Candidate For Judge Sues: Says Opponent Is Using Phony Name





A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but a candidate can’t use just any name the ballot, especially in a race for judge.

Using a phony name in a judicial campaign is illegal, alleges Broward Circuit Court candidate Melissa Minsk Donoho.

Donoho is asking the court to keep opponent Jason Allen Rosner from using a fake name in the campaign.


Melissa Minsk Donoho


Jason Allen Rosner suddenly decided that his name should be Jason Allen-Rosner on August’s ballot, according to Donoho.

The decision moved his ballot position from last to first in a field of four candidates vying for Circuit Court Group 38. Ballot positions are alphabetical.

Rosner’s new name pushes Donoho from first place to second place.

The reason for this con game: Research has found that being listed first is a slight advantage in a low visibility race where many voters know nothing about the candidates.

The other two candidate are Linda Marie Leali and Stephanie Camille Moon, who are not involved in the legal action. The defendant in the case is Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes, who will prepare the ballot.

Donoho’s 36-page petition for an injunction in Broward Circuit Court alleges that:

Rosner “decided that his ‘middle’ name, ‘Allen,’ will now be his ‘last’ name, all for the apparent purpose of moving his name on the alphabetically listed election ballot from the last position on the election ballot to the first position on the election ballot. A judicial election ballot is not a scramble to create a name to be listed first like a Yellow Pages listing — ‘aa aardvark locksmith.’ Such chicanery or flimflam must not be permitted, particularly, in a judicial race where candidates must avoid even an appearance of impropriety…”

Donoho’s legal action alleges that using a hyphen between Jason Allen Rosner’s middle name and last name is a recent creation for campaign purposes as proven by the following:


  • Jason A. Rosner was the name the candidate used as a registered voter for the past 21 years.
  • Jason Allen Rosner is the name he uses with the Florida Bar.
  • Jason A. Rosner is the name he uses in his legal practice incorporation papers.
  • Jason Allen Rosner is the name he wrote on some election documents including his financial disclosure filed May 4 with the Division of Elections.
  • Rosner was the last name he used in various campaigns in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.



If these legal allegations are true, Rosner could be investigated by the state Judicial Qualifications Commission for violating the judicial campaign code that requires candidates to have integrity and forbidding them from misrepresenting themselves.

Rosner could also have problems with The Florida Bar at some point.

Bottom line:

This whole mess is pathetic.

It is another reason why judges should be appointed rather than elected.






17 Responses to “Candidate For Judge Sues: Says Opponent Is Using Phony Name”

  1. Sam The Sham says:

    This is not a reason to have only appointed judges. It is a reason to get rid of that doddering old fool of an Elections Stupervisor, Brenda Methuselah Snipes.

    This constant yammering about appointed judges is just another call for elitists to control the judiciary and deny the public from our right to select our judges.

  2. Broward Voter says:

    This is reason why Florida should, like many other states, use some type of system such as drawing lots to randomly determine ballot order.

  3. Stormwatch says:

    Broward Female judges have been playing the hyphenated name game forever. Jose Diaz-Balart called. Wants to know what the big deal is.


    Jose Diaz-Balart would be listed higher on the ballot without a hyphenated name.

  4. Mud Slinging Melissa Donoho says:

    It is unfortunate that Ms. Donoho yet again has to sling mud against an opponent and refuses to try and win on her own merit and resume.

    For those who don’t remember, prior to filing against Judge Hurley, she practiced under the name Melissa Donoho and then added the “Minsk” in what was probably an attempt to have a Jewish sounding name. That was the year when many candidates with Jewish sounding names challenged incumbents and lost.

    Retain Judge John Hurley for County Court Group 12
    August 17, 2010
    Keep Hurley in County Court Group 12 seat
    The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board recommends incumbent Judge John Hurley.
    Hurley, 49, makes an impassioned case for why he should remain on the bench. Nominated by Gov. Charlie Crist, Hurley has been handling bond cases.
    Before joining the bench, Hurley was a state prosecutor, a Navy intelligence officer and a defense attorney. In his presentation to the Editorial Board, Hurley made a compelling and convincing argument that he has the knowledge, the temperament and the passion for the bench.
    His opponent, Melissa Beth Minsk Donoho, 45, also has a sound legal background. She has been in private practice the past decade, specializing in criminal cases. She started her career in the Broward State Attorney’s Office, where, for a time, she was a colleague of Judge Hurley’s.
    Donoho’s background would make her a viable candidate, but her allegation that Judge Hurley was appointed to the bench because he was a “frat” brother of the governor fell flat. It reflected poorly on her judgment, especially when Hurley effectively refuted the claim. It’s simply the kid of mud-slinging that doesn’t belong in the judicial elective arena.
    Broward voters are urged to retain Judge Hurley on the bench.

  5. A reader says:

    Donoho has a point. Rosner’s trick with his name is an example of criminal thinking. Who needs a person with that lack of integrity in office?

  6. Another sour rose says:

    She’s not the only one trying to defraud voters. In Group 36, there is a candidate who filed using the name Shari Beth Africk-Olefson. There is no such person named Shari Africk-Olefson. There is an attorney who is a member of the bar with the name Shari Olefson. Who practices law under the name Olefson. Who has a girlfriend/partner named Pam Africk with whom she shares a home. Did Olefson legally take Africk’s name? If not, isn’t she just conveniently using that name to get the advantage over her opponent Kristin Padowitz? It’s a shame that it takes a lawsuit to get this resolved. The SOE shouldn’t let candidates file with fake names.

  7. Long Time Voter says:

    This is how it is, Melissa Minsk Donoho:

    If you’re known and have a good, proven reputation, it wouldn’t matter if you’re 10th on the ballot. People will vote for you.

    If you have friends who will help get your name out there, people will vote for you.

    If you’re good, nothing else will matter. People will vote for you.

  8. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Names aside, Rosner is by far the weakest of the four candidates.

    Leali is a strong candidate but also a narrow specialist in bankruptcy, finance & accounting; not sure whether or not she will perform well in other (less mathematical) areas.

    Moon is a strong candidate who also brings diversity to the judiciary.

    Donoho is a strong candidate and (icing on the cake!) her spouse is a NSU law professor.

    Balancing all factors, I think Donoho has a slight edge over Moon, with Leali close behind.

    Rosner should just withdraw from this race immediately. Donoho will soon defeat him in court, and vs. these 3 strong opponents Mr. Rosner should get virtually no votes in this race, regardless of what his name is!

  9. Broward Sucks says:

    Yes Sam the Sham is right! We deserve the right to vote for a judge whose net worth is NEGATIVE $289,114 so she can sell her rulings to the highest bidder and pay off her debt. Give me a break. Elections, particularly in Broward, are a joke. Check everyone’s financials in each race. You will find the biggest loser.

  10. what to know about Donoho says:


    Melissa Donoho runs the local office the State of Florida Conflict Counsel Office. A secondary public defenders office. In the last 2 election cycles, 3 or her underlings have run against sitting judges. While there is nothing wrong with sure seems unfair that Melissa and her two lawyers currently running against sitting Judges can campaign on tax payer dime.

    Also to note, her lawyer in the Rosner suit, is H. Dohn Williams… If you call Mr. Wiliams at the Conflict office you get the voice mail of an Assistant that says he works for Donoho and Williams.

    Looks like representing Donoho was a quid pro quo by Williams whose contract is up July 1.

    Are these two going to be litigating this suit on State time?

  11. Judge Hurley Fan says:

    I remember your old article on this woman when she ran against Judge Hurley. Didn’t like her then and nothing has changed. IMHO Judge Hurley is one of the best Judges in town.

    Hurley Under Attack By Former Judge

    Now we know who is behind the campaign against Broward County Judge Jay Hurley at least one of the Good Ol Boys who lost power at the courthouse two years ago.

    The first big donation to Melissa Donoho’s campaign against Hurley is $500 from Jay Spechler of Hollywood, the former judge who now describes himself a mediator.

    Spechler, an enemy of the current regime at the courthouse, quit two years ago when the then-new Chief Judge Victor Tobin demoted him. Tobin ordered him out of the downtown Fort Lauderdale courthouse to a satellite facility, where he would hear traffic cases.

    Hurley was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to Spechler’s old job.

    I guess Spechler is still mad


    I wrote the piece because Donoho filed a legal action against her opponent based on an interesting allegation. I still believe that Judge Jay Hurley is a very good judge and deserved to be reelected in that race, which he was.

  12. Hey Broward Sucks says:

    You are so right… we should continue to elect billionaires like Trump to the Presidency because he and the rich guys around him have so much money they have no need to whore themselves out as influence peddlers.


    Michael Cohen

  13. Tell The Truth says:

    If Judge John Hurley is on a ballot, he gets my vote.

  14. Low Class Melissa Donoho says:

    Donoho has evymry right to sue in this matter. It takes a real dirty player to wait until Mr. Allen-Rosner’s kick off event when he standing next to his wife and two elementary school children to have the process server crash the event, make a scene and serve him with the lawsuit. Not surprising for a person the sun sentinel called a mud slinger when she ran against Judge Hurley.

  15. Stormwatch says:

    If Jose Diaz-Balart was running in this race and removed the hyphen from his name would he be getting sued too?

  16. Trish Bailey-Entin says:

    Melissa Donoho is by far the most qualified candidate in this race. If Rosner wasn’t hiding in his house for a week and avoiding service, then he wouldn’t have been served at his own event. Has anyone realized that even if Rosner wins, he will most likely be removed being in violation of canon 7, unethical behavior? In that event, the seat will go to the governor for appointment. All that time and money wasted campaigning for all the candidates. What a great way to deceive the voters of Broward County, Rosner.

  17. Hey Trish says:

    How much work does your firm get from ORCC and Melissa? Melisa better take a look at all the lies she put about Allen-Rosner in her Memorandum of Law. Jason never ran and lost four times and never worked for the Ticket Clinic. It is lies like these by Judge Santino during her campaign that have her about to be removed by the JQC. If Donoho’s case is so good how come it was dismissed by the Court this week? How pathetic is it that despite the bs lawsuit, Allen-Rosner was endorsed in the last week by the AFL CIO and Hispanic Vote. Allen-Rosner was previously endorsed by the PBA and the FOP. Looks like most people don’t share your view that Melissa is a better choice.

    Finally, it is great to see that your grand fundraiser you are hosting for Melissa at Mezzeluna is up to a whopping 10 “attending” on Facebook.