Judge Tesha Scolaro Ballou
Why do you want to become a Judge? Judge Tesha Scolaro Ballou is a Circuit Judge for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit serving Brevard and Seminole Counties. She was appointed to the bench in June 2019 and is currently assigned to the Criminal Division presiding over felony cases at the Titusville Courthouse. Judge Ballou presides over trials, evidentiary hearings, and County Court appeals. Every day, she hears presentations from counsel, testimony from witnesses and parties, and makes decisions accordingly. Judge Ballou has built a solid reputation for being fair, following the law, and treating attorneys and litigants with respect. She is running to retain her seat as a Circuit Judge for Group 15.
What experience do you have as an attorney that makes you the best candidate? Judge Ballou began her career as an Assistant State Attorney in the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit litigating criminal matters and was the Acting Division Chief for the Domestic Violence Division. Later, she transitioned into the private sector, working for an insurance company managing disability lawsuits throughout the country. Afterward, Judge Ballou returned to the public sector as the General Counsel for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. Judge Ballou also served in the General Counsel’s Office for the Department of Children and Families and was promoted to the position of Community Development Director overseeing child safety initiatives. Prior to becoming a Judge, she served in a quasi-judicial role as an Administrative Hearings Counsel. Also, she served as a General Magistrate, presiding over dependency cases involving the abuse, neglect, and abandonment of children, as well as truancy and guardianship proceedings.
What would you like to see accomplished while you are in office? In addition to her work in the courtroom, Judge Ballou has been involved with the statewide judicial education program teaching classes for judges, magistrates, and hearing officers. She also serves on the Juvenile Court Rules Committee, and the Judicial Wellness Committee. Additionally, Judge Ballou has been recognized by the Legal Aid Society for furthering Pro Bono efforts. Today, she continues to be involved in the community as a Rotarian and is a Paul Harris Fellow. Also, she is a member of the Brevard County Civilian/Military Council, 45th Space Wing.
What is the most significant case that you worked on as a lawyer? Judge Ballou’s most significant case she worked on as a lawyer involved an adult female with an intellectual disability. Initially, she was placed in state custody as her caregiver, her father, was hospitalized and she could not independently care for herself. Upon his release from rehab, she would return to their home. The daughter revealed to her case manager that her father was sexually abusing her. There were several hearings to address no contact orders, placement issues, confidentiality of the daughter’s location, threats from the father, and guardianship. This case is significant to Judge Ballou because she watched this young woman emerge from being isolated and abused to thriving and happy. The young woman was having social interaction for the first time in her life, living in a safe environment with peers, and learning new skills. “Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our court system will be faced with a backlog of cases. The most pressing need will be to immediately address these cases while continuing to manage new cases in a timely manner. The administration of justice is paramount as justice delayed is justice denied.” – Circuit Judge Tesha Scolaro Ballou
How long have you been a resident of Brevard County and/or Seminole County? Judge Ballou has resided in the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit for approximately 20 years. She lives in Viera with her husband Scott and their dog Max.