The Honorable Howard K. Coates, Jr.
Division:
Family "FY"/Probate "IX" 

Judicial Assistant:
Kelli-Renee Williams

Phone:
(561) 274-1452
 Room: 
2E-115

Courtroom Number: 
2

South County Courthouse
200 W Atlantic Ave
Delray Beach, Fl 33444

 

Divisional Instructions
(FY/IX)

(Revised 04/2017)


 

 (ORDER SETTING HEARING MUST BE PRESENTED AT THE TIME OF ALL SPECIAL SET HEARINGS)

Hearings that are not confirmed are subject to being cancelled and/or rescheduled   THE CLERK'S OFFICE OPERATING HOURS FOR THE PUBLIC ARE 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM, MONDAY - THURSDAY.

COURT CALENDAR:

  • The Court is in session Monday through Friday of each week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding court holidays, and any dates listed on the Court's Suspension Calendar.

SUSPENSION CALENDAR:

  • The Court's docket is suspended for the following dates: See Suspension Calendar Tab.

UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR ("UMC"):

  • UMC CALENDAR:
    • Unless otherwise specified on Judge Coates' Suspension Docket, UMC is held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of every week.
    • UMC begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 9:30 a.m
  • Parties MUST submit ALL courtsey copies of the Motion(s)  , pertinent court documents, memorandum of law, and proposed orders to the Court BY U.S. MAIL  or HAND-DELIVERY no later than five (5) days prior to hearing along with a cover letter with the case number, style of the case and date of hearing. 
  •  
  • ALL Notices of cancellation are to be submitted to the Divisional E-mail address at CAD-DIVISIONFY@PBCGOV.ORG
  • In addition, all counsel are required to provide to the Court at the beginning of each hearing on UMC courtesy copies of all motions to be heard and proposed orders. Most motions heard on UMC are decided during UMC, making the submission of proposed orders especially important to judicial efficiency and prompt administration of justice.
  • AT ALL TIMES, THE PARTIES SHALL COMPLY WITH THE STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL COURTESY AND CIVILITY PROMULGATED BY THE PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION AND ENDORSED BY THE JUDGES OF THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.
  • All UMC Hearings must be coordinated and scheduled at mutually convenient times to counsel. NO EXCEPTIONS. If counsel are unable to agree after first attempting to coordinate by phone as to a hearing date, then the scheduling difficulty may be brought to the Court's attention for appropriate disposition.
  • UMC hearings are limited to a total of ten (10) minutes per case, regardless of the number of matters sought to be heard.
  • While multiple motions may be heard, the number of such motions or matters shall not expand the hearing time on UMC. Any motions or matters not heard within the ten (10) minute timeframe must be rescheduled.
  • All motions or matters on UMC will be heard in the order that they were noticed for hearing. For multiple motions or matters noticed at the same time, the order of hearing will be the date of filing of each motion or matter.
  • Piggybacking is only permitted with agreement of counsel and shall not expand the UMC hearing time for each case.
  • Any motions or memoranda submitted to the Court for UMC are limited to five (5) pages, excluding exhibits; provided, however, in all events, the submissions to the Court for UMC (including exhibits) shall be amenable to being reviewed by the Court in advance of the hearing and requiring no more than a total of ten (10) minutes for review
  • Unless directed otherwise by the Court, all argument at UMC shall be as follows: 1) Movant's argument; 2) Opposing argument; 3) rebuttal, if necessary.
  • MATTERS INAPPROPRIATE FOR UMC HEARING:
    • No evidentiary matters will be held at UMC EXCEPT the following:
      • Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage Matters
      • Uncontested Paternity Matters
      • Temporary Custody Matters
      • Petitions for Adult Name Change
      • Motions on Petitions involving Uncontested/Unopposed Facts (with Court Approval)
    • The following matters SHALL NOT be noticed for UMC, but shall be specially set for hearing as provided below:
      • Motions for Contempt
      • Motions for Sanctions
      • Petitions for Temporary Custody seeking a SIJS best interest determination
      • Motions for Attorneys' Fees
      • Motions for Rehearing and/or Reconsideration (Will be set by the Court Post-Review)
      • Motions for Summary Judgment
      • Any motions requiring evidence to be taken or findings to be made by the Court, unless expressly permitted herein
    • Any hearing of any nature reasonably requiring more than five (5) minutes per side to argue.
  • PROBATE/GUARDIANSHIP UMC
    • Probate/Guardianship matters (non-evidentiary matters and/or ex parte matters) are held on Tuesdays & Thursdays in Courtroom #2 at 8:45 a.m.
    • Note: UMC hearings are not recorded. If a record is desired, then the attorney desiring same shall provide the Court Reporter.
    • Counsel bringing ex parte matters for hearing are required to check in with the Probate Clerk for Division IX PRIOR to appearing before the Court. NO EXCEPTIONS.
    • Petitions/Motions for Attorneys' Fees and Guardian's Fees are not heard on UMC and should be specially set for hearing. A copy of all Petitions for Attorneys' Fees and Guardian's Fees should be provided by Counsel to the Probate Clerk for Division IX.
    • Petitions/Motions for Discharge of Guardian are NOT heard on UMC, but are handled through the mail with submission of same to the Probate Clerk for Division IX. 
  • FAMILY MATTERS ON UMC:
    • UMC for family matters is held every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday in Courtroom #2 @ 8:45 a.m.
    • All non-evidentiary motions, uncontested final hearings, etc. may be set for UMC, subject to the above protocols and guidelines for UMC (e.g., 10 minute/5 minute per side hearing limitation).
    • Counsel must first file the original Motion and Notice of Hearing at least five (5) working days in advance with the Clerk of Court, Family Division, with a copy to opposing counsel. A copy of the motion, and any supporting memorandum must also be sent to Judge Coates' Judicial Assistant by MAIL or HAND DELIVERY no later than five (5) days before the scheduled hearing.
    • UNCONTESTED DISSOLUTIONS: Prior to any hearing on an uncontested dissolution, the Court must be presented with a completed proposed Final Judgment, completed Final Testimony Form, and an executed Final Disposition Form, and copies of any other orders proposed to be executed at the Final Hearing. In addition,
      • If involving a settlement agreement, a copy of such agreement reflecting signature by both parties and notarization, along with a docket number reflecting the filing of the marital settlement agreement. The Court's general preference is to refer to and incorporate the marital settlement agreement by way of reference to the docket number as opposed to having it attached to the Final Judgment.
      • If involving alimony, parental responsibility, timesharing, and/or child support, certification that the following has been complied with or satisfied:
        • Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure unless the parties have agreed not to exchange these documents
        • Financial Affidavits filed by both parties
        • Notice of Social Security Number filed by both parties
        • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act filed by either party
        • Child Support Guidelines Worksheet reflecting the income and timesharing information applicable to the Final Judgment to be entered
        • Parenting Plan signed by both parties and filed with the Court
        • Certificate of Completion of Parent Education Class by both parents and filed by the Clerk of Court
    • UNCONTESTED PATERNITY ACTIONS: Prior to any hearing on an uncontested paternity action, the Court must be presented with a completed proposed Final Judgment, completed Final Testimony Form, and an executed Final Disposition Form, and copies of any other orders proposed to be executed at the Final Hearing. In addition,
      • If involving a settlement agreement, a copy of such agreement reflecting signature by both parties and notarization, along with a docket number reflecting the filing of the paternity settlement agreement. The Court's general preference is to refer to and incorporate the paternity settlement agreement by way of reference to the docket number as opposed to having it attached to the Final Judgment.
      • If involving parental responsibility, timesharing, and/or child support, certification that the following has been complied with or satisfied:
        • Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure unless the parties have agreed not to exchange these documents
        • Financial Affidavits filed by both parties
        • Notice of Social Security Number filed by both parties
        • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act filed by either party
        • Child Support Guidelines Worksheet reflecting the income and timesharing information applicable to the Final Judgment to be entered
        • Parenting Plan signed by both parties and filed with the Court
        • Certificate of Completion of Parent Education Class by both parent and filed by the Clerk of the Court
        • Birth Certificate for the minor child
      • ALL MATTERS TO BE HEARD ON UMC MUST BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 5.201-11/09, OF THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT. Administrative Order 5.201
      • All Motions to Compel Discovery shall comply with Administrative Order No. 5.202-5/09*, including specifically but without limitation the requirement of a "good-faith" certification that an attempt has been made to resolve the discovery dispute without a hearing, but that the matter could not be resolved.

PROPOSED ORDERS:

Proposed Orders, including Agreed Orders, Ex Parte Orders, and Orders Specially Setting Hearing a are to be submitted through CAD-DivisionFY@pbcgov.org   in both Word and PDF format; and shall be in Times New Roman 12 font  

Please list all email addresses of all counsel and all parties on all proposed orders and include a cover letter referencing the date of the hearing and whether opposing counsel has reviewed and approved of the form of the proposed order.  ALL ORDERS SUBMITTED WITHOUT A COVER LETTER WILL BE REJECTED. Cover letters are to be submitted as an attachment/supporting document

COPIES OF THE MOTION SHOULD ALSO BE ATTACHED AS A SUPPORTING DOCUMENT IF APPLICABLE 

SPECIAL SET HEARINGS:

  •  CALENDAR:
    • Unless otherwise specified on Judge Coates' Suspension Docket, Special Set Hearings are held Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of every week, and are subject to the time and dates available on the Court's calendar at the time of scheduling of hearing.
    • Special Set Hearings usually begin no earlier than 9:30 a.m. and no later than 3:30 p.m. The time of each hearing varies depending on the circumstances and the motion to be heard.
  • PROTOCOLS :
    • Special Set Hearings are set by the Court's Judicial Assistant through coordination with Counsel.The moving attorney shall call the Court's Judicial Assistant, who will provide three (3) available dates and times. The moving attorney shall then coordinate a mutually agreeable date and time with opposing counsel or the individual if a pro se party.
    • Parties MUST Contact Judicial Assistant to confirm dates for hearing prior to sending the Order. Telephone messages left for the Judicial Assistant confirming hearing dates will not be considered as confirmation of same.
    • ALL SPECIAL SET HEARINGS ARE SET BY COURT ORDER. See our Divisional Forms and Orders for our sample order on special set hearings.

    • Movant shall bring to the hearing: proposed order and sufficient copies and self-addressed stamped envelopes for all pro se parties. Attorneys will receive  their copies by Judicial E-Service.

    • Parties MUST submit ALL courtesy copies of the Motion(s)  , pertinent court documents, memorandum of law, and proposed orders to the Court BY U.S. MAIL  or HAND-DELIVERY no later than five (5) days prior to the hearing along with a cover letter with the case number, style of the case and date of hearing.

    • All submissions of proposed Final Judgments/Orders in connection with a Special Set Hearing 1) Be submitted to CAD-DivisionFY@pbcgov.org;   2) Be in MS Word format; and  3) Shall be in 12 point Times New Roman. 

    • All Final Orders MUST have 3 x 3" marginin  top right-hand corner.

    • All submissions of proposed Final Judgements/Orders in connnection with a Special Set Hearing 1) Shall be submitted to CAD-DivisionFY@PBCGOV.ORG   2)  Shall be in MS Word Format and   3)  Shall be in Times New Roman font All FINAL ORDERS MUST HAVE A 3x3" margin in the top right-hand corner. All Motions to Dismiss to be heard must include the copy of the complaint and/or the amended complaint to which they are referring to.

    • Specially set hearings are set by Court order and cannot be added on to, CANCELLED or CONTINUED, except by further order of the Court. If the matter is settled, an agreed order resolving the motion  and cancelling the hearing MUST be presented to Court PRIOR to the date/time of the scheduled special set hearing. 

 

  • AT ALL TIMES, THE PARTIES SHALL COMPLY WITH THE STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL COURTESY AND CIVILITY PROMULGATED BY THE PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION AND ENDORSED BY THE JUDGES OF THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.
  • All SSH Hearings must be coordinated and scheduled at mutually convenient times to counsel. NO EXCEPTIONS. If counsel are unable to agree after first attempting to coordinate as to a hearing date, then the scheduling difficulty may be brought to the Court's attention for appropriate disposition.
  • SSH hearings shall be scheduled for a time appropriate to the motion or matter to be heard. No SSH may be set for a period in excess of one (1) hour except upon Court approval. See Administrative Order 5.206-5/09*.
  • While multiple motions may be heard on SSH, the number of such motions shall not expand the hearing time for SSH.
  • All motions on SSH will be heard in the order that they were noticed for hearing. For multiple motions noticed at the same time, the order of hearing will be the date of filing of each motion.
  • Piggybacking is only permitted with agreement of counsel and shall not expand the SSH hearing time provided by the Court.
  • Copies of ALL motions, along with proposed orders, shall be delivered to the Court's Judicial Assistant no later than five (5) working days before the scheduled hearing. The Court endeavors to review all materials prior to the scheduled hearings.
  • Absent leave of the Court, any motions or memoranda submitted to the Court for SSH are limited to fifteen (15) pages, excluding exhibits.
  • NOTE: Copies of all notices and motions should be provided to the Court's Judicial Assistant, notwithstanding that such have been e-filed with the Clerk of the Court. Simply e-filing a notice or motion does not result in the Court or the Judicial Assistant seeing or even being aware of the notice or motion prior to the hearing.
  • In addition, all counsel are required to provide to the Court at the beginning of each hearing on SSH courtesy copies of all motions, petitions, or other matters to be heard and proposed orders.
  • Unless directed otherwise by the Court, all argument at SSH shall be as follows: 1) Movant's argument; 2) Opposing argument; 3) rebuttal, if necessary.
  • Absent leave of the Court, all exhibits to be introduced as evidence at SSH shall be exchanged between the parties no later than forty-eight (48) hours before the scheduled hearing.
  • All exhibits to be introduced as evidence at SSH shall be pre-marked.
  • While the Court endeavors to determine most motions at the conclusion of the SSH, at times the Court may take the matter under advisement and ask for the parties to submit post-hearing memoranda and/or proposed orders based on the evidence presented and admitted at the SSH or based on preliminary rulings made by the Court at the conclusion of the SSH.
  • The Court's standard practice is to require (unless otherwise directed by the Court at the conclusion of the SSH) that all post-hearing submissions (including the foregoing proposed orders) be made five (5) calendar days following the SSH. Compliance with this deadline is MANDATORY, as the Court finds the timely submission of post-hearing proposed orders to be especially important to judicial efficiency and prompt administration of justice.
  • The submission of all post-hearing proposed judgments and orders and any objections thereto shall be governed by and in compliance with Administrative Order No. 5.204-5/09*. NOTE: Some portion of the text of the Judgment or Order specific to the case MUST be included on Judge Coates' signature page. PLEASE include the style of the case, the case number and the page number in the upper left-hand corner for Judgments and Orders more than one page. The Judgment or Order WILL be sent back to the moving attorney if the signature page of the Judgment or Order only includes the Judge's signature line and is not in compliance with Administrative Order No. 5.204-5/09*. 

APPEARANCE AT HEARINGS BY TELEPHONE:

  • The Court permits telephonic appearances by Counsel at UMC and SSH. At any hearing in which evidence is to be taken, the Court permits telephonic appearance by a party only upon agreement of all parties; otherwise, a motion will need to be filed seeking same and decided by the Court.
  • The Court uses Courtcall.com as the service provider for the purposes of scheduling and appearing at a hearing via telephone.
  • To schedule a telephonic appearance for a hearing that is presently set, please go to courtcall.com and/or call 1-888-882-6878 and follow the instructions. Subject to the above, no motion or order for telephone appearance is normally required, however, your opposing counsel/party must be aware and in agreement that you are appearing via telephone.
  • If you wish to appear at a hearing via telephone, you MUST contact Courtcall and make the appropriate arrangements at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the scheduled hearing date and time.

CAD Email:

  •  Proposed Orders, Agreed Orders, Ex Parte Orders, and Orders Specially Setting Hearing a are to be submitted through CAD-DivisionFY@pbcgov.org   in Word format; and shall be in Times New Roman 12 font  

     

    Please list all email addresses of all counsel and all parties on all proposed orders and include a cover letter referencing the date of the hearing and whether opposing counsel has reviewed and approved of the form of the proposed order.  ALL ORDERS SUBMITTED WITHOUT A COVER LETTER WILL BE REJECTED. Cover letters are to be submitted as an attachment/supporting document

    COPIES OF THE MOTION SHOULD ALSO BE ATTACHED AS A SUPPORTING DOCUMENT IF APPLICABLE 

    Proposed Orders, including Agreed Orders, Ex Parte Orders, and Orders Specially Setting Hearing a are to be submitted through CAD-DivisionFY@pbcgov.org   in both Word and PDF format; and shall be in Times New Roman 12 font  

     

    Please list all email addresses of all counsel and all parties on all proposed orders and include a cover letter referencing the date of the hearing and whether opposing counsel has reviewed and approved of the form of the proposed order.  ALL ORDERS SUBMITTED WITHOUT A COVER LETTER WILL BE REJECTED. Cover letters are to be submitted as an attachment/supporting document

    COPIES OF THE MOTION SHOULD ALSO BE ATTACHED AS A SUPPORTING DOCUMENT IF APPLICABLE 

     
  • Under no circumstances should the CAD-DivisionFY@pbcgov.org email address be used for purposes of copying the Court on any email communications between counsel regarding any matter, including without limitation, scheduling of hearings, depositions, etc., settlement discussions of any kind, or any other communication not expressly permitted by the Court's Judicial Assistant. This email is for direct communication to Division FY and not for apprising the Court of communications between the parties or their counsel.

  • All submissions of proposed Final Judgments/Orders in connection with a Special Set Hearing; 1) Besubmitted to CAD-DivisionFY@PBCGOV.ORG   2)  Be in MS Word Format and   3)  Be in 12 point Times New Roman font.

  • All FINAL ORDERS MUST HAVE A 3 x 3" margin in the top right-hand corner.

 

EMERGENCY MOTIONS/REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY HEARINGS:

  • All emergency motions must be filed with the Clerk of Court, Family Division. The Clerk's Office will then forward the motion to Judge Coates, or an alternate Judge in his absence, for immediate review and consideration, after which the motion will either be denied, or if appropriate, an emergency hearing set thereon, or interim emergency relief entered. 

    • All motions seeking emergency relief shall comply with Administrative Order No. 5.203-1/17*, failure of which will result in the summary denial of the motion. 

    All motions seeking emergency relief shall comply with Administrative Order No. 5.203-1/17*, failure of which will result in the summary denial of the motion. 

AGREED ORDERS AND MATTERS HEARD ON THE PAPERS:

  • The Court encourages parties to reach agreements on any and all matters that may be appropriate for resolution by agreement of the parties and counsel and to submit agreed orders in lieu of a hearing. However, such agreements are not without limitations, meaning that there are some matters that despite agreement of the parties and counsel such matters nonetheless require a hearing before the Court and are not amenable simply to the entry of an agreed order on the papers. Without intending to be exclusive, the Court identifies the following matters on which it will not accept and enter an agreed order on the papers in lieu of a hearing (evidentiary and/or non-evidentiary) before the Court.
    • Motions for Continuance. The Court does not accept agreed orders of continuance. All motions for continuance must be heard by the Court and be in compliance with Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.460.
    • Motions to Dispense with Mediation. The Court will not enter an agreed order dispensing with mediation without conducting a hearing on same.
    • Petitions to Determine Paternity, Time-Sharing, and Child Support. Generally the Court will entertain agreed Final Judgments of Paternity that provide for shared parental responsibility, reasonable timesharing, and child support in compliance with the child support guidelines. However, the Court does not accept Agreed Final Judgments that provide for sole parental responsibility, any timesharing less than the model guidelines applicable to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, dispense with child support, or deviate from the child support guidelines, all of which matters require the Court to make certain findings after receiving evidence. Where the above circumstances exist, the Court requires an evidentiary hearing for the presentation of evidence sufficient to enable the Court to make the findings necessary to support the proposed agreed final judgment.
    • Any agreed orders/judgments seeking the approval and/or adoption of any agreements that provide for sole parental responsibility, any timesharing less than the model guidelines applicable to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, dispense with child support, or deviate from the child support guidelines, will not be heard on the papers but shall be set for an evidentiary hearing for the presentation of evidence sufficient to enable the Court to make the findings necessary to support the proposed agreed order/judgment.
    • Motions to Withdraw. Normally, a hearing is required on all motions to withdraw. However, the Court will enter an agreed order of withdrawal of counsel on the papers and in lieu of further hearing if the Court is provided: 1) the client's consent to the withdrawal; 2) opposing counsel's consent and/or non-objection to the withdrawal; and, 3) a proposed order that provides the most current address and email for service of papers on the client.

 

EX-PARTE MOTIONS TO COMPEL DISCOVERY:

  • No hearing is necessary if Motion is in compliance with Administrative Order 5.202-5/09*.
  • The moving attorney must submit the Motion and Order for signature by the Judge.

 

POST JUDGMENT MATTERS ("PJM"):

  • Supplemental Petitions for Modification; Enforcement of Final Judgment; Post Judgment Motion for Contempt: All post-judgment matters, except those specified in Administrative Order 5.104-11/16 MUST be referred to the General Magistrate. If there is an objection to the General Magistrate, the attorney for the objecting party, or if unrepresented the pro se party, must file a timely written Objection to Magistrate. No PJM (except those involving interim emergency relief), except those specified in Administrative Order 5.104-11/16, may come before the Court until after the entry of an Order Sustaining or Overruling the Objection. All PJM involving child support are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the General Magistrate.
  • Assignment to General Magistrates: Post-judgment matters referred to the Magistrates are done by the male litigant's last name as follows:
    • If the male litigant's last name begins with A-K -- Magistrate Peter Bassaline
    • If the male litigant's last name begins with L-Z -- Magistrate Sara Alijewicz
  • All post-judgment matters are governed by Administrative Order 5.104-11/16, to which Counsel and parties (represented or pro se) are obligated to comply with and not circumvent or ignore.

TEMPORARY RELIEF HEARINGS:

  • No hearing date and time will be provided by the Court's Judicial Assistant until AFTER mediation of the temporary relief issues has been completed.
  • After mediation of the temporary relief issues has been completed, the moving attorney may contact the Court's Judicial Assistant to obtain a date/time mutually convenient to Counsel to conduct the temporary relief hearing. The Court will endeavor to schedule temporary relief hearings at the earliest date and time available on the Court's docket. The Court does not tolerate gamesmanship and strategic delay when it comes to attempts by one party to delay, impede, or frustrate the scheduling of a temporary relief hearing by being dilatory in the coordination with opposing counsel both for the setting of the mediation and the temporary relief hearing. The Court reminds Counsel of their obligations to comply with the Palm Beach County Standards of Professional Courtesy and Civility.
  • All temporary relief hearings shall be in compliance with Administrative Order 5.207-10/10 Administrative Order 5.207.

ADOPTION HEARINGS:

  • Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) or Final Hearings are set by the Judicial Assistant.
  • Each attorney must ensure: 1) that he or she has received his/her Status Letter/Order/Case Management Memo from the Staff Attorney; and 2) that everything in the Staff Attorney's Status Letter/Order/Memo has been complied with, satisfied, and/or completed.
  • If everything has been complied with, satisfied, and/or completed as provided above, the Court's Judicial Assistant will then specially set the TPR Hearing or Final Hearing. If the attorney says that they have not received a Status Letter/Order/Case Management Memo from the Staff Attorney, the Judicial Assistant must obtain the case number and will forward same to the Staff Attorney for review and preparation of a Status Letter/Order/Memo.
  • The Court's Judicial Assistant will not set a TPR or Final Hearing until the Status Letter/Order/Memo has been received by the attorney and all items addressed therein have been complied with, satisfied, and/or completed.

TRIALS:

  • The moving party must file a Notice for Trial with their estimated time of trial. Also mail a hard copy to JA and provide envelopes for only "pro se" parties.
  • All notices or motions for trial shall be in compliance with Administrative Order No. 5.209.
  • All trial exhibits must be pre-marked.
  • The Court's standard practice is to require (unless otherwise directed by the Court at the conclusion of the trial) that all post-trial submissions be made ten (10) calendar days following the trial. Compliance with this deadline is MANDATORY, as the Court finds the timely submission of post-trial proposed judgments/orders to be especially important to judicial efficiency and prompt administration of justice.
  • All submissions of proposed final judgments or orders: 1) shall be by email to: CAD-DivisionFY@PBCGOV.ORG; 2) shall be in both Word and PDF format; and, 3) shall be in Times New Roman 12 font.
  • The submission of all post-trial proposed judgments and orders and any objections thereto shall be governed by and in compliance with Administrative Order No. 5.204-5/09* unless provided otherwise herein. NOTE: Some portion of the text of the Judgment or Order specific to the case MUST be included on Judge Coates' signature page. PLEASE include the style of the case, the case number and the page number in the upper left-hand corner for Judgments and Orders more than one page. The Judgment or Order WILL be sent back to the moving attorney if the signature page of the Judgment or Order only includes the Judge's signature line and is not in compliance with Administrative Order No. 5.204-5/09*.

DIVISION FY/IX DO'S AND DON'TS:

  • The following is intended as a practice aid to attorneys and parties appearing in Division FY/IX.
  • Do:
    • Comply With The Standards Of Professional Courtesy And Civility Promulgated By The Palm Beach County Bar Association And Endorsed By The Judges Of The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit
    • Introduce yourself at each hearing even if you think the Court knows who you are
    • Come prepared to respond to Court's questions (there almost always are some)
    • Be courteous to the Court's Judicial Assistant, the Probate Clerks, and other Court Staff (the Court does hear about it when you are not)
    • Avoid interrupting opposing counsel except to assert a "valid" objection
    • Be courteous to the Court and oblige by remaining quiet when the Court starts to speak and ask questions, and remain silent until the Court is done
    • Submit materials in advance to the Court (they will be read)
    • Come to hearing with proposed orders
    • Coordinate all hearings
    • Come to court with pre-marked exhibits
    • Exchange exhibits prior to the hearing
    • Be on time for all hearings
    • Call the Court's Judicial Assistant if not able to be on time due to circumstances beyond your control (generally bad traffic is not a sufficient basis)
  • Don't:
    • Schedule hearings unilaterally on UMC
    • Send more than five (5) minutes of reading for a UMC hearing
    • Call for temporary relief hearing unless you have completed mediation
    • Try to schedule second temporary relief hearing unless you have express permission from the Court
    • Assume the result at the temporary relief hearing will be the same at final after hearing all the evidence
    • Ignore the Court's deadline to submit proposed orders
    • Assume a continuance will be granted (even if it is agreed)
    • Assume the Court will approve a waiver or release of any child support, arrearage or regular (even if it is agreed)
    • Assume the Court will dispense with mediation (even if agreed between the parties)
    • Assume an order will be entered just because it is agreed (where issue concerns timesharing, parental responsibility, and child support, Court always evaluates, based on the evidence presented, whether the parents' agreement is in the best interests of the minor child)
    • Try to talk over the Court (be courteous) or interrupt opposing counsel (except to make a valid objection)
    • Schedule contempt or sanctions motions for UMC, they are evidentiary
    • Let a case sit for an inordinate amount of time and then try to schedule a temporary relief hearing shortly before trial
    • Bait the Court to take positions you know or should know are not supported by the law (i.e, setup for reversal)
    • Put unsupported findings in proposed orders
    • Provide caselaw to Court in hearings or in papers that has not been cite-checked (i.e., is still good, controlling, or persuasive law)
    • File emergency motion unless it complies with administrative rule
    • Try to schedule post-judgment motion first without complying with referral process to magistrate
    • Be late to any hearing!