Judge Teresa Dees and Ruby Begonia

In Memoriam

Court Administration mourns the February 8 passing of pet therapy dog Ruby Begonia. The beloved bullmastiff of Luann began her nine-year career as a therapy dog by visiting Hospice houses and nursing homes. Later Ruby Begonia helped children gain confidence to read aloud through a school reading program, visited with children at Sarasota’s Child Protection Center, and assisted children in court through both the State Attorney’s Office and later as one of the 12th Circuit Court’s first pet therapy dogs; Ruby Begonia helped usher in the use of therapy dogs at local children’s emergency shelters.

DUI Court Group Photo

Department Spotlight DUI Court

The Sarasota County DUI Court is a specialized court that is unique, there being only four other DUI Courts in the state of Florida. DUI Court’s mission is to reduce the number of repeat DUI offenders by providing alternative community based treatment, thereby increasing both offender productivity and public safety. It has been in existence since 2008, overseen by Sarasota County Judge David L. Denkin. The members of the DUI Court team include Director Nicole Durston; Assistant Director Mollie Cool; and Counselors Robyn LaPorta and Zjohnae Milton.

Kim Miller

Kim Miller named Trial Court Administrator

Kim Miller has been named Trial Court Administrator for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court effective December 1.  Miller replaces retiring Court Administrator, Walt Smith, who has served in the position for 22 years.

Florida Rules of Judicial Administration require that the Chief Judge select and appoint the Trial Court Administrator. This appointment is subject to concurrence by a majority vote of the circuit and county judges of the circuit.

Mediation Certification Group Photo

Mediation Certification Training

Florida Supreme Court County Mediation Certification Training was held at the CJC October 22-25.  The photo includes our new trainees along with mediation staff and OSCA staff from the Dispute Resolution Center-Susan Marvin, Chief of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Kimberly Kosch, Senior Court Operations Consultant.

Honorable Judge Andrew D. Owens presented Starfish Award

10th Anniversary of the Recovery Pod

On Saturday October 5th members of the Sarasota County Drug Court Team and community partners gathered at the Salvation Army to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Recovery Pod. Honorable Judge Andrew D. Owens was recognized for 36 years of compassion and dedication to this community and presented with the Starfish Award “Helping One Person Might Not Change the World, But it Could Change the World for That One Person”  

Mental Health Roundtable attendees

Mental Health Roundtable

In an effort to identify best practices and innovative ideas to better address mental health issues in the criminal justice system, Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida, Charles Canady, invited the chief judges from each Circuit in the State for a roundtable discussion.  Only three judges in the State were asked to present on their ideas and approaches to this issue.  Among them was Judge Erika Quartermaine who presented on the program that she spearheaded, Comprehensive Treatment Court. 

Mark Weinberg Receiving Award

Mark Weinberg Wins the National Association of Court Management’s Award of Merit.

Mark Weinberg, the Trial Court Administrator from Florida’s 7th Circuit, won the National Association of Court Management’s Award of Merit.  This award is presented annually to recognize distinguished service and outstanding contributions to the profession of court administration on a national basis. 

Congratulations to Mark.  He is an outstanding court administrator who has devoted himself to improving Florida’s courts for 25 years.

Sheriff Rick Wells, along with Manatee Circuit Judge Teri Kaklis Dees and Manatee Treatment Court Director Alfred James

Opiod Use Disorder

Sheriff Rick Wells, along with Manatee Circuit Judge Teri Kaklis Dees and Manatee Treatment Court Director Alfred James, addressed the audience at the 12th Circuit’s Opioid Use Disorder
Awareness event July 25, 2019. Panel members talked about the community resources and options to treat the disorder.

Judge Henderson at Conference of the County Court Judges of Florida

County Judges Were There

At the annual Conference of County Court Judges, Manatee County Judge Doug Henderson was honored for his years of dedication to his job, education and service to the community.  This is an annual honor bestowed at the conference as part of the “County Judges Were There” presentation by Broward County Judge Louis Schiff.