For Hometown News
DeLand -- The Honorable Hubert L. Grimes has announced his retirement from the Seventh Judicial Circuit, effective Jan. 30.
Judge Grimes was first elected to the bench in 1988, winning a seat as Volusia County Court Judge. He was the first African-American to serve in that capacity.
After serving 11 years in county court, he was appointed to the circuit bench in 1999. He has presided over juvenile delinquency, juvenile dependency, dependency drug court and family court cases. He currently hears family court cases at the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand.
Before becoming a judge, he received his undergraduate degree from Kentucky State University and his law degree from the University of Georgia. He worked as an attorney for Central Florida Legal Services, worked for Central Florida Community Development Corp. and had his own private law practice.
Judge Grimes said he is proud of his role as a trailblazer for the local court system. "It hadn't been done before and there were some people who tried to dissuade me from running. They thought it was futile," he said. "But with faith in God, encouragement from family and friends, along with the support of the voting public, I accomplished my dream."
"I was excited to undertake the challenge," he said. "I thought I could make a contribution to the judiciary and hopefully open a door for other persons of color to pursue their dreams."
Looking back on his 25-year career, and the 100,000 cases he's handled, Judge Grimes said he is particularly proud of his work with juveniles. He authored his own book, "How to Keep Your Child from Going to Jail," in 2010 to encapsulate his insights and ideas for parents. He also works as an adjunct law professor at the FAMU College of Law in Orlando as a part of their Academic Success and Bar Preparation program.
"Working with young people has been a constant passion of mine," he said. "I have tried to guide them and inspire them to avoid the pitfalls of trouble and to fulfill their dreams."
Chief Circuit Judge Terence R. Perkins said of his colleague: "He is best known for his keen intellect, compassion and sense of humor. He has positively influenced so many lives in our community and his kindness and quiet competence will be missed by his colleagues, the attorneys that appeared before him and the members of our community he served."