Florida Conference of Circuit Judges      

Bylaws


(As Amended August 5, 2013)

Printed Version

 

THE CONFERENCE OF CIRCUIT JUDGES OF FLORIDA, INC.

 

ARTICLE  I – NAME

 

The name of this organization shall be: Conference of Circuit Judges of Florida, Inc., also known as and referred to as the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges and also known and referred to herein as the Conference.

 

ARTICLE  II – PURPOSE

 

The purpose of the Conference is to assist circuit judges in more effectively and efficiently meeting their constitutional and statutory duties and responsibilities.

 

ARTICLE  Ill – DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The duties and responsibilities of the Conference shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

A.        Considering and making recommendations concerning the betterment of the judicial system of the State and its various parts;

 

B.        Considering and making recommendations concerning the improvement of rules and methods of procedure and practice in the several courts;

 

C.        Reporting to the Supreme Court such findings and recommendations as the Conference may have with reference to Sections (A) and (B);

 

D.      Through the Conference Chair, reporting to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House such recommendations as the Conference may have concerning defects in the laws of this State and such amendments or additional legislation as the Conference may deem necessary;

 

E.   Compiling, studying, discussing and disseminating information to circuit judges relating to problems of trials, disposition of litigation, and the organization and administration of the courts, and sponsoring, presenting and conducting programs respecting such matters;

 

F.         Fostering and promoting educational institutions and seminars for judges; and

 

G.       Gathering, studying and disseminating information relating to the judiciary to the public, press, educational institutions and such other organizations as may be interested in order to inform the people of the work and functions of their courts.

 

ARTICLE IV – MEMBERS AND DUES

 

Section 1 - Members.  All active and retired circuit judges of the State of Florida, other than retired judges practicing law, shall be members of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges.

 

Section 2 - Dues.  The dues of the members of the Conference shall be such as may from time to time be assessed by a majority vote of the members present at a regular meeting of the Conference.

 

 

ARTICLE V – OFFICERS, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

Section 1 - Officers.  The Officers of the Conference shall be as follows: Chair:
Chair-elect: Secretary: Treasurer:

 

Section 2 - Election.  The Officers, with the exception of the Treasurer, shall be elected by a majority vote of the members present at the regular annual meeting of the Conference.  The Chair-elect shall succeed the Chair.  Each Officer shall serve a one-year term commencing upon the adjournment of the annual meeting and ending at such adjournment the following year; provided, however, the Chair, Chair-elect and Secretary may serve a second one-year term upon a majority vote of the members present at the regular annual meeting.  It is the intent of the Conference that any second one-year term of the officers be as closely coterminous as practical with the terms of the presiding officers of the Florida Legislature and the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.  Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.  Any person desirous of becoming elected as Chair-elect or Secretary shall notify the Chair, in writing, at least thirty (30) days prior to the first day of the annual business meeting.

 

Section 3 - Chair. The Chair shall be principal executive officer of the Conference and shall supervise and control the Executive Committee.  The Chair shall appoint all members of standing committees specified in these Bylaws whose appointments are not otherwise determined, including the Committee Chairs and Committee Vice Chairs.  The Chair may also create other committees from time to time and shall appoint the members of such committees, including the Committee Chairs and Committee Vice Chairs.  The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and shall preside at all meetings of the Conference and the Executive Committee.  The Chair  shall  faithfully execute all instructions, directions  and  resolutions  of  the Conference or the Executive Committee.

 

Section 4 - Chair-elect.  The Chair-elect shall perform the duties of the Chair in the event of the incapacity or absence of the Chair, and shall perform such other duties as may be required by the Conference or the Executive Committee or may be delegated to the Chair-elect by the Chair.  In the event of the unavailability of the Chair­ elect, the Secretary shall discharge such responsibility.

 

Section 5 - Secretary.  The Secretary shall record, or cause to be recorded, the minutes of all meetings of the Conference and keep such other records as may be directed by either the Conference, the Chair or the Executive Committee, and shall perform such other duties as may be directed by the Conference.

Section 6 - Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds of the Conference and shall keep complete records of its receipts and disbursements and have the same ready at all times for inspection by the Conference. The Treasurer shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, an annual financial report to be presented to the Executive Committee at the Annual Business Meeting. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Chair with the concurrence of the Chair-elect and Secretary or, alternatively, by a majority of the three officers.  The Treasurer's term shall be for one year commencing with the term of the Chair. In an effort to promote expertise, uniformity and consistency in financial records, the Treasurer may serve successive terms subject to the appointment process described herein.

 

Section 7 - Mid-term Vacancies in Office.  Should  a  mid-term  vacancy occur in the office of Chair, Chair-elect or Secretary, it shall be filled in the following manner:

1.         The vacancy in the office of Chair will be filled by the Chair-elect for the remainder of the term.

 

2.         The vacancy in the office of Chair-elect will be filled by the Secretary for the remainder of the term.

 

3.         The vacancy in the office of Secretary shall be filled .by the Chair-elect assuming the dual responsibilities of both Secretary and Chair-elect for the remainder of the term.

 

4.         A Chair-elect filling a vacancy in the office of Chair for any portion of a term shall also remain Chair for the next full term unless he/she declines to serve.  Should he/she choose not to remain Chair for the next full term then the Chair-elect would succeed to office of the Chair by succession consistent with these bylaws.

 

5.         A Secretary filling a vacancy in the office of Chair-elect for any portion of a term shall succeed to office of the Chair at the end of that partial term unless there is no vacancy for the next term in the office of the Chair pursuant to Article V, Section 7, number 4.

 

Section 8 - Executive Committee/Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors shall be known as the Executive Committee and the membership of one shall be identical to the membership of the other.  The membership shall consist of the Officers of the Conference, the twelve (12) standing committee chairs, the vice chairs of the Legislative Committee, three (3) chief judges appointed by the Chair, the immediate past chair, the representative to the Florida Council of 100, the chairperson of the Trial Court Budget Commission, and one member elected from each appellate court district. The appellate court district members (district representatives) shall serve a term of two (2) years without the right of succession in office. District representatives shall be responsible for placing appropriate memorial resolutions on the permanent record of the Conference. Election for district representatives shall be held during the Annual Business Meeting on the same day as the election of other Conference officers. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.   All business of the Conference consistent with these Bylaws may be exercised by the Executive Committee/Board of Directors when the Conference is not in session.  A majority of the whole number of the Executive Committee/Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

 

Section 9 - Written Poll.  Any question within the jurisdiction of the Executive Committee/Board of Directors may be determined by the Chair upon a written poll to all its members.  E-mail communications shall be sufficient to meet the requirements of a written poll.

 

ARTICLE VI – MEETINGS

 

Section 1 - Annual Business Meeting. The Annual Business Meeting of the Conference shall be held at such time and place as may be determined by the Chair, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.

 

Section 2 - Educational Conferences.  An educational conference may be held at such time and place as determined by the Chair, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.

 

Section  3 - Notice of Meetings.   Notice of the place, date and hour of the annual business meeting and educational conferences shall be delivered personally, by mail or by e-mail, to all members in a reasonable time in advance of such meetings.

 

Section 4 - Quorum.  The business of the Conference may be transacted by a majority vote of members present at the annual business meetings.

 

Section 5 - Executive Committee Meetings. Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held at the call of the Chair at such time and place as determined by the Chair.   Notice of the place, date and hour of such meeting shall be delivered personally, by mail or by e-mail to all members of the Executive Committee in a reasonable time in advance of such meeting.

 

ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES

 

Section  1 - Standing  Committees.  The Conference shall have twelve (12) standing committees as follows:

            1.         Judicial Administration
            2.         Judicial Education
            3.         Probate
            4.         Juvenile/Dependency
            5.         Juvenile/Delinquency
            6.         Civil Justice
            7.         Criminal Justice
            8.         Drug Court
            9.         Family Law
            10.       Legislative Coordinating
            11.       Retired Judges
            12.       Conference Management

 

Section 2 - Judicial Administration Committee.  The Judicial Administration Committee shall consist of chief judges, the officers of the Conference and the Immediate Past Chair.  The jurisdiction, scope and duties of the committee shall be prescribed by the Chair subject to otherwise being determined by the Executive Committee and subject to the Bylaws.

 

Section 3 - Judicial Education Committee. The members of the Judicial Education Committee shall  be responsible for the educational presentations of  the Conference. Consistent with established practice, members of the Education Committee shall serve staggered terms of three (3) years.  Service on the Judicial Education Committee shall include the obligation to participate in the Curriculum Building/Presentation Training program at the first reasonably available opportunity.

 

Section 4 - Probate Committee. The Probate Committee shall review changes in probate law and make recommendations to the Conference concerning the improvement of rules and methods of procedure and practice in the probate divisions of the courts.

 

Section 5 - Juvenile/Dependency Committee. The Juvenile/Dependency Committee shall review changes in laws governing juvenile dependency and make recommendations to the Conference concerning the improvement of rules and methods of procedure and practice in the dependency divisions of the courts. The Juvenile/Dependency Committee chair and those members designated by the  chair  shall  also  meet  regularly  with  designated  members  of  the  Juvenile/ Delinquency and Family Law Committees to confer on issues affecting Unified Family Courts throughout the state and shall make recommendations to the Conference concerning the improvement of the operation, practice and procedures of those Unified Family Courts.

 

Section 6 - Juvenile/Delinquency Committee. The Juvenile/Delinquency Committee shall review changes in laws governing juvenile delinquency and make recommendations to the Conference concerning the improvement of rules and methods of procedure and practice in the delinquency divisions of the courts. The Juvenile/Delinquency Committee chair and those members designated by the chair shall also meet regularly with designated members of the Juvenile/ Dependency and Family Law Committees to confer on issues affecting Unified Family Courts throughout the state and shall make recommendations to the Conference concerning the improvement of the operation, practice and procedures of those Unified Family Courts.

 

Section 7 - Civil Justice Committee.  The Civil Justice Committee shall review changes in civil laws and make recommendations to the Conference concerning the  improvement of rules and methods of procedure and practice in the civil divisions of the courts.

 

Section 8 - Criminal Justice Committee.  The Criminal Justice Committee shall review changes in criminal laws and make recommendations to the Conference concerning the improvement of rules and methods of procedure and practice in the criminal divisions of the courts.

 

Section 9 - Drug Court Committee.  The Drug Court Committee shall study the progress and effectiveness of drug courts and make recommendations concerning the improvement of rules and methods of procedure and practice in those courts.

 

Section 10 - Family Law Committee.  The Family Law Committee shall review changes in family law and make recommendations to the Conference concerning the improvement of rules and methods of procedure and practice in the family divisions of the courts.  The Family Law Committee chair and those members designated by the chair shall also meet regularly with designated members of the Juvenile/Dependency and Juvenile/Delinquency Committees to confer on issues affecting Unified Family Courts throughout the state and shall make recommendations to the Conference concerning the improvement of the operation, practice and procedures of those Unified Family Courts.

 

Section 11 - Legislative Coordinating Committee.  The Legislative Coordinating Committee shall  assist the  Executive Committee and the  Officers in carrying out the legislative responsibilities of the Conference as defined by statute and shall serve as a  conduit for the coordination and sharing of legislative information between the Executive Committee and Conference members.

 

Section 12 - Retired Judges Committee.  The Retired Judges Committee shall make recommendations to the Conference concerning the improvement of the status of retired judges within the State.

 

Section 13 - Conference Management Committee. The Conference Management Committee shall be responsible for advising, planning and making recommendations to the Conference regarding conference meetings. The Conference Management Committee shall be composed of three members of the Conference which the Chair shall appoint. The members shall serve staggered terms of three (3) years.

 

ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEE TERMS

 

Committee members duly appointed and acting shall continue to serve at the discretion  of  the  Chair  until  the  respective  successor  committee  members  are appointed, organized and ready to transact business.

 

ARTICLE IX – PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE

 

Robert’s Rules of Order, most recent edition, except as otherwise provided herein, shall govern all meetings of the Conference, sections and committees.
 

ARTICLE X – CONFERENCE REPRESENTATION ON OTHER BODIES

 

Section 1 - Judicial Qualifications Commission.  As  provided  in  Article  V, Section 12, Florida Constitution, the Conference shall select through election the number of representatives to the Judicial Qualifications Commission specified in that provision.  The representatives shall serve the term provided by the Constitution or general law.  Any vacancy in mid-term of twelve (12) months or less shall be filled by appointment of the Conference Chair.

 

Section 2 - Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee.   As provided in the enabling authority of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, the circuit judge representatives to the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee shall be selected by the Conference. The number of representatives to the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee specified in the enabling authority shall be appointed by the Conference Chair. The representatives shall serve staggered four-year terms, with appointments every two years. The Conference Chair may appoint representatives to serve successive terms. Any vacancy in mid-term of 12 months or less shall be filled by appointment of the Conference Chair.
Upon ratification of this amended bylaw, the terms of the four current representatives shall expire immediately and the resulting vacancies shall be filled as follows:

 

(1)       The vacancies of the two longest serving representatives shall be filled for new two-year terms.

 

(2)       The vacancies of the other two serving representatives shall be filled for new four-year terms. 

 

Section 3 - Florida  Council  of 100.  The Conference Chair shall appoint the Conference Representative to the Florida Council of 100.

 

Section 4 - Supreme  Court  Appointees.   There are various other bodies to which the Chief Justice appoints circuit judges and considers the recommendations of the Conference.  The Conference Chair shall recommend appointment to these bodies when appropriate.

 

ARTICLE XI – BYLAWS AMENDMENT

 

These Bylaws may be amended or revised by a majority vote of the members of the  Conference  present  at  any  regular  meeting  of  the  Conference,  provided  the proposed amendment or revision shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary not later than thirty (30) days prior to such meeting and that the Secretary shall, at least fifteen (15) days prior to such meeting, furnish each member of the Conference a written copy of such proposed amendment or revision either electronically or by regular U.S. Mail.

 

ARTICLE XII – ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

 

Section 1 - Priority of Articles of Incorporation.  Nothing in these Bylaws shall be construed to affect the legal status of this Conference as defined by its Articles of Incorporation.  The Articles of Incorporation and provisions thereof shall have priority over the provisions of these Bylaws in the event of inconsistencies herein.

 

Section   2 - Inconsistencies.  Should  any  portion  of  these  Bylaws  be inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation and affect its legal status or status with the
Internal Revenue Service then, in that event, those portions of the Bylaws creating the inconsistency will be considered a nullity.

 

ARTICLE XIII - DISSOLUTION

 

Section  1 - Asset Disposition.  Florida  Court  Education  Council.    In the event of the dissolution of the Conference, the Executive Committee shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the Conference, dispose of all of the remaining assets of the Conference, (except any assets held upon condition requiring return, transfer, or other conveyance in the event of dissolution, which asset shall be  returned, transferred, or conveyed in  accordance with such requirements) exclusively for the purposes of the organization by transferring such assets to either the Florida Court Education Council, or if such organization is not then in existence, or unable to accept such transfer, then to the Supreme Court of the State of Florida as the Executive Committee shall determine, and for the sole and exclusive purpose of providing continuation of those educational programs and related purposes specified in Article Ill of these Bylaws.

 

Section  2 - Asset Disposition - Alternative Option.   In the event that both the Florida Court Educational Council and the Supreme Court of the State of Florida are unable to accept such transfer of assets, the Executive Committee shall designate an exempt organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code or a governmental unit described in Section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code to receive such transfer of assets, provided such assets are exclusively held and applies for those judicial educational purposes as shall at the time of transfer qualify under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Any assets not disposed of in the preceding manner shall be disposed of by a Court of general jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, in such a manner, and to such organization or organizations as qualify under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as said Court shall determine.