The Florida Bar

News Releases


March 8, 2021
CONTACT: Shanta Nicole Matthews, Chair; [email protected]
Fifth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission
TELEPHONE: 352-421-8722

The Fifth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission announces a vacancy in the Fifth Judicial Circuit for Marion County Court Judge due to the retirement of Judge Sarah Ritterhoff Williams. Applicants must fulfill the Constitutional qualifications before assuming the office of County Court Judge, which require the appointee to be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar for the preceding five (5) years, a resident of Marion County, and a registered voter in the State of Florida.

The Judicial Application may be downloaded from the Office of the Governor ( PLEASE NOTE: Effective July 1, 2020, the application has been substantially revised. Please be sure to download and use the current application. Applications are also available from the Chair:

Shanta Nicole Matthews
108 N. Magnolia Avenue Suite 600
Ocala, Florida 34475
Telephone: 352-421-8722
Facsimile: 352-732-4892
Email: [email protected]

Applicants must submit a complete application to Shanta Matthews, Esq., at [email protected] The deadline for submitting the applications is Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. No applications will be accepted after such date and time. Applications deemed incomplete may be rejected in their entirety in the Commission’s discretion. Applicants who are in need of guidance may contact the Chair.

Applications must be in .pdf form with a second .pdf version of the application with personal information not subject to public disclosure – such as the social security number – redacted as permitted by Section 119.071 of the Florida Statutes. The two .pdf files should be named in a “last name.first name” format. For example: Bob Smith should submit two files names: (1) Smith.Bob.pdf and (2) Smith.Bob-REDACTED.pdf. No paper applications will be accepted.

All interviews are scheduled for Tuesday March 30, 2021 at the Marion County Courthouse, 110 NW 1st Avenue, Ocala, Florida 34475. Information regarding applicant interview times will be established and advertised at a later date. Applicants selected to be interviewed will be notified of interview times by email and will be permitted to appear in person or remotely (via Zoom). Proper social distancing and other Covid and safety protocols will be followed. A remote appearance option also will be made available for the public to attend the interviews. All proceedings of the Commission are open to the public except for deliberations.

Members of the bench, bar and public are encouraged to contact members of the Commission
concerning applicants for judicial positions.

Members of the Fifth Judicial Nominating Commission are, Shanta Nicole Matthews (Chair),
Zachary J. McCormick (Vice-Chair), Anita G. Carver, Matthew Foreman, Jennifer C. Rey, Charles
K. Ruse, Jr., Matthew Foreman, Janice “JJ” Dahl, Vanessa Thomas and Robert W. Batsel, Jr. A
complete listing and contact information for each member is available at the Office of the Governor’s website at


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