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!


Friday, December 7 was an exciting day in our Circuit’s Family Division 41. The Collaborative Law Pro Bono Pilot Project was launched with the aim to provide self-represented parents in divorce and paternity cases with a team of professionals to help them resolve their dispute without litigation.

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!

Congratulations to Judge Sharon Zeller and Trial Court Administrator Kathy Pugh on their recognition at the Broward County Crime Commission’s 39th Annual Criminal Justice Dinner last night.
Trial Court Administrator Kathy Pugh was awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of the hard work she puts in to running all Court Administration functions in the state’s second largest circuit court system. Chief Judge Jack Tuter introduced her.
Judge Sharon Zeller received the 2018 Outstanding Career Service Award, to honor her hard work and dedication in the practice of law, both as an attorney for nearly 20 years and her more than 20 years on the county court bench, many of them as Administrative County Judge. She was introduced by Judge Mindy Brown.
The Seventeenth Circuit is proud of these well-deserved honors for both!

Judge Keathan Frink served as a volunteer at Junior Achievement Biztown last week where 5th graders from Embassy Creek Elementary School got experience running businesses, running a city and simulated an economy.


Last week, Judge Florence Barner swore in the City of Coral Springs’ first black commissioner, Joshua Simmons.

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.


The who, what, when, where and how of state courts from State Courts on Vimeo.