Richard A. Howard

Circuit Judge

Judicial Assistant: Debbie Langdon
Office: 352-341-6705
Fax: 352-341-6771

*NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC:* The Code of Judicial Conduct governing behavior by judges forbids the Judges of the Fifth Judicial Circuit to discuss pending cases with the public. Please do not call the Court expecting to speak with a Judge about any case. The Court is only allowed to consider arguments made in the courtroom and in documents properly filed by actual parties in the case as authorized by law and the Rules of Court. The Court cannot ethically read or consider any other opinions or arguments about the case. Communications that do not meet these legal requirements cannot be forwarded to the Judges.

  • Graduated: 1975 University of South Florida/ Tampa, (BA) Criminal Justice Degree
  • Graduated: 1978 (Dean\’s List) Stetson College of Law / St.Petersburg, (Juris Doctorate)
Professional History
  • State Attorney/ Sixth Circuit Pasco/ Pinellas – assigned to the Child Support Enforcement Unit in south St. Petersburg, 1978-1979
  • Pasco County/Dade City assigned to criminal docket attaining status of Senior Trial Attorney, 1979-1985
  • Transferred to Sumter County (Bushnell) Office, promoted to Division Supervisor for the Lake-Sumter County Offices. Responsible for Supervision of seven prosecutors and support staff of approximately 20 people, as well as all major cases, in the two counties. (1985-1988)
  • Entered Private Practice with former Judge Jackson Brownlee handling Personal Injury, Criminal, and Domestic Relations (1988-1990)
  • Established a practice with Brick, Davis, Marlowe and Howard in Brooksville, Florida (1990-1993)
  • Established sole practice as Richard A. Howard PA (1993-2000)
Judicial History
  • Appointed By Governor Jeb Bush in December 2000 formally sworn in on January 17th, 2001
  • Initially assigned to the Family Law docket, which includes divorce, post-dissolution actions, custody, property disputes, and visitation as well as juvenile delinquency and dependency cases.
  • Assigned to criminal docket (Felony) in November 2001.
  • Qualified to handle Death Penalty cases
  • Presided over approximately 300 jury trials, including the highly publicized murder case of John Evander Couey conducted in Miami, Florida February to March 2007.
  • Part of a coordinated group effort to establish the Citrus County Mental Court which began receiving cases January 2008.
  • Honored by the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency (FCCA) Chapter 27 (West Central Florida) with the prestigious Distinguished Service Award for Judicial service on August 18th, 2010.
  • Awarded best judge in the 2021 annual best of the best reader’s choice contest Citrus County Chronicle.

Top Priorities
  • To maintain proficiency in the handling of my docket by continuing to attend Advanced Judicial Education courses.
  • To maintain my status as a Death Penalty qualified judge.
  • To continue to find ways to promptly administer justice, balanced against the guaranteed rights of the parties who appear before me.
Helpful Hints for Attorneys

Status Week Continuances

  • ALL Continuances on a Status Week require a Joint Stipulation and Order to the Judges Office at least 3 days PRIOR to the Court date. Otherwise, to seek a continuance, the attorney or the covering attorney must be present in Court.



  • Please do not include the Judge when you E-file your documents in the Portal. Although we are now E-filing some of our Orders, we do not wish to receive E-service documents from the portal. Any motions you would like the Judge to receive, should be E-mailed or mailed to the Judge.
  • Most motions can be set directly through the State Attorney’s Office on the Motion calendar that I have given to the secretarial staff. Once it has been coordinated, they will then E-mail me what hearings have been set. If those dates and times are not sufficient, you can contact me and I will find other available times for you.
  • Please make sure all Motions are filed PRIOR to setting them for a hearing.
  • Please E-mail or mail any proposed orders to the Judge’s office as the Clerk does not forward them to the Judge.


Chamber Conferences

  • These conferences are held prior to Court on status and motion weeks normally at 8:30 a.m. or 8:45 a.m, but must be “Scheduled” ahead of time. Please call me, and I will give you available times so you can coordinate with the State Attorney’s Office.