Judicial and Judicial Nominating Commission Information
Welcome to Governor Scott’s judicial webpage. Here you will find access to current, vacant, and pending judicial and judicial nominating commission appointments. You will also find information on the Florida court system, judicial nominating commissions, and the judicial nominating process. Scroll down to find links to regularly updated lists of county, circuit, and district court judges, as well as Supreme Court justices and judicial nominating commission members. Users are also able to track an appointment by accessing documents memorializing each step of the process. Judicial applications and judicial nominating commission applications (Gubernatorial and Bar) are also easily accessible. We hope you find this new feature of the Governor’s website informative and helpful.
|Governor Scott 2013 Appointments|
Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) Appointments
Bar Nominee Application: Word/PDF
Florida Judicial Nominating Commissioner 2013 Manual
|Vacancies||Current JNC Members|
|Governor Scott 2013 Appointments|
The Florida Court System
The Florida court system is comprised of county and circuit courts at the trial level, and district courts of appeal and a Supreme Court at the appellate level. There are sixty-seven county courts and twenty circuit courts. There are five district courts of appeal and one Supreme Court. County and circuit court judges are elected. District court judges and Supreme Court justices are appointed by the Governor. However, when a judicial vacancy occurs on a county or circuit court, the Governor appoints a successor.
The Office of Judges of Compensation Claims is statutorily created within the Department of Management Services. Judges of Compensation Claims adjudicate disputes over workers compensation benefits. There are seventeen districts throughout the State.
|Supreme Court||District Courts of Appeal|
|Circuit Courts||County Courts|
Judicial Nominating Commissions
Judicial Nominating Commissions (JNCs) select nominees to fill judicial vacancies within the Florida court system. There are twenty-seven separate JNCs: one for the Florida Supreme Court; five for each of the district courts of appeal or “appellate districts”; twenty for each circuit court and the county courts contained in that circuit; and one Statewide Commission for Judges of Compensation Claims. The JNCs are required to operate in accordance with the Uniform Rules of Procedure applicable to each level of JNC. JNC members serve four-year terms, except when an appointment is made to fill a vacant, unexpired term. A JNC member may hold public office other than judicial office. JNC members are ineligible for appointment to any judicial office for which the JNC has authority to make nominations during his or her term and for two years thereafter.
The Supreme Court, appellate districts, and circuit JNCs consist of nine members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor. Four members are appointed from separate lists of three nominees certified to the Governor by the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar. The Governor may reject a list of nominees and request that the Board certify a new list of three different nominees for that position. The Governor directly appoints the remaining five members. JNC members must be residents of the territorial jurisdiction served by the JNC for which he or she is appointed.
The Governor appoints judges of compensation claims from nominees chosen by the Statewide Nominating Commission for Judges of Compensation Claims. The Commission consists of fifteen members who are selected pursuant to three different processes. Five of the members are appointed by the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar and must be members of the Florida Bar, engaged in the practice of law. Another five members are appointed directly by the Governor. The last five members are selected and appointed by a majority vote of the other ten members of the Commission.
The Judicial Nominating Process
A judicial vacancy may occur because of resignation, retirement, death, elevation of a sitting judge, or by newly created judgeship. Upon notification of a vacancy, the Governor requests the Chair of the JNC to convene the JNC for the purpose of selecting and submitting names of qualified individuals to the Governor for appointment to the bench. The JNC investigates each applicant to confirm eligibility. Eligible applicants interview with the JNC, which then determines by majority vote which applicants to recommend to the Governor for his consideration. The JNC has no more than sixty days from the time it is requested to convene to nominate no fewer than three and no more than six applicants to the Governor. The Governor has sixty days to appoint a judge from among the nominees.
Upon the expiration of a four-year term, a judge of compensation claims is eligible for reappointment. Prior to the expiration of the term, the Statewide Commission for Judges of Compensation Claims determines whether the judge’s performance has been satisfactory. If so, the Commission sends a report of its findings to the Governor six months before the expiration of the term. If the Governor decides not to reappoint, the Commission does not recommend reappointment, or a vacancy occurs during an unexpired term, the Governor appoints a successor from three nominees chosen by the Commission. The reappointed judge or appointed successor serves a term of four years.