Bye Bye, Bailiffs – mainstream media is working up a story on the demise of the 17th Circuit’s bailiff system. Apparently, Broward will be going the way of neighboring counties when it comes to courtroom security, but it will take some time to realize the vision. We’re told courtrooms will eventually be staffed by a Police Academy trained corrections deputy, and an armed law enforcement officer, without a bailiff in sight.
Where’s the heat coming from? It’s hard to say, but it’s no secret that as with the judiciary, a handful of unprofessional knuckleheads always ruin it for the good guys. While most would never dream of power-tripping, it happens. Additionally, judges may simply feel they need more security, as dockets swell and courtrooms tend to resemble a circus environment on busy days. It may be theorized that better trained courtroom staff will make for a more professional environment, which certainly is the case in Miami-Dade (corrections) and Palm Beach (armed law enforcement).
The good news is bailiffs have some time to plan. Sources tell us it will be “six or seven years” before the proposed changes are fully realized, mostly due to budgetary issues. There simply isn’t enough money to pay the higher wages of the number of corrections and law enforcement deputies necessary to look after a hundred judges. The implementation plan is thus one of attrition, namely saving up money by continuing the current practice of not replacing bailiffs as they quit or retire. The new system will be put into effect courtroom by courtroom, until the new staffing solution is operational circuit-wide.
More information should be forthcoming. Apparently, there’s a meeting with BSO brass and mainstream media this afternoon, so stay tuned …
Staycation over? – the Fourth DCA has given the AG/SAO until Friday to clarify the cases they believe John Contini should be disqualified from. As everyone knows, the State has been arguing that damn near every open case before Contini at the time the Fourth issued the stay order should be stayed, and John has complied, absent clarification from the court of appeals as to which cases were actually “pending sentencing“. Additionally, because the stay order is directed at Division FG, and not Contini specifically, efforts to have other judges substitute in to move cases have been successfully thwarted by the SAO. The result has been loads of people sitting in jail that probably shouldn’t be there, but all that seems likely to change soon, in an apparent victory for the pro-Contini forces.
From an August 3rd Fourth DCA order:
The state is ordered to provide this court with a list of cases “pending sentencing” as previously filed in which a motion for downward departure has been filed. The state shall file the list in this court by Friday, August 7, 2015. (emphasis added)
We’re told the number of cases that fit the criteria described above could be in the twenties, so hopefully it’s back to business as usual in Division FG soon, if the folks we’ve spoken to are correctly reading the tea leaves …
Coming Soon – Ilona said what?