Chief judge of 7th judicial circuit among 6 vying for seat on 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach

Two Orlando jurists, chief judge in Sanford, also in contention

Chief Judge Terence R. Perkins of 7th judicial circuit in Daytona Beach, Fla. / Headline Surfer®5th DCA Judge Richard Orfinger of Ormond Beach / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer /
Terence R. Perkins, shown far left, would join Richard B. Orfinger, shown in the inset, as the second Volusia County jurist on the appellate court, if selected by the governor to fill an impending vacancy.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Terence R. Perkins, chief judge of the 7th judicial circuit that encompasses the courts in Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties, is among six candidates for a seat on the 5th District Court of Appeal that Gov. Scott will have to choose from to replace the retiring Jacqueline Griffin.

Perkins is among two chief judges seeking the seat. The other is John M. Harris, chief judge of the 18th judicial circuit in nearby Sanford that includes courts in Seminole and Brevard counties.

Among the others in contention are two Orlando circuit judges, Lisa Munyon and Heather Pinder Rodriguez; Circuit Judge Brian Lambert of Ocala and Brevard County Judge John C. Murphy.

In addition to his duties as chief judge, Perkins has a civil docket at the Volusia County Courthouse Annex at City Island in Daytona Beach. 

Perkins was appointed to the circuit bench in 2010. Before becoming a judge, he was in private practice for more than 30 years. Judge Perkins earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida.

Currently, only one judge on the 5th DCA is from Volusia County: Richard B. Orfinger, of Ormond Beach, formerly of the 7th judicial circuit, who was elevated to the 5th DCA in 2000. He served as the 5th DCA's chief judge, 2011-'13.

Besides Orfinger and Griffin, the other judges on the 5th DCA, include Vincent G. Torpey, Jr., Thomas D. Sawaya, Kerry I. Evander, Wendy W. Berger, William D. Palmer, C. Alan Lawson, Jay P. Cohen and F. Rand Wallis.

5th District Court of Appeal locator / Headline Surfer®FAST FACTS: 5th DCA territory

The 5th District Court of Appeal sits in Daytona Beach and rules on appeals from the following circuits:
5th (based in Tavares, serving Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion & Sumter counties);
7th (based in Daytona Beach, serving Volusia, Flagler, Putnam & St. Johns counties);
9th (based in Orlando, serving Orange and Osceola counties);
18th (based in Sanford, serving Seminole and Brevard counties).
Prominent cases with issues decided by the 5th DCA: George Zimmerman pre-trial motion to have judge step aside, Casey Anthony appeal of VOP incarceration, Dale Earnhardt autopsy photo sealing.

Did You Know?

5DCA courthouse in Daytona Beach, Fla. / Headline SurferThere was a political dispute in the Legislature as to whether to locate the new court headquarters in Orlando or Daytona Beach, but Volusia County's Legislative delegation won the fight. This was due to the strong influence of House Speaker Hyatt Brown, Sen. Edgar Dunn and Majority Leader Sam Bell.
Given the controversy surrounding the creation of the F5th District Court of Appeal, then Gov. Graham sought an advisory opinion from the Florida Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of the new district. Three of the seven supreme court justices declined to join in the majority's opinion that the new court was constitutional or otherwise to render an opinion on the issue.
Four of the justices, however, rendered the advisory opinion, supra., advising  Graham that "the omission of one recommended judicial circuit from the new appellate district is not a prohibited modification of the court's recommendation; however, the addition of one or more judicial circuits not included in the court's certification would be a prohibited modification."
Ground for a new courthouse was broken on July 24, 1981. The new courthouse was constructed for $5.3 million and the court left the Army Reserve building and moved into its new quarters on Oct. 19, 1982. The building is located at 300 South Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida. It was significantly enlarged in 2000-2001.
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 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.