TAMPA — County Court Judge Nick Nazaretian has been named a circuit court judge by Gov. Rick Scott, but it does not spell the end of the popular "Animal Court" he has long presided over.
Nazaretian said Tuesday he will continue to hear both domestic violence cases and animal abuse complaints until his County Court replacement is selected, probably in June.
Nazaretian has served as a County Court judge since 2001, as well as temporary assignments as a circuit judge. He was a division chief for the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office from 1990 to 2000, and from 1987 to 1990, he was a felony trial attorney with the Pinellas Public Defender's Office.
Some of his most colorful cases have occurred in Animal Court. He once lashed out at a 19-year-old who left her dog locked in an overheated car at Tampa's Ikea furniture store: "What piece of furniture is worth your dog's life?" He fined her $400.