IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE  NINTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT,
IN AND
FOR ORANGE AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, FLORIDA

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 2011-03
GOVERNING EXPRESSIVE CONDUCT TOWARD SUMMONED JURORS, ORANGE AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES

    WHEREAS, pursuant to Article V, section 2(d) of the Florida Constitution and section 43.26, Florida Statutes, the chief judge of each judicial circuit is charged with the authority and the power to do everything necessary to promote the prompt and efficient administration of justice; and
    
    WHEREAS, pursuant to the chief judge’s constitutional and statutory responsibility for administrative supervision of the courts within the circuit and to create and maintain an organization capable of effecting the efficient, prompt, and proper administration of justice for the citizens of this State, the chief judge is required to exercise direction, see Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.215(b)(2), (b)(3); and
    
    WHEREAS, to ensure the safe and orderly use of court facilities, and to minimize activities which unreasonably disrupt, interrupt, and interfere with the fair and orderly conduct of jury trials, and the orderly and peaceable conduct of court business in a neutral forum free of actual or perceived partiality; and
    
    WHEREAS, expressive conduct and the dissemination of leaflets and other materials containing written information tending to influence summoned jurors as they enter the courthouse may be in violation of section 918.12, Florida Statutes; and
    
    WHEREAS, pursuant to a defense motion to strike, a Ninth Judicial Circuit Court judge recently found a jury panel had been tampered with per section 918.12, Florida Statutes, and Nobles v. State, 769 So. 2d 1063 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000), as members of the jury were in possession
of leaflets containing information attempting to influence the jury. Such occurrences severely impact the court’s ability to conduct the efficient, prompt, and proper administration of justice; and

    WHEREAS, restriction upon expressive conduct and the dissemination of leaflets and other materials containing written information tending to influence summoned jurors as they enter the courthouse is necessary to serve the State’s compelling interest in protecting the integrity of the jury system; and

    WHEREAS, any such restriction will be narrowly drawn to achieve that end; and

    WHEREAS, such regulation is a proper exercise of the Court’s inherent authority to take supervisory and administrative actions necessary to implement its judicial functions; and

    WHEREAS, the power of courts to punish for contempt is of immemorial antiquity, and is inherent in all courts as a necessary power belonging to them in order to enable them to accomplish the purposes for which they were designed; that is, the orderly trial and decision of causes, the enforcement of public order, the prevention of interferences with their proceedings, and the enforcement of the due respect belonging to them as institutions of the country;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Belvin Perry, Jr., in order to facilitate the efficient administration of justice, pursuant to the authority vested in me as Chief Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.215, hereby order the following, effective immediately, and to continue until further order:

1. The dissemination of all leaflets and other materials to summoned jurors containing written or pictorial information tending to influence summoned jurors, as well as approaching a summoned juror for the purpose of displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education or counseling with information tending to influence summoned jurors on any matter, question,cause, or proceeding which may be pending, or which may by law be brought, before him or her as such juror, shall be prohibited on the Orange County Courthouse complex grounds.

    The term “courthouse complex” and any restrictions on expressive conduct contained herein shall apply to the Orange County Courthouse complex grounds, which includes the adjacent courthouse parking garage, the courthouse courtyard, and all other grounds surrounding the courthouse, from the intersection of Orange Avenue and Livingston Street, to the intersection of Livingston Street and Magnolia Avenue, to the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Amelia Street, to the intersection of Amelia Street and Orange Avenue, to the intersection of Orange Avenue and Livingston Street. The public sidewalks that comprise the boundaries of this designated perimeter are excluded from this designation of the courthouse complex grounds.

2. The dissemination of all leaflets and other materials to summoned jurors containing written or pictorial information tending to influence summoned jurors, as well as approaching a summoned juror for the purpose of displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education or counseling with information tending to influence summoned jurors on any matter, question, cause, or proceeding which may be pending, or which may by law be brought, before him or her as such juror, shall be prohibited on the Osceola County Courthouse complex grounds.

    The term “courthouse complex” and any restrictions on expressive conduct contained herein shall apply to the Osceola County Courthouse complex grounds, which includes the adjacent courthouse parking lot, the courthouse courtyard, and all other grounds surrounding the courthouse, from the intersection of Bryan Street and Rose Avenue, to the intersection of Rose Avenue and Patrick Street, to the intersection of Patrick Street and Bryan Street, to the intersection of Bryan Street and Rose Avenue. The public sidewalks that comprise the boundaries of this designated perimeter are excluded from this designation of the courthouse complex grounds.

3. Regardless of whether the conduct at issue occurs on the courthouse complex grounds,
any person who influences the judgment or decision of any grand or petit juror on any matter, question, cause, or proceeding which may be pending, or which may by law be brought, before him or her as such juror, with intent to obstruct the administration of justice, may be in violation of section 918.12, Florida Statutes.

4. Anyone engaging in the type of expressive conduct as contemplated by this Order may be in violation of section 918.12, Florida Statutes, and/or may be found in contempt of court.

5. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, or any other law enforcement agency, shall give a copy of this Order and advise anyone who is within the courthouse complex grounds, as described herein, violating the provisions of this Order, of the restrictions on expressive conduct contained within this Order. Further, law enforcement shall instruct anyone violating the provisions of this Order to cease and desist immediately.

6. Anyone who is observed continuing to engage in such conduct as contemplated by this Order, after receiving a copy of this Order and being instructed to cease and desist by law enforcement, may face indirect civil contempt of court proceedings. If found to be in contempt of court, penalties include confinement, fine or both.

DONE AND ORDERED at Orlando, Florida, this 31st day of January, 2011.

____/s/_________________
Belvin Perry, Jr. Chief Judge

Copies provided to:
Clerk of Court, Orange County
Clerk of Court, Osceola County
General E-Mail Distribution List
http://www.ninthcircuit.org