Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida
There is over 80 miles (130 km) between the courthouse in Viera (Melbourne) and the Criminal Justice Center in Sanford. There are a total of six courthouses in the circuit with main facilities located at Viera and Sanford.
The DUI conviction rate was 95% in 2008. 94% of the cases are resolved through plea bargaining. Out of 47 which actually went to trial, 55% were convicted.
In 2008, the public defender had a staff of 74 lawyers in the entire circuit.
Clerks of the Court
There are two counties in the circuit, Brevard and Seminole.
In 2011, the Brevard Clerk employed about 250 preople with an additional 127 former employees contracted through a private company.
Lawsuits filed by corporations outnumber those filed by individuals by 22 to 1 in 2009.
Before 1967, Brevard and Seminole were part of the Ninth Judicial Circuit along with Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, and St. Lucie Counties. Prior to the organizational change in the court system which occurred in 1972, the Eighteenth Circuit had a variety of courts including the Circuit Court, the Court of Record of Brevard County, the Brevard County Magistrate's Court, County Judge's Courts, Justice of the Peace Courts and a Small Claims Court. Additionally, each municipality had a Municipal Court.
The Circuit Court in Brevard County had jurisdiction to try capital cases and civil actions beyond the County Judge's Court or the Magistrate's Court.
In Seminole County the Circuit Court had jurisdiction to try all felony cases, including capital cases, and civil actions beyond the jurisdiction of the County Court or the Small Claims Court. The Court of Record in Brevard County was a criminal court that tried all criminal cases except capital cases. The reorganization of the court system in Florida in 1972 caused many of the courts to be abolished and resulted in statewide uniformity. The only trial courts remaining after the reorganization were the Circuit Court and the County Court. The judges of the abolished courts in Brevard County became Circuit Judges.
The population of the Circuit has grown since 1972. In 1973 there were a total of 13 Circuit Judges. In 2004 there are 24.
- "Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Courts - Brevard and Seminole Counties Florida". Eighteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
- Summers, Keyonna (5 April 2009). "Lawyers:Stick to approved machines". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 9A.
- Summers, Keyonna (January 5, 2008). "Russo running for office yet again". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1B.
- Berman, Dave (April 14, 2011). "Clerk defends choice as way to save jobs". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1B,4B.
- Reed, Matt (16 January 2011). "Extra Point:Sue happy Floridians?". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B.
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