1005 N. Marion St.
Tampa, FL 33602
We Welcome Your Calls 813.250.0500 Attorneys on call 24/7
Sammis Law Firm

Judges in Felony Cases in Hillsborough County

The jurisdiction of the felony division of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, FL, includes felonies and all misdemeanors arising out of the same circumstances as a felony. Sixteen (16) judges are assigned to the felony division of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit which includes three (3) judges in trial divisions.

The felony division also includes judges in Circuit Court in specialized divisions for:

  • Drug Court;
  • Post Conviction Relief; and
  • Violation of Probation.

The specialized division for Sex and Child Abuse Offenses was previously dissolved and those cases were reassigned randomly to the other judges in the felony division.

Within 24 hours after an arrest for a felony, the person taken into custody who does not immediately post bond will attend first appearance hearings at the courthouse in Tampa, FL, also known as preliminary proceedings (PP) court. Cases involving juveniles being charged with a crime are heard in the Juvenile Delinquency Division.

While felony cases are handled by Circuit Court Judges, misdemeanors and local ordinance violations are decided by county court judges in Hillsborough County.

Attorneys for Felony Cases in Tampa, FL

If you are charged with a felony criminal offense in Tampa, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm.

Our attorneys represent clients charged with a wide range of criminal offenses including serious felony cases and violations of probation or community control in the Circuit Courts in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, FL.

At Sammis Law Firm, our four attorneys pay particular attention to the procedures used in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. This article explains how you can find more information about the Circuit Court Judges in the Criminal Division at the courthouse in Tampa, FL.

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call 813-250-0500.

Felony Judges for Circuit Court in Hillsborough County, FL

From time to time, the judges are moved to different divisions according to administrative orders issued by the chief judge. As of the last Administrative Order A-2021-073 signed on December 10, 2021, the judges assigned to the criminal division in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, FL, include:

  • Division A – The Honorable Barbara Twine Thomas, 344 Annex, Courtroom 33
  • Division B – The Honorable Lyann Goudie
  • Division C – The Honorable Christine A. Marlewski
  • Division D – The Honorable Michael S. Williams, 226 Annex, Courtroom 16
  • Division E – The Honorable Mark D. Kiser, 616 Annex, Courtroom 61
  • Division F – The Honorable Kimberly K. Fernandez, 506 Annex, Courtroom 54S
  • Division G – The Honorable Robin F. Fuson
  • Division I – The Honorable Laura E. Ward, 617 Annex, Courtroom 15
  • Division J – Post Conviction Relief – The Honorable Michelle D. Sisco, 102 Annex, Courtroom 10
  • Division K – Violation of Probation – The Honorable Nick Nazaretian, 132 Annex, Courtroom 19
  • Division M – Mental Health – The Honorable Chief Judge Ronald Ficarrotta, 602 Edgecomb, courtroom 53A
  • Division N – Mental Health – Risk Protection Orders – The Honorable Frances M. Perrone
  • Division O – First Appearance Court or Preliminary Proceedings (PP) – The Honorable Judge Catlin
  • Division V – Veterans Treatment Court –
  • Division W – W – Pre-Trial Intervention – The Honorable Elizabeth G. Rice
  • Division Y – Drug Court Division – The Honorable Elizabeth G. Rice
  • Division Z – Marchman Act – The Honorable Michael J. Scionti, 515 Annex, courtroom 52A
  • Trial Division 1 – The Honorable Michelle D. Sisco, 102 Annex, Courtroom 10
  • Trial Division 2 – The Honorable Christopher C. Sabella, 516 Annex, Courtroom 51A3
  • Trial Division 3 – The Honorable Samantha L. Ward, 540 Annex, Courtroom 55S

Effective January 1, 2022, Juvenile Delinquency cases are heard in the following divisions:

  • The Honorable Lawrence M. Lefler – Subdivision A
  • The Honorable Ronald N. Ficarrotta – Subdivision B – Juvenile Mental Health
  • The Honorable Elizabeth G. Rice – Subdivision E – Delinquency Drug Court
  • The Honorable Kim Brennan – Subdivision F
  • The Honorable Robert A. Bauman – Subdivision M – Delinquency Crossover

In Hillsborough County, FL, all county court judges assigned to circuit court divisions are temporarily appointed as acting circuit court judges. All circuit court judges assigned to county court divisions are temporarily appointed as acting county court judges.

Cases decided by judges in the felony division include any crimes against a person or property that are classified as a felony including:

  • capital murder;
  • noncapital murder;
  • sexual offenses;
  • drugs;
  • robbery;
  • burglary;
  • forgery;
  • fraud; and
  • worthless checks.

COVID-19 Issues for the Judges in Hillsborough County, FL

COVID-19 Update: The Circuit Courts in Hillsborough County, FL, previously published a list of Zoom Meeting ID numbers and passwords for each judge and division. You might be able to use that to visit the courtrooms remotely using a computer or cell phone.

Some courtroom proceedings are occurring remotely on Zoom. For a time, no jury trials were being scheduled from March until October 17, 2020, as the court transitioned into Phase 2. During the lockdown period, the courts were open for personal appearances in some types of proceedings including first appearance court, emergency bond hearings, essential and mission-critical proceedings, risk protection order hearings (and some other mental health proceedings), and some injunctions for protection hearings.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, January 5, 2020.