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       Florida Senate - 2010                                   SJR 2696
       
       
       
       By Senator Siplin
       
       
       
       
       19-01573A-10                                          20102696__
    1                       Senate Joint Resolution                     
    2         A joint resolution proposing amendments to Sections 1,
    3         2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 14, 15, 17, and 20 of Article V of
    4         the State Constitution, relating to the judiciary, to
    5         provide a general revision of provisions relating to
    6         state courts; courts administration, practices, and
    7         procedures; organization and jurisdiction of the
    8         Supreme Court, district courts of appeal, and circuit
    9         courts; eligibility criteria for judges; organization
   10         and jurisdiction of the judicial qualification
   11         commission; funding of the state courts system; and
   12         regulation of admission and practice of attorneys; and
   13         to delete obsolete schedule provisions.
   14  
   15         WHEREAS, it seems, whether intentionally or not, that the
   16  people are denied or deprived their rights to political power
   17  under s. 1, Article I of the State Constitution and their basic
   18  rights to be heard on procedural laws under s. 2, Article I of
   19  the State Constitution. This is obvious from the historic
   20  volumes of rules and cases lacking their input or giving them
   21  proper or adequate notice of such proceedings, and
   22         WHEREAS, Florida citizens, in enhancing integrity and
   23  justice in their court system through their state Legislature,
   24  are a true voice and source of political power of the people,
   25  and
   26         WHEREAS, it is the duty of the Legislature to prescribe
   27  substantive law, and procedural law promulgated and adopted by
   28  the courts is simply or merely supplementary to executing such
   29  substantive law, and
   30         WHEREAS, not a few among the members of The Florida Bar
   31  openly and many silently have and do attest to the unfitness of
   32  many judges throughout the state as may be seen for example in
   33  the Florida Bar News of 2/15 and 3/1, 2007, and the media, and
   34         WHEREAS, many citizens throughout the state have attested
   35  openly to the unfitness of the judiciary and the courts, for
   36  example the 2006-2007 public meetings and transcripts produced
   37  by the Florida Supreme Court committee on fairness and diversity
   38  and the media, and
   39         WHEREAS, the Judicial Qualifications Commission disciplines
   40  the judicial officers of the courts, yet such vehicle fails to
   41  sufficiently keep accountability of such officers, though many
   42  complaints may be filed citing valid violations, ultimately,
   43  being in the discretion of the commission to prosecute, and
   44         WHEREAS, if or when discipline is pursued successfully
   45  against any given judge, the majority are very lightly
   46  sanctioned, being clearly without question of moral and fiscal
   47  injustice to the people, for example Honorable Brandt Downey,
   48  III, and Bonnie S. Newton, and
   49         WHEREAS, Honorable Judges Cliff Barnes in case SC06-2119
   50  and Michael Allen in case SC07-774 have been clearly harassed
   51  and retaliated against by their colleagues for upholding their
   52  duty and oath as law-abiding judicial officers to speak out
   53  against such judicial branch misconduct, and
   54         WHEREAS, rulings and opinions rendered by the courts made
   55  without written expression (per curiam) have been shunned or
   56  deprive the people of justice as expressed by The Florida Bar
   57  and the people in the 2006 Report on District Court of Appeal
   58  Workload & Jurisdiction, Public Trust and Confidence, pgs 19-20,
   59  and Other Recommendations, pg 32, conducted by the District
   60  Court of Appeal Workload and Jurisdiction Assessment Committee,
   61  and
   62         WHEREAS, in Newmons v. Lake Worth Drainage District, 87
   63  So.2d 49, 50-51[1,2](Fla. 1956) it is obvious the resulting
   64  injustice in using a per curiam, where any litigant or lawyer
   65  must guess as to why or how the determination was adverse, and
   66  in all reality may never figure it out due to the myriad of
   67  grounds expressed by the court as to what may have prompted such
   68  an opinion, and a basis of such an opinion is to dispose of
   69  heavy caseloads as expressed in Whipple v. State, 431 So.2d
   70  1011, 1115 (Fla. 2d DCA 1983), thereby, violating the rules of
   71  binding precedent, stare decisis, and due process of law, and
   72         WHEREAS, in the recent 15 to 20 years numerous decisions
   73  sent down from the Florida Supreme Court have lacked clarity and
   74  thoroughness subjecting them to differing or conflicting
   75  constructions to such a extent that District Courts of Appeal
   76  have struggled in resolving or comprehending them, thereby,
   77  eroding and undermining the rules of binding precedent, stare
   78  decisis, and due process of law, and
   79         WHEREAS, since its mandate in The Florida Bar v. Furman,
   80  376 So.2d 378, 382 (Fla. 1979) the bar and courts have failed to
   81  provide adequate legal representation services to the poor and
   82  disadvantaged, and there has been further a decline and
   83  unwillingness to provide pro bono services as expressed in the
   84  Florida Bar News, 2/15, 2007, as to such, and
   85         WHEREAS, The Florida Bar has conceded the majority of their
   86  members lack proper and adequate competence, yet dismisses
   87  thousands of complaints as expressed by LOMAS, the bar, and
   88  bench, thereby undermining the people claiming to protect the
   89  public from those who are incompetent, unethical, or
   90  irresponsible in The Florida Bar v. Moses, 380 So.2d 412, 417
   91  (Fla. 1980), Ippolito v. State Of Florida, 824 F.Supp. 1562,
   92  1575 (M.D. Fla. 1993), and
   93         WHEREAS, due to the state of the bar and bench, any officer
   94  of the court must in any given circumstance, at any given time,
   95  compromise or, worse, forsake his or her oath and duty for fear
   96  or favor, and
   97         WHEREAS, qualifying and aspiring bar members have been
   98  deprived an office of judgeship by being subjected to a custom
   99  based on fear or favor of present judges claiming their office
  100  for life and that they dare not run for such an office until a
  101  particular judge retires, resigns, or is impeached, and
  102         WHEREAS, the people of Florida are made, whether
  103  intentionally or not, estranged to or ignorant of their judicial
  104  branch, as has been reported by The Florida Bar and the media,
  105  and
  106         WHEREAS, by the foregoing the people have developed a clear
  107  perception of lack of trust and confidence in their judiciary,
  108  bar, and court system as expressed in recent public meetings and
  109  transcripts prepared by the Florida Supreme Court committee on
  110  fairness and diversity, and the media, and
  111         WHEREAS, the judicial branch of this state has been in dire
  112  need of proper funding to resolve many of the internal problems
  113  it bears presently as to misconduct, injustice, and the rule of
  114  law, and
  115         WHEREAS, the 44th Governor of this state, Charlie Crist,
  116  expressed in voluminous recordings and public appearances that
  117  the people are the boss, and “it is the checks and balances
  118  built into America’s republican form of government that keeps
  119  the nation strong and he is committed to preserving the balance
  120  between the three branches of government” and “it is up to all
  121  Floridians to address the state’s problems” and “making sure
  122  that if we see an injustice, we try to stop it. If we see
  123  somebody that needs help, we give it. We need to do what we can
  124  to ensure that social justice is done and that Florida – our
  125  dear blessed Florida — leads the way.” in the Florida Bar News
  126  of 2/15, 2007, and
  127         WHEREAS, as a complement and memorial to ideas 38, 46, 93,
  128  and 97 of the 100 Ideas of former Speaker of the House of
  129  Representatives, Marco Rubio, NOW, THEREFORE,
  130  
  131  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  132  
  133         That the following amendments to Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8,
  134  12, 14, 15, 17, and 20 of Article V of the State Constitution
  135  are agreed to and shall be submitted to the electors of this
  136  state for approval or rejection at the next general election or
  137  at an earlier special election specifically authorized by law
  138  for that purpose:
  139                              ARTICLE V                            
  140                              JUDICIARY                            
  141         SECTION 1. Courts.—
  142         (a) The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court,
  143  district courts of appeal, circuit courts and county courts. No
  144  other courts may be established by the state, any political
  145  subdivision or any municipality. The legislature shall, by
  146  general law, divide the state into appellate court districts and
  147  judicial circuits following county lines, except that a district
  148  court of appeal may have geographical jurisdiction up to and
  149  including the entire state respecting any subject matter granted
  150  within such jurisdiction exclusively to that court by general
  151  law. Commissions established by law, or administrative officers
  152  or bodies, may be granted quasi-judicial power in matters
  153  connected with the functions of their offices. The legislature
  154  may establish by general law a civil traffic hearing officer
  155  system for the purpose of hearing civil traffic infractions. The
  156  legislature may, by general law, authorize a military court
  157  martial to be conducted by military judges of the Florida
  158  National Guard, with direct appeal of a decision to the District
  159  Court of Appeal, First District.
  160         (b) Final judgments or orders of all courts, commissions,
  161  or administrative officers or bodies created and established
  162  under subsection (a) shall be subject to a review of last resort
  163  by an Electors’ Tribunal On Justice as established by and
  164  subject to general law, with the purpose of ensuring the
  165  application of the rule of law and civic duty of the citizens of
  166  this state. Officers of the tribunal are constitutional state
  167  officers and shall be funded under the state courts system.
  168         SECTION 2. Administration; practice and procedure.—
  169         (a)(1) The supreme court shall adopt rules for the practice
  170  and procedure in all courts in accordance with the judicial
  171  conference established under paragraph (2), including the time
  172  for seeking appellate review, the administrative supervision of
  173  all courts, the transfer to the court having jurisdiction of any
  174  proceeding when the jurisdiction of another court has been
  175  improvidently invoked, and a requirement that no cause shall be
  176  dismissed because an improper remedy has been sought. The
  177  supreme court shall adopt rules to allow the court and the
  178  district courts of appeal to submit questions relating to
  179  military law to the federal Court of Appeals for the Armed
  180  Forces for an advisory opinion. Rules of court may be repealed
  181  by general law enacted by two-thirds vote of the membership of
  182  each house of the legislature.
  183         (2)a. A judicial conference is established. The judicial
  184  conference shall propose rules of practice and procedure for all
  185  courts.
  186         b. The judicial conference shall be composed of members as
  187  provided by general law.
  188         c. The judicial conference shall adopt rules governing
  189  conference proceedings. Meetings of the judicial conference
  190  shall be open to the public and must provide an opportunity for
  191  public comment.
  192         d. Rules proposed by the judicial conference shall be
  193  submitted to the supreme court for consideration.
  194         e. Unless otherwise provided by general law, the supreme
  195  court shall submit a proposed rule to the legislature by
  196  November 30 of the year preceding the year in which the proposed
  197  rule would take effect. The legislature may adopt, reject, or
  198  amend a proposed rule by general law. If the legislature takes
  199  no action upon a proposed rule by adjournment sine die of the
  200  next regular session, the rule shall be deemed approved. Unless
  201  and until adopted by general law or approved as provided in this
  202  subparagraph, a rule proposed by the judicial conference shall
  203  have no force or effect.
  204         (3) Rules of practice and procedure may not be inconsistent
  205  with general law and shall not abridge, enlarge, or modify any
  206  substantive right. Rules of practice and procedure may be
  207  repealed or amended by general law.
  208         (b) The chief justice of the supreme court shall be chosen
  209  by a majority of the members of the court; shall be the chief
  210  administrative officer of the judicial system; and shall have
  211  the power to assign justices or judges, including consenting
  212  retired justices or judges, to temporary duty in any court for
  213  which the judge is qualified and to delegate to a chief judge of
  214  a judicial circuit the power to assign judges for duty in that
  215  circuit.
  216         (c) A chief judge for each district court of appeal shall
  217  be chosen by a majority of the judges thereof or, if there is no
  218  majority, by the chief justice. The chief judge shall be
  219  responsible for the administrative supervision of the court.
  220         (d) A chief judge in each circuit shall be chosen from
  221  among the circuit judges as provided by supreme court rule. The
  222  chief judge shall be responsible for the administrative
  223  supervision of the circuit courts and county courts in his
  224  circuit.
  225         SECTION 3. Supreme court.—
  226         (a) ORGANIZATION.—The supreme court shall consist of seven
  227  justices. Of the seven justices, each appellate district shall
  228  have at least one justice elected or appointed from the district
  229  to the supreme court who is a resident of the district at the
  230  time of the original appointment or election. Five justices
  231  shall constitute a quorum. The concurrence of four justices
  232  shall be necessary to a decision. When recusals for cause would
  233  prohibit the court from convening because of the requirements of
  234  this section, judges assigned to temporary duty may be
  235  substituted for justices.
  236         (b) JURISDICTION.—
  237         (1) The supreme court:
  238         a.(1) Shall hear appeals from final judgments of trial
  239  courts imposing the death penalty and from decisions of district
  240  courts of appeal declaring invalid a state statute or a
  241  provision of the state constitution.
  242         b.(2) When provided by general law, shall hear appeals from
  243  final judgments entered in proceedings for the validation of
  244  bonds or certificates of indebtedness and shall review action of
  245  statewide agencies relating to rates or service of utilities
  246  providing electric, gas, or telephone service.
  247         c.(3) May review any decision of a district court of appeal
  248  that expressly declares valid a state statute, or that expressly
  249  construes a provision of the state or federal constitution, or
  250  that expressly affects a class of constitutional or state
  251  officers, or that expressly and directly conflicts with a
  252  decision of another district court of appeal or of the supreme
  253  court on the same question of law.
  254         d.(4) May review any decision of a district court of appeal
  255  that passes upon a question certified by it to be of great
  256  public importance, or that is certified by it to be in direct
  257  conflict with a decision of another district court of appeal.
  258         e.(5) May review any order or judgment of a trial court
  259  certified by the district court of appeal in which an appeal is
  260  pending to be of great public importance, or to have a great
  261  effect on the proper administration of justice throughout the
  262  state, and certified to require immediate resolution by the
  263  supreme court.
  264         f.(6) May review a question of law certified by the Supreme
  265  Court of the United States or a United States Court of Appeals
  266  which is determinative of the cause and for which there is no
  267  controlling precedent of the supreme court of Florida.
  268         g.(7) May issue writs of prohibition to courts and all
  269  writs necessary to the complete exercise of its jurisdiction.
  270         h.(8) May issue writs of mandamus and quo warranto to state
  271  officers and state agencies.
  272         i.(9) May, or any justice may, issue writs of habeas corpus
  273  returnable before the supreme court or any justice, a district
  274  court of appeal or any judge thereof, or any circuit judge.
  275         j.(10) Shall, when requested by the attorney general
  276  pursuant to the provisions of Section 10 of Article IV, render
  277  an advisory opinion of the justices, addressing issues as
  278  provided by general law.
  279         (2) The disposition by the supreme court of matters heard
  280  or reviewed or in any writ shall be supported by at least one
  281  binding authority for each point subject to review or original
  282  proceeding, which must be cited in the rendered final order or
  283  opinion.
  284         (c) CLERK AND MARSHAL.—The supreme court shall appoint a
  285  clerk and a marshal who shall hold office during the pleasure of
  286  the court and perform such duties as the court directs. Their
  287  compensation shall be fixed by general law. The marshal shall
  288  have the power to execute the process of the court throughout
  289  the state, and in any county may deputize the sheriff or a
  290  deputy sheriff for such purpose.
  291         SECTION 4. District courts of appeal.—
  292         (a) ORGANIZATION.—There shall be a district court of appeal
  293  serving each appellate district. Each district court of appeal
  294  shall consist of at least three judges. Three judges shall
  295  consider each case and the concurrence of two shall be necessary
  296  to a decision.
  297         (b) JURISDICTION.—
  298         (1) Unless the subject matter of the case is assigned by
  299  general law to another district court of appeal, and unless
  300  otherwise limited by general law, district courts of appeal
  301  shall have jurisdiction to hear appeals, that may be taken as a
  302  matter of right, from final judgments or orders of trial courts,
  303  including those entered on review of administrative action, not
  304  directly appealable to the supreme court or a circuit court.
  305  They may review interlocutory orders in such cases to the extent
  306  provided by rules adopted by the supreme court.
  307         (2) District courts of appeal shall have the power of
  308  direct review of administrative action, as prescribed by general
  309  law.
  310         (3) A district court of appeal or any judge thereof may
  311  issue writs of habeas corpus returnable before the court or any
  312  judge thereof or before any circuit judge within the territorial
  313  jurisdiction of the court. A district court of appeal may issue
  314  writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto, and
  315  other writs necessary to the complete exercise of its
  316  jurisdiction. To the extent necessary to dispose of all issues
  317  in a cause properly before it, a district court of appeal may
  318  exercise any of the appellate jurisdiction of the circuit
  319  courts. The disposition by a district court of appeal of matters
  320  heard or reviewed or in any writ shall be supported by at least
  321  one binding authority for each point subject to review or
  322  original proceeding, which must be cited in the rendered final
  323  order or opinion.
  324         (c) CLERKS AND MARSHALS.—Each district court of appeal
  325  shall appoint a clerk and a marshal who shall hold office during
  326  the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court
  327  directs. Their compensation shall be fixed by general law. The
  328  marshal shall have the power to execute the process of the court
  329  throughout the territorial jurisdiction of the court, and in any
  330  county may deputize the sheriff or a deputy sheriff for such
  331  purpose.
  332         SECTION 5. Circuit courts.—
  333         (a) ORGANIZATION.—There shall be a circuit court serving
  334  each judicial circuit.
  335         (b) JURISDICTION.—The circuit courts shall have original
  336  jurisdiction not vested in the county courts, and jurisdiction
  337  of appeals when provided by general law. They shall have the
  338  power to issue writs of mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari,
  339  prohibition and habeas corpus, and all writs necessary or proper
  340  to the complete exercise of their jurisdiction. Jurisdiction of
  341  the circuit court shall be uniform throughout the state. They
  342  shall have the power of direct review of administrative action
  343  prescribed by general law. The disposition by a circuit court of
  344  matters heard or reviewed or in any writ or on appeal shall be
  345  supported by at least one binding authority for each point
  346  subject to review or original proceeding, which must be cited in
  347  the rendered final order or opinion.
  348         SECTION 8. Eligibility.—A No person is not shall be
  349  eligible for office of justice or judge of any court unless the
  350  person is an elector of the state and resides in the territorial
  351  jurisdiction of the court. A No justice or judge may not shall
  352  serve after attaining the age of seventy years except upon
  353  temporary assignment or to complete a term, one-half of which
  354  has been served. Unless otherwise provided by general law, a no
  355  person is not eligible for the office of justice of the supreme
  356  court or judge of a district court of appeal unless the person
  357  is, and has been for the preceding ten years, a member of the
  358  bar of Florida. Unless otherwise provided by general law, a no
  359  person is not eligible for the office of circuit judge unless
  360  the person is, and has been for the preceding five years, a
  361  member of the bar of Florida. Unless otherwise provided by
  362  general law, a no person is not eligible for the office of
  363  county court judge unless the person is, and has been for the
  364  preceding five years, a member of the bar of Florida. Unless
  365  otherwise provided by general law, a person shall be eligible
  366  for election or appointment to the office of county court judge
  367  in a county having a population of 40,000 or less if the person
  368  is a member in good standing of the bar of Florida.
  369         SECTION 12. Discipline; removal and retirement.—
  370         (a) JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION.—A judicial
  371  qualifications commission is created.
  372         (1) There shall be a judicial qualifications commission
  373  vested with jurisdiction to investigate and recommend to the
  374  Supreme Court of Florida the removal from office of any justice
  375  or judge whose conduct, during term of office or otherwise
  376  occurring on or after November 1, 1966, (without regard to the
  377  effective date of this section) demonstrates a present unfitness
  378  to hold office, and to investigate and recommend the discipline
  379  of a justice or judge whose conduct, during term of office or
  380  otherwise occurring on or after November 1, 1966 (without regard
  381  to the effective date of this section), warrants such
  382  discipline. For purposes of this section, discipline is defined
  383  as any or all of the following: reprimand, fine, suspension with
  384  or without pay, or lawyer discipline. The commission shall have
  385  jurisdiction over justices and judges regarding allegations that
  386  misconduct occurred before or during service as a justice or
  387  judge if a complaint is made no later than one year following
  388  service as a justice or judge. The commission shall have
  389  jurisdiction regarding allegations of incapacity during service
  390  as a justice or judge. The commission shall be composed of:
  391         a. Two judges of district courts of appeal selected by the
  392  judges of those courts, two circuit judges selected by the
  393  judges of the circuit courts and two judges of county courts
  394  selected by the judges of those courts;
  395         b. Two Four electors who reside in the state, who are
  396  members of the bar of Florida, and who shall be chosen by the
  397  governing body of the bar of Florida; and
  398         c. Two electors who reside in the state, who are court
  399  reporters, and who shall be chosen by the legislature by
  400  concurrent or joint resolution;
  401         d. Two electors who reside in the state, who are employed
  402  by the Florida department of law enforcement, and who shall be
  403  chosen by the chairperson of the commission; and
  404         e.c. Five electors who reside in the state, who have never
  405  held judicial office or been members of the bar of Florida and
  406  who are not considered officers of the court, and who shall be
  407  appointed by the governor.
  408         (2) The members of the judicial qualifications commission
  409  shall serve staggered terms, not to exceed six years, as
  410  prescribed by general law. A No member of the commission except
  411  a judge is not shall be eligible for state judicial office while
  412  acting as a member of the commission and for a period of two
  413  years thereafter. A No member of the commission may not shall
  414  hold office in a political party or participate in any campaign
  415  for judicial office or hold public office; provided that a judge
  416  may campaign for judicial office and hold that office. The
  417  commission shall elect one of its members as its chairperson.
  418         (3) Members of the judicial qualifications commission not
  419  subject to impeachment shall be subject to removal from the
  420  commission pursuant to the provisions of Article IV, Section 7,
  421  Florida Constitution.
  422         (4) The commission shall adopt rules regulating its
  423  proceedings, the filling of vacancies by the appointing
  424  authorities, the disqualification of members, the rotation of
  425  members between the panels, and the temporary replacement of
  426  disqualified or incapacitated members. The commission’s rules,
  427  or any part thereof, may be repealed, amended, or modified by
  428  general law enacted by a majority vote of the membership of each
  429  house of the legislature, or by the supreme court, five justices
  430  concurring. The commission shall have power to issue subpoenas.
  431  Until formal charges against a justice or judge are filed by the
  432  investigative panel with the clerk of the supreme court of
  433  Florida all proceedings by or before the commission shall be
  434  confidential; provided, however, upon a finding of probable
  435  cause and the filing by the investigative panel with said clerk
  436  of such formal charges against a justice or judge such charges
  437  and all further proceedings before the commission shall be
  438  public.
  439         (5) The commission shall have access to all information
  440  from all executive, legislative and judicial agencies, including
  441  grand juries, subject to the rules of the commission. At any
  442  time, on request of the speaker of the house of representatives,
  443  the president of the senate, or the governor, the commission
  444  shall make available all information in the possession of the
  445  commission for use in consideration of impeachment or
  446  suspension, respectively. Notwithstanding this paragraph, within
  447  thirty days after initiating or receiving any complaint, the
  448  commission or investigative panel shall provide copies of the
  449  complaint to the speaker of the house of representatives, the
  450  president of the senate, and the governor.
  451         (b) PANELS.—The commission shall be divided into an
  452  investigative panel and a hearing panel as established by rule
  453  of the commission. The investigative panel is vested with the
  454  jurisdiction to receive or initiate complaints, conduct
  455  investigations, dismiss complaints, and upon a vote of a simple
  456  majority of the panel submit formal charges to the hearing
  457  panel. The hearing panel is vested with the authority to receive
  458  and hear formal charges from the investigative panel and upon a
  459  two-thirds vote of the panel recommend to the supreme court the
  460  removal of a justice or judge or the involuntary retirement of a
  461  justice or judge for any permanent disability that seriously
  462  interferes with the performance of judicial duties. Upon a
  463  simple majority vote of the membership of the hearing panel, the
  464  panel may recommend to the supreme court that the justice or
  465  judge be subject to appropriate discipline.
  466         (c) SUPREME COURT.—The supreme court shall receive
  467  recommendations from the judicial qualifications commission’s
  468  hearing panel.
  469         (1) The supreme court may accept, reject, or modify in
  470  whole or in part the findings, conclusions, and recommendations
  471  of the commission and it may order that the justice or judge be
  472  subjected to appropriate discipline, or be removed from office
  473  with termination of compensation for willful or persistent
  474  failure to perform judicial duties or for other conduct
  475  unbecoming a member of the judiciary demonstrating a present
  476  unfitness to hold office, or be involuntarily retired for any
  477  permanent disability that seriously interferes with the
  478  performance of judicial duties. Malafides, scienter or moral
  479  turpitude on the part of a justice or judge shall not be
  480  required for removal from office of a justice or judge whose
  481  conduct demonstrates a present unfitness to hold office. After
  482  the filing of a formal proceeding and upon request of the
  483  investigative panel, the supreme court may suspend the justice
  484  or judge from office, with or without compensation, pending
  485  final determination of the inquiry.
  486         (2) The supreme court may award costs to the prevailing
  487  party.
  488         (d) The power of removal conferred by this section shall be
  489  both alternative and cumulative to the power of impeachment.
  490         (e) Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this
  491  section, if the person who is the subject of proceedings by the
  492  judicial qualifications commission is a justice of the supreme
  493  court of Florida all justices of such court automatically shall
  494  be disqualified to sit as justices of such court with respect to
  495  all proceedings therein concerning such person and the supreme
  496  court for such purposes shall be composed of a panel consisting
  497  of the seven chief judges of the judicial circuits of the state
  498  of Florida most senior in tenure of judicial office as circuit
  499  judge. For purposes of determining seniority of such circuit
  500  judges in the event there be judges of equal tenure in judicial
  501  office as circuit judge the judge or judges from the lower
  502  numbered circuit or circuits shall be deemed senior. In the
  503  event any such chief circuit judge is under investigation by the
  504  judicial qualifications commission or is otherwise disqualified
  505  or unable to serve on the panel, the next most senior chief
  506  circuit judge or judges shall serve in place of such
  507  disqualified or disabled chief circuit judge.
  508         (f) In all other matters of procedure, organization, and
  509  compensation of the commission and any panels of the commission,
  510  the selection of persons to serve on the commission, and the
  511  power to recover costs of an investigation shall be governed by
  512  general law.
  513         (f) SCHEDULE TO SECTION 12.—
  514         (1) Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions
  515  of this section, all provisions of law and rules of court in
  516  force on the effective date of this article shall continue in
  517  effect until superseded in the manner authorized by the
  518  constitution.
  519         (2) After this section becomes effective and until adopted
  520  by rule of the commission consistent with it:
  521         a. The commission shall be divided, as determined by the
  522  chairperson, into one investigative panel and one hearing panel
  523  to meet the responsibilities set forth in this section.
  524         b. The investigative panel shall be composed of:
  525         1. Four judges,
  526         2. Two members of the bar of Florida, and
  527         3. Three non-lawyers.
  528         c. The hearing panel shall be composed of:
  529         1. Two judges,
  530         2. Two members of the bar of Florida, and
  531         3. Two non-lawyers.
  532         d. Membership on the panels may rotate in a manner
  533  determined by the rules of the commission provided that no
  534  member shall vote as a member of the investigative and hearing
  535  panel on the same proceeding.
  536         e. The commission shall hire separate staff for each panel.
  537         f. The members of the commission shall serve for staggered
  538  terms of six years.
  539         g. The terms of office of the present members of the
  540  judicial qualifications commission shall expire upon the
  541  effective date of the amendments to this section approved by the
  542  legislature during the regular session of the legislature in
  543  1996 and new members shall be appointed to serve the following
  544  staggered terms:
  545         1. Group I.—The terms of five members, composed of two
  546  electors as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)c. of Article V, one member
  547  of the bar of Florida as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)b. of Article
  548  V, one judge from the district courts of appeal and one circuit
  549  judge as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)a. of Article V, shall expire
  550  on December 31, 1998.
  551         2. Group II.—The terms of five members, composed of one
  552  elector as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)c. of Article V, two members
  553  of the bar of Florida as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)b. of Article
  554  V, one circuit judge and one county judge as set forth in s.
  555  12(a)(1)a. of Article V shall expire on December 31, 2000.
  556         3. Group III.—The terms of five members, composed of two
  557  electors as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)c. of Article V, one member
  558  of the bar of Florida as set forth in s. 12(a)(1)b., one judge
  559  from the district courts of appeal and one county judge as set
  560  forth in s. 12(a)(1)a. of Article V, shall expire on December
  561  31, 2002.
  562         h. An appointment to fill a vacancy of the commission shall
  563  be for the remainder of the term.
  564         i. Selection of members by district courts of appeal
  565  judges, circuit judges, and county court judges, shall be by no
  566  less than a majority of the members voting at the respective
  567  courts’ conferences. Selection of members by the board of
  568  governors of the bar of Florida shall be by no less than a
  569  majority of the board.
  570         (g)j. The commission shall be entitled to recover the costs
  571  of investigation and prosecution, in addition to any penalty
  572  levied by the supreme court.
  573         (h)k. The compensation of members and referees shall be the
  574  travel expenses or transportation and per diem allowance as
  575  provided by general law.
  576         SECTION 14. Funding.—
  577         (a) All justices and judges shall be compensated only by
  578  state salaries fixed by general law. Funding for the state
  579  courts system, state attorneys’ offices, public defenders’
  580  offices, and court-appointed counsel, except as otherwise
  581  provided in subsection (c), shall be provided from state
  582  revenues appropriated by general law.
  583         (b) All funding for the offices of the clerks of the
  584  circuit and county courts performing court-related functions,
  585  except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subsection
  586  (c), shall be provided by adequate and appropriate filing fees
  587  for judicial proceedings and service charges and costs for
  588  performing court-related functions as required by general law.
  589  Selected salaries, costs, and expenses of the state courts
  590  system may be funded from appropriate filing fees for judicial
  591  proceedings and service charges and costs for performing court
  592  related functions, as provided by general law. Where the
  593  requirements of either the United States Constitution or the
  594  Constitution of the State of Florida preclude the imposition of
  595  filing fees for judicial proceedings and service charges and
  596  costs for performing court-related functions sufficient to fund
  597  the court-related functions of the offices of the clerks of the
  598  circuit and county courts, the state shall provide, as
  599  determined by the legislature, adequate and appropriate
  600  supplemental funding from state revenues appropriated by general
  601  law.
  602         (c) No county or municipality, except as provided in this
  603  subsection, shall be required to provide any funding for the
  604  state courts system, state attorneys’ offices, public defenders’
  605  offices, court-appointed counsel or the offices of the clerks of
  606  the circuit and county courts performing court-related
  607  functions. Counties shall be required to fund the cost of
  608  communications services, existing radio systems, existing multi
  609  agency criminal justice information systems, and the cost of
  610  construction or lease, maintenance, utilities, and security of
  611  facilities for the trial courts, public defenders’ offices,
  612  state attorneys’ offices, and the offices of the clerks of the
  613  circuit and county courts performing court-related functions.
  614  Counties shall also pay reasonable and necessary salaries,
  615  costs, and expenses of the state courts system to meet local
  616  requirements as determined by general law.
  617         (d) The judiciary shall have no power to fix
  618  appropriations.
  619         (e)(1) The Fiscal Stability Trust Fund is created and
  620  established in the state courts system. This trust fund is not
  621  subject to termination pursuant to Article III, Section 19(f).
  622  The purpose of the trust fund is to make funds available to the
  623  courts to conduct the courts’ duties as provided by general law
  624  and to make provision for the judicial branch surplus and
  625  reserves. The judicial branch shall annually receive one percent
  626  of the state fiscal budget from the general revenue fund, which
  627  shall be deposited into the trust fund. The trust fund shall be
  628  administered by the chief justice and the supreme court,
  629  consistent with general law and with the oversight of the
  630  legislature.
  631         (2) The Fiscal Stability Trust Fund may receive funds from
  632  any source, including gifts from individuals, corporations, or
  633  other entities; funds from general revenue as determined by the
  634  legislature; and any other funds so designated by the
  635  legislature, by the United States Congress, or by any other
  636  governmental entity.
  637         SECTION 15. Attorneys; admission and discipline.—The
  638  supreme court, and the legislature as provided by general law,
  639  shall have concurrent exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the
  640  admission of persons to the practice of law before the courts of
  641  this state and the discipline of persons admitted. The cost of
  642  such regulation and discipline shall be funded by
  643  appropriations, disciplinary penalties, and fees paid to the
  644  supreme court and as otherwise authorized by general law. The
  645  practice of law other than before the courts of this state shall
  646  be regulated by general law.
  647         SECTION 17. State attorneys.—
  648         (a) In each judicial circuit a state attorney shall be
  649  elected for a term of four years. Except as otherwise provided
  650  in this constitution, the state attorney shall be the
  651  prosecuting officer of all trial courts in that circuit and
  652  shall perform other duties prescribed by general law; provided,
  653  however, when authorized by general law, the violations of all
  654  municipal ordinances may be prosecuted by municipal prosecutors.
  655  A state attorney shall be an elector of the state and reside in
  656  the territorial jurisdiction of the circuit; shall be and have
  657  been a member of the bar of Florida for the preceding five
  658  years; shall devote full time to the duties of the office; and
  659  shall not engage in the private practice of law. State attorneys
  660  shall appoint such assistant state attorneys as may be
  661  authorized by law.
  662         (b) An Electors’ Tribunal on Security is created and
  663  established in each judicial circuit to conduct investigations
  664  and criminal prosecutions of all persons defined as officers of
  665  the court in this state as prescribed by general law. The
  666  tribunal shall ensure public trust and confidence in the
  667  judicial branch of this state and shall be funded under the
  668  state courts system. Officers of the tribunal are constitutional
  669  state officers.
  670         SECTION 20. Schedule to Article V.—
  671         (a) This article shall replace all of Article V of the
  672  Constitution of 1885, as amended, which shall then stand
  673  repealed.
  674         (b) Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions
  675  of this article, all provisions of law and rules of court in
  676  force on the effective date of this article shall continue in
  677  effect until superseded in the manner authorized by the
  678  constitution.
  679         (c) After this article becomes effective, and until changed
  680  by general law consistent with sections 1 through 19 of this
  681  article:
  682         (1) The supreme court shall have the jurisdiction
  683  immediately theretofore exercised by it, and it shall determine
  684  all proceedings pending before it on the effective date of this
  685  article.
  686         (2) The appellate districts shall be those in existence on
  687  the date of adoption of this article. There shall be a district
  688  court of appeal in each district. The district courts of appeal
  689  shall have the jurisdiction immediately theretofore exercised by
  690  the district courts of appeal and shall determine all
  691  proceedings pending before them on the effective date of this
  692  article.
  693         (3) Circuit courts shall have jurisdiction of appeals from
  694  county courts and municipal courts, except those appeals which
  695  may be taken directly to the supreme court; and they shall have
  696  exclusive original jurisdiction in all actions at law not
  697  cognizable by the county courts; of proceedings relating to the
  698  settlement of the estate of decedents and minors, the granting
  699  of letters testamentary, guardianship, involuntary
  700  hospitalization, the determination of incompetency, and other
  701  jurisdiction usually pertaining to courts of probate; in all
  702  cases in equity including all cases relating to juveniles; of
  703  all felonies and of all misdemeanors arising out of the same
  704  circumstances as a felony which is also charged; in all cases
  705  involving legality of any tax assessment or toll; in the action
  706  of ejectment; and in all actions involving the titles or
  707  boundaries or right of possession of real property. The circuit
  708  court may issue injunctions. There shall be judicial circuits
  709  which shall be the judicial circuits in existence on the date of
  710  adoption of this article. The chief judge of a circuit may
  711  authorize a county court judge to order emergency
  712  hospitalizations pursuant to Chapter 71-131, Laws of Florida, in
  713  the absence from the county of the circuit judge and the county
  714  court judge shall have the power to issue all temporary orders
  715  and temporary injunctions necessary or proper to the complete
  716  exercise of such jurisdiction.
  717         (4) County courts shall have original jurisdiction in all
  718  criminal misdemeanor cases not cognizable by the circuit courts,
  719  of all violations of municipal and county ordinances, and of all
  720  actions at law in which the matter in controversy does not
  721  exceed the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00)
  722  exclusive of interest and costs, except those within the
  723  exclusive jurisdiction of the circuit courts. Judges of county
  724  courts shall be committing magistrates. The county courts shall
  725  have jurisdiction now exercised by the county judge’s courts
  726  other than that vested in the circuit court by subsection (c)(3)
  727  hereof, the jurisdiction now exercised by the county courts, the
  728  claims court, the small claims courts, the small claims
  729  magistrates courts, magistrates courts, justice of the peace
  730  courts, municipal courts and courts of chartered counties,
  731  including but not limited to the counties referred to in Article
  732  VIII, sections 9, 10, 11 and 24 of the Constitution of 1885.
  733         (5) Each judicial nominating commission shall be composed
  734  of the following:
  735         a. Three members appointed by the Board of Governors of The
  736  Florida Bar from among The Florida Bar members who are actively
  737  engaged in the practice of law with offices within the
  738  territorial jurisdiction of the affected court, district or
  739  circuit;
  740         b. Three electors who reside in the territorial
  741  jurisdiction of the court or circuit appointed by the governor;
  742  and
  743         c. Three electors who reside in the territorial
  744  jurisdiction of the court or circuit and who are not members of
  745  the bar of Florida, selected and appointed by a majority vote of
  746  the other six members of the commission.
  747         (6) No justice or judge shall be a member of a judicial
  748  nominating commission. A member of a judicial nominating
  749  commission may hold public office other than judicial office. No
  750  member shall be eligible for appointment to state judicial
  751  office so long as that person is a member of a judicial
  752  nominating commission and for a period of two years thereafter.
  753  All acts of a judicial nominating commission shall be made with
  754  a concurrence of a majority of its members.
  755         (7) The members of a judicial nominating commission shall
  756  serve for a term of four years except the terms of the initial
  757  members of the judicial nominating commissions shall expire as
  758  follows:
  759         a. The terms of one member of category a. b. and c. in
  760  subsection (c)(5) hereof shall expire on July 1, 1974;
  761         b. The terms of one member of category a. b. and c. in
  762  subsection (c)(5) hereof shall expire on July 1, 1975;
  763         c. The terms of one member of category a. b. and c. in
  764  subsection (c)(5) hereof shall expire on July 1, 1976;
  765         (8) All fines and forfeitures arising from offenses tried
  766  in the county court shall be collected, and accounted for by
  767  clerk of the court, and deposited in a special trust account.
  768  All fines and forfeitures received from violations of ordinances
  769  or misdemeanors committed within a county or municipal
  770  ordinances committed within a municipality within the
  771  territorial jurisdiction of the county court shall be paid
  772  monthly to the county or municipality respectively. If any costs
  773  are assessed and collected in connection with offenses tried in
  774  county court, all court costs shall be paid into the general
  775  revenue fund of the state of Florida and such other funds as
  776  prescribed by general law.
  777         (9) Any municipality or county may apply to the chief judge
  778  of the circuit in which that municipality or county is situated
  779  for the county court to sit in a location suitable to the
  780  municipality or county and convenient in time and place to its
  781  citizens and police officers and upon such application said
  782  chief judge shall direct the court to sit in the location unless
  783  the chief judge shall determine the request is not justified. If
  784  the chief judge does not authorize the county court to sit in
  785  the location requested, the county or municipality may apply to
  786  the supreme court for an order directing the county court to sit
  787  in the location. Any municipality or county which so applies
  788  shall be required to provide the appropriate physical facilities
  789  in which the county court may hold court.
  790         (10) All courts except the supreme court may sit in
  791  divisions as may be established by local rule approved by the
  792  supreme court.
  793         (11) A county court judge in any county having a population
  794  of 40,000 or less according to the last decennial census, shall
  795  not be required to be a member of the bar of Florida.
  796         (12) Municipal prosecutors may prosecute violations of
  797  municipal ordinances.
  798         (13) Justice shall mean a justice elected or appointed to
  799  the supreme court and shall not include any judge assigned from
  800  any court.
  801         (d) When this article becomes effective:
  802         (1) All courts not herein authorized, except as provided by
  803  subsection (d)(4) of this section shall cease to exist and
  804  jurisdiction to conclude all pending cases and enforce all prior
  805  orders and judgments shall vest in the court that would have
  806  jurisdiction of the cause if thereafter instituted. All records
  807  of and property held by courts abolished hereby shall be
  808  transferred to the proper office of the appropriate court under
  809  this article.
  810         (2) Judges of the following courts, if their terms do not
  811  expire in 1973 and if they are eligible under subsection (d)(8)
  812  hereof, shall become additional judges of the circuit court for
  813  each of the counties of their respective circuits, and shall
  814  serve as such circuit judges for the remainder of the terms to
  815  which they were elected and shall be eligible for election as
  816  circuit judges thereafter. These courts are: civil court of
  817  record of Dade county, all criminal courts of record, the felony
  818  courts of record of Alachua, Leon and Volusia Counties, the
  819  courts of record of Broward, Brevard, Escambia, Hillsborough,
  820  Lee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties, the civil and criminal court
  821  of record of Pinellas County, and county judge’s courts and
  822  separate juvenile courts in counties having a population in
  823  excess of 100,000 according to the 1970 federal census. On the
  824  effective date of this article, there shall be an additional
  825  number of positions of circuit judges equal to the number of
  826  existing circuit judges and the number of judges of the above
  827  named courts whose term expires in 1973. Elections to such
  828  offices shall take place at the same time and manner as
  829  elections to other state judicial offices in 1972 and the terms
  830  of such offices shall be for a term of six years. Unless changed
  831  pursuant to section nine of this article, the number of circuit
  832  judges presently existing and created by this subsection shall
  833  not be changed.
  834         (3) In all counties having a population of less than
  835  100,000 according to the 1970 federal census and having more
  836  than one county judge on the date of the adoption of this
  837  article, there shall be the same number of judges of the county
  838  court as there are county judges existing on that date unless
  839  changed pursuant to section 9 of this article.
  840         (4) Municipal courts shall continue with their same
  841  jurisdiction until amended or terminated in a manner prescribed
  842  by special or general law or ordinances, or until January 3,
  843  1977, whichever occurs first. On that date all municipal courts
  844  not previously abolished shall cease to exist. Judges of
  845  municipal courts shall remain in office and be subject to
  846  reappointment or reelection in the manner prescribed by law
  847  until said courts are terminated pursuant to the provisions of
  848  this subsection. Upon municipal courts being terminated or
  849  abolished in accordance with the provisions of this subsection,
  850  the judges thereof who are not members of the bar of Florida,
  851  shall be eligible to seek election as judges of county courts of
  852  their respective counties.
  853         (5) Judges, holding elective office in all other courts
  854  abolished by this article, whose terms do not expire in 1973
  855  including judges established pursuant to Article VIII, sections
  856  9 and 11 of the Constitution of 1885 shall serve as judges of
  857  the county court for the remainder of the term to which they
  858  were elected. Unless created pursuant to section 9, of this
  859  Article V such judicial office shall not continue to exist
  860  thereafter.
  861         (6) By March 21, 1972, the supreme court shall certify the
  862  need for additional circuit and county judges. The legislature
  863  in the 1972 regular session may by general law create additional
  864  offices of judge, the terms of which shall begin on the
  865  effective date of this article. Elections to such offices shall
  866  take place at the same time and manner as election to other
  867  state judicial offices in 1972.
  868         (7) County judges of existing county judge’s courts and
  869  justices of the peace and magistrates’ court who are not members
  870  of bar of Florida shall be eligible to seek election as county
  871  court judges of their respective counties.
  872         (8) No judge of a court abolished by this article shall
  873  become or be eligible to become a judge of the circuit court
  874  unless the judge has been a member of bar of Florida for the
  875  preceding five years.
  876         (9) The office of judges of all other courts abolished by
  877  this article shall be abolished as of the effective date of this
  878  article.
  879         (10) The offices of county solicitor and prosecuting
  880  attorney shall stand abolished, and all county solicitors and
  881  prosecuting attorneys holding such offices upon the effective
  882  date of this article shall become and serve as assistant state
  883  attorneys for the circuits in which their counties are situate
  884  for the remainder of their terms, with compensation not less
  885  than that received immediately before the effective date of this
  886  article.
  887         (e) LIMITED OPERATION OF SOME PROVISIONS.—
  888         (1) All justices of the supreme court, judges of the
  889  district courts of appeal and circuit judges in office upon the
  890  effective date of this article shall retain their offices for
  891  the remainder of their respective terms. All members of the
  892  judicial qualifications commission in office upon the effective
  893  date of this article shall retain their offices for the
  894  remainder of their respective terms. Each state attorney in
  895  office on the effective date of this article shall retain the
  896  office for the remainder of the term.
  897         (2) No justice or judge holding office immediately after
  898  this article becomes effective who held judicial office on July
  899  1, 1957, shall be subject to retirement from judicial office
  900  because of age pursuant to section 8 of this article.
  901         (f) Until otherwise provided by law, the nonjudicial duties
  902  required of county judges shall be performed by the judges of
  903  the county court.
  904         (g) All provisions of Article V of the Constitution of
  905  1885, as amended, not embraced herein which are not inconsistent
  906  with this revision shall become statutes subject to modification
  907  or repeal as are other statutes.
  908         (h) The requirements of section 14 relative to all county
  909  court judges or any judge of a municipal court who continues to
  910  hold office pursuant to subsection (d)(4) hereof being
  911  compensated by state salaries shall not apply prior to January
  912  3, 1977, unless otherwise provided by general law.
  913         (i) DELETION OF OBSOLETE SCHEDULE ITEMS.—The legislature
  914  shall have power, by concurrent resolution, to delete from this
  915  article any subsection of this section 20 including this
  916  subsection, when all events to which the subsection to be
  917  deleted is or could become applicable have occurred. A
  918  legislative determination of fact made as a basis for
  919  application of this subsection shall be subject to judicial
  920  review.
  921         (j) EFFECTIVE DATE.—Unless otherwise provided herein, this
  922  article shall become effective at 11:59 o’clock P.M., Eastern
  923  Standard Time, January 1, 1973.
  924         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be
  925  placed on the ballot:
  926                      CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT                     
  927                              ARTICLE V                            
  928          SECTIONS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 14, 15, 17, and 20        
  929         JUDICIARY.—Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution
  930  to provide for statewide jurisdiction of a district court of
  931  appeal as provided by general law; to provide for review by an
  932  Electors’ Tribunal on Justice of final judgments or orders of
  933  courts, commissions, or administrative officers or bodies; to
  934  establish a judicial conference to propose rules of practice and
  935  procedure in all courts and to provide for their adoption,
  936  rejection, or amendment by general law; to provide requirements
  937  that matters disposed of by the Supreme Court, district courts
  938  of appeal, and circuit courts be supported by binding authority;
  939  to revise eligibility requirements for justices and judges to
  940  allow for such requirements by general law; to revise the
  941  membership and eligibility requirements of the Judicial
  942  Qualifications Commission, require copies of complaints to be
  943  provided to the Governor and Legislature, and require governance
  944  by general law of matters relating to the commission which are
  945  not specified in the State Constitution; to establish the Fiscal
  946  Stability Trust Fund in the state courts system to make funds
  947  available to courts to conduct their duties and to make
  948  provision for judicial branch surplus and reserves, to require
  949  the deposit into the trust fund each year of 1 percent of the
  950  state fiscal budget from the General Revenue Fund and require
  951  the Supreme Court to administer the trust fund consistent with
  952  general law and subject to oversight by the Legislature, and to
  953  provide for additional funding of the trust fund; to provide for
  954  concurrent jurisdiction by the Supreme Court and the Legislature
  955  with respect to regulating the admission to practice and the
  956  discipline of attorneys and provide for funding such regulation
  957  and discipline; to establish an Electors’ Tribunal on Security
  958  in each judicial district to conduct investigations and criminal
  959  prosecutions of officers of the court as prescribed by general
  960  law and provide for its funding; and to delete obsolete
  961  scheduling provisions relating to the Judicial Qualifications
  962  Commission and the judiciary.

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