Dawn Nichols sworn in as judge for 7th judicial circuit

Newest jurist is native of Orlando; practiced law in Daytona Beach

Dawn Nichols sworn in as circuit judge by Chief Judge Terence Perkins an Circuit Judge Jim Clayton holding bivble / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Chief Judge Terence Perkins swears in Dawn Nichols as the newest judge of the 7th judicial Circuit on Monday at the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand. Holding the Holy Bible during the swearing-in ceremony is Circuit Judge James R. Clayton.

DAYTONA BEACH -- The newest jurist in the 7th Judicial Circuit started on the bench this week, presiding over family law cases at the Volusia County Courthouse.

Dawn Nichols was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Hubert L. Grimes.

“I am honored to have been appointed as circuit judge,” Nichols said said. “Though I know the work will be challenging, I look forward to this opportunity to serve the citizens of the 7th Judicial Circuit.”

“I am honored to have been appointed as circuit judge,” Nichols said said. “Though I know the work will be challenging, I look forward to this opportunity to serve the citizens of the 7th Judicial Circuit.”

A native of Orlando, Judge Nichols has been an attorney since 1991. She graduated from Edgewater High School in Orlando and earned both a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctor from the University of Florida.

Nichols began her law career with the Public Defender’s Office in the 7th Judicial Circuit. She then went into private practice, working for two years with Rice & Rose, P.A. and then established her own private practice in 1996. She is board certified in marital and family law.

Editor's Note:

A formal investiture for Judge Dawn Nichols will be held 3 p.m. Friday, March 28, at the Museum of Arts & Sciences in Daytona Beach. 

FAST FACTS: 7th Judicial Circuit

Florida map showing 20 judicial circuits statewide / Headline Surfer®Graphic for Headline Surfer® /
Map shows Florida's 20 judicial circuits.
-- The 7th judicial circuit encompasses Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties. It also includes county judgeships from these four counties. The administrative office is in Daytona Beach, with court services also in DeLand, New Smyrna Beach, Palatka, Bunnell and St. Augustine.
 -- The 7th circuit is among 20 statewide for Florida's 67 counties.
 -- The chief judge of the 7th Judicial Circuit is Terence Perkins. Besides Perkins and newly sworn-in Dawn Nichols,  other circuit judges here here include John Alexander, David Beck, Shawn Briese, Leah Case, Patti Christensen, James R. Clayton, Dennis Craig, Scott DuPont, Matthew Foxman, Margaret Hudson, R. Michael Hutcheson, Terry LaRue, Howard Maitz, Frank Marriott, Carlos Mendoza, William Parsons, Thomas Portuallo, Robert K. Rouse, Jr., Randell Rowe, C. McFerrin Smith, J. Michael Traynor, J. David Walsh, Joseph G. Will, Clyde Wolfe and Raul Zambrano.

Did You Know?

Thee courthouses in the 7th Judicial Circuit are re-named for retired judges. They are the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center in Bunnell, S. James Foxman Justice Center in Daytona Beach and the Richard O. Watson Judicial Center in St. Augustine.
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.