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Osceola County judge reprimanded for lengthy delays

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — An Osceola County judge received a public reprimand and will have his work monitored after an investigative panel ruled that he inappropriately delayed issuing judgements in some cases.

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According to the findings, attorneys began complaining about delays with Judge John Beamer in 2021, a little more than a year after Beamer was assigned to oversee domestic law cases in the Ninth Circuit. At the time, he was based in Orange County.

Beamer met with the chief judge repeatedly about those concerns, but as of March 2023, Beamer had 24 cases with judgements pending for longer than 60 days post-trial. Seven of those cases had been pending for a year, and three pending for more than two years.

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The panel discovered many of the attorneys involved in those cases scheduled hearings to ask Beamer to issue a ruling.

When questioned, Beamer admitted to the delays, blaming them on a broken arm, time management and personal issues and a lack of familiarity with domestic law.

Another judge was assigned to assist Beamer with clearing up the backlog, and he was rotated to his current Osceola-based division in January 2023. Beamer also completed a time management course and stress management counseling.

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The findings said that since Beamer was rotated to criminal cases, he has worked to issue all rulings promptly.

In addition to the reprimand, Beamer will be required to issue reports of his pending orders for the next year.

The commission warned other judges that delays could lead to distrust among the public.

“Every case in the court system is unique, and every case is of the utmost importance to the litigants involved,” the report stated. “Delays in a ruling or decision can result in harm to the litigants as they wait in limbo for a resolution of their legal problem.”

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