Bill to provide ‘alternative headquarters’ for DCA judges is on the Senate floor

Bill to provide ‘alternative headquarters’ for DCA judges is on the Senate floor

Sen. Danny Burgess

A measure that would make it easier for some District Court of Appeal judges to establish an “alternative headquarters,” is headed to the Senate floor.

The Senate Fiscal Policy Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to approve SB 570 by Republican Sen. Anthony Burgess, a Zephyrhills attorney.

“This bill allows for flexibility by our district court judges by allowing them to establish alternate headquarters closer to their homes,” Burgess said.

Existing law permits DCA judges who live 50 miles from their courthouses to establish an “alternative headquarters,” typically an office in a county courthouse, in their county of residence.

The bill would slightly expand the law by permitting them to set up an office in a county that is adjacent to their county of residence.

Republican Sen. Erin Grall, a Vero Beach attorney who is co-sponsoring the bill, said the bill is necessary because some appellate judges live closer to a courthouse in an adjacent county, than the one in their home county. Sponsors point out that the measure protects taxpayers by preventing judges from collecting more in travel expenses than they would if they had established an office in their home county.

A companion, HB 353 by Republican Rep. Patt Maney, a retired Okaloosa judge, is on the House calendar on second reading.

The bills are a priority of the Florida Conference of DCA Judges and have yet to garner a negative vote.


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