Florida Senate - 2011 CS for CS for SJR 140 By the Committees on Budget; and Judiciary; and Senator Ring 576-05138-11 2011140c2 1 Senate Joint Resolution 2 A joint resolution proposing an amendment to Section 8 3 of Article V and the creation of Section 32 of Article 4 XII of the State Constitution to increase the period 5 of time that a person must be a member of The Florida 6 Bar before becoming eligible for the office of circuit 7 court or county court judge, to provide an effective 8 date, and to provide that judges qualified to hold 9 office and in office on that effective date may remain 10 in office and run for reelection, notwithstanding the 11 increase. 12 13 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 14 15 That the following amendment to Section 8 of Article V and 16 the creation of Section 32 of Article XII of the State 17 Constitution are agreed to and shall be submitted to the 18 electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next 19 general election or at an earlier special election specifically 20 authorized by law for that purpose: 21 ARTICLE V 22 JUDICIARY 23 SECTION 8. Eligibility.—No person shall be eligible for 24 office of justice or judge of any court unless the person is an 25 elector of the state and resides in the territorial jurisdiction 26 of the court. No justice or judge shall serve after attaining 27 the age of seventy years except upon temporary assignment or to 28 complete a term, one-half of which has been served. No person is 29 eligible for the office of justice of the supreme court or judge 30 of a district court of appeal unless the person is, and has been 31 for the preceding ten years, a member of the bar of Florida. No 32 person is eligible for the office of circuit judge unless the 33 person is, and has been for the preceding eight
fiveyears, a 34 member of the bar of Florida. Unless otherwise provided by 35 general law, no person is eligible for the office of county 36 court judge unless the person is, and has been for the preceding 37 eight fiveyears, a member of the bar of Florida. Unless 38 otherwise provided by general law, a person shall be eligible 39 for election or appointment to the office of county court judge 40 in a county having a population of 40,000 or less if the person 41 is a member in good standing of the bar of Florida. 42 ARTICLE 43 SCHEDULE XII 44 SECTION 32. Qualifications of circuit and county court 45 judges.—The amendment to Section 8 of Article V changing the 46 qualifications of circuit judges and county court judges shall 47 take effect January 9, 2013. The amendment does not affect any 48 judge in office on the effective date of the amendment. Any 49 judge qualified to hold office and in office on January 8, 2013, 50 may remain in office and seek reelection to that office 51 regardless of whether the judge has been a member of the bar of 52 Florida for the previous eight years. 53 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be 54 placed on the ballot: 55 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 56 ARTICLE V, SECTION 8 57 ARTICLE XII, SECTION 32 58 INCREASING THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE OFFICES OF CIRCUIT 59 COURT AND COUNTY COURT JUDGES.—The State Constitution currently 60 prohibits a person from serving as a circuit court judge unless 61 the person is, and has been for the proceeding 5 years, a member 62 of The Florida Bar. This same prohibition applies to county 63 court judges, except in counties having a population of 40,000 64 or fewer, where a person need only be a member in good standing 65 of The Florida Bar. This proposed amendment increases to 8 years 66 the period of time that a person must be a member of The Florida 67 Bar before serving as a circuit court judge or a county court 68 judge in any county, to take effect January 1, 2013. The 69 increased qualifications do not apply to county court or circuit 70 court judges qualified to hold office and in office on January 71 8, 2013, or to persons seeking to be elected to the office of 72 county court or circuit court judge during the November 2012 73 general election or any special election held prior to such 74 general election.