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Governor signs law granting DCA judges remote office flexibility

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Rep. Patt Maney

Rep. Patt Maney

District court of appeal judges will have more flexibility to establish remote offices under a bill that Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law.

DeSantis late Monday signed HB 353 by Republican Rep. Patt Maney, a retired judge from Shalimar.

Current law authorizes DCA judges who live 50 miles from their main courthouse to establish an “alternative headquarters,” (usually an office in a local courthouse,) in their county of residence.

The bill authorizes alternative headquarters in a county adjacent to the judge’s county of residence.

Sponsors said some DCA judges live closer to a courthouse in an adjacent county than the one in their county of residence.

Sponsors stressed that the bill prohibits judges from collecting more in travel expenses than they would for establishing a remote office in their county of residence.

Republican Senators Danny Burgess and Erin Grall, attorneys from Zephyrhills and Fort Pierce, respectively, co-sponsored the companion, SB 570.

A priority of the Florida Conference of DCA Judges, the bills sailed through both chambers without a negative vote.

HB 353 takes effect July 1.

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