Seminole County Jerri L. Collins is a county court judge in Seminole County, Florida. Judge Collins was first appointed to the position in 2005 by former Governor Jeb Bush. Collins was re-elected to the court on August 26, 2014, for a six-year term expiring on January 4, 2021. Judge Collins won her election in the primary with 51.1 percent of the vote. She ran against Sandra Rivera and Alex Finch. Judge Collins earned her B.A. from Eastern Illinois University and her J.D. from Mercer University.
Seminole County Judge Jerri L. Collins started her legal career at the Seminole County State Attorney’s office in Sanford. She left the state to go into private practice before returning to the state to prosecute alleged crimes against the elderly and disabled. Judge Collins is one of five judges handled criminal misdemeanor cases such as DUI, driving on a suspended license and domestic violence. Judge Collins transferred to handle civil cases in 2012. She came back to the criminal bench after Judge Schott had widely publicized case that he received widespread support for involving a DUI. In that case the officer checked a box stating that the driver submitted to a breath test over .08%. The officer later testified that the breath test machine was not available. After the jury came back guilty Judge Schott and an Assistant State Attorney had a heated exchange before Judge Schott set aside the conviction with a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict. Judge Collins took over Judge Schott’s criminal cases and Judge Schott took over Judge Collins civil cases in March 2015. Judge Jerri Collins can be contacted through her Judicial Assistant Jane Harrison 407-665-4982. To view hearing time go toJACS. To Schedule hearing time go toJACS Schedule.
Seminole County Judge Collins received national attention after a contempt of court hearing. The story went public on October 6, 2015. Judge Collins held a contempt hearing July 30, 2015. At that hearing the victim of domestic violence was sentenced to 3 days in jail and adjudicated guilty of direct contempt for missing a jury trial. The adjudication of guilt prevents the victim from ever sealing or expunging her criminal record. The victim let the state know that the she did not want to testify but a jury was selected anyway. The domestic battery case was reduced to a misdemeanor on May 29, 2015 (most likely due to the fact that the witness/victim did not want to cooperate) and a jury was selected on July 22, 2015. The victim did not appear at jury selection after being subpoenaed. The State Attorney’s office filed a motion for indirect contempt and Judge Collins found the defendant in direct contempt. The alleged facts in the police report included choking, pressing his thumbs against her eyes, a knife and the victim was holding her 1 year old child. The victim’s attacker entered a plea to simple battery and served 16 days in jail.
During the contempt hearing the victim without an attorney testified to show cause why she did not appear for trial. The victim testified that she had anxiety, was not in a good place, couldn’t get child support if the defendant was in jail, was homeless, had to sell all of her belongings. She also stated that she lived with her parents. The case made national news being televised on Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight. It also received widespread online publication. The case received public criticism from domestic violence shelters, victim advocates, attorneys and the general public.