‘Pinellas Judges’ Category


Hillsborough County Judicial Survey for 2015

I have been approached by attorneys in Tampa urging me to also run a Hillsborough County Judicial Survey.  One Tampa attorney even offered to donate the cost of the survey, I couldn’t turn down that offer.  Therefore, in 2015, the Committee Promoting Judicial Excellence, will be conducting surveys for both the 6th and 13th Circuits of Florida.  The methodology of the 2014 6th Circuit Judicial Survey and results can be read here.  Our committee will once again employ the services of Ballot Box Online  to run the surveys as their survey system ensures complete encryption.  Polling officers selected to receive the results can only gain access to overall results in the individual rating categories and are unable to discern how individual attorneys voted.  Two Tampa attorneys have joined the committee in order to provide input and participate in the annual organization and preparation of the survey.

Hillsborough prosecutors and assistant public defenders are invited to participate in the survey as well as private attorneys that practice in the 13th Circuit.  The survey will include judges in the criminal and civil divisions.  If you would like to receive an email ballot please call 800-774-9883 to have your email included in the mail list or email, info@floridayoujudge.com.



September 2014 – Sixth Circuit Appeal Decisions

Judge Paul Levine, AFFIRMED. State v. Tyson.  No abuse of discretion on ruling disallowing state from introducing portion of 911 tape not made under excited utterance exception to hearsay rule.  Appellate Judges, Judge Raymond Gross, Judge Michael Andrews, and Judge Timothy Peters.



Judge Cathy McKyton, REVERSED. Robinson v. Florida. Error by trial judge in limiting cross examination by the Defense of State’s witness.  Appellate Judges, Judge Raymond Gross, Judge Michael Andrews, and Judge Timothy Peters.


Judge Walt Fullerton, AFFIRMEDHarris v. Fairhaven Mobile Home Park. LandLord/Tenant Case. Appellate Judges, Judge Amy Williams, Judge Jack Day, and Judge Pamela Campbell.


Judge Marc Salton, AFFIRMED.  Welch v. State.  Appellate Judges, Judge Stanley Mills, Judge Linda Babb, and Judge Daniel Diskey.



Judge Debra Roberts, AFFIRMED.  Hensley v. State.  Appellate Judge, Appellate Judges, Judge Stanley Mills, Judge Linda Babb, and Judge Daniel Diskey.




In the News


Senior Judge Grube

Pinellas Senior Judge Karl Grube ordered Ricardo and Christine Lopez’s home for sale on September 3, 2014 and ruled in favor of JP Morgan in a foreclosure action. Thereafter, according to The Center for Public Integrity, it was discovered that JP Morgan foreclosed on the home even though it did not own the mortgage.

According to the CPI article, the Lopez family then asked Judge Grube for a rehearing based on this information and Judge Grube denied the request and entered a second order scheduling the sale on September 29,2014.  Lopez then obtained a letter from the new mortgage owner agreeing to a loan modification and asked Judge Thomas Minkoff to cancel the sale.  Judge Minkoff cancelled the sale.  CPI reports that Judge Grube then reversed that sale cancellation order and reinstated the sale date of September 3, 2014.  The Pinellas County Clerk online system shows that Attorney Matt Weidner  thereafter pulled out all the legal stops, he filed an appeal and stay pending appeal.  There is even an entry that reads, Def/Resp’s Motion: TO PROHIBIT SENIOR JUDGES FROM HEARING CASE. 


Judge Minkoff


Judge Thomas Minkoff cancelled the sale scheduled for September 29, 2014.  Thank goodness that the Lopez family did not have to tell the bank, “Mi Casa es Su Casa.”  Please read complete CPI article here which discusses other important issues related to foreclosure.

Reaction?  FloridaYouJudge.com




 Judge CampbellTampa lawyer Mark O’Brien wants to know why Judge Tharpe called the Hillsborough County jail to revoke his client’s bond even though Judge Tharpe is not the judge assigned to his client’s case.  According to TBT, Judge Lisa Campbell ruled against allowing O’Brien to depose Judge Tharpe about the matter.  TBT quoted Judge Campbell’s reason for denying O’Brien’s request:

“This area of inquiry would require Judge Tharpe to testify about his thought process,” she wrote, which “is prohibited by law.”

BTW, Does anyone have a legal cite for this?  “Judge Tharpe why did you call the jail to have a bond revoked on a case you weren’t assigned to, What were you thinking?” Objection!

O’Brien filed an appeal to the 2nd DCA.  TBT reports Judge Campbell did not “take well” to O’Brien’s decision to appeal.  Read complete article here.

Judge Tharpe

Should Judge Tharpe be Deposed?

Reaction?  FloridaYouJudge!

More News…..

*Former Chief Judge, Belvin Perry, who presided over Casey Anthony case, Joins Morgan and Morgan, I wonder if he will vote yes on Amendment 2?

*Florida Federal Judge: Facebook Likes are not OWNED by Page OWNERS

*Arrested US judge Mark Fuller embarrassed, entering treatment program

*Brevard judge accused of punching lawyer faces misconduct charges

*Convicted ex-judge spared shame of having to write her apologies on photos of her in handcuffs

*Novi Judge Brian MacKenzie won’t be charged with contempt


Call to Citizens: Should Curtis Shannon be Prosecuted?

by Haydee Oropesa

Consider the following flyer created by Fair Dui:

See this bit of advice applied by an individual in Miami in the following video (Caveat: FairDui’s Flyer page, specifies when an individual should consider following this practice, here is link:

Now Consider Curtis Shannon refusing to open his door after a traffic stop, Shannon did more than individual in video above, he opened his window slightly to offer license and registrationShould he be prosecuted?  Check out Video below.

Curtis Shannon was arrested for “obstructing without violence” and his next court date is 9/16/2014 before Judge John Carballo, stay tunned…..



Congratulations to the Newly Elected Judges for the 6th Circuit of Florida



Judge Susan St. John

Judge St. John

Judge St. John

 Judge Bruce Boyer, Re-Elected

Judge Boyer

Judge Bruce Boyer

Judge Phil Matthey


Judge Matthey

Judge Kimberly Sharp

Judge Sharp

Judge Sharp

Judge Alicia Polk

Judge Polk

Judge Polk


Judge Timothy Peters Declares Mistrial in Murder Case

by Haydee Oropesa

Judge Peters

Judge Peters

Yesterday I was able to catch the tail end of State v. Jeffrey Grant which included two defense witnesses and a some of the closing arguments.  The defendant is charged with burning his girlfriend to death.  TBT reported that the jury was unable to reach a verdict.  Defense Attorney Bill Bennett argued for about 30 minutes before a recess was called so the jury could take a lunch break, by then I already had reasonable doubt.  Bill Bennett is a fierce advocate and I consider him as one of my top mentors.  Bill argued skillfully during closing about how law enforcement had not been thorough in their investigation and thus there being a lack of evidence, reasonable doubt.  Bill pointed out the different possible scenarios based on the evidence that had been presented that could have resulted in the burning of the victim, even suggesting that one of witnesses that had testified could have been the murderer.

Post Supplement: TBT originally reported that the mistrial was based on jurors not being able to render a unanimous verdict.  However, TBT later reported that Judge Peters declared a mistrial after a juror acknowledged having seen a media article related to the case on the day the trial began.

Defense Attorney Bill Bennett

Defense Attorney Bill Bennett



Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate to Challenge Constitutionality of Florida’s Read ID Act before Judge Cathy McKyton

by Haydee Oropesa

Adrian Wyllie, the Libertarian party Gubernatorial candidate for Florida, surrendered his Florida’s driver’s license in May of 2011 in protest of Florida’s Read ID Act passed by Florida’s legislature in 2005.  (Read complete history here).  Wyllie informed the law enforcement community that he would be driving around the state of Florida without a license in order to prompt his arrest so that he could gain standing to challenge this law.  On  May 9, 2014, Wyllie was arrested and his case has been assigned to Judge Cathy Mckyton’s division.

Reaction? FloridaYouJudge!

Adrian Wyllie

Adrian Wyllie

Judge McKyton

Judge McKyton


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