Who is Justice James E.C. Perry, the namesake of Seminole County’s new courthouse annex?

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A native of New Bern, North Carolina, James E.C. Perry graduated from Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, N.C. in 1966 before joining the U.S. Army.

After completing his military service, Perry went on to attend Columbia Law School and graduated with his law degree in 1972, specializing in civil and business law.

Read: Seminole breaks ground on new courthouse annex

In March 2000, Governor Jeb Bush appointed him as the first African-American circuit judge in Florida’s Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, before he became chief judge in 2003.

Perry would later be appointed as the 85th Justice to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Charlie Crist in 2009 and continued to serve until his retirement in 2013.

Perry, a longtime resident of Longwood, has been actively involved in the community.


He founded the Jackie Robinson Sports Association, a baseball league serving 650 at-risk boys and girls that provides free tutoring and mentorship, in addition to teaching them about sports.

Perry has served as captain of the Heart of Florida United Way Campaign and as general counsel for the Florida Chapter Branches of the NAACP.

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He is the recipient of honorary Doctor of Law degrees from Stetson University College of Law and Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law.

Perry and his wife, Dr. Adrienne M. Perry, still live in Seminole County where they raised their three children.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.