On Wednesday, June 5, 2024, FlaglerLive reported that former Florida circuit court judge Scott DuPont had filed an appeal over a recent decision barring him from running for a judgeship in the 2024 election.

DuPont and Judge Rose Marie Preddy had both qualified to run for a circuit court seat in the 7th Judicial Circuit, which covers four counties, including Flagler. However, Preddy subsequently challenged DuPont’s candidacy in court due to his suspension from practicing law between 2019 and 2020. A lawyer is required to have been a practicing member of the Florida bar for the past five years to be eligible for a circuit court judgeship.

The case went before Leon County Circuit Judge J. Lee Marsh, who ruled that DuPont would not fulfill the constitutional requirements to serve as a judge in January 2025, when the new term begins. With his suspension occurring less than five years ago, in June 2020, DuPont did not meet the standard. Judge Marsh ordered elections officials to remove DuPont from the ballot and not count any votes for him.

DuPont’s attorney, former state representative Anthony Sabatini, argued that his client remained a member of the Florida Bar during his suspension period and thus should still be eligible. However, Judge Marsh was not convinced, stating the court must abide by constitutional constraints.

DuPont’s suspension from law practice originally arose from a 2018 Florida Supreme Court decision removing him as a circuit judge due to misconduct allegations involving the spreading of false information about an election opponent. Judge Preddy was subsequently appointed to the seat last year.

With the appeal filed, the case will now go to the 1st District Court of Appeal for reconsideration of Judge Marsh’s ruling. DuPont is seeking to have his name restored to the August 2024 primary ballot for the judicial race.

 

 

Source: FlaglerLive