Florida Senate - 2011 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SJR 140 Barcode 297918 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House Comm: RS . 01/18/2011 . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Committee on Judiciary (Richter) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 Delete everything after the resolving clause 3 and insert: 4 That the following amendments to Sections 8 and 20 of 5 Article V of the State Constitution are agreed to and shall be 6 submitted to the electors of this state for approval or 7 rejection at the next general election or at an earlier special 8 election specifically authorized by law for that purpose: 9 ARTICLE V 10 JUDICIARY 11 SECTION 8. Eligibility.—No person shall be eligible for 12 office of justice or judge of any court unless the person is an 13 elector of the state and resides in the territorial jurisdiction 14 of the court. No justice or judge shall serve after attaining 15 the age of seventy years except upon temporary assignment or to 16 complete a term, one-half of which has been served. No person is 17 eligible for the office of justice of the supreme court,
or18 judge of a district court of appeal, circuit court judge, or 19 county court judge unless the person is, and has been for the 20 preceding ten years, a member of the bar of Florida. No person21 is eligible for the office of circuit judge unless the person22 is, and has been for the preceding five years, a member of the23 bar of Florida. Unless otherwise provided by general law, no24 person is eligible for the office of county court judge unless25 the person is, and has been for the preceding five years, a26 member of the bar of Florida. Unless otherwise provided by27 general law, a person shall be eligible for election or28 appointment to the office of county court judge in a county29 having a population of 40,000 or less if the person is a member30 in good standing of the bar of Florida.31 Section 20 Schedule to Article V.— 32 (a) This article shall replace all of Article V of the 33 Constitution of 1885, as amended, which shall then stand 34 repealed. 35 (b) Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions 36 of this article, all provisions of law and rules of court in 37 force on the effective date of this article shall continue in 38 effect until superseded in the manner authorized by the 39 constitution. 40 (c) After this article becomes effective, and until changed 41 by general law consistent with sections 1 through 19 of this 42 article: 43 (1) The supreme court shall have the jurisdiction 44 immediately theretofore exercised by it, and it shall determine 45 all proceedings pending before it on the effective date of this 46 article. 47 (2) The appellate districts shall be those in existence on 48 the date of adoption of this article. There shall be a district 49 court of appeal in each district. The district courts of appeal 50 shall have the jurisdiction immediately theretofore exercised by 51 the district courts of appeal and shall determine all 52 proceedings pending before them on the effective date of this 53 article. 54 (3) Circuit courts shall have jurisdiction of appeals from 55 county courts and municipal courts, except those appeals which 56 may be taken directly to the supreme court; and they shall have 57 exclusive original jurisdiction in all actions at law not 58 cognizable by the county courts; of proceedings relating to the 59 settlement of the estate of decedents and minors, the granting 60 of letters testamentary, guardianship, involuntary 61 hospitalization, the determination of incompetency, and other 62 jurisdiction usually pertaining to courts of probate; in all 63 cases in equity including all cases relating to juveniles; of 64 all felonies and of all misdemeanors arising out of the same 65 circumstances as a felony which is also charged; in all cases 66 involving legality of any tax assessment or toll; in the action 67 of ejectment; and in all actions involving the titles or 68 boundaries or right of possession of real property. The circuit 69 court may issue injunctions. There shall be judicial circuits 70 which shall be the judicial circuits in existence on the date of 71 adoption of this article. The chief judge of a circuit may 72 authorize a county court judge to order emergency 73 hospitalizations pursuant to Chapter 71-131, Laws of Florida, in 74 the absence from the county of the circuit judge and the county 75 court judge shall have the power to issue all temporary orders 76 and temporary injunctions necessary or proper to the complete 77 exercise of such jurisdiction. 78 (4) County courts shall have original jurisdiction in all 79 criminal misdemeanor cases not cognizable by the circuit courts, 80 of all violations of municipal and county ordinances, and of all 81 actions at law in which the matter in controversy does not 82 exceed the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) 83 exclusive of interest and costs, except those within the 84 exclusive jurisdiction of the circuit courts. Judges of county 85 courts shall be committing magistrates. The county courts shall 86 have jurisdiction now exercised by the county judge’s courts 87 other than that vested in the circuit court by subsection (c)(3) 88 hereof, the jurisdiction now exercised by the county courts, the 89 claims court, the small claims courts, the small claims 90 magistrates courts, magistrates courts, justice of the peace 91 courts, municipal courts and courts of chartered counties, 92 including but not limited to the counties referred to in Article 93 VIII, sections 9, 10, 11 and 24 of the Constitution of 1885. 94 (5) Each judicial nominating commission shall be composed 95 of the following: 96 a. Three members appointed by the Board of Governors of The 97 Florida Bar from among The Florida Bar members who are actively 98 engaged in the practice of law with offices within the 99 territorial jurisdiction of the affected court, district or 100 circuit; 101 b. Three electors who reside in the territorial 102 jurisdiction of the court or circuit appointed by the governor; 103 and 104 c. Three electors who reside in the territorial 105 jurisdiction of the court or circuit and who are not members of 106 the bar of Florida, selected and appointed by a majority vote of 107 the other six members of the commission. 108 (6) No justice or judge shall be a member of a judicial 109 nominating commission. A member of a judicial nominating 110 commission may hold public office other than judicial office. No 111 member shall be eligible for appointment to state judicial 112 office so long as that person is a member of a judicial 113 nominating commission and for a period of two years thereafter. 114 All acts of a judicial nominating commission shall be made with 115 a concurrence of a majority of its members. 116 (7) The members of a judicial nominating commission shall 117 serve for a term of four years except the terms of the initial 118 members of the judicial nominating commissions shall expire as 119 follows: 120 a. The terms of one member of category a. b. and c. in 121 subsection (c)(5) hereof shall expire on July 1, 1974; 122 b. The terms of one member of category a. b. and c. in 123 subsection (c)(5) hereof shall expire on July 1, 1975; 124 c. The terms of one member of category a. b. and c. in 125 subsection (c)(5) hereof shall expire on July 1, 1976; 126 (8) All fines and forfeitures arising from offenses tried 127 in the county court shall be collected, and accounted for by 128 clerk of the court, and deposited in a special trust account. 129 All fines and forfeitures received from violations of ordinances 130 or misdemeanors committed within a county or municipal 131 ordinances committed within a municipality within the 132 territorial jurisdiction of the county court shall be paid 133 monthly to the county or municipality respectively. If any costs 134 are assessed and collected in connection with offenses tried in 135 county court, all court costs shall be paid into the general 136 revenue fund of the state of Florida and such other funds as 137 prescribed by general law. 138 (9) Any municipality or county may apply to the chief judge 139 of the circuit in which that municipality or county is situated 140 for the county court to sit in a location suitable to the 141 municipality or county and convenient in time and place to its 142 citizens and police officers and upon such application said 143 chief judge shall direct the court to sit in the location unless 144 the chief judge shall determine the request is not justified. If 145 the chief judge does not authorize the county court to sit in 146 the location requested, the county or municipality may apply to 147 the supreme court for an order directing the county court to sit 148 in the location. Any municipality or county which so applies 149 shall be required to provide the appropriate physical facilities 150 in which the county court may hold court. 151 (10) All courts except the supreme court may sit in 152 divisions as may be established by local rule approved by the 153 supreme court. 154 (11) A county court judge in any county having a population 155 of 40,000 or less according to the last decennial census, shall 156 not be required to be a member of the bar of Florida. 157 (12) Municipal prosecutors may prosecute violations of 158 municipal ordinances. 159 (13) Justice shall mean a justice elected or appointed to 160 the supreme court and shall not include any judge assigned from 161 any court. 162 (d) When this article becomes effective: 163 (1) All courts not herein authorized, except as provided by 164 subsection (d)(4) of this section shall cease to exist and 165 jurisdiction to conclude all pending cases and enforce all prior 166 orders and judgments shall vest in the court that would have 167 jurisdiction of the cause if thereafter instituted. All records 168 of and property held by courts abolished hereby shall be 169 transferred to the proper office of the appropriate court under 170 this article. 171 (2) Judges of the following courts, if their terms do not 172 expire in 1973 and if they are eligible under subsection (d)(8) 173 hereof, shall become additional judges of the circuit court for 174 each of the counties of their respective circuits, and shall 175 serve as such circuit judges for the remainder of the terms to 176 which they were elected and shall be eligible for election as 177 circuit judges thereafter. These courts are: civil court of 178 record of Dade county, all criminal courts of record, the felony 179 courts of record of Alachua, Leon and Volusia Counties, the 180 courts of record of Broward, Brevard, Escambia, Hillsborough, 181 Lee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties, the civil and criminal court 182 of record of Pinellas County, and county judge’s courts and 183 separate juvenile courts in counties having a population in 184 excess of 100,000 according to the 1970 federal census. On the 185 effective date of this article, there shall be an additional 186 number of positions of circuit judges equal to the number of 187 existing circuit judges and the number of judges of the above 188 named courts whose term expires in 1973. Elections to such 189 offices shall take place at the same time and manner as 190 elections to other state judicial offices in 1972 and the terms 191 of such offices shall be for a term of six years. Unless changed 192 pursuant to section nine of this article, the number of circuit 193 judges presently existing and created by this subsection shall 194 not be changed. 195 (3) In all counties having a population of less than 196 100,000 according to the 1970 federal census and having more 197 than one county judge on the date of the adoption of this 198 article, there shall be the same number of judges of the county 199 court as there are county judges existing on that date unless 200 changed pursuant to section 9 of this article. 201 (4) Municipal courts shall continue with their same 202 jurisdiction until amended or terminated in a manner prescribed 203 by special or general law or ordinances, or until January 3, 204 1977, whichever occurs first. On that date all municipal courts 205 not previously abolished shall cease to exist. Judges of 206 municipal courts shall remain in office and be subject to 207 reappointment or reelection in the manner prescribed by law 208 until said courts are terminated pursuant to the provisions of 209 this subsection. Upon municipal courts being terminated or 210 abolished in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, 211 the judges thereof who are not members of the bar of Florida, 212 shall be eligible to seek election as judges of county courts of 213 their respective counties. 214 (5) Judges, holding elective office in all other courts 215 abolished by this article, whose terms do not expire in 1973 216 including judges established pursuant to Article VIII, sections 217 9 and 11 of the Constitution of 1885 shall serve as judges of 218 the county court for the remainder of the term to which they 219 were elected. Unless created pursuant to section 9, of this 220 Article V such judicial office shall not continue to exist 221 thereafter. 222 (6) By March 21, 1972, the supreme court shall certify the 223 need for additional circuit and county judges. The legislature 224 in the 1972 regular session may by general law create additional 225 offices of judge, the terms of which shall begin on the 226 effective date of this article. Elections to such offices shall 227 take place at the same time and manner as election to other 228 state judicial offices in 1972. 229 (7) County judges of existing county judge’s courts and 230 justices of the peace and magistrates’ court who are not members 231 of bar of Florida shall be eligible to seek election as county 232 court judges of their respective counties. 233 (8) No judge of a court abolished by this article shall 234 become or be eligible to become a judge of the circuit court 235 unless the judge has been a member of bar of Florida for the 236 preceding five years. 237 (9) The office of judges of all other courts abolished by 238 this article shall be abolished as of the effective date of this 239 article. 240 (10) The offices of county solicitor and prosecuting 241 attorney shall stand abolished, and all county solicitors and 242 prosecuting attorneys holding such offices upon the effective 243 date of this article shall become and serve as assistant state 244 attorneys for the circuits in which their counties are situate 245 for the remainder of their terms, with compensation not less 246 than that received immediately before the effective date of this 247 article. 248 (e) LIMITED OPERATION OF SOME PROVISIONS.— 249 (1) All justices of the supreme court, judges of the 250 district courts of appeal and circuit judges in office upon the 251 effective date of this article shall retain their offices for 252 the remainder of their respective terms. All members of the 253 judicial qualifications commission in office upon the effective 254 date of this article shall retain their offices for the 255 remainder of their respective terms. Each state attorney in 256 office on the effective date of this article shall retain the 257 office for the remainder of the term. 258 (2) No justice or judge holding office immediately after 259 this article becomes effective who held judicial office on July 260 1, 1957, shall be subject to retirement from judicial office 261 because of age pursuant to section 8 of this article. 262 (f) Until otherwise provided by law, the nonjudicial duties 263 required of county judges shall be performed by the judges of 264 the county court. 265 (g) All provisions of Article V of the Constitution of 266 1885, as amended, not embraced herein which are not inconsistent 267 with this revision shall become statutes subject to modification 268 or repeal as are other statutes. 269 (h) The requirements of section 14 relative to all county 270 court judges or any judge of a municipal court who continues to 271 hold office pursuant to subsection (d)(4) hereof being 272 compensated by state salaries shall not apply prior to January 273 3, 1977, unless otherwise provided by general law. 274 (i) DELETION OF OBSOLETE SCHEDULE ITEMS.—The legislature 275 shall have power, by concurrent resolution, to delete from this 276 article any subsection of this section 20 including this 277 subsection, when all events to which the subsection to be 278 deleted is or could become applicable have occurred. A 279 legislative determination of fact made as a basis for 280 application of this subsection shall be subject to judicial 281 review. 282 (j) EFFECTIVE DATE.—Unless otherwise provided herein, this 283 article shall become effective at 11:59 o’clock P.M., Eastern 284 Standard Time, January 1, 1973. 285 (k) QUALIFICATIONS OF CIRCUIT AND COUNTY COURT JUDGES.-The 286 amendment to Section 8 changing the qualifications of circuit 287 judges and county court judges shall take effect January 9, 288 2013. The amendment does not affect any judge in office on the 289 effective date of the amendment. Any judge qualified to hold 290 office and in office on January 8, 2013, shall remain in office 291 and shall be eligible to seek reelection to such judicial office 292 in the future regardless of whether such judge has been a member 293 of The Florida Bar for the previous ten years. This subsection 294 expires and shall be deleted on January 10, 2025. 295 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 296 ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 8 AND 20 297 INCREASING THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE OFFICES OF CIRCUIT 298 COURT AND COUNTY COURT JUDGES.—The State Constitution currently 299 prohibits a person from serving as a circuit court judge unless 300 the person is, and has been for the proceeding 5 years, a member 301 of The Florida Bar. This same prohibition applies to county 302 court judges, except in counties having a population of 40,000 303 or fewer, where a person need only be a member in good standing 304 of The Florida Bar. This proposed amendment increases to 10 305 years the period of time that a person must be a member of The 306 Florida Bar before serving as a circuit court judge or a county 307 court judge in any county. However, the increased qualifications 308 do not apply to county court or circuit court judges in office 309 on January 8, 2013, or to persons seeking to be elected to the 310 office of county court or circuit court judge during this 311 election. 312 313 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 314 And the title is amended as follows: 315 Delete everything before the resolving clause 316 and insert: 317 A bill to be entitled 318 A joint resolution proposing amendments to Sections 8 319 and 20 of Article V of the State Constitution to 320 increase the period of time that a person must be a 321 member of The Florida Bar before becoming eligible for 322 the offices of circuit court or county court judge.