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With the appointment of Judge Renatha Francis to the Supreme Court, immediate action is necessary to cover Family Division FC. To facilitate coverage, the phased closing of Family Division FD will be accelerated as follows:

  • Family Division FD will be closed immediately and the Clerk will reassign FD cases to the remaining family divisions based on AO 5.101-06/2022. Reassignment of all cases should be complete by August 31, 2022.
  • Final hearings already set in Division FD are not cancelled and will be heard at their scheduled date and time unless otherwise notified. Any non-final hearing scheduled in Division FD after August 31 will need to be rescheduled in the newly assigned division.
  • Efforts will be made to use senior judges or volunteers to obtain coverage for matters set in Division FD from August 15 to August 31. However, it may be necessary to cancel some hearings in Division FD through August 31.
  • Hearings can no longer be set in Division FD and must be set in the newly assigned division.
  • Effective Monday, August 15, 2022, Judge Ashley Zuckerman will be assigned to Family Division FC. All hearings and matters scheduled in Division FC will remain set as scheduled.
  • Existing lack of prosecution hearings scheduled on September 28, 2022 will remain on the calendar, as scheduled.
  • When uploading a proposed Order in OLS for a case in division FD covered by another Judge, please be sure to include a cover letter addressed to the Judge who covered the hearing.
  • If you have a hearing scheduled before a General Magistrate, the hearing will remain as scheduled.

Efforts are being made to minimize the disruption of services in cases presently assigned to Division FD, but scheduling delays are unavoidable until all cases have been reassigned to the remaining family divisions. Coverage issues are complicated by the lack of available senior judges to cover family law matters. Your patience is appreciated as the Circuit deals with this transition.

Commencing July 5, 2022, the probate and family divisions of the Court will be reorganized. The following changes will be implemented:

  • Hybrid family/probate divisions will be discontinued and the family and probate divisions will be separated.
  • Family Division FD and Civil Division AB will be phased out and closed to accommodate the creation of two independent probate divisions. Attorneys with cases in Civil Division AB should closely monitor the Circuit website and the Palm Beach County Bar Association website for additional information.
  • Two probate divisions will be established. One division will be located in the Main Courthouse. Judge Laura Johnson will be assigned to the division in Main. One division will be located in South County. Judge Charles Burton will be assigned to South County.
  • Three family divisions will remain in North County and in South County. Family divisions in the Main Courthouse will be reduced from three divisions to two divisions.

Please continue to monitor the Circuit’s website for additional information. Changes to Divisions | 15th Circuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 19, 2022

CONTACT: Robert J. Harvey, Chair; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fifteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission

TELEPHONE: 561-303-2918

15TH CIRCUIT JNC EXTENSION OF JUDICIAL APPLICATION DEADLINE

The Fifteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission (“JNC”) announces that the application deadline to fill the vacancy for a Circuit Court Judge position created by the retirement and resignation of Judge Janis Brustares Keyser has been extended.

The deadline for submission of the completed application is extended to 5 p.m., April 29, 2022. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Both the original and redacted electronic applications must be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Qualifications of Applicants:

Applicants must be able to fulfill the Constitutional qualifications for circuit court and county court judges described in Article V, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution.

Instructions for Submission:

1)      The current Judicial Application form must be used and can be found at https://www.flgov.com/judicial-and-judicial-nominating-commission-information/. Applicants should ensure they are using the correct and current form.

2)      Applications must be in .pdf form and submitted as follows: (i) one original copy of the application, including all attachments, (ii) one redacted copy of the application, including all attachments, excluding all exempt information under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes or other applicable public records law. The two .pdf files should be named in a “last name.first name” format. For example: Jane Smith should submit two files named: (1) Smith.Jane.pdf and (2) Smith.Jane-REDACTED.pdf.

Each electronic application, including exhibits, must be a single pdf file. No paper applications will be accepted.

3)      Please ensure the Application is complete, including all required responses (including references, case style and contact information regarding recent cases, and class standing and degree information regarding education), and all required attachments (writing sample, financial disclosure, photograph). Incomplete applications may not be considered.

Additional Information:

The JNC will publish on the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s website www.palmbeachbar.org and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ judicial webpage https://www.flgov.com/judicial-and-judicial-nominating-commission-information/ the date and location of any interviews that the JNC chooses to conduct. The JNC anticipates that any interviews will be held the week of May 9, 2022.

All JNC proceedings are open to the public, except for deliberations. Applications are not confidential. If an applicant is nominated, all materials attached to the original application will be submitted to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

A list of members of the Fifteenth Circuit JNC is available at https://www.flgov.com/judicial-and-judicial-nominating-commission-information/. Members of the bench, the Bar and the public are urged to contact the members of the Commission concerning applicants for judicial positions.

If you have any questions, please call Mr. Harvey at 561-303-2918, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 14, 2022

CONTACT:  Robert J. Harvey, Chair

Fifteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission

TELEPHONE:  (561) 303-2918

 

The Fifteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission (“JNC”) announces one vacancy for a Circuit Court Judge position created by the retirement and resignation of Judge Janis Brustares Keyser. The JNC has been asked to provide Governor Ron DeSantis with nominees for the vacancy by Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Qualifications of Applicants:

Applicants must be able to fulfill the Constitutional qualifications for circuit court and county court judges described in Article V, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution.

Instructions for Submission:

  1. The current Judicial Application form must be used and can be found at https://www.flgov.com/judicial-and-judicial-nominating-commission-information/. Applicants should ensure they are using the correct and current form.

  2. Applications must be in .pdf form and submitted as follows: (i) one original copy of the application, including all attachments, (ii) one redacted copy of the application, including all attachments, excluding all exempt information under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes or other applicable public records law. The two .pdf files should be named in a “last name.first name” format. For example: Jane Smith should submit two files named: (1) Smith.Jane.pdf and (2) Smith.Jane-REDACTED.pdf. 

    Each electronic application, including exhibits, must be a single pdf file. No paper applications will be accepted.

  3. The deadline for submission of the completed application is 1:00 p.m., April 27, 2022Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.  Both the original and redacted electronic applications must be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Please ensure the Application is complete, including all required responses (including references, case style and contact information regarding recent cases, and class standing and degree information regarding education), and all required attachments (writing sample, financial disclosure, photograph).  Incomplete applications may not be considered.  

Additional Information:

The JNC will publish on the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s website www.palmbeachbar.org and Governor Ron DeSantis’ judicial webpage https://www.flgov.com/judicial-and-judicial-nominating-commission-information/   the date and location of any interviews that the JNC chooses to conduct.  The JNC anticipates that any interviews will be held the week of May 9, 2022.

All JNC proceedings are open to the public, except for deliberations.  Applications are not confidential.  If an applicant is nominated, all materials attached to the original application will be submitted to the Governor.

A list of members of the Fifteenth Circuit JNC is available at https://www.flgov.com/judicial-and-judicial-nominating-commission-information/.Members of the bench, the Bar and the public are urged to contact the members of the Commission concerning applicants for judicial positions.

If you have any questions, please call Mr. Harvey at (561) 303-2918, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On April 14, 2022, in News Releases, by Staff

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis appoints seven judges across the state, one to the First Judicial Circuit Court, one to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court, one to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court, one to the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court, one to the Broward County Court, and two to the Palm Beach County Court.

Judge Amy Brodersen, of Pensacola, to serve as Judge on the First Judicial Circuit Court

Brodersen has served as a Judge on the Escambia County Court since her appointment by Governor Scott in 2016. Previously, she served as an Assistant City Attorney for the Pensacola Police Department and an Assistant State Attorney for seven years in the First Judicial Circuit. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama and her law degree from Florida Coastal. Brodersen fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Thomas V. Dannheisser.

Judge James Moody, III, of Plant City, to serve as Judge on the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court

Moody has served as a Judge on the Hillsborough County Court since his appointment by Governor DeSantis in 2020. Previously, he served as an Attorney at Jayson Farthing Skafidas & Wright, P.A. for ten years. He received both his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Florida. Moody fills the judicial vacancy created by the passing of Judge Carl C. Hinson.

Darren Shull, of Tequesta, to serve as Judge on the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court

Shull has served as a Partner and Director for the Law Offices of Darren D. Shull, P.A. since 2006. Previously, he served in the United States Marine Corps for six years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Flagler College and his law degree from St. Thomas University. Shull fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joseph Marx.

Francis Viamontes, of Plantation, to serve as Judge on the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court

Viamontes has served as an Assistant United States Attorney and Chief of the Narcotics and Violent Crimes Section for the Southern District of Florida since 2011. Previously, she served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit. She received her bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Miami. Viamontes fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Mily Rodriguez Powell.

Catalina Avalos, of Pembroke Pines, to serve as Judge on the Broward County Court

Avalos has served as a Director at Tripp Scott, P.A. since 2009. Previously, she served as Judge on the Broward County Court for four years. She received her bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and her law degree from Nova Southeastern University. Avalos fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Natasha DePrimo.

Lauren Burke, of Delray Beach, to serve as Judge on the Palm Beach County Court

Burke has served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit since 2005. She received her bachelor’s degree from Boston College and her law degree from Florida State University. Burke fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mark T. Eissey.

James Sherman, of Royal Palm Beach, to serve as Judge on the Palm Beach County Court

Sherman has served as a Senior Attorney for the South Florida Water Management District since 2018. Previously, he served as an Attorney at the Law Offices of Richard A. Sherman, P.A. for over ten years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his law degree from the University of Miami. Sherman fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Leonard Hanser.

Governor Ron DeSantis Makes Seven Judicial Appointments (flgov.com)

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