Two Circuit Judges join the Seventh Circuit bench

The Seventh Judicial Circuit reported to Historic City News that they have welcomed two new Circuit Judges and announced changes to judicial assignments for several sitting judges.

Christopher Ferebee of Ponte Vedra Beach, who was appointed to fill a vacant circuit judge position, and Linda Gaustad of Volusia County, who won election as a circuit judge in November, are joining the bench.

Judge-designate Chris Ferebee will begin December 26, 2018 and he will preside in a unified family court division at the Putnam County Courthouse in Palatka.  He was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to fill the judgeship previously occupied by Scott DuPont.  Prior to November, he had been the managing Assistant State Attorney in St. Johns County for the Seventh Circuit State Attorney’s Office.  He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and his law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law.

The vacancy created by the retirement of St Johns County Judge J. Michael Traynor will be filled by Judge-elect Linda Gaustad when she begins a six-year term of office on January 8, 2019.  She will preside in a unified family court division at the Volusia County Courthouse Annex at City Island in Daytona Beach. She was previously an Assistant Public Defender in the appellate division and had been in private practice since 2002. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and her law degree from the University of Florida.

A vacancy created by the death of Judge Clyde E. Wolfe is due to be filled by gubernatorial appointment in the coming weeks.  The incoming judge will be assigned to a unified family court division in St. Johns County.


The circuit also announced several changes to judicial assignments and locations, that will become effective January 7, 2019:

  • In St Johns County, Circuit Judge Lee Smith will move to the civil division.
  • In Putnam County, Circuit Judge Howard McGillin will move to the criminal division.

At the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand:

  • Circuit Judge Dawn Nichols will move to a criminal division. She will continue to preside in Volusia County Drug Court for West Volusia.
  • Circuit Judge Kathryn Weston will move to a civil division.
  • Circuit Judge Karen Foxman will move to a family law division.

At the S. James Foxman Justice Center in Daytona Beach:

  • Chief Judge Raul A. Zambrano will move to a criminal division.
  • Circuit Judge Sandra Upchurch will preside in Volusia County Drug Court for East Volusia.

At the Volusia County Courthouse Annex at City Island in Daytona Beach:

  • Circuit Judge Stasia Warren will move to a family law division.
  • Circuit Judge Leah Case will move to a civil division.
  • Volusia County Court Judges Dawn Fields and Judith Campbell will switch divisions, with Judge Fields moving to a county civil division and Judge Campbell moving to a county criminal division.

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