Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg will handle a Christmas shift for his office, a now-annual holiday tradition to give staff time off.
Aronberg will attend the First Appearance Court hearings on Christmas Day at the Gun Club Courthouse starting at 9 a.m. and work till the docket is completed.
Most individuals who are arrested must see a judge within 24 hours. That means any Christmas Eve arrests require a court to operate the next day.
Aronberg, who is Jewish and celebrated Hanukkah this holiday season, has carried out the Christmas Day-effort for several years. Aronberg has led the State Attorney’s Office in the 15th Judicial Circuit — which encompasses Palm Beach County — since he was first elected in 2012.
“It is a small thank you to my hard-working staff to cover First Appearance court and allow my team members to be home with their families on Christmas Day,” Aronberg said in a statement identical to one from 2020.
That shift can often cover domestic disputes stemming from Christmas gatherings, as Aronberg explained in 2017 while picking up the shift.
“It’s the dark side of families getting together with food and alcohol, it’s that you have some people who act poorly then commit domestic violence or other crimes,” Aronberg said.
It’s unclear whether the health recommendations to limit Christmas gatherings will also limit the court load during the holidays. Typically, Aronberg might see a few dozen cases on the Christmas docket.
Many of the the 15th Judicial Circuit’s courts are closed during the holidays. The regular schedule is set to resume Jan. 3.
The assist from Aronberg is likely welcomed as families look to relax after a challenging year as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, now with the growing omicron variant. That virus impacted Aronberg directly, as he tested positive for COVID-19 in July 2020.
Aronberg also served eight years in the Florida Senate.
Florida Politics reporters Ryan Nicol and Renzo Downey contributed to this story.