognizing that “[c]hief judges must be afforded deference and latitude in the management of judicial assignments and dockets.” Id. at 15-16, at 422. Finally, we reminded the chief judges of their duty to “select senior judges with the proper skills and experience to preside over complex cases when such assignments are necessary” and their responsibility to “periodically review[ ] the progress of all cases assigned to senior judges to ensure expeditious and proper handling.” Id. at 16, at 422. Before considering the challenges raised in the petitions, we find it necessary to explain the background relating to the assignment of senior judges. For the purposes of judicial administration, a “retired judge” is defined as a judge not engaged in the practice of law who has been a judicial officer of this state. SeeFla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.030(a)(3)(B). Section 25.073(1), Florida Statutes (2001), also specifies that a retired judge may not have been defeated in seeking reelection or retention to his or her last judicial office. In 1990, Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.030(a)(3) was amended to provide that a retired judge serving on assignment to temporary judicial
duty may be referred to by the honorary designation “senior judge.” This designation had no effect on the responsibilities or conduct of the retired judge. See In re Amendment to Rules of Judicial Admin., 560 So.2d 786, 787 (Fla.1990). *1133 [1][2][3] This Court has exclusive jurisdiction to review judicial assignments based upon article V, section 2(a)-(b) of the Florida Constitution. Article V, section 2(a) gives this Court authority to adopt rules for the administrative supervision of all courts. Article V, section 2(b) gives the chief justice of this Court, as the chief administrative officer of the judicial system, “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 and to delegate to a chief judge of a judicial circuit the power to assign judges for duty in that circuit.” Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.050(b)(4) delegates the chief justice's assignment power to the chief judges of the judicial circuits to “assign any judge to temporary service for which the judge is qualified in any court in the same circuit.” “When a chief judge exercises this delegated assignment authority, the judge is acting under the Chief Justice's constitutional power to make temporary judicial assignments to ensure the speedy, efficient, and proper administration of justice within the various circuits.” Wild v. Dozier, 672 So.2d 16, 18 (Fla.1996). Because of the vital role temporary judicial assignments play in the administration of our court system, this Court must have exclusive jurisdiction to review such assignments under its article V, section 2(a) authority to oversee the administrative supervision of all courts. See id. This Court has long recognized the necessity of assigning retired judges and justices to judicial service in Florida courts. See In re Assignments of Justices & Judges, 222 So.2d 22 (Fla.1969). As we have explained, “unless retired justices and judges are assigned to ... other courts, long delays in the discharge of case loads of some of the trial courts will result.” Id. at 23. Thus, retired judges have provided valuable service to Florida's judicial system for many years by assisting with increased caseloads and providing relief to active judges when they are ill or disqualified. See In re Rules Governing Assignment to Duty of Retired Justices & Judges, 239 So.2d 254 (Fla.1970). “Were it not for the availability of this resource, the delays in scheduling hearings and trials ... would be
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much greater.” In re Certification of Judicial Manpower, 592 So.2d 241, 246 (Fla.1992). Furthermore, “[t]he use of retired judges is the most cost effective and flexible program we have to address calendaring problems and emergencies as they arise.” In re Certification of Judicial Manpower, 576 So.2d 1303, 1307 (Fla.1991). We have repeatedly noted that the services of retired judges “are available at much less expense than full-time judges.” In re Certification of Need for Additional Judges, 669 So.2d 1037, 1039 (Fla.1996). Senior judges currently perform the work of approximately thirty-five full-time judges, at a cost of about $2.9 million, a small fraction of the cost of that number of full-time judges. SeeComm. On Appointment and Assignment of Senior Judges, Report and Recommendations of the Committee On Appointment and Assignment of Senior Judges, 4 (Feb. 22, 2002) (on file with Clerk, Fla. Sup. Ct.). [4] It is against this background that we address the petitioners' challenges to the assignment of senior judges. The petitioners claim that the use of senior judges violates the suffrage rights of voters; the assignment of cases to the senior judges' docket in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit constitutes an improper permanent assignment and violates the constitutional prohibition against the creation of special court divisions; the assignment of a retired judge who resides in another judicial circuit violates the constitutional judicial *1134 qualifications; the assignment of complex cases to the senior judge docket results in delay which constitutes an unconstitutional restraint on access to courts; judges younger than seventy years of age and those who are not eligible for retirement benefits under the state retirement system do not meet the constitutional definition of a retired judge; and senior judges may not be appointed for matters of convenience.FN2 FN2. The Kahn petition makes two challenges that were not raised below: the time standards for civil litigation are violated by the use of senior judges and the intent of the Medical Malpractice Reform Act is similarly violated. This Court should not address issues relating to judicial assignments that have not been raised to the trial court. See Wild.Accordingly, we decline to address these challenges. [5][6] The petitioners argue that the use of senior
judges violates their suffrage rights. SeeArt. V, § 10(b) Fla. Const. (providing for election of circuit court and county court judges unless a majority of the voters in the jurisdiction approve a local option to select judges by merit selection and retention); id. § 11(b) (providing that when a vacancy occurs on a circuit or county court where the judges are elected by the voters the governor shall appoint a judge to fill the vacancy but an election shall be held to fill the judicial office at the end of the appointed term). The petitioners contend that voters are being deprived of the right to have their cases tried by judges who are accountable to the public because senior judges are not elected to judicial office. However, constitutional provisions must be read in pari materia “to form [a] congruous whole so as not to render any language superfluous.” Department of Envtl. Prot. v. Millender, 666 So.2d 882, 886 (Fla.1996). The Florida Constitution specifically grants the chief justice power to assign retired justices or judges to temporary duty in any court for which they are qualified and the authority to delegate this power to the chief judge of a judicial circuit. Seeart. V, § 2(b), Fla. Const. Thus, where appointments fall within the parameters outlined in this provision, the Florida Constitution obviously permits appointment of nonelected judges and does not consider this to be a violation of suffrage rights. [7][8][9] Next the petitioners contend that the use of senior judges in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit constitutes an improper permanent assignment, which violates the chief justice's constitutional authority to assign retired judges to “temporary duty.” Art. V, § 2(b). Based upon our previous cases, we can glean some basic constitutional parameters relating to the temporal nature of judicial assignments. A county judge cannot be assigned to perform solely circuit court work, and vice versa, unless the assignment is for a relatively short time. See Payret v. Adams, 500 So.2d 136 (Fla.1986); Crusoe v. Rowls, 472 So.2d 1163 (Fla.1985). However, a judge may be assigned to hear other court work on a temporary, regular basis as long as the assignment is directed to a specified class of cases, is used to maximize the efficient administration of justice, and supplements and assists the judges in the other court rather than replaces them. See Holsman v. Cohen, 667 So.2d 769 (Fla.1996); Wild; Crusoe. [10][11] In determining whether a judicial assignment is a temporary assignment under Florida Rule
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of Judicial Administration 2.050(b)(4), this Court considers more than the duration of the individual assignment. The successive nature of the assignment, the type of case covered by the assignment, and the practical effect of the assignment on the court's jurisdiction over a particular type of case also must be considered. See Wild.At one end of the *1135 spectrum, this Court has concluded that successive assignments totaling more than two years may be considered temporary where the class of cases covered by the assignment is limited and the practical effect is to assist the judges rather than usurp the court's jurisdiction over a particular type of case. See Crusoe. However, successive and repetitive assignments which might be valid if considered individually are not temporary where the practical effect is to create a de facto permanent circuit judge by administrative order. See Payret. The petitioners have not challenged specific successive senior judge assignments, but instead make a blanket claim that the senior judge docket in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit is not a temporary assignment. However, even assuming that some of the senior judge assignments have been successive, this Court has approved other successive judicial assignments. See Wild (approving successive six-month assignments spanning four years of county judge to preside in circuit court over half of all felony cases in a county); Rivkind v. Patterson, 672 So.2d 819, 82021 (Fla.1996) (approving successive monthly assignments spanning several years as “a logical and lawful means to ensure the expeditious and efficient resolution of domestic violence issues in the Eleventh Circuit”); J.G. v. Holtzendorf, 669 So.2d 1043 (Fla.1996)(approving successive six-month assignments of county judge to hear most, though not all, of the juvenile cases in the county and a few other circuit court actions over the course of five years); Holsman (approving successive monthly assignments spanning several years of circuit court judge to handle a limited number of county court domestic violence misdemeanors in special domestic violence court); but see Payret (disapproving successive oneyear assignments of county court judge assigned to hear all circuit court matters in special jury district of Fifteenth Judicial Circuit over five years). Under Wild, however, the successive nature of the assignment is only one of three factors to be considered in determining whether an assignment is tempo-
rary. The type of case covered by the assignment and the practical effect of the assignment on circuit court jurisdiction over a particular type of case must also be considered. See Wild, 672 So.2d at 19. In the instant case, there is a factual dispute over the type of cases handled by the senior judge docket. The petitioners contend that the senior judge docket handles only complex, long-duration cases. The respondents counter that the records of the senior judge docket show that a wide range of circuit court cases and matters are being handled by senior judges. In fact, the circuit court's assignment records indicate that cases are assigned to senior judges primarily because of overcrowded and backlogged calendars in both the civil and criminal court dockets or because the case is likely to be one of long duration. The docket records of the elected judges also indicate that not all longduration trials are transferred to the senior judge docket. Senior judge utilization statistics reflect senior judge assignments in each division of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, and far more in the criminal division than in any other. Further, as noted in the procedures for assignment of senior judges issued by this Court and the forms for senior judge assignments, we conclude that the senior judge assignments in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit are compatible with the instructions and the guidance of this Court. As to the final Wild factor of the practical effect of the assignment on circuit court jurisdiction, the senior judge assignments here are used to maximize the efficient administration of justice and have *1136 the practical effect of supplementing and assisting the circuit court judges rather than usurping the judges' jurisdiction over a particular type of case. Under these criteria, we conclude the senior judge assignments are temporary and thus do not violate the constitutional parameters of article V, section 2(b). [12][13] Unlike the judicial assignment cases cited above, the petitioners here challenge more than the temporal nature of the senior judge assignments. The petitioners also contend that the senior judge docket is a de facto complex case division which cannot be established by administrative order, but must be established through a local rule which is approved by this Court.FN3 The petitioners note that the administrative judge who handles requests for transfer to the senior judge docket in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit has described the docket as “our complex litigation division,” handling “cases that take more than
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three weeks to try.” FN3. Article V, section 7 of the Florida Constitution provides that “[a]ll courts except the supreme court may sit in divisions as may be established by general law.” Section 43.30, Florida Statutes (2001), provides that divisions may be created by a local rule which is approved by this Court. Thus, a special division may not be created by means of the temporary appointment power of the chief justice which is delegated to the chief judges of the circuit courts. [14] Pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.050(b), chief judges of the circuit courts issue administrative orders to coordinate administrative matters within their jurisdiction. Unlike local rules, administrative orders generally do not have to be approved by this Court. As explained in In re Report of Commission on Family Courts, 646 So.2d 178, 181 (Fla.1994), divisions of Florida courts are to be established through local rules approved by this Court. See alsoart. V, § 7, Fla. Const.; § 43.30, Fla. Stat. (2001). Under the provisions of rule 2.050, local rules must be approved by a majority of the judges in a circuit, must be noticed and advertised, and must be approved by this Court. Thus, if the senior judge docket is deemed a “division” it would need to be created by local rule and approved by this Court. However, this Court has approved the creation of a drug “division” of the criminal court created by administrative order in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. See Mann v. Chief Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, 696 So.2d 1184 (Fla.1997). As this Court explained, despite its characterization as a division, the drug court was “more properly viewed as a specialized section or subdivision of the criminal division of the circuit court.” Id. at 1185. In Mann, we cited our previous opinion in Administrative Order Fourth Judicial Circuit (Division of Courts), 378 So.2d 286, 286 (Fla.1979), for the proposition that the Florida Constitution “only requires the establishment of subject matter divisions, i.e., criminal, civil, juvenile, probate, and traffic.” Accordingly, we concluded that the drug court division at issue in Mann was properly created by administrative order. 696 So.2d at 1185. We further noted that it would place “too great a burden upon the efficient administration of justice ... [t]o require every
specialized section of the major subject-matter divisions of a court to be approved by local rule.” Id. In light of our reasoning in Mann and the senior judge utilization statistics for the circuit, we conclude that the use of senior judges to relieve overcrowding of the civil and criminal dockets in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit does not constitute a complex case division that requires approval*1137 by local rule. Thus, the senior judge assignments are proper via administrative order of the chief judge. [15][16] Next the petitioners argue that the assignment of a retired judge who resides in a different judicial circuit violates the constitutional eligibility requirements of article V, section 8 of the Florida Constitution. This section provides in pertinent part that “[n]o person shall be eligible for office of justice or judge of any court unless the person is an elector of the state and resides in the territorial jurisdiction of the court.” Despite this seeming constitutional restriction, this Court has ruled that a circuit judge may be assigned temporarily to serve in a circuit other than the one in which he or she was elected. See Card v. State, 497 So.2d 1169 (Fla.1986); see also Judges of Polk County Court v. Ernst, 615 So.2d 276 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993) (concluding that a county judge may be temporarily assigned to serve outside the county where elected). Based upon these cases, we find no impediment to a similar temporary assignment of a senior judge. Further, as we explained in In re Report & Recommendations of the Committee on Appointment & Assignment of Senior Judges, 847 So.2d 415, 2003 WL 1987980 (Fla. May 1, 2003), “the accountability for senior judges rests with the chief justice rather than the voters of a particular circuit or district. Because the chief justice's authority and responsibility extend throughout the state, the chief justice can assign a senior judge to duty without limitation to the jurisdiction of the senior judge's prior service.” op. at 423. Thus, we find no merit to this challenge. [17] The petitioners argue that the assignment of complex cases to the senior judge docket results in delay which constitutes an unconstitutional restraint on access to courts. Seeart. I, § 21, Fla. Const. (“The courts shall be open to every person for redress of any injury, and justice shall be administered without sale, denial, or delay.”). However, most of the petitioners' delay arguments seem to be addressed to the crowded civil docket and the resulting delay of civil
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litigation in general. The petitioners have made no convincing arguments that these cases would be resolved any more quickly if they remained on the regular civil docket. Statistics indicate that the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit is very efficient in its management and administration of judges and the conduct of its jury trials. It is counterintuitive to assume judicial efficiency would improve if we reduced the number of judges handling cases in the circuit by eliminating the use of senior judges. As noted above, senior judges currently perform the work of approximately thirty-five full-time judges statewide. Our judicial system would be severely hamstrung without these services. See, e.g., In re Certification of Judicial Manpower, 592 So.2d 241, 246 (Fla.1992) (“Florida trial courts have continued to address workload pressures by relying heavily on the temporary assignment of senior judges.”). We would all like to see cases disposed of expeditiously. However, limited judicial resources and burgeoning court dockets require that the chief judges retain the freedom to manage the resources for “the efficient and proper administration of all courts within [the] circuit.” Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.050(b)(3). “[A]s the administrative officer of all courts within a judicial circuit, the chief judge is best equipped to assess the needs of each trial court and to allocate the judicial labor available within the circuit accordingly.” Wild, 672 So.2d at 17-18 (footnote omitted). [18] The petitioners make two challenges relating to the definition of a “retired judge.” First, they argue that only *1138 those judges who have reached the constitutional age of retirement, seventy years of age, meet the definition of a retired judge who may be temporarily appointed to judicial service under article V, section 2(b). The petitioners rely upon the judicial eligibility provision in article V, section 8 of the Florida Constitution, which provides, in pertinent part, that “[n]o justice or judge shall serve after attaining the age of seventy years except upon temporary assignment or to complete a term, one-half of which has been served.” The petitioners contend that when the mandatory retirement provision in article V, section 8 is read in pari materia with the judicial appointment power in article V, section 2(b), we must conclude that only those judges who have reached retirement age are eligible for temporary appointment. Second, the petitioners contend that only those judges who are eligible for retirement benefits under the state retirement system qualify as retired judges who may be temporarily appointed to judicial service
under article V, section 2(b). Thus, the petitioners argue, persons who have resigned from judicial office or have chosen not to seek reelection to judicial office are not qualified for appointment as senior judges. The petitioners argue that these eligibility restrictions on the appointment of senior judges diminish the intrusion on the constitutional right to suffrage as the judges who have performed the required years of judicial service have withstood the challenge of election and reelection and have a demonstrated history of support by their electors. [19] We are not persuaded by either argument. The Florida Constitution gives the chief justice authority to assign “retired justices or judges” to temporary duty. Art. V, § 2(b), Fla. Const. For the purpose of judicial administration, a retired judge is defined as “a judge not engaged in the practice of law who has been a judicial officer of this state.” Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.030(a)(3)(B). Florida Statutes also define a retired judge as “any former justice or judge” who has not been defeated in seeking reelection or retention in his or her last judicial office and is not engaged in the practice of law. See§ 25.073(1), Fla. Stat. (2001) (emphasis added). Thus, under both the Rules of Judicial Administration and the Florida Statutes there are only two restrictions on the eligibility of retired judges who may be assigned to temporary judicial duty: they may not be engaged in the practice of law; and they may not have been defeated for reelection or retention in their last judicial office. In our recent review of the Report and Recommendations of the Committee on the Appointment and Assignment of Senior Judges, we concluded that “deference to the constitutional electoral process dictate[s]” that “judges or justices who fail to win reelection or retention in their last judicial position are not eligible for senior judge service.” In re Report & Recommendations of the Committee on Appointment & Assignment of Senior Judges, op. at 6, 847 So.2d 415, 418, 2003 WL 1987980 (Fla. May 1, 2003). However, the same concerns do not attend the temporary assignment of qualified and competent judges who have chosen to resign from judicial office before reaching the constitutional age of retirement or who are not yet eligible for retirement benefits under the state retirement system. Thus, we find no merit to the definition challenges raised by the petitioners. Finally, the petitioners argue that senior judges may
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not be appointed for matters of convenience and instead all senior judge appointments must be measured by an “emergency of public business” standard. The petitioners cite our opinion in Spector v. Glisson, 305 So.2d 777 (Fla.1974), to *1139 support the “emergency of public business” standard. Spector involved the question of whether a Supreme Court justice's resignation tendered for a future date created a current vacancy that should be filled during an upcoming general election. In concluding that a present vacancy had been created and that the vacancy could be filled in the upcoming election,FN4 this Court stated: FN4. At the time of our decision in Spector, appellate judges and Supreme Court justices were subject to election by the voters. In November 1976, Florida voters approved an amendment whereby appellate judges and justices are subject to merit selection and retention. Seeart. V, § 10(a), Fla. Const. It has been said that the only excuse for the appointment of any officer made elective under the law is founded on the emergency of the public business and that when an elective office is made vacant the policy of the law is to give the people a chance to fill it as soon as possible. Id. at 781 (quoting 63 Am.Jur.2d, Public Officers and Employees § 128). When considered in its proper context, this opinion neither addressed the chief justice's constitutional power to assign judges to temporary duty nor created an “emergency of public business” before that power could be exercised. [20] The express language of the constitutional provision which gives the chief justice the power to appoint judges does not restrict the power to “emergencies.” Indeed, this Court has consistently measured the power to make temporary assignments by a standard of flexibility and efficiency. See, e.g., Rivkind, 672 So.2d at 820-21 (“We find that the judicial assignments at issue constitute a logical and lawful means to ensure the expeditious and efficient resolution of domestic violence issues in the Eleventh Circuit.”) (emphasis added); Wild, 672 So.2d at 18 (“When a chief judge exercises this delegated assignment authority, the judge is acting under the Chief Justice's constitutional power to make temporary judicial assignments to ensure the speedy, efficient, and proper administration of justice within the various circuits.”) (emphasis added); Holsman, 667
So.2d at 772 (“The assignment ... is used to maximize the efficient administration of justice....”); Crusoe, 472 So.2d at 1165 (“Flexibility must be given the chief judge to utilize effectively judicial manpower in the mutual assistance of each trial court.”). Thus, we conclude that an assignment which meets the constitutional requirement of “temporary duty” need not be based on an emergency of public business. For the reasons discussed above, we conclude that the assignment of cases to the senior judge docket in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit is constitutional and in accord with applicable law. Thus, we deny the petitions for writ of prohibition, lift the stay on further proceedings below, and remand this cause to the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit. It is so ordered. ANSTEAD, C.J., WELLS, J., and SHAW and HARDING, Senior Justices, concur. WELLS, J., concurs with an opinion. LEWIS, J., concurs in part and dissents in part with an opinion. PARIENTE and QUINCE, JJ., concur in result only.WELLS, J., concurring. I concur with the majority's decision. I write to express my view, however, that it is clearly necessary to the proper administration of justice in our trial courts for the chief judge and trial counsel in each circuit to have an ongoing meaningful *1140 discussion about the type of problems which have been raised in these proceedings and before our Committee on the Appointment and Assignment of Senior Judges. We on this Court are very dependent on the chief judges of the circuits to exercise their discretion in the administration of the circuits because each circuit has different problems which can only be effectively worked upon by those who have daily experience at the local level. The chief judges and their administrative judges benefit from regular and substantive meetings with trial counsel. Many of our chief judges presently do this. However, I believe that there needs to be a regularly working committee in each circuit for this purpose. I urge that in each circuit a bench-bar committee be established and that there be a meeting of this committee at least once every three months. This committee should consist of the chief judge of the circuit, all administrative judges in the circuit, and selected counsel participants
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who are active trial lawyers in the circuit. I suggest that the counsel participants be either some or all of the circuit's representatives on the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar or their nominees. LEWIS, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part. While I agree with the rejection of several challenges presented here, I write to express my disagreement with the majority's determination that the assignments of senior judges in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit are indeed “temporary,” and that the circuit has not effectively created a special senior division for the purpose of trying complex civil cases.FN5 I believe that the pattern of assigning such cases in that circuit exceeds the constitutional parameters permitting the assignment of senior judges for temporary service. In approving this de facto division, I believe this Court has permitted the concept of temporary assignment-conceived to serve important public interests-to evolve into a constitutionally impermissible broad rule of convenience. Moreover, I believe a separate “complex case” or “senior judges' ” docket has been created in violation of this State's constitutionally mandated court structure. Thus, for the reasons articulated herein, I must dissent from the majority's determination that the assignment process in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit is constitutionally proper. FN5. While the problem presented here may be unique to the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, that fact, standing alone, does not relieve this Court of its responsibility to ensure that the circuit adhere to constitutional constructs governing judicial assignments. The ability of the Chief Justice of this Court to make temporary judicial assignments is grounded in the need to ensure the speedy, efficient, and proper administration of justice. See Wild v. Dozier, 672 So.2d 16, 18 (Fla.1996). Senior judges are a vital part of achieving this important goal. By appointing senior judges, judicial circuits can increase case disposition, address court emergencies, and solve calendar conflicts in a cost-effective manner. However, neither the need for efficiency nor the corresponding ability of senior judges to meet that objective justifies exceeding the constitutional requirement that nonelected judges receive assignment on a temporary basis, only. Seeart. V, § 2(b), Fla. Const. We cannot allow the goal of judicial efficiency, however laudable it may be, to trammel clear and direct constitutional direc-
tives. See Wild, 672 So.2d at 21 (Kogan, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). In reaching its decision, the majority must engage in a “judicial wink” as it considers the true definition of “temporary.” As recognized by this Court, “[t]emporary is an antonym for permanent.” *1141 Crusoe v. Rowls, 472 So.2d 1163, 1165 (Fla.1985) (internal quotation marks omitted). A temporary assignment, by definition, cannot “usurp, supplant, or effectively deprive circuit court jurisdiction of a particular type of case on a permanent basis.”Id. Our decision in Payret v. Adams, 500 So.2d 136 (Fla.1986), compels us to be wary against circumstances rendering de facto permanency to allegedly temporary assignments. See id. at 138 (invalidating an assignment that was successive and repetitive, having been renewed annually for a period of five years). Thus, we must examine the judicial assignment's duration as well as its nature, the type of cases covered, and the practical effect of the assignment on circuit court jurisdiction over a particular type of case. See Wild, 672 So.2d at 19. The regularized process of assigning complex civil cases to senior judges in the Seventeenth Circuit effectively supplants the jurisdiction of active judges over those matters. The invalidity of this process is not mitigated by the fact that not every complex civil litigation matter is assigned to the senior judges' docket. A substantial percentage are, with consequent impact on the rights of the parties involved. There is no corresponding emergency, such as a violation of the speedy trial rules, to justify consistent reassignment of these cases. Indeed, the only justification offered is the mantra of judicial efficiency, which, however noble, cannot create its own constitutional foundation that so clearly violates constitutional strictures. In determining that no special division has been created in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, the majority, in my opinion, glosses over the practical de facto effect of the process in operation there. By giving notice that the trial of a case will likely exceed twoand-a-half weeks, attorneys can almost ensure placement on the docket slated for hearing by a senior judge. The process effectively allocates cases to a distinct group of judges-not by subject matter-but by the complexity of the case and projected length of trial. Cf. Mann v. Chief Judge of the Thirteenth Judi-
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cial Circuit, 696 So.2d 1184, 1185 (Fla.1997). Thus, a distinct de facto “complex case” division has been created in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit without issuance of a local rule in accordance with proper procedure. In Broward County, senior judges have become a de facto permanent circuit division for the trial of complex civil cases not by the method authorized by the Florida Constitution, but by judicial direction. While I understand the demands placed upon those responsible for the administration of the local system and the current status of resources, a de facto system such as this exists beyond constitutional parameters, and I must respectfully dissent from the majority opinion as outlined herein. Fla.,2003. Physicians Healthcare Plans, Inc. v. Pfeifler 846 So.2d 1129, 28 Fla. L. Weekly S370 END OF DOCUMENT
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Date of Printing: Apr 20, 2009 KEYCITE Physicians Healthcare Plans, Inc. v. Pfeifler, 846 So.2d 1129, 28 Fla. L. Weekly S370 (Fla.,May 01, 2003) (NO. SC01-2062, SC01-2079) History Direct History
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1 Physicians Healthcare Plans, Inc. v. Pfeifler, 846 So.2d 1129, 28 Fla. L. Weekly S370 (Fla. May 01, 2003) (NO. SC01-2062, SC01-2079)
Court Documents Dockets (U.S.A.)
Fla. 2 PHYSICIANS HEALTHCARE PLANS, INC., ET AL. v. RAYMOND PFEIFLER, ET UX., NO. SC01-2062 (Docket) (Fla. Sep. 17, 2001) 3 KHURSHID KHAN, M.D., ET AL. v. RAYMOND PFEIFLER, ET UX., NO. SC01-2079 (Docket) (Fla. Sep. 28, 2001)
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Fla. R. Jud. Admin., Rule 2.205
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West's Florida Statutes Annotated Currentness Florida Rules of Judicial Administration (Refs & Annos) Part II. State Court Administration Rule 2.205. The Supreme Court (a) Internal Government. (1) Exercise of Powers and Jurisdiction. The supreme court shall exercise its powers and jurisdiction en banc. Five justices shall constitute a quorum and the concurrence of 4 shall be necessary to a decision. In cases requiring only a panel of 5, if 4 of the 5 justices who consider the case do not concur, it shall be submitted to the other 2 justices. (2) Chief Justice. (A) The chief justice shall be chosen by majority vote of the justices for a term commencing on July 1 of evennumbered years. If a vacancy occurs, a successor shall be chosen promptly to serve the balance of the unexpired term. (B) The chief justice shall have the following administrative powers and duties. The chief justice shall: (i) be the administrative officer of the court and shall be responsible for the dispatch of its business; (ii) have the power to act on requests for stays during the pendency of proceedings, to order the consolidation of cases, to determine all procedural motions and petitions relating to the time for filing and size of briefs and other papers provided for under the rules of this court, to advance or continue cases, and to rule on other procedural matters relating to any proceeding or process in the court; (iii) have the power to assign active or retired county, circuit, or appellate judges or justices to judicial service in this state, in accordance with subdivisions (a)(3) and (a)(4) of this rule; (iv) have the power, upon request of the chief judge of any circuit or district, or sua sponte, in the event of natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation requiring the closure of courts or other circumstances inhibiting the ability of litigants to comply with deadlines imposed by rules of procedure applicable in the courts of this state, to enter such order or orders as may be appropriate to suspend, toll, or otherwise grant relief from time deadlines imposed by otherwise applicable statutes and rules of procedure for such period as may be appropriate, including, without limitation, those affecting speedy trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings, all civil process and proceedings, and all appellate time limitations; and (v) perform such other administrative duties as may be required and which are not otherwise provided for by law or rule. (C) The chief justice shall be notified by all justices of any contemplated absences from the court and the reasons therefor.
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Fla. R. Jud. Admin., Rule 2.205
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(D) If the chief justice dies, retires, or is unable to perform the duties of the office, the justice longest in continuous service shall perform the duties during the period of incapacity or until a successor chief justice is elected. (3) Administration. (A) The chief justice may, either upon request or when otherwise necessary for the prompt dispatch of business in the courts of this state, temporarily assign justices of the supreme court, judges of district courts of appeal, circuit judges, and judges of county courts to any court for which they are qualified to serve. Any consenting retired justice or judge may be assigned to judicial service and receive compensation as provided by law. (B) For the purpose of judicial administration, a “retired judge” is defined as a judge not engaged in the practice of law who has been a judicial officer of this state. A retired judge shall comply with all requirements that the supreme court deems necessary relating to the recall of retired judges. (C) When a judge who is eligible to draw retirement compensation has entered the private practice of law, the judge may be eligible for recall to judicial service upon cessation of the private practice of law and approval of the judge's application to the court. The application shall state the period of time the judge has not engaged in the practice of law, and must be approved by the court before the judge shall be eligible for recall to judicial service. (D) A “senior judge” is a retired judge who is eligible to serve on assignment to temporary judicial duty. (4) Assignments of Justices and Judges. (A) When a justice of the supreme court is unable to perform the duties of office, or when necessary for the prompt dispatch of the business of the court, the chief justice may assign to the court any judge who is qualified to serve, for such time as the chief justice may direct. (B) When a judge of any district court of appeal is unable to perform the duties of office, or when necessary for the prompt dispatch of the business of the court, the chief judge shall advise the chief justice and the chief justice may assign to the court any judge who is qualified to serve, for such time or such proceedings as the chief justice may direct. (C) When any circuit or county judge is unable to perform the duties of office, or when necessary for the prompt dispatch of the business of the court, the chief judge of the circuit may assign any judge in the circuit to temporary service for which the judge is qualified, in accordance with rule 2.215. If the chief judge deems it necessary, the chief judge may request the chief justice to assign a judge to the court for such time or such proceedings as the chief justice may direct. (b) Clerk. (1) Appointment. The supreme court shall appoint a clerk who shall hold office at the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court directs. The clerk's compensation shall be fixed by law. The clerk's office shall be in the supreme court building. The clerk shall devote full time to the duties of the office and shall not engage in the practice of law while in office. (2) Custody of Records, Files, and Seal. All court records and the seal of the court shall be kept in the office and the custody of the clerk. The clerk shall not allow any court record to be taken from the clerk's office or the courtroom, except by a justice of the court or upon the order of the court.
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Fla. R. Jud. Admin., Rule 2.205
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(3) Records of Proceedings. The clerk shall keep such records as the court may from time to time order or direct. The clerk shall keep a docket or equivalent electronic record of all cases that are brought for review to, or that originate in, the court. Each case shall be numbered in the order in which the notice, petition, or other initial pleading originating the cause is filed in the court. (4) Filing Fee. In all cases filed in the court, the clerk shall require the payment of a fee as provided by law when the notice, petition, or other initial pleading is filed. The payment shall not be exacted in advance in appeals in which a party has been adjudicated insolvent for the purpose of an appeal or in appeals in which the state is the real party in interest as the moving party. The payment of the fee shall not be required in habeas corpus proceedings, or appeals therefrom, arising out of or in connection with criminal actions. (5) Issuance of Mandate; Recordation and Notification. The clerk shall issue such mandates or process as may be directed by the court. Upon the issuance of any mandate, the clerk shall record the issuance in a book or equivalent electronic record kept for that purpose, in which the date of issuance and the manner of transmittal of the process shall be noted. In proceedings in which no mandate is issued, upon final adjudication of the pending cause the clerk shall transmit to the party affected thereby a copy of the court's order or judgment. The clerk shall notify the attorneys of record of the issuance of any mandate or the rendition of any final judgment. The clerk shall furnish without charge to all attorneys of record in any cause a copy of any order or written opinion rendered in such action. (6) Return of Original Papers. Upon the conclusion of any proceeding in the supreme court, the clerk shall return to the clerk of the lower court the original papers or files transmitted to the court for use in the cause. (c) Librarian. (1) Appointment. The supreme court shall appoint a librarian of the supreme court and such assistants as may be necessary. The supreme court library shall be in the custody of the librarian, but under the exclusive control of the court. The library shall be open to members of the bar of the supreme court, to members of the legislature, to law officers of the executive or other departments of the state, and to such other persons as may be allowed to use the library by special permission of the court. (2) Library Hours. The library shall be open during such times as the reasonable needs of the bar require and shall be governed by regulations made by the librarian with the approval of the court. (3) Books. Books shall not be removed from the library except for use by, or upon order of, any justice. (d) Marshal. (1) Appointment. The supreme court shall appoint a marshal who shall hold office at the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court directs. The marshal's compensation shall be fixed by law. (2) Duties. The marshal shall have power to execute process of the court throughout the state and such other powers as may be conferred by law. The marshal may deputize the sheriff or a deputy sheriff in any county to execute process of the court and shall perform such clerical or ministerial duties as the court may direct or as required by law. Subject to the direction of the court, the marshal shall be custodian of the supreme court building and grounds. (e) State Courts Administrator. (1) Appointment. The supreme court shall appoint a state courts administrator who shall serve at the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court directs. The state courts administrator's compensation shall be fixed by
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Fla. R. Jud. Admin., Rule 2.205
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law. (2) Duties. The state courts administrator shall supervise the administrative office of the Florida courts, which shall be maintained at such place as directed by the supreme court; shall employ such other personnel as the court deems necessary to aid in the administration of the state courts system; shall represent the state courts system before the legislature and other bodies with respect to matters affecting the state courts system and functions related to and serving the system; shall supervise the preparation and submission to the supreme court, for review and approval, of a tentative budget request for the state courts system and shall appear before the legislature in accordance with the court's directions in support of the final budget request on behalf of the system; shall assist in the preparation of educational and training materials for the state courts system and related personnel, and shall coordinate or assist in the conduct of educational and training sessions for such personnel; shall assist all courts in the development of improvements in the system, and submit to the chief justice and the court appropriate recommendations to improve the state courts system; and shall collect and compile uniform financial and other statistical data or information reflective of the cost, workloads, business, and other functions related to the state courts system. The state courts administrator is the custodian of all records in the administrator's office. (f) Open Sessions. All sessions of the court shall be open to the public, except proceedings designated as confidential by the court and conference sessions held for the discussion and consideration of pending cases, for the formulation of opinions by the court, and for the discussion or resolution of other matters related to the administration of the state courts system. (g) Designation of Assigned Judges. When any judge of another court is assigned for temporary service on the supreme court, that judge shall be designated, as author or participant, by name and initials followed by the words “Associate Justice.” CREDIT(S) Former Rule 2.030 amended June 14, 1979, effective July 1, 1979 (372 So.2d 449); May 3, 1990, effective June 15, 1990 (560 So.2d 786); Oct. 8, 1992, effective Jan. 1, 1993 (609 So.2d 465); Oct. 24, 1996, effective Jan. 1, 1997 (682 So.2d 89); March 7, 2002 (825 So.2d 889); Nov. 3, 2005, effective Jan. 1, 2006 (915 So.2d 145). Renumbered from Rule 2.030 Sept. 21, 2006 (939 So.2d 966). Current with Amendments received through 1/14/10 (C) 2009 Thomson Reuters. No Claim to Orig. U.S. Govt. Works. END OF DOCUMENT
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