The Soft Reopening has been delayed. The Stakeholders reportedly met yesterday, and decided to push back the proposed March 8th date for misdemeanor jury trials.
Felony “Technical” VOP’s are still slated to start in-person on March 15th in two courtrooms, with Marty Fein and John Murphy presiding. So long as there aren’t new law allegations, the VOP’s will be status’d before Fein and Murphy, and if not resolved, set for FVOP in-person. The VOP procedures are still a work in progress, so don’t hold us to anything. The jury trial delay is, however, a done deal …
The 4th DCA today reversed and remanded the contempt order issued by Jill Levy against Mickey Rocque. The SAO conceded Levy’s error in taking Mickey into custody prior to the hearing, and the remaining issues will now be heard by successor judge Mindy Brown. The opinion is here.
With the courthouse soft reopening fast approaching, featuring a limited number of in-person county court jury trials starting March 8th, and two operational felony courtrooms going live on March 15th for in-custody VOP’s (Marty Fein and John Murphy initially presiding), it’s hoped the pandemic blogging doldrums will soon be cured. With so much pent-up frustration on behalf of all parties directly involved in or staffing litigation, JAABLOG should once again have plenty to write about once things start to get back to the standard Broward abnormal.
In the meantime, as with the trial stats, we’re still relying on tried and true traditional blog fodder to keep you entertained.
Accordingly, click the links below for the most recent financial disclosures filed by the 17th Circuit’s county judges, courtesy of a PRR to the Florida Commission on Ethics. As anyone interested in this stuff knows, the county disclosures are not as readily accessible as circuit court disclosures, which can be easily searched up at the Division of Elections by year of a judge’s most recent election.
6:21 PM February 6th original post: “SAO CHARGES DESIR” –
Anyone hoping for reforms in the SAO’s Felony Case Filing Unit (FCFU) have been disappointed since January 5th. Lawyers are seeing the same steady stream of aggressively overcharged “reaches” coming through, just as they had throughout the Satz dynasty. In fact, with Staci Direnzo taking over as Unit head, two names, Direnzo’s and Satz’s long-time, close friend John Countryman’s, seem to be appearing on almost all the Informations, signifying that individual case filing ASA’s can no longer independently decide on the appropriate level of charges or dismissal, as they had before. Criminal justice reform in many peoples’ minds begins and ends with felony case filing, but things seem to have only gotten worse.
Now, despite news breaking on January 18th of the tragic in-custody hospitalization and eventual death of Kevin Desir, the deep disconnect between Harold Pryor’s case filing units, and the reforms we believe he is genuinely trying to implement, has once again raised its ugly head.
How this could happen is anyone’s guess, but is sadly characteristic of the sloppy and reckless manner many believe FCFU has employed throughout the mass incarceration era.
Stay tuned to the continuing mainstream news coverage of the SAO and BSO pointing fingers over the investigation into Desir’s passing. Justice will have to be served. In the meantime, let’s hope the wildly insensitive and inappropriate case filing insults highlight the need for fresh, visionary faces in FCFU, who can help Pryor turn things around, instead of interminably damning him to the past …
Civil/Probate – Zoom still for the foreseeable future.
County Criminal – March 8th for a small number of jury trials, unless stakeholders believe the COVID-19 numbers are too high, in which case a pushback of opening is likely until April. One hundred and twenty jurors would be summoned for March 8th.
Circuit Criminal – VOPs, VOPs, VOPs. Administration realizes what is clogging the jails, and judges, possibly handling cases from multiple divisions, would handle in-court VOP hearings in vastly separated courtrooms to keep the courthouse as clear as possible. No word on circuit jury trials at this time.