Judge Tuter Honored with Award


The 17th Judicial Circuit wishes to congratulate Judge Jack Tuter who was named the civil trial judge of the year by the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Fort Lauderdale Chapter. This prestegious honor was given at ABOTA's annual Judge's Night Dinner in January. 

​ABOTA’s mission is to uphold the jury system by educating the American public about the history and value of the right to trial by jury.​

We are very proud of Judge Tuter for receiving this special recognition!


Old Law Books Giveaway


As part of a recycling campaign in anticipation of the move into the new courthouse, the 17th Judicial Circuit Court is clearing out shelves of old law books, and making them available to the public for free. Located in the 1st floor lobby area of the Central Courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the books may be picked up during regular courthouse business hours. The variety of different types of books can make for interesting reading for some, though the community is reminded that the books are obsolete, and may not accurately state current law, nor should they be used as such.

Last Updated (Monday, 01 February 2016 11:46)


Early Childhood Court Begins in Broward

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Designed to help the youngest of us all, the 17th Judicial Circuit court has established Early Childhood Court, a voluntary specialty court with an intensive program aimed at reunifying children in the dependency court system, aged newborn to five years old, with their families.

Presided over by Judge Hope Bristol and General Magistrate Randi Boven, Early Childhood Court seeks to heal, support and enhance child-parent relationships by utilizing child-parent psychotherapy, specialized parenting classes, increased visitation, and frequent court hearings about every 4 – 6 weeks. Monthly “family team meetings” consisting of a facilitator, the participant, and family and friends of the participant are also part of the program.

Families who meet the criteria to participate can expect to dedicate a year in the program.

Full details of the 17th Circuit’s newest specialized court can be found in Administrative Order 2016-4-UFC.



Access to Injunctions Against Violence Expands

Fort Lauderdale, FL – In response to community requests, the 17th Judicial Circuit will begin allowing members of the public to seek injunctions against violence in Broward County’s West Satellite courthouse, in Plantation, in the spring of 2016. In cooperation with Clerk of Courts Howard Forman, Administrative Order 2016-5-UFC was drafted, ordering the change, and signed by Chief Judge Peter M. Weinstein.

Until now, injunctions against violence could only be sought at the Central Courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The expanded access will make it easier for Broward County residents living in the western part of the county to seek an injunction by not having to travel to downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Domestic violence injunctions cover dating violence, domestic violence, repeat violence, stalking, and sexual violence. The process of applying for an injunction will be slightly different in the West Satellite, as the Clerk’s office will assist and accept the petition, but will electronically file it to the Central Courthouse. Once a judge has received the court file, petitioners will receive a response within one (1) hour. 


17th Circuit Staff Making Strides

Last Updated (Tuesday, 24 November 2015 16:54)


Judicial Staff Attorneys Elected to Prestigious Board

Congratulations to 17th Circuit staff attorneys Michael Rosenberg, Joseph D'Amico, and Elisha Page for being elected to the Board of Directors of the Florida Trial Court Staff Attorneys Association, a statewide voluntary bar organization comprised of over 150 judicial staff attorneys. Mr. Rosenberg was elected President of the Association, Mr. D’Amico was elected President-Elect and Ms. Page was elected 4th DCA Representative.The 17th Circuit family is very proud of these achievements!

The Florida Trial Court Staff Attorneys Association (FTCSAA) was founded to promote research and administrative efficiency for the benefit of the State Court system, to provide a forum so members may meet, discuss and compare office procedures, computerized programs, policies, and solutions. The FTCSAA also defines, develops, and promotes a high standard of ethics and professionalism among its members and upholds the honor and dignity of the State Court System.  It is also the aim of the FTCSAA to promote the exchange of information regarding the administration and management problems particular to Trial Court Staff Attorneys working within the State Court System.  


Judge Mary Rudd Robinson Selected as Trustee

The 17th Judicial Circuit is proud to announce that Judge Mary Rudd Robinson was selected to serve as a Trustee of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society for a three year term that began this July 2015.  

With nearly a thousand members statewide, the goal of the organization is to apprise people of the importance of an independent judiciary and to keep the history of the Florida court system.

Congratulations Judge Robinson!

Last Updated (Friday, 13 November 2015 10:47)


Judges Participate in "No Flakka" Panel

Judge Sharon Zeller, who runs the Broward misdemeanor drug court program, plays a video in her courtroom twice daily that shows the reality of people high on the drug, flakka. Both she, and Juvenile Delinquency Judge Elijah Williams, joined other community leaders at a recent "No Flakka" panel discussion at Dillard High School. Open to the public, and drawing a crowd of hundreds, the eight-person panel discussed how this synthetic drug is wreaking havoc in Broward, and across south Florida. 

According to the county medical examiner's office, more than 40 people have died this year as a result of using the drug. A collaborative effort between law enforcement, elected officials and other community leaders has formed to fight flakka in Broward, and the panel is just one of many outlets being used to get the word out about the dangers of the drug. 


National Conference AAPL Visits Broward's Misdemeanor Mental Health Court

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On Wednesday, October 21, 2015, members of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) visited the central courthouse after choosing Broward's Misdemeanor Mental Health Court for an educational site visit. The organization of international and national forensic psychiatrists was in town for its national conference.

The visitors enjoyed a master class in the history of the development of Broward County's pioneering Misdemeanor Mental Health Court and also participated in a working lunch forum which included Judge Lerner-Wren, Chief Judge Peter Weinstein and members of Broward's Mental Health Criminal Justice stakeholder community.

Last Updated (Monday, 26 October 2015 14:31)

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