James Martz

Judicial Assignment

Family Division FX

Previous Judicial Assignments

Probate Division IY

Circuit Civil "AK"

Division JO - Administrative Judge, Juvenile Main Branch

Prior Judicial Experience

  • Appointed to County Court 2006, assigned to Civil Division, Main Branch and Family, Criminal and Civil Divisions, South County, Division T -Circut Criminal


  • Nova Southeastern School of Law, 1995

Prior Work Experience

  • Private Practice, Civil Litigation & Criminal Defense, 1997 - 1998

Professional Activities

Judge Martz began his career in public service in 1977 as a police officer in Santa Monica, California. He moved to New York where he continued in law enforcement enjoying recognition of his efforts through several promotions as well as awards for his meritorious work in critical, life threatening/life saving situations. Judge Martz worked in New York until retiring in 1992 as an administrative sergeant. During his time in police service, Judge Martz served as a patrol officer, District Attorney's investigator, firearms instructor, patrol sergeant, administrative sergeant and worked in special assignments in undercover narcotics, and as part of an anti terrorism task force in the tri state area. Just prior to leaving the department, Judge Martz spearheaded the most comprehensive modernization effort in the department's history. This modernization included the implementation of the most sophisticated department-wide automated information system available to public safety and served as an example nationwide for use of electronic information in the public safety sector.

In 1992 Judge Martz attended Nova Southeastern University School of Law where he earned honors for his participation in national level moot court competition on the way to his Juris Doctorate degree.

In 1994 Judge Martz began working in the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office where he worked until being appointed to the bench by Governor Jeb Bush in January of 2006. While in the State Attorney's Office Judge Martz was recognized as the single point of contact for multi jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions. Judge Martz worked to have Palm Beach County recognized by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (O.N.D.C.P.) as part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and received grants from O.N.D.C.P. to start the Palm Beach County, Anti-Money Laundering Task Force. While under Judge Martz's supervision the task force seized millions of dollars in tainted funds that were subsequently forfeited and allocated to law enforcement efforts on a county and federal level.

In 1996 Judge Martz began a two year project working with the War Crimes Tribunals of the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. His efforts entailed the reinvigoration of the rule of law in these two regions, where mass genocide was being investigated and prosecuted. The efforts focused on increasing public awareness and implementing systems to increase efficiency to handle the large number of crimes being investigated. This work included establishing public/private collaboration for the automation of the information systems within the tribunals and the communications between the United Nations in New York, Europe and Africa. Donations from corporate sponsors were estimated to exceed one million dollars in equipment and services.

In October of 2014 Judge Martz worked with the Filipino government on the U.S. A.I.D. I-3 initiative to reform their efforts to fight corruption among their governmental officials and reinvigorate the "Rule of Law" in the Philippines. The project in the Philippines is ongoing as is a similar "Rule of Law" project in Myanmar, (Burma)PRPL that he has been involved in since early 2015. Prior to this project Judge Martz assembled and led a Diplomatic Delegation, at the request of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United States Ambassador to the Bahamas, to assist them in addressing an explosion of criminal activity resulting in a critically high crime rate highlighted by a homicide rate that is ten times that of Palm Beach County. The Delegation met with the Chief Justice, Attorney General, Appeals Court, Police Department, Defense Attorneys, and community and business groups to evaluate and formulate recommendations for reformation of the Bahamian Justice System. Judge Martz was also part of a team of judges and elected legislators who traveled to the CEELI Institute in Prague, Czech Republic to teach emerging democracies in Eastern Europe how to combat corruption in their Ministry of Justice and Courts systems.

Since being appointed to the bench in 2006 Judge Martz has been assigned to both criminal and civil divisions in County Court In September of 2010 Judge Martz was elevated to Circuit Judge and was assigned to a circuit family division in the Delray Beach Courthouse handling in excess of 2000 dissolution of marriage cases along with probate and guardianship cases. In 2012 Judge Martz took on a diversified role and served as first appearance judge as well as handling a juvenile division in Belle Glade while also handling the Circuit's Mental Health Court. In 2014 Judge Martz moved to a full time juvenile division where he handles dependency as well and delinquency cases. Jim also served as the Administrative Judge of the Juvenile Division before returning to a South county Family Division.

After the Stoneman Douglass tragedy, Jim was asked by the County's Law Enforcement Planning Council to chair a new School Safety Committee to ensure that the County was doing everything it could to prevent and respond to active shooter events in our County's Schools. Jim served in that capacity for 3 years during which time the Committee helped make incredible improvements to the County's mental health system and facilitated better interdepartmental communication to enhance Law Enforcement response to violent incidents in our Schools. 

Jim has been recognized by local advocates for his work in domestic, dating and repeat violence issues.