Florida Senator Lauren Book visited the central courthouse to observe Judge Hope Bristol’s Early Childhood Court docket today. The voluntary specialty court began in the Seventeenth Circuit last year, and offers an intensive program aimed at reunifying children in the dependency court system, aged newborn to five years old, with their families. Early Childhood Court in the Seventeenth utilizes methods such as child-parent psychotherapy, specialized parenting classes, increased visitation, and more frequent court hearings to closely monitor progress. As the number of successful reunifications continues to grow, our court hopes to grow the program as well!

Congratulations to Judge Mark Speiser who was honored by the Broward County Crime Commission with the 2017 Outstanding Career Service Award for his lifetime of service to Broward County.

Several colleagues from the 17th Circuit bench, and his long-time judicial assistant were among the many well-wishers attending the 38th Annual Criminal Justice Dinner in which the honor was presented.

From his many years working in the federal sector and his time as the Chief Narcotics prosecutor for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office to his many achievements during his 35 years on the bench, the 17th Circuit congratulates Judge Speiser on this recognition!


Members of the public gathered at the central courthouse yesterday afternoon to voice their thoughts and concerns about guardianship in Florida to a group charged with advancing guardianship reforms and increasing the effectiveness of Florida’s guardianship systems. The six-person panel included members of the Florida Supreme Court’s Guardianship Workgroup and Florida’s Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders. The three-hour public hearing was moderated by 10th Circuit Judge Olin Shinholser and hosted by 17th Circuit Judge Robert Lee.

Speakers were asked to address one of two questions:

  • If you could make one change in Florida’s guardianship system, what would it be?


  • How can courts improve their processes to better ensure protection of the person, property, and rights of individuals who are under guardianship or who need assistance making decisions?


For those who could not attend, written input can be submitted to:

Judge Michael Robinson recently received the Judicial Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency. Mrs. Jill Holness from the Department of Probation presented the honor to Judge Robinson.