Monday, June 4, turned out a lot like that day four years ago. At 7:50 a.m. the Governor called Judge Cupp to inform him that he had been chosen to fill the seat on the Circuit Court left by disgraced Judge Jay Rosman.
Even though he decided to put his name in for the position, it was unexpected, Judge Cupp said. Moving on from the county bench “was never really ‘in my plan,” he said.
Chosen from a field of five applicants, he has an extensive background in felony law both as a prosecutor and defense attorney. Judge Cupp said he has been surprised to find how much he enjoyed being the county judge, considering all the various types of legal cases involved. The day-to-day work has always been difficult and challenging, he noted.
He said he has found it especially difficult to rule on eviction cases. The circumstances of these cases, he said, “are always sad.”
He said he looks forward to the challenge of the 20th Circuit. He would like to work in criminal law but will be happy to accept whatever appointment he is assigned to.
He is glad that, as a newcomer to the Circuit, he will have a mentor judge to help ease the unavoidable learning curve in the new position.
Not commissioned as a circuit court judge yet, he expects to remain at his county judgeship at least until the end of June. Decisions must be made to cover the county judge seat vacancy his appointment creates. Hendry only has one county judge. Those cases could be covered by other area county judges till someone is chosen or another judge could be appointed quickly.
Judge Cupp is eager to attend an upcoming circuit judge conference to get a handle on the job. He must stand for election to the six-year term in 2022. The term will end January 3. 2023.
He is pleased that his Administrative Assistant Ivelisse MIller has chosen to continue her service to him as he moves on.
Judge Cupp wants the people of Hendry County to understand that this is his home and said, “I love Hendry County and am not moving.” His position as county judge has never been a “stepping stone” to higher offices, he said.