15th Judicial Circuit
Palm Beach County
Glenn Kelley, Chief Judge
The Chief Judge of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County is responsible for the administrative oversight of the Circuit and County Court Judges. He is assisted with his responsibilities by the Trial Court Administrator, Barbara Dawicke.
The first Palm Beach County Courthouse was built in 1916 across the street from this facility. It’s now known as the Palm Beach County Historical Courthouse. Tours of the Historical Courthouse are available through the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
The current Main Judicial Courthouse was built in 1995 to accommodate the growing population in Palm Beach County.
The number of Circuit and County Court Judges is determined by population. The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit has a total of 54 Judges:
- 35 Circuit Court Judges
- 19 County Court Judges
There are also other judiciary staffs within the circuit. They include:
- 9 Magistrates
- 17 Civil Traffic Hearing Officers
There are 5 Courthouse Locations:
- Main Judicial Complex - West Palm Beach
- North County Courthouse – Palm Beach Gardens
- South County Courthouse – Delray Beach
- West County Courthouse – Belle Glade
- Criminal Justice Complex - Gun Club
15th Judicial Circuit Tour Information
The Court has established the following procedures to ensure a pleasant and productive visit of the Judicial Courthouse:
- Tours are only conducted at the Main Courthouse.
- All tour requests must be received at least 4 weeks in advance.
- Guests under the age of 18 must have one chaperone for every ten guests.
- Groups of 10 to 50 may be broken up into separate groups at our discretion.
- Groups must arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour to allow enough time to pass through security.
- All electronic devices must be turned off during court observations.
- No eating or drinking in courtrooms.
- All guests must wear proper attire when visiting the judicial center. Shorts, hats, flip-flops, halters and tank tops are not suitable for the courtroom.
- Each tour is created to accommodate each group. A tour may consist of: court observation, a visit to the jury room, self-service center, law library and/or a K-9 demonstration.
- We will attempt to arrange for a brief question and answer session with a Judge.
- Please remember that the judicial courthouse is a place of business where our community comes to address important legal matters. All tour groups must conduct themselves accordingly. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
Clerk & Comptroller
Jury Duty prospective jurors are randomly selected from the DMV’s list of driver’s license and identification card holders residing in Palm Beach County. Jurors must be a US citizen at least 18 years of age, and a legal resident of Palm Beach County.
Self Service Center provides resources to those representing themselves in cases such as divorce, evictions, small claims, etc.
County Court Civil Judges preside over lawsuits with damages up to $30,000, in cases such as evictions and small claims. Judges preside over domestic violence, traffic and county criminal cases.
County Court Criminal Judges handle moving and non-moving traffic violations in cases such as speeding, seat belt, red light camera, handicapped parking tickets and more. Misdemeanors are offenses lower than felonies and generally punishable by fine, penalty or jail time for up to one year. Violations include petty theft, simple assault and battery.
County Court Civil Judges preside over foreclosure hearings, along with probate cases, county civil cases.
Circuit Civil Court Judges handle lawsuits with damages of more than $30,000, in cases such as foreclosures, medical malpractice, probate of estates, and marriage license Circuit Criminal Court Judges handle felonies. Felonies are a serious crime that is punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. Criminal appeals, sealing and expundgement of records are also handled by this division.
Judges preside over foreclosure and probate cases. Unified Family Court Judges handle family-related matters such as adoption, child support , divorce, domestic, guardianship, juvenile, mental health, name change, and paternity.
Court Administration oversees all judicial and non-judicial matters arising within the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. It serves as the operational hub for the Circuit.
Magistrates are quasi-judicial officers who conduct formal court hearings, take testimony and evaluate evidence for child support and post-order family case matters.
Mediation is a process whereby a neutral and impartial third person acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute without prescribing what it should do.
Unified Family Court handles family-related matters such as adoption, child support , divorce, domestic, guardianship, juvenile, mental health, name change, and paternity.
Ninth – Eleventh Floor
Judges preside over jury and non-jury trials in the Circuit Civil and Circuit Criminal cases.
Main Courthouse Tours
PLEASE NOTE: At this time, Court Administration coordinates self-guided tours at the Main Courthouse (205 North Dixie Highway) in West Palm Beach. Upon request, Court Administration will provide the tour groups an agenda and assist with coordinating available court-related activities (e.g. courtroom observations, courthouse operations, scheduled meetings with courthouse personnel); the agenda will be based on the information provided in the Main Courthouse Tour Request Form. Request a Main Courthouse Tour Request Form from CAD-HR@pbcgov.org, then submit your completed form as soon as possible. Court Administration will try to accommodate requested dates and times, but this cannot be guaranteed. The courthouse is limited to two (2) tours per month, and schedules fill up quickly.