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John Bowman is a State of Florida Circuit Judge who was elected to Florida’s 17th Circuit in 2002. The 17th Circuit comprises Broward County, with a jurisdiction of an estimated 1.7 million residents. Judge Bowman was assigned to the court’s Juvenile Dependency division, where he worked to reform a judicial system that appeared broken and neglectful of the juveniles that it was appointed to serve. When Judge Bowman joined the Juvenile Division, there were as many as 150 children eligible for adoption, with some left in foster care for as long as four years. Judge Bowman recognized the injustice in this, and set about restructuring the adoption process for Broward County. Due to Judge Bowman’s insight and diligence, the number of children awaiting adoption was reduced to five, and with further adjustments and attention to statutory mandates, Judge Bowman was able to reduce the adoption time for children to six months.Judge John Bowman was also instrumental in reforming the juvenile “lock out” statute, which he noticed was in disrepair at the expense of the state’s children. As the law existed when Judge Bowman joined the bench, there was no clearly defined state or county agency responsible for juveniles detained for longer than 24 hours, as state law decreed. In cases where parents refused to pick their children up from detention centers, Judge Bowman found that neither the Department of Juvenile Justice, the local welfare agency ChildNet, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, nor the Department of Families and Children would take the first step in securing the child’s safety. Judge Bowman ultimately called a meeting of all the agencies involved, and developed the “Broward Solution,” which resulted in detained youth being returned to their parents in a more timely manner. Judge Bowman’s “Broward Solution” also influenced intrastate agency agreements. Judge Bowman is the President for the 2014-2015 Stephen R Booher America Inn of Court.

Work experience

Nov 2002Present

Circuit Judge

State of Florida

Civil trial court, the highest civil trial in Florida, jursidiction is 15,000 and up.




2007 Florida Guardian Ad Litem Programs Community Advocate of the Year for Broward County

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