01 Civil Division

Circuit Civil

The Circuit Civil Division judges preside over cases where the alleged damages exceed $15,000 and are filed by an individual, business or government agency. The Circuit Civil Division has jurisdiction over a broad category of cases, including tort cases, contract disputes, products liability and malpractice cases, infringements of intellectual property, enforcement of non-compete contracts, and petitions for injunctive relief. Circuit Civil Division judges also hear county to circuit appeals. Within the Circuit Civil Division is a complex business court, two complex tort divisions and a mortgage foreclosure division. Judges currently presiding in the Circuit Civil Division are:

MARTIN BIDWILL

Judicial Assistant: Barbara Ranalli
Phone Number: (954) 831-7091
Zoom Meeting ID: 232-523-414
Chamber: WW16133
Courtroom: WW16160
Division: 5/27

JOHN B. BOWMAN

Judicial Assistant: Adele Granata
Phone Number: (954) 831-6362
Zoom Meeting ID: 763-453-911
Chamber: WW15135
Courtroom: WW15165
Division: 02

Undergraduate School: Florida Atlantic University
Undergraduate Degree:  Bachelor of Public Administration
Law School: St. Thomas University
Prior Positions: President, Bowman, Richardson & Tynan, PA
Florida Bar Admission: 2/19/1988
Community Involvement: Since 1980, active in numerous community and governmental organizations
Community Awards: 2007 Community Advocate of Year Broward, Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program

Judge Bowman is a lifetime resident of Broward County. He was elected to
the Circuit Court in 2002.
Prior to his election to office, Judge Bowman was in private practice. He
headed a civil practice law firm with a concentration in probate and estate
administration and litigation. Judge Bowman was admitted to the Florida
Bar in 1988 and was “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a Phi Theta
Kappa Scholar and graduate of St. Thomas University School of Law.
Judge Bowman presently serves in the Circuit Civil Division, and was
previously assigned to the Unified Family Dependency Division. He was the
Judicial Representative for the Broward County Bar Association 2008-2009,
and for the One Community Partnership, a federally funded project to
coordinate mental health services throughout Broward County.
Judge Bowman has served as an Associate Judge on the Fourth District Court
of Appeals and is on the Florida Bar Civil Procedures Rules Committee.
In 2007, he was awarded the Community Advocate of the Year for Broward
County by the State of Florida Guardian Ad Litem program.
Judge Bowman was the 2014-2015 President of the Stephen Booher American
Inns of Court. He has been the chair of the Broward National Adoption Day
committee for the past 14 years.
He is the 2017 Jurist of the Year, as presented by the Young Lawyers Division
of the Broward Bar.

Frequently asked questions for Uniform Motion Calendar:

Complex Business and Tort Litigation The Complex Business and Tort Divisions of the 17th Judicial Circuit were created by Administrative Order in 2004. The divisions were created to manage difficult, time consuming and complicated business and tort cases. The divisions were created to promote the efficient case management of cases requiring extensive judicial labor. The tort divisions generally handle cases taking more than (10) days of trial and include Engle tobacco litigation; complex products liability cases; medical malpractice cases and any other tort cases needing extensive judicial management. The complex business court handles complex class action cases, dissolution of certain business entities, assignment for the benefit of creditor cases, and management of large business and construction litigation cases. The complex tort and business divisions manage cases which general civil division judges do not have adequate time to devote the resources necessary to manage and try.

Cases can be filed directly in the complex business division. Tort cases may be transferred into a complex division. All requests to transfer a tort or business case from a general circuit civil division must meet prerequisites of the Administrative Order governing transfer of cases to the complex division.

See,  Establishing Procedures for Direct Filing or Reassignment of Circuit Civil Cases to a Complex Business or Complex Tort Division

If all Counsel are in agreement as to a case being transferred to a complex division, a hearing may not be necessary. Simply submit the motion to transfer to the Court. If the Court finds the matter meets criteria, the case may be reassigned accordingly.

Any party objecting to a transfer of a case to a complex division must be placed on the Division (07) Wednesday Motion Calendar by the Court’s Judicial Assistant. Please e-mail the Court at div07@17th.flcourts.org with the style of the case, a notice of hearing setting forth which date the matter is to be heard and a copy of the motion to transfer. The Court will place the matter on the transfer docket and confirm with all counsel.

New Courthouse Technology – The west Courthouse has new technology for presentation of video and other imaging. To view how to use the equipment please follow link: How to use Equipment 

Practices and Procedures for judges assigned to any complex division maybe seen  here 

These practices and procedures assist the party’s and their counsel information on setting hearings, trial calendars, filing of motions and other procedures set out to promote the efficient case management of complex cases.

Presiding judges over Complex Business and Tort Litigation are:

Hon. Chief Judge Jack Tuter Division (07)

Hon. Judge Patti Englander Henning Division (26)

Mortgage Foreclosure

Foreclosure is the enforcement of a mortgage lien by judicial sale of the property. A mortgage lien is created when there is a loan contract for money borrowed under a note. This loan is secured by the mortgage lien upon real property. When the debt is not paid according to the loan contract terms, or when other contract terms are violated, the lender can pursue its lien on the property. If you represent yourself and are served with a writ of eviction or other notice in a pending Foreclosure case the procedures for scheduling a hearing can be found here: Foreclosure Instructions.

Presiding Judges in the Mortgage Foreclosure Division

Judge Barry Stone

Judge Joel Lazarus

Unit Case Manager Supervisor Jacquline Mullins