Honorable O. D. Howell, Jr. (1913-1991)

Citation
Honorable O. D. Howell, Jr. (1913-1991)

Material Information

Title:
Honorable O. D. Howell, Jr. (1913-1991) no ordinary juvenile judge
Creator:
Buck, Morison
Place of Publication:
[Tampa, Fla
Publisher:
Morison Buck
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (4 p.) : ill. ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Judges -- Biography -- Florida -- Hillsborough County ( lcsh )

Notes

Original Version:
Originally published as part of the "Chips off the Old Bench" column: [Tampa, Fla.] : Hillsborough County, March 1999, Lawyer under title:
General Note:
Title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
B28-00010 ( USFLDC DOI )
b28.10 ( USFLDC Handle )
NEW

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Book

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Honorable O. D. Howell, Jr. (1913-1991)
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Judges
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PAGE 1

H on or ab l e O D H ow e l l Jr ( 1913 1991) N o O r d i n ar y Ju ve n i l e Ju d ge D e a n A c he s on, de bona i r S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e i n t he T r um a n a dm i ni s t r a t i on, w r ot e a P ul i t z e r pr i z e w i nni ng a c c ount a bout hi s di pl om a t i c c a r e e r H e c a l l e d i t P r e s e nt a t t he C r e a t i on*. O s c a r D H ow e l l J r of T a m pa ( w ho pr e f e r r e d us e of hi s f i r s t i ni t i a l r a t he r t ha n hi s gi ve n na m e ) s t a r t e d hi s j udi c i a l s e r vi c e a bout t he s a m e t i m e A c he s on l e f t t he T r um a n C a bi ne t t he f ol l ow i ng ye a r t o be pr e c i s e H ow e l l c oul d ha ve w r i t t e n a ut hor i t a t i ve l y on t he or i g i ns of t he m ode r n da y J uve ni l e C our t w hi c h f unc t i ons t oda y a s a n i nde pe nde nt di vi s i on of t he C i r c ui t C our t H e w a s t he f i r s t j udg e e ve r e l e c t e d t o t ha t pos t i n H i l l s bor ough C ount y. A l t hough he l a t e r s a t i n t he c i vi l D i vi s i on he w i l l f o r e ve r be know n a s t he j udge w ho pr e s i de d i n t he J uve ni l e & D om e s t i c R e l a t i ons C our t a s pa t e r f a m i l i a s s o t o s pe a k, i n c ount l e s s c a s e s f or m o r e t ha n t w e nt y f i ve ye a r s O D w a s a s e r i ous i ndi vi dua l w ho t ook hi s r e s pons i bi l i t i e s i nt e ns e l y s e r i ous l y. H ow e l l w a s a hom e gr ow n p r oduc t l i vi ng i n t he T a m pa H e i ght s a r e a of t he c i t y S on of a ne i ghbor hood gr oc e r a nd hi s w i f e he gr a dua t e d f r om H i l l s bor ough H i gh S c hool i n 1931. B e ne a t h hi s pi c t ur e i n t he s c hool a nnua l H i l s bor e a n, of t ha t ye a r i s t he l e ge nd, O D 's pe r s i s t e nc e a nd d i gni t y he l d ou r a dm i r a t i o n. I nc l ude d i n t he f ut ur e j udge 's a c hi e ve m e nt s w e r e V i c e P r e s i de nt of hi s c l a s s S t u de nt C ounc i l H onor S oc i e t y a nd B r i ght e s t B oy" S l e nde r s of t s poke n, a nd s e l f c ont a i ne d, a f or e s ha dow of hi s a ppe a r a nc e a nd de m e a nor i n m a nhood he w a s no doubt a be t t e r s t ude nt t ha n a t hl e t e i n s c hool H i s s i s t e r M a r y N e l l e K ova c h ne ve r t he l e s s r e c a l l s t ha t he pl a ye d t e nni s i n hi gh s c hool a nd t ha t he w or ke d s om e s um m e r s du r i ng t he de pr e s s i on i n a C C C c a m p. M r s K ova c h w or ke d a s J udi c i a l A s s t t o J udge N e i l C M c M ul l e n. L a t e r s he w a s f or m a ny ye a r s l e gi s l a t i ve a s s i s t a nt t o M a l c ol m B e a r d i n t he s t a t e H ous e a nd S e na t e A f t e r e a r ni ng hi s l a w de gr e e a t U ni ve r s i t y o f F l o r i da i n 1937, H ow e l l be c a m e a s s oc i a t e d w i t h t he T a m pa f i r m o f S ha c ke l f or d F a r r i or a nd S ha nnon w he r e he r e m a i ne d unt i l 1940. A t t ha t t i m e he e nt e r e d m i l i t a r y s e r vi c e upon a c t i va t i on o f t he N a t i ona l G ua r d's 116t h F i e l d A r t i l l e r y O ne of T a m pa 's be s t know n l a w ye r s T P a i ne K e l l y J r w a s c a l l e d up a t t he s a m e t i m e T he va ga r i e s of m i l i t a r y s e r vi c e dur i ng w a r t i m e r e s ul t e d i n hi s t r a ns f e r t o t he I ns pe c t or G e ne r a l 's D e pt a nd t he 84t h D i vi s i on. H ow e l l t ol d hi s f a m i l y t ha t t he t oughe s t

PAGE 2

a s s i gnm e nt he e ve r ha d w a s dur i ng t he D D a y l a nd i ng a t N or m a ndy w he n he w a s c ha r ge d w i t h t he dut y of m ovi ng t he t r oops s om e of w hom w e r e r e c a l c i t r a nt out of t he l a ndi ng c r a f t s a nd ont o t he be a c h. H a l B oyl e w e l l know n w a r c or r e s ponde nt i nt e r vi e w e d M a j or O D H ow e l l J r a bout t he A r m y's e m pl oym e nt of F r e nc hm e n t o c l e a n up t he N or m a ndy be a c h e s a f t e r t he i nva s i o n. S a i d H ow e l l T he y ge t a bout s e ve n f r a nc s a n hour but t he t hi ng t ha t a ppe a l s m os t t o t he m i s t he f r e e l unc h a t noon T he y r e a l l y go f or c how O n J une 11, 1945 t he T a m pa T i m e s publ i s he d a s t or y c om pl e t e w i t h pi c t ur e o f a s m i l i ng ( pe r ha ps hi s pr o m ot i on ha d s om e t hi ng t o d o w i t h i t ) L t C ol H ow e l l I t t o l d of a c l os e c a l l t o t he 34 ye a r ol d c om ba t of f i c e r w hi c h oc c ur r e d i n H a nove r s hor t l y p r i or t o a 30 da y l e a ve i n T a m pa T he l e a ve w a s a p r e l ude t o hi s uni t 's r e de pl oym e nt t o t he P a c i f i c I t s e e m s t ha t H o w e l l a nd a j uni or of f i c e r f r om T a m pa C a pt D udl e y w e r e dr i vi ng i n a j e e p, a nd a s t he y w e r e a bout t o c r os s a s m a l l br i dg e i n a ba dl y bom be d out a r e a a gr oup of G e r m a n c i vi l i a ns w a ve d dow n t he j e e p s hout i n g, M e i ne n! M e i ne n! ( m e a ni ng t ha t t he br i dge w a s m i ne d) T he a r t i c l e c ont i nue s C a pt D udl e y, w ho w a s dr i vi ng, s w ung t he j e e p a r ound a nd t he G e r m a ns r us he d up t o t r y t o t a l k t o t he t w o Y a nk o f f i c e r s W hi l e t he y w e r e t a l ki ng t o us t he m i ne w e nt o f f on t he br i dge B e l i e ve m e w e l e f t t ha t s e c t i on o f t ow n i n a hu r r y C ol one l H ow e l l s a i d. H ow e l l s pe nt 20 m ont hs on ove r s e a s dut y. U pon r e t ur ni ng hom e a f t e r f i ve l ong ye a r s of s e r vi c e t o h i s c ount r y, he r e s um e d l a w pr a c t i c e t hi s t i m e i ndi vi dua l l y F or a w hi l e he s ha r e d s pa c e on t he s e c ond f l oor o f t he M a di s o n D r ug B ui l di ng a t F r a nkl i n & M a di s on S t s w i t h M a s s a r i P a t t on a nd S p i c ol a H e a nd now r e t i r e d J udge R obt W P a t t on be c a m e f a s t f r i e nds S ubs e que nt l y, O D r e l oc a t e d t o F i r s t N a t i ona l B a nk B ui l di ng. H i s pa r t i c i pa t i on a nd l e a de r s hi p i n c om m uni t y a c t i vi t i e s w a s e xt e ns i ve : P r e s of J r C ha m be r of C om m e r c e M e m be r B oa r d of G ove r nor s of t he s e ni or C ha m be r M a s oni c O r de r a nd A m e r i c a n L e gi on. T hr oughout hi s a dul t l i f e O D w a s a f a i t hf ul s t e w a r d i n t he P r e s byt e r i a n C hur c h, i ni t i a l l y a t T a m pa H e i ght s t he n F i r s t P r e s byt e r i a n dow nt ow n a s a D e a c on a nd S unda y S c hool S upt A s s t I n l a t e r ye a r s he w a s or da i ne d a n E l de r a t P a l m a C e i a P r e s byt e r i a n. A t a ge 37, he m a de a de c i s i on t o t r y a nd uns e a t H o n. L A G r a ys on w ho p r e s i de d ove r t he C r i m i na l C our t of R e c or d a s s uc c e s s or t o H on. J ohn F H i m e s D e s pi t e hi s s i nc e r i t y a nd i m pr e s s i ve c r e de nt i a l s he e vi de nt l y w a s s hor t of t he c onne c t i ons e s s e nt i a l t o s uc c e s s i n t he pol i t i c a l c l i m a t e of T a m pa c i r c a 1948, e s pe c i a l l y a ga i ns t a popul a r i nc um be nt S e c t i on 8061, L a w s of F l or i da 1919, ga ve bi r t h t o a s e pa r a t e j uve ni l e a nd D om e s t i c R e l a t i ons C our t f or H i l l s bor ough C ount y. A t t he n e xt l e gi s l a t i ve s e s s i on i n 1921, t he l a w w a s r e f i ne d. A pa r t t i m e j udge w a s a ut hor i z e d w i t h a ppoi nt m e nt by t he G ove r nor f o r a f our ye a r t e r m I n t hos e c o unt i e s w i t hout a s e pa r a t e J & D R C our t C ount y J udge s w e r e e m pow e r e d t o f unc t i on a s A c t i ng J uve ni l e J udge s I n 1951, t he J uve ni l e C our t A c t w a s pa s s e d, a nd a f t e r t ha t t i m e j udge s w e r e e l e c t e d r a t h e r t ha n a ppoi nt e d. B e f or e t he c r e a t i on of D e pt of H e a l t h & R e ha bi l i t a t i ve S e r vi c e s j udg e s ha d a l m os t t ot a l c ont r ol ove r di s pos i t i on of c a s e s of de pe nde nt a nd de l i nque nt c hi l dr e n unde r t he i r j ur i s di c t i on. W ha t ha ppe ne d a f t e r t ha t a nd how t he l e gi s l a t ur e di l ut e d t he pow e r of t he j udge s i n j uve ni l e c a s e s e ve n n ow i s a not he r s t or y T he e l e c t i on w i t hout oppos i t i on o f H ow e l l t o t he j uve ni l e C our t i n 1954, t he s a m e ye a r he s e r ve d a s P r e s i de nt of t he B a r A s s oc i a t i on of T a m pa a nd H i l l s bor ough C ount y us he r e d i n a ne w e r a w i t h a f ul l t i m e e l e c t e d of f i c i a l

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O nc e he got s e t t l e d i n of f i c e J udge H ow e l l be c a m e a dom i na t i ng f i gur e i n t he a dm i ni s t r a t i on of j us t i c e f or c hi l dr e n, w he t he r you t hf ul of f e nde r s or youngs t e r s a l l e ge d t o be a ba ndone d, ne gl e c t e d o r a bus e d, a nd f or pa r e nt s or gua r di a ns r e s pons i bl e f or t hos e unf or t una t e s I n 1967, t he S upr e m e C our t of t he U ni t e d S t a t e s i n a 43 pa ge op i ni on by J us t i c e F or t a s de c i de d I n t he M a t t e r of G a ul t 387 U S 1, 18 L E d2d 527 T he c a s e a r os e i n A r i z ona w he r e a 15 ye a r ol d w a s c ha r ge d a nd c on vi c t e d of m a ki ng a n obs c e ne phone c a l l t o a n e l de r l y l a dy. F or t a s de s c r i be d t he c om p l a i ne d of c a l l a s of t he i r r i t a t i ng l y of f e ns i ve a dol e s c e nt s e x va r i e t y T he j uve ni l e ha d be e n di s a l l ow e d t he r i gh t t o c ouns e l a nd ot he r f unda m e nt a l pr i vi l e ge s a nd t he C our t e s s e nt i a l l y he l d t ha t yout h f ul of f e nde r s w e r e e nt i t l e d t o t he s a m e c ons t i t ut i ona l l y gua r a nt e e d r i ght s a s a dul t s c ha r ge d w i t h c r i m e T ha t l a ndm a r k de c i s i on pr om pt e d J udge H ow e l l t o hi r e a l be i t w i t h r e l uc t a nc e t he f i r s t l a w ye r t o r e p r e s e nt t he S t a t e i n J uve ni l e C our t pr o c e e di ngs T ha t l a w ye r w a s now S t a t e A t t or ne y, H a r r y L e e C oe l a t e r a f e l ony c our t j udg e C oe s t a t e s t ha t O D H ow e l l pr oba bl y ha d a g r e a t e r i m pa c t upon t he j udi c i a l pr oc e s s t ha t a ny ot he r j udge e s pe c i a l l y J uve ni l e i n t he c ount y's h i s t or y. W i t h J udge H ow e l l pr e s i di ng, C oe vi vi dl y r e m e m be r s you a l w a ys kne w w ho w a s i n c ha r ge A f a i r m e a s ur e of a pe r s on's c ha r a c t e r i s how he ( o r s he ) i s r e ga r de d by ne i ghbo r s a nd c o w or ke r s w ho ha ve know n t ha t pe r s on ove r t i m e O ne o f J udge H ow e l l 's ne i ghbor s w a s M i l dr e d B G e e r S he i s a c l os e f r i e nd t o M a r y N e l l e K ova c h, a nd s he a l s o s ubbe d a s j udi c i a l a s s i s t a nt f or J udge H ow e l l a nd ot he r j udge s i nc l udi ng t hi s s c r i ve ne r f or a bout 10 ye a r s of f a nd on M r s G e e r ha s t hi s t o s a y a bout O D H ow e l l : H e w a s a s f a i r m i nde d c ons c i e nt i ous a s a ny j udge t he c ount y e ve r ha d i n m y opi ni on. T ha t vi e w i s s ha r e d by m a ny, i nc l udi ng M a r gi e ( M r s W S ) G r a ha m w ho be ga n a c a r e e r i n s oc i a l w or k i n J udge H ow e l l 's c our t i n 1964 a nd M a r y A nn ( M r s E dw H ) W a r d w ho s t a r t e d w i t h hi m i n 1966 a nd w ho i s s t i l l a c t i ve i n f a m i l y m e di a t i on. T he y r e m e m be r hi m a s a f r i e nd o f bot h c a s e w or ke r s a nd t he c hi l dr e n. A m ong J udge H ow e l l 's a c c om pl i s hm e nt s i n of f i c e : 1955 S pe a r he a de d pa s s a ge of a s pe c i a l a c t of t he l e gi s l a t ur e gi vi ng t he J uve ni l e C our t J udge i n H i l l s bor ough C oun t y a ut ho r i t y t o c ol l e c t s uppor t m one y f r om f a t he r s of de pe nde nt c hi l dr e n. L oc a l pa pe r s r e po r t e d t ha t i n t he f i r s t 10 m ont hs of t he i m pl e m e nt a t i on of t ha t l a w J udge H ow e l l 's s ys t e m s a ve d t a xpa ye r s $40, 000. 1956 B y or de r i ng a l l yout hs c onvi c t e d of t r a f f i c vi ol a t i ons i n hi s c our t t o a t t e nd t r a f f i c s c hool he w a s r e c ogni z e d a s be i ng t he m os t e f f e c t i ve j udge s uppor t i ng t he pr ogr a m H ow e l l w a s t he s ubj e c t of a n i n de pt h f e a t ur e a r t i c l e by L e l a nd H a w e s T r i bune s t a f f w r i t e r a t t he t i m e e nt i t l e d R e por t e r S pe nds D a y i n J uve ni l e C our t he r e L i l l i a n M ook pe nne d a n a r t i c l e i n S a nds pur ( a publ i c a t i on o f t he j uni or L e a gue of T a m pa ) a bout m e e t i ng ( a nd c om pl i m e nt i ng ) J udge H ow e l l a nd s e e i ng how t he c our t f unc t i one d M i s s M ook i s now M r s M a ndyc k a nd r e s i de s i n A t l a nt a S e r ve d a s P r e s i de nt F l or i da C ounc i l of J uve ni l e C our t J udge s T e l l i ng a T r i bune r e por t e r i n 1980 he w oul d not s e e k r e e l e c t i on t ha t ye a r J udge H ow e l l s a i d, I 'm j us t r e a dy t o r e t i r e ( a t 67) a nd t he n a dde d, I 'm t i r e d. A f t e r r e t i r e m e nt J udge H ow e l l ha d m o r e t i m e t o e nj oy hi s hobby o f c ul t i va t i ng r os e s W hi l e w or ki ng, he w oul d br i ng a r os e t o hi s a s s i s t a nt e ve r y da y du r i ng t he bl oom i ng s e a s on. H e a l s o e nj oye d t he f e l l ow s hi p of ot he r r e t i r e d j udge s a t l unc h e ve r y T ue s da y a nd

PAGE 4

t he y r e l i s he d hi s c om pa ny a s w e l l A nyone s i t t i ng a t a l unc he on t a bl e w i t h O D c oul d not he l p but obs e r ve hi s pa i ns t a ki ng, f a s t i di ous e a t i ng ha bi t s ; a s i ght w hi c h put t hos e vor a c i ous f e e de r s ( l i ke m e ) t o s ha m e H e w a s m a r r i e d f o r m o r e t ha n 50 ye a r s t o w i f e M a r ga r e t S he a nd t he i r c hi l d r e n, P e ggy H ow e l l S m i t h D r R obe r t S H ow e l l a nd J e a nne H ow e l l R ow e s ur vi ve d hi s de a t h on M a y 23, 1991 O D 's da ught e r J e a nne w r ot e m e dur i ng pr e pa r a t i on of t h i s pi e c e : A f e w w e e ks be f or e he di e d D a ddy ha d a l i t t l e f e nde r be nde r T w o da ys be f o r e he d i e d, he a t t e nde d t he dr i vi ng c l a s s t o pr e ve nt poi nt s H e w a s t a l ki ng w i t h t he i ns t r uc t or a bout how t he c l a s s w or ke d. T he i ns t r uc t o r s a i d, ` Y ou s e e m t o kn ow a l ot a bout t hi s p r ogr a m D a ddy l a ughe d a nd s a i d, ` Y e s I c r e a t e d i t Y ou p r oba bl y r e m e m be r t he s t or y w a s t ol d a t hi s f une r a l t o s how how he a l w a ys ha d a s e ns e of hum or M or i s on B uc k A f t e r w or d: A dol e s c e nc e i s c e r t a i nl y f a r f r om a un i f or m l y pl e a s a nt pe r i od. E a r l y m a nhood m i ght be t he m os t gl or i ous t i m e of a l l w e r e i t not t ha t t h e s he e r e xc e s s of l i f e a nd vi gor ge t s a f e l l ow i nt o c ont i nua l s c r a pe s D on M a r qui s ( 1878 1937) be s t know n f or hi s hum or ous s t or i e s a nd poe m s of a r c hy a nd m e hi t a be l


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APA

Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.

MLA

Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.

CHICAGO

Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.

WIKIPEDIA

Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.