The Honorable Nancy Perez

Division: 
County Civil "RE"

Judicial Assistant:
Valencia M. Spells Anderson

Phone: (561) 355-7829

Fax: (561) 355-6255

 

Room: 
4.2604

Courtroom Number: 
4C

Main Judicial Complex
205 N Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

 

DIVISIONAL INSTRUCTIONS


County Civil Court has jurisdiction over claims up to and including $15,000. A County Civil case is any civil matter that falls within the jurisdiction of County Court. Detail may be found in Chapter 34, Florida Statutes. County Civil Court also handles: Evictions (Landlord and Tenant Action) and Small Claims (Small claims are disputes involving money damages where the amount at issue does not exceed $5,000 excluding costs, interest and attorneys' fees)

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY COURTS ARE CLOSED AND ALL HEARINGS IN DIVISON RE ARE CANCELLED ON SEPTEMBER 7 & 8 DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA. ORDERS/NOTICES RESETTING ARE FORTHCOMING FOR ANY HEARINGS SCHEDULED BY THE COURT/CLERK. ATTORNEYS PLEASE RESET ANY MATTERS THAT YOU HAVE NOTICED FOR HEARING.  PLEASE VISIT WWW.15THCIRCUIT.COM FOR UPDATES ON WHEN THE COURTS WILL RE-OPEN OR CALL THE EMERGENCY UPDATE HOTLINE AT 561-355-6744.  


EFFECTIVE JUNE 20, 2017 ONLINE SCEDULING IS AVAILABLE IN DIVISON RE however; we do not offer e-service of Orders or e-service of documents at this time.  Please do not submit any documents to us via email or the online scheduling system unless we have requested the same; also DO NOT e-file any Orders for the Judge's signature (all Orders and/or Notices of Hearing must be mailed directly to the Judge).

Division RE DOES NOT accept faxes unless we have requested the same.  Only Pretrial Waivers/Stipulations will  be accepted via faxOriginal Orders and SASEs will need to be submitted via US Mail.

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH JUDGE PEREZ'S OFFICE AND RECEIVE A RESPONSE FROM OR VOICEMAIL FOR AUDRIE LEO, JUDGE BONAVITA'S JA, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE PHONES. AUDRIE OCCASIONALLY PROVIDES PHONE COVERAGE FOR OUR OFFICE. LEAVE A DETAILED MESSAGE AND YOUR CALL WILL BE RETURNED.

PLEASE NOTE: Pursuant to the linked Supreme Court Administrative Order (http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2014/sc14-721.pdf), effective January 1, 2015 Division RE is unable to accept the documents listed below if they are not in complete compliance with said Administrative Order with regard to  margins, page numbering, fonts, recording stamp spaces, etc:
  • Verdict
  • Judgment
  • Final Judgment
  • Summary Final Judgment
  • Default Final Judgment
  • Order vacating final judgment
  • Order of Dismissal
  • Order Amending Final Judgment
  • Order of Taking (eminent domain)

GENERAL:

All requests and/or motions must be filed with the Clerk's office and a copy must be furnished to the opposing party. Please make sure your phone number and correct address are included on every paper filed in order that the Judicial Assistant may contact you regarding your case. "The Court will not rule on many motions ex parte (i.e., Motion for Continuance). Therefore, please set your motion for hearing with proper notice to all parties."

Please DO NOT send original documents or checks to the Judges chambers. All original documents MUST be sent/filed with the Clerk's Office.

If you are calling long distance, and you do not have a toll free number or are not able and/or willing to accept a collect call from the Court, or are calling between the hours of 12:00PM and 1:00PM, you are asked to please return your call at a later time.

Local Rule 4 Adobe PDF  provides that a good faith effort to resolve the matter must be made prior to setting the hearing. It is a professional courtesy to check with opposing counsel/party when setting hearings. If several hearing dates are given, please be sure to call the Judicial Assistant and advise which date was chosen.

Proposed Orders with self addressed stamped envelopes provided for each party should be brought to each hearing. See Local Rule 3 Adobe PDF . 

When sending envelopes for return correspondence, please leave the return address area blank. The Judicial Assistant will stamp the Judge's name and address in that area, and if the mailing is returned from the post office, it will be docketed and placed in the court file.

 

"MAIL IN" PROPOSED ORDERS
 Any and all proposed Orders submitted to the Judge must be accompanied by the motion, copies to be conformed (also either email a copy in Word format or send a disk or flash drive should revisions need to be made), and self addressed stampedenvelopes for all parties.

PLEASE NOTE: Please DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL to inquire whether the Judge has signed a particular order or has received any document or pleading. We are unable to answer such questions at the present time because of the enormous volume of phone calls and mail received daily.

Further, once an Order is signed by the Judge, the copies are conformed and mailed out to the parties; the original Order is then sent to the Clerk for docketing. We do not keep track of Orders once they leave our office and will not know if/when an Order was signed until it appears on the Clerk's docket. 

We appreciate your cooperation and patience. You may wish to do the due diligence of checking the docket or contact the Clerk of Courts to determine whether or not the file is still with the Judge. If your Order does not appear in the Clerk's system within 14 days of being submitted to our office, you may wish to resubmit the documents.

Please check our suspension calendar to determine if the Division was suspended during the time your documents were submitted as this may pose a further delay as the Judge is typically out of the office during suspension dates.

NOTICES OF APPEARANCE:

Effective immediately, prior to appearing in Court or filing any document with the Court in any case or proceeding, counsel shall file a Notice of Appearance if that attorney has not filed the first paper or pleading in the case or is not already counsel of record. See Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.505(e). All coverage counsel must file a Notice of Limited Appearance.

 


NEW>>> GENERAL ONLINE SCHEDULING SYSTEM

ONLINE SCHEDULING SYSTEM

Uniform Motion Calendar hearings and Special Set hearings must be set using the online scheduling system. Use of this system requires a user ID and password. Please see the link to the instructions on the homepage. Technical questions regarding the system should be directed to CAD-WEB@pbcgov.org; staff is not able to answer these questions. If the system says there are no hearing dates available, please check again at a later time. If the problem persists, please contact the Judicial Assistant.   

In some cases, the Court will serve orders via the e-service address registered on the foregoing site. Remember, however, at this time, the Court does NOT accept any document transmitted by email absent prior, specific authorization by the Judge in a specific case.

CANCELLATION OF HEARINGS To cancel a hearing scheduled for UMC or Telephonic UMC, the scheduling party must login to the 15th Judicial Circuit's Online Scheduling System, select "Uniform Motion Calendar "UMC" Scheduling; Select "Cancel Hearings" and follow the directions on the screen. 

The scheduling party's office must also file a Notice of Cancellation and submit it to the Court via fax to 561-355-6255.

(If you re-schedule your hearing, be sure to cancel the first hearing online, so the date is re-opened.) YOU MAY ONLY SCHEDULE HEARINGS ON THE DATES POSTED ONLINE.

To cancel a special set hearing, please fax a Notice of Cancellation to 561-355-6255 as these cannot be cancelled via the online scheduling system. 

UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR

Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC") hearings are held Tuesday & Wednesday at 8:30 A.M. on a first come, first serve basis using the Online Scheduling System.    Scheduling is between the parties.  DO NOT contact the Judicial Assistant to schedule a UMC hearing or to cancel a UMC hearing.  Please use Division RE online scheduling to schedule or to a cancel hearing.  All non-evidentiary motions, uncontested motions, etc. that DO NOT require testimony can be set for a 10 minute hearing.  Attorney must first file the original motion and notice of hearing with the Clerk's office and giving opposing side(s) at least five (5) working days notice. Attorneys should coordinate the date chosen with opposing party.  After two (2) good faith documented attempts to coordinate without success, the hearing may be unilaterally setA copy of the notice of hearing and motion should be UPLOADED using the prompts.  The attorney shall bring a proposed Order to present to the Court at the time of hearing.  All hearings are to be noticed for Courtroom 4C at 205 North Dixie Highway West Palm Beach, FL 33401.

TELEPHONIC APPEARANCE IS NOT PERMITTED AT 8:30AM UMC HEARINGS (Please see Telephonic UMC information below). 

After two (2) documented good faith attempts to coordinate a hearing without success, the hearing may be unilaterally set by the moving party.

The types of motions that are allowed on UMC are as follows: Motions to Compel, Motions to Continue, Motions to Strike, Motions to Withdraw, Motions to Dismiss, Motions to Substitute Party and Motions for Protective Order.

NO EVIDENTIARY MOTIONS ON UMC ARE PERMITTED  (ie. Motions for Summary Judgment, Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings, Damages, Final Judgment, Final Default Judgment) 

The party that schedules is required to bring the following to the UMC hearing:

  1. A copy of the motion and related document(s)
  2. A proposed order (an original, plus one copy for each party), and
  3. Self addressed stamped envelopes (SASE's) for all parties

Please note that sufficient copies of orders and self addressed stamped envelopes are required on all cases!  

Please see Cancellation of Hearings or Rescheduling under the Online Schedule System heading.

TELEPHONIC UMC HEARINGS: Telephonic Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC") hearings are held Monday & Thursday at 1:30 PM on a first come, first serve basis using the Online Scheduling System.  These matters involve one or more parties appearing by telephone for the hearing.  Any and all Notices for telephonic hearings shall be titled Notice of Telephonic Hearing an shall specify that the Plaintiff(s) and/or Defendant(s) will call into the courtroom at 561-355-1551 at the time of hearing.  The phone number is to be used for this purpose only.  WE WILL NOT CALL OUT. In the event that you receive a busy signal, or Openscape Expressions mailbox message, you will need to CONTINUE calling until you are able to get through as there may be multiple telephonic hearings scheduled

All hearings are to be noticed for courtroom 4C at 205 North Dixie Highway West Palm Beach, FL 33401. The ADA Notice must be included. 

Scheduling is between the parties.  DO NOT contact the Judicial Assistant to schedule a Telephonic UMC hearing or to cancel a Telephonic UMC hearing.  Please use Division RE online scheduling to schedule or to cancel hearing.  All non-evidentiary motions, uncontested motions and matters that DO NOT require testimony can be set for a 10 minute hearing.  Attorney must first file the original motion and notice of hearing with the Clerk's office and giving opposing side(s) at least five (5) working days notice. Attorneys should coordinate the date chosen with opposing party. All proposed Orders for telephonic UMC hearings are to be provided to the Court in advance of the hearing.

After two (2) documented good faith attempts to coordinate a hearing without success, the hearing may be unilaterally set by the moving party.

SPECIAL SET HEARINGS (Including telephonic hearings)

Special Set Hearings must be set via the Division RE Online Scheduling System (except attorneys fees hearings-see below). Hearing times are available in 15 and 30 minute increments.  Prior to scheduling a special set hearing online, you must discuss the motion with the interested parties, comply with Local Rule 4, coordinate the hearing date and time with all parties and have previously filed your Motion with the Clerk's office.  Failure to comply with these procedures may result in cancellation of your hearing by the Court.  Any and all Notices for telephonic hearings shall specify that the Plaintiff(s) and/or Defendant(s) will call into the courtroom at 561-355-1551 at the time of hearing.  All hearings are to be noticed for courtroom 4C at 205 North Dixie Highway West Palm Beach, FL 33401.  The ADA Notice must be included.

After two (2) documented good faith attempts to coordinate a hearing without success, the hearing may be unilaterally set by the moving party.

Upon scheduling of your hearing online, the counsel/pro se party requesting the hearing is required to complete the service list and include addresses of all parties (whether they are participating in the hearing or not) and serve the Notice on all parties by email or mail a copy by U.S. mail (with five (5) days notice) if no email address is provided.  Any questions should be emailed to: CAD-DivisionRE-SpecialSetHearings@pbcgov.org

HEARINGS REQUIRING MORE THAN THIRTY (30) MINUTES

Any hearing that requires more than half an hour, please send your request to CAD-DivisionRE@pbcgov.org with case number, style of the case, Motion(s) to be heard, date the motion was docketed by the Clerk (this is not the same as the date you filed the motion), amount of time required for the hearing, also notification of whether either party wishes to appear by phone. 

PLEASE MAKE SURE THE MOTION HAS BEEN DOCKETED BY THE CLERK PRIOR TO REQUESTING HEARING DATES.  IF THE MOTION DOES NOT APPEAR ON THE CLERK'S DOCKET IT CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE SET FOR HEARING.  YOU WILL NEED TO RESUBMIT YOUR HEARING REQUEST ONCE THE MOTION HAS BEEN DOCKETED

Please do not use this email address to submit pleadings or attempt to have exparte communcation with this office.  EMAIL HEARING DATE REQUESTS ONLY.  

You will receive an email confirming your selected hearing date and time as additional instructions if necessary ONLY if you have scheduled your hearing via emailIF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL PLEASE DO NOT NOTICE THE MATTER FOR HEARING.

The motions are reviewed by the Court, therefore all motions, memoranda of law (either in support or opposition to the motion), and case authority shall be provided to Court via U.S. mail no later than seven (7) days in advance of the hearing designating the date and time of the hearing which they reference. Counsel/parties should mark the key language in the most pertinent and important cases and key exhibits for the Court and opposing counsel.


 

JURY AND NON JURY TRIAL REQUESTS

Please submit your Notice that Case is at Issue and/or Notice of Readiness for Trial to Judge Perez with self addressed stamped envelopes for all parties.

MOTION TO TAX COSTS AND/OR MOTION TO AWARD ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS:
Attorneys must send to the Judge's chambers (VIA US MAIL) their Motion to Tax Costs and/or Motion to Award Attorneys Fees & Costs and self addressed stamped envelopes for all parties. [PLEASE NOTE: This is not the same as a Motion for Entitlement which can be scheduled as a special set hearing.]  Once the Judge receives it, the parties will be contacted with available hearing dates and times (if less than 1 hour is being requested or the parties do not indicate a time frame and the Judge determines less than 1 hour is required; these matters may be special set by the Court without input from the parties).  Once they have notified the Court of the selected date, an Order Preliminary to hearing on Motion to Tax Costs and Award Attorneys Fees will be entered scheduling the matter for hearing.

HEARINGS IN AID OF EXECUTION:

These matters are scheduled based on the Court's availability and WILL NOT be addressed at UMC.  Please file your motion and send a courtesy copy, with self addressed stamped envelopes, to the Judge so that it can be scheduled.  Please DO NOT send an email requesting hearing dates.  You may wish to file a Notice of Unavailability as well.   

MOTIONS FOR REHEARING/CLARIFICATION:

These matters are scheduled by the Court on an expedited basis pursuant to the Court's availability and WILL NOT be addressed at UMC.  Please file your motion and send a courtesy copy to the Judge via US Mail so that it can be scheduled (efiling a motion DOES NOT get the Motion to the Judge).  Please DO NOT send an email requesting hearing dates.

PRETRIALS:

Pretrials are held every Thursday morning in courtroom 4C.  No phone appearances are permitted at pre-trials - unless special circumstances exist and the Court has granted permission. If either party requires a continuance the request must be in writing with a copy furnished to the other party. Further, if the court file reflects no service or that the service was "unexecuted" these matters are generally continued pending service by the Court without input from either party required. Please note however, there have been instances of a non served Defendant appearing at pretrial. 

Additionally, the Judicial Assistant is required to be in Court during pre-trials on Thursday mornings and therefore is not at her desk and available to answer the phone.  If you are calling on Thursday's between the hours of 9:00AM to 1:00PM, please do not leave a message unless it is an emergency but do return your call after 1:00PM. Thank you for your consideration in this regard.

REQUEST TO INVOKE THE RULES AND STIPULATIONS TO WAIVE APPEARANCE IN SMALL CLAIMS CASES(PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCES):
Judge Perez requires a signed order or efiled/faxed joint stipulation to waive the parties' appearance at pretrial.

Proposed orders submitted that are not in compliance will not be entered. 

Please note that submission of a motion to invoke the rules and waive appearance does NOT excuse appearance at the Pretrial Conference unless the parties have filed/the Court has received a copy of a Joint Stipulation/Waiver of Appearance (either via mail, fax to 561-355-6255, or efiled and docketed by the Clerk- DO NOT fax if alreadydocketed by the Clerk) prior to pretrial or the Court has entered an Order. The stipulation is sufficent to waive apperance however proposed Orders must still be submitted.  

TO AVOID DELAY IN ENTRY OF THE ORDER WAIVING APPEARANCE & INVOKING THE RULES, PLEASE PROVIDE THE ORDER, COPIES TO BE CONFORMED AND SELF ADDRESSED, STAMPED ENVELOPES DIRECTLY TO THE COURT NOT THE CLERK. DO NOT FAX PROPOSED ORDERS THEY MUST BE SENT VIA U.S. MAIL AS INDICATED ABOVE.

TELEPHONE APPEARANCES:

Phone hearings are permitted for most hearings except evidentiary hearings and must be specially set with the Judicial Assistant.  See Florida Judicial Admin. Rule 2.530. If a conference call is necessary, the party setting the hearing is responsible for coordinating the conference call and calling into the courtroom at 561-355-1551 at the time of hearing. WE WILL NOT CALL OUT. In the event that you receive a busy signal, or Openscape Expressions voicemail message, you will need to CONTINUE calling until you are able to get through as there may be multiple telephonic hearings scheduled.

EVICTIONS AND OTHER EXPEDITED MATTERS: 

Eviction matters are set by the Judge on an expedited basis upon receipt of pleadings. Please read any orders carefully as they are self explanatory regarding deposits, mediation and the effect of failure to comply.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to their time sensitive nature, hearings on Evictions, Replevin, as well as Claim of Exemption & Objections To, as well as Motions for Rehearing/Reconsideration, are scheduled by the Court in the regular course of business. These matters are typically scheduled for hearing within a week of the Court receiving same from the Clerk. ATTORNEYS: Please file any and all Notices of Unavailability as well as telephonic appearance requests with the Clerk immediately upon filing your Complaint for Eviction/Answer any motions relating to evictions, Claim of Exemptions and/or Objections or other motions being set on an expedited basis. Also submit any proposed Final Judgments to Judge Perez with self addressed stamped envelopes for all parties for her consideration and/or scheduling.
 

CANCELLATIONS/SETTLEMENTS:

If your case settles or your motion is resolved prior to hearing/trial and you are the party that prepared the Notice of Hearing, please cancel the hearing via the Online Scheduling System (if scheduled online), file your Notice of Cancellation and mail or fax 561-355-6255 a copy to the Judge as soon as possible so that the allotted trial time may be reassigned to someone else. If this matter was set for trial/hearing by the Court, please submit your notice of settlement and Order Approving/Ratifying to the Judge via US Mail. (DO NOT SUBMIT ANY DOCUMENTATION VIA EMAIL UNLESS REQUESTED) The mailing address is: 205 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.

EMERGENCY MOTIONS, MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION/REHEARING AND COMMUNICATION WITH THE COURT:

In accordance with Administrative Order 3.2006, the original Emergency Motion must be filed with the Clerk of Court's Office.  The Clerk will bring the Motion to the Judge and then the Judge will determine if the Motion is a true Emergency and either rule on it's merits or set the matter for hearing.  It is of great importance to include your current contact information on all Motions.

In accordance with A.O. 2.312 sections L1 and L3(f), the moving party must provide the Judge a courtesy copy of any emergency motion, motion for reconsideration/rehearing and supporting memorandum of law that is filed with the Clerk.

All communications with the Court must be in writing, filed with the Clerk of Court and copies provided to all parties in the lawsuit.  Be sure to include the case number, case name(s) and your telephone number, the reason for said correspondence or documents being sent and, if the case is scheduled for a hearing or trial, include the date and time.  Otherwise we will be unable to process your request.

RESOURCES FOR LITIGANTS:

We are not lawyers and cannot give you legal advice on how to proceed with your case.  If you have questions of a legal nature or questions concerning how to proceed, please contact or visit the Clerk of Court's Service Center office at the Palm Beach County Judicial Main Courthouse on the 2nd floor, or at (561) 355-7048.  In addition, the Palm Beach County Bar Association has available a Lawyer Referral and Information Service which provides 1/2 hour consultations for a $30.00 administrative fee.  The attorney's consultation is free.  If further services are required, the attorney and the client arrange fees.  For information call (561) 687-3266.

Small Claims - The Palm Beach County Bar Association offers monthly Small Claims Court Clinics free to the public.  Please see their website for any further information. www.flabar.org

Eviction Assistance:  Palm Beach County Division of Human Resources provides rental assistance to qualified applicants through  the Homeless Prevention Rapid Re-Housing Program (Resource Information). Applicants must meet the Division's eligibility requirements and the applicant must provide requested documents and schedule a meeting to assess their status.

last updated: 09/06/2017