New Chief Judge Elected

Fort Lauderdale, FL – The Seventeenth Judicial Circuit is pleased to announce the election of Judge Jack Tuter as its next Chief Judge. The role of Chief Judge assumes overall administrative responsibility of the circuit court, its staff, and its 90 judges. The Chief Judge is elected by a majority of the judges within the circuit. Judge Tuter officially begins as Chief Judge on July 1, 2017. 

The current Chief Judge, Peter M. Weinstein, is completing his third and final term as Chief Judge. He was first elected as Chief Judge in 2011 and that term will conclude on June 30th of this year. Judge Weinstein intends to remain on the bench in the Probate and Guardianship division.
First appointed in December 2005, Judge Tuter has served for many years as the administrative judge of the Circuit Civil division in the Seventeenth Circuit. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from University of Memphis and was admitted to the bar in 1982. 
Judge Tuter expressed his sincere thanks for the support of the judiciary and is looking forward to his new role.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 01 February 2017 16:54)


ATTENTION: Jan. 17 Moves to New Courthouse

Effective Tuesday, January 17, 2017 the following judges and magistrates will be moved in to and will be conducting court in the new courthouse: 


Judge Gold, Div. 60, Chambers 3125, Courtroom 3144 

Judge Greene, Div. 1/61, Chambers 12121, Courtroom 12152

Judge Speiser, Div. 62, Chambers 15133, Courtroom 12178  

Magistrate Laventure, Div. 68, Chambers 12129, Hearing Room 12176

Magistrate Vanni, Div. 69, Chambers 12127, Hearing Room 12174 


Judge Haimes, Div. 08, Chambers 16125, Courtroom 16170 

Judge Levenson, Div. 09, Chambers 16135, Courtroom 16165 

Judge Bidwill, Div. 05, Chambers 16133, Courtroom 16160   

Judge Perlman, Div. 04, Chambers 16131, Courtroom 16155  

Further, Judges Haimes, Levenson and Bidwill’s divisions are now fully electronic and will be receiving e-orders and e-scheduling.

All other civil divisions will be conducting business in the old courthouse until approximately March 2017.

Last Updated (Friday, 17 February 2017 16:17)


Eight New Judges Sworn In


January 3, 2017, the Seventeenth Circuit welcomed eight new judges to the bench in a group swearing-in ceremony presided over by Chief Judge Peter Weinstein. 

Pictured above, from left to right are: Chief Judge Peter Weinstein; County Civil Judge Betsy Benson; County Criminal Judge Deborah Carpenter-Toye; Circuit Criminal Judge Barbara R. Duffy; County Civil Judge Kathleen McCarthy; Circuit Criminal Judge Michael Lynch; County Civil Judge Kim Theresa Mollica; County Civil Judge Florence Taylor Barner; Family Judge Andrea Ruth Gundersen. 

Congratulations to all! 

Last Updated (Friday, 06 January 2017 13:13)


Two New Circuit Judges Sworn In

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In two seperate ceremonies last week, the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit officially welcomed the Honorable Keathan B. Frink and the Honorable Martin S. Fein as they were sworn in to serve on the Circuit court bench. Both were appointed on November 14, 2016 by Governor Rick Scott. 

Judge Frink, sworn in by Circuit Judge Michael A. Robinson, received his law degree from University of Florida and most recently worked as a private practice attorney. His previous legal experience includes serving as an assistant public defender and as Assistant Regional Counsel for the Fourth District Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel. Judge Frink is assigned to the Seventeenth Circuit's Family division.

Judge Fein, sworn in by Chief Judge Peter M. Weinstein, received his law degree from Stetson University and served as an assistant state attorney in the Fourth Judicial Circuit. He has been a solo practicioner since 1998. Judge Fein is currently assigned to the Circuit Criminal division. 

The Seventeenth Circuit congratulates and welcomes our new judges!

Last Updated (Thursday, 29 December 2016 16:43)


Judge Schiff Book Recognized in Harvard Law Review

Baseball and the Law: Cases and Materials, a book authored by Judge Louis Schiff, recently received recognition in the Harvard Law Review. 

Follow this link to read the review: 


Congratulations Judge Schiff! 

Last Updated (Monday, 05 December 2016 11:17)


Administrative Order Extending Time Periods Due to Hurricane Matthew Court Closure

Last Updated (Thursday, 13 October 2016 10:21)


Court Closure Details

The Broward County Court System will be closed starting at noon today, Wednesday, October 5, and will remain closed on Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7. The dependency shelter hearings, delinquency detention, domestic violence and first appearance divisions will remain open today, October 5, until the dockets are finished. All court services will be suspended on October 6 and 7.

Pending any unforeseen circumstances, the 17th Circuit will re-open on Saturday, October 8, for first appearance, and delinquency detention and dependency shelter hearings. All other court services will resume business as usual on Monday, October 10, again, pending any unforeseen circumstances.

This circuit will be applying to the Florida Supreme Court for an extension of deadlines.

This announcement will be updated, as needed. 

Last Updated (Wednesday, 05 October 2016 11:30)


New County Judge Jennifer W. Hilal Sworn In


Jennifer W. Hilal was sworn in today as Broward's newest County Court judge. She was appointed in early September by Governor Rick Scott. Prior to her appointment, Judge Hilal worked as a prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. She received her bachelor's degree from University of Central Florida and her law degree from Nova Southeastern University. 

Congratulations Judge Hilal! 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 04 October 2016 13:33)


Judges Learn the Latest in Civics Education


Judges from the 17th Circuit participated in a lunch-time civics education training class on Wednesday, September 21, 2016. “Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Adult Civics Education,” presented by Annette Boyd Pitts of the Florida Law Related Education Association, focuses on activities and resources to increase public awareness of how the government and courts work. Specific topics covered in the class were the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Courts and the Judicial Branch, and Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission. 

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