On Wednesday, August 24, 2022, the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) announced that the $37,500 fine ordered by the Supreme Court of Florida has been fully paid by reprimanded Palm Beach County Judge Marni Bryson.

Last year, the JQC investigated allegations that Judge Bryson was absent from the courthouse beyond the permitted number of days for judicial leave, failed to make appropriate notifications of some absences to appropriate court management, and on some days she was in the courthouse the number of hours present fell below what is expected of trial judges.

The Commission’s investigation found that during the period from 2016 to 2019, Judge Bryson was absent from the courthouse in excess of the number of days authorized for judicial leave. On most of those occasions, she failed to properly notify or make coverage arrangements with court management. There were also some days when Judge Bryson was in the courthouse for less than a full workday.

For example, the Commission received evidence of several instances, two specific occasions of particular note, where long wait times because of Judge Bryson’s arrival after the scheduled time for the proceedings inconvenienced litigants, lawyers, and citizens. Judge Bryson’s failure to notify and make arrangements with court management led to fellow judges having to preside over Judge Bryson’s docket until her late arrival.

Based on these events, the JQC concluded that Judge Bryson’s conduct violated Canons 3A and 3B(4) of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Bryson admitted her conduct in the November 24, 2021 Stipulation and conceded that such conduct was improper.

Judge Bryson agreed to be publicly reprimanded, pay a $37,500 fine, and be suspended 10 days without pay for failing to devote full time to her judicial duties.

In a notice, the JQC revealed that the $37,500 fine has been fully paid.

The notice reads:

“The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission hereby acknowledges that the fine ordered by this Honorable Court on November 24, 2021, in the amount of $37,500 has been fully paid by the respondent judge by virtue of a check payable to the State of Florida in the amount of $37,500.”

The Judge is in Courtroom 2E, 205 North Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, and can be reached at (561) 355-1504.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.