WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, May 21, 2018

A GREAT QUESTION

An alert reader asked a question which we will paraphrase: 

Assume two candidates are vying for a seat on the bench. 

Both candidates apply for multiple open seats and the governor appoints both of them. 

What happens to the election? Does the seat open up for special qualifying and a special election, or does the governor get to make an appointment to that seat as well?

Truth is stranger than fiction. 
Just look at our president. 

E FILING JUST GOT EASIER 
When e-filing a document through the State of Florida portal you no longer need to list how many pages the document is. This makes life easier. 
Of course you still can't go on there and obtain copies of documents previously filed in PDF format. But then, that's asking a lot- asking the State to provide the same services as every other e-filing entity. This is Florida after all. 




1 comment:

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


1:34 PM asks a great theoretical question:

Captain, what would happen if the candidates in one group had also applied through the JNC process and the governor appointed them to fill vacancies after qualifying day but before the election? Would qualifying be reopened to get candidates for the election? Or would the seat be considered vacant and the governor would get to appoint someone to fill it?

So, using a current race as an example, what if Milena Abreu and Mike Mirabal had both gone through the JNC process, both names had been sent to the Governor for two open seats, and the Governor picked both Abreu and Mirabal for the open seats (after May 4th, the last day to qualify, and before August 28th, the date of the election?)

Well, first, of course, Abreu and Mirabal would both become judges. Now, the problem is that both are currently running against each other in County Court Group 43, where the winner is scheduled to be decided in the August primary election.

So, with the Governor's two picks, nobody would be a candidate in Group 43.

But, what the questioner forgets is that, the seat, Group 43, is anything but vacant. In fact, Judge Joe Davis is very much alive and well and serving out his final term which will end on January 2, 2019. Therefore, the seat is by no means open and the Governor has no power under Florida law to throw the seat to the JNC and then for him to choose the eventual winner.

Instead, similar to when there is a death or resignation of a state house or state senate member, the Governor is authorized to call for a SPECIAL ELECTION pursuant to F.S. 100.101. The Dept. of State,. pursuant to F.S. 100.111, would set the dates for the special qualifying period where new candidates can declare their intention to run for the seat. Once that qualifying period is closed, those that qualified would be the new candidates to be chosen by the voters.

Now, here is the kicker to all of that. If you follow the letter of the law, the Special Election could not occur until after August 28, 2018. Why is that? Because, F.S. 100.101 states that, the Governor cannot call for a Special Election until such time as:

(1) If no person has been elected at a general election to fill an office which was required to be filled by election at such general election.

So, after August 28th, when no candidate would have been chosen by the voters to take over the seat in January, (because there were no candidates remaining on the ballot), only then could he call the Special Election. And if you read further into the statutes, the Dept of State would likely set qualifying dates very soon after the Governor calls for the Special Election, likely in early September. And the date of the Election would undoubtedly take place on the same date as the General Election on November 6th, 2018.

Thanks for that very interesting question. We are always here to provide our readers with the answers to those burning questions, and always at Horace's disposal to handle the affairs of judicial elections, the JNC, and the like.

Captain Out .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com