On Thursday, March 14, 2024, the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (FJQC) filed a Notice of Final Hearing concerning an inquiry against Seminole County Judge Wayne Culver.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Wayne Culver,” with case no. SC-22-0846.

The notice stated that the final evidentiary hearing will take place on April 11, 2024, at 9:00 AM. The hearing location will be Courtroom 1B of the Seminole Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida.

In November 2023, the Commission filed an Amended Notice of Formal Charges against Judge Culver. The charges involve three separate incidents that allegedly occurred in early 2022 while Judge Culver was presiding over cases in Seminole County.

The first charge involves Judge Culver’s conduct during a misdemeanor criminal case on February 10, 2022. He is accused of engaging in intemperate behavior, including raising his voice and using profanity while threatening contempt against a person in the courtroom gallery.

The second charge concerns Judge Culver’s alleged intemperate conduct during an injunction hearing on January 25, 2022. He is said to have made sarcastic comments toward a pro se litigant before summarily finding the litigant in contempt without a proper hearing. Judge Culver also allegedly imposed excessive and unlawful contempt sentences.

The third and final charge relates to a February 9, 2022, civil injunction hearing where Judge Culver held plaintiff Samuel Perez in direct criminal contempt for failing to attend a required class. However, the contempt proceeding is claimed to have violated Florida law in several ways. This resulted in Perez’s habeas corpus petition being granted and his immediate release from jail.

Judge Culver now has the opportunity to defend himself against these formal charges at the final hearing scheduled for April 11th in Sanford. A determination will then be made as to whether the charges are substantiated and whether any disciplinary actions are warranted.

Judge Culver’s courtroom is located at 301 N Park Ave, Sanford, FL 32771, and can be reached at (407) 665-4132.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.