Last week, Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver Kenny Stills visited Judge Stacy Ross’ courtroom in the central courthouse to share inspirational stories with children in the juvenile system, regarding the challenges that he overcame to play in the NFL. His visit was part of a long-time program, dubbed “Dolphin Day,” that was originally started by Judge Howard Zeidwig almost 15 years ago and is now carried on by Judge Stacy Ross. The purpose of Dolphin Day is for athlete role models to show the teenagers in court that they’re on the wrong path and inspire them to get on the right one.
This morning, Judge Natasha DePrimo was sworn in by Chief Judge Jack Tuter, as her commission begins today, December 10. Judge DePrimo was appointed to the county bench by Governor Rick Scott. Judge DePrimo will serve at the West satellite courthouse in Plantation.
Congratulations, and welcome Judge DePrimo!
Another successful Suspended Driver License Clinic was held at the central courthouse yesterday with more than 150 customers utilizing services in a “one stop” environment. Over 160 cases were heard by the judiciary, and over 100 attendees were either issued a driver license/ID, reinstated a suspended one, or received guidance on how to do so. Thanks to the Clerk of Courts, Brenda D. Forman and her staff, Chief Judge Jack Tuter, Judge Robert F. Diaz, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Revenue and all other stakeholders that helped to make this event a success!
Only 26 percent of Americans can name all three branches of government, a 2016 survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found. Only 23 percent of eighth-graders ranked at or above the proficient level on a recent national civics exam.
When civics education is taught effectively, it can help students become informed and engaged citizens. But only nine states and the District of Columbia require one year of U.S. government or civics, while 30 states require a half year and the other 11 states have no civics requirement.
“Courts play a vital role in protecting people’s rights,” NCSC President Mary McQueen said.
The brief video explains why the Founding Fathers elevated the judiciary to its status as the government’s third and equal branch. It then points out that most people think of federal courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, when they think of courts, but that a whopping 96 percent of all cases are handled in state courts. The video goes on to explain that state courts are made up of local trial courts, where juries or judges decide cases, as well as appellate and supreme courts.