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

TWO NEW COUNTY COURT JUDGES NAMED .......


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

AND YOUR TWO NEW COUNTY COURT JUDGES ARE .......

As I reported last week, the Governor was scheduled this week to name two new County Court Judges, to replace Judges Multack and Kravitz. Today, the Governor chose:

Ramiro C. Areces, age 35, a nine year member of The Florida Bar to replace Judge Shelley Kravitz. Arces worked for the firm of Jorden Burt before becoming a solo practitioner.

Elijah A. Levitt, age 39, a 14 year member of The Florida Bar to replace Judge Spencer Multack. He served both as an ASA in Miami-Dade County and an AUSA for the Southern District of Florida before becoming a solo practitioner.


Following up on Rumpole’s post from earlier today:

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? 1:34 PM, Comments section.

The Captain Responds:

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, (the current occupant of the Group 43 seat), 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, for him to then choose the eventual replacement.

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



8 comments:

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Gov. Scott also named Angela Mason to the Okaloosa County Court and Stephen Pitre to the First Judicial Circuit Court. Anyone care to guess a similarity on their resumes? Mason is an ASA and Pitre is a former ASA.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

A prosecutor accused of suborning perjury at his last job? Great choice.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-reg-sweepstakes-fraud-prison-delay-20180112-story.html

Anonymous said...

He is a really good guy and totally straight.

Anonymous said...

A good guy?

He should be disbarred, not promoted.

Unless he will come clean about what happened.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, Levitt is a stand up person. He always did the right thing. It sounds like there is a lot more to this story. The article doesn’t suggest anything about what is usually an overwhelming amount of evidence amassed by the feds. I remember him as a state prosecutor. He was always fair and saw the big picture. He will be a good judge.

Anonymous said...

Don't believe everything you read in the newspapers. Elijah Levitt is a great addition to the bench. He is professional, fair, ethical, and dedicated to serving the community.

Anonymous said...

Let’s ignore for a moment the baseline misconduct attitude of the office.

He lied about it when asked specifically. And suborned false testimony from the federal agents during those hearings. Then OPR reveals the coverup only after the Trial.

Either he is the whistleblower or he is part of the coverup.

How can a defendant expect fairness from someone that knowingly participated in a conspiracy to defraud the court?

Anonymous said...

I don’t think it’s proper to jump to conclusions or judgment on what is likely inaccurate or incomplete information. Mr. Levitt has distinguished himself both as an ASA and an AUSA that followed the law and did the right thing on each of his cases. One cannot believe everything they hear on something like this and I know Mr. Levitt will make an outstanding Judge.