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Fresh faces on the bench for 8th Circuit

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There are fresh faces on the bench in Levy County and elsewhere in the 8th Judicial Circuit due to resignations, retirements, death and annual rotations.

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The moves come as the circuit prepares to mark the investiture of James M. Colaw as a circuit judge on Friday, Dec. 6, at 3:30 p.m. at the Alachua County Courthouse in Gainesville. The former prosecutor will handle cases in Alachua County in the Family Division, Family Pro Se and all simplified dissolutions. 

Colaw was named to the slot once held by former Chief Judge Martha Lott.

Assignments at the courts in the six-counties making up the 8th Judicial Circuit have been in a state of change since former Chief Judge Martha Lott stepped down in April from that post and retired in July.  Her replacement is Chief Circuit Judge Robert E. Roundtree Jr., who at the time of Lott's resignation was presiding in Levy Civil Court. He moved back to the Gainesville headquarters for the circuit. 

In June, Judge David A. Glant, administrative judge for the circuit's criminal division, resigned for health reasons and died one month ago. Attorney Monica Brasington has been named by Gov. Rick Scott to fill Glant's slot and she will start on Dec. 16. She will work in Alachua County. 

On Monday, Scott's office announced the appointment of attorney Richard B. Davis, Jr. to the Bradford County Court seat held by Judge Johnny R. Hobbs until his unexpected death on Aug. 7. The new appointee comes to the job with some experience in the position having served as Hamilton County Judge from 2004 to 2007.  

Also this week, Circuit Judge Stanley Griffis III is moving from the Levy Criminal Court bench to preside in Alachua and Union Counties. In Alachua he will preside in the Mental Health Divisions, foreclosures, Family Divisions and Truancy Court. In Union County he will preside in Circuit Civil, probate, extraordinary writs, mental health, family, domestic violence, juvenile dependency and juvenile delinquency. He will also provide circuit-wide back-up coverage. 

Replacing Griffis in Levy Criminal court is Circuit Judge William Davis who took over Levy Civil Court earlier this year in the shuffle after Glant's retirement. He replaced Circuit Judge Ysleta McDonald who took over Glant's duties as administrative judge for the circuit's criminal courts. She also handles criminal cases in Alachua, Bradford and Union counties.

In his new role, Judge William Davis will hear criminal cases in Alachua, Gilchrist and Levy counties. He has been an administrative judge in family court. Davis was a county court judge from 2006 to 2008 before moving up to become a circuit court judge in 2009. 

Circuit Judge Mary Day Coker will move over from Alachua to handle Levy Circuit Civil, probate, extraordinary writs, mental health, family, domestic violence, and, in Gilchrist County, to handle Circuit Civil, probate, extraordinary writs, mental health, family, domestic violence, juvenile dependency, juvenile delinquency. Coker has been a circuit judge since 2010 and was an Alachua County judge from 2004 to 2010.