RB Divisional Instructions

DIVISION RB AMENDED PROCEDURES (effective JULY 1, 2021)
N RE:  MITIGATING MEASURES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

 

SMALL CLAIMS PRETRIALS ARE IN PERSON ONLY.

ALL MOTION HEARINGS ARE CONDUCTED ON ZOOM.    PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW:

For video appearances(preferred method): The Zoom App is available for free on IOS and Android devices, or via desktop computer. You do not need an account or to pay a fee to use this service.

Meeting Link: Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 821 7451 9939
Password: none
Dial by your location:
  • US Toll-free 877-853-5257
  • US Toll-free 888-475-4499

Until further notice, non-essential hearings will be conducted remotely as follows:

Evictions

The Court hears Mediations and Motions to Determine Rent in person on Tuesday mornings.  They are set by the Court after review of the pleadings, motions, and answers.  Please refer to the Notice of Hearing.

Tenants who are affected by COVID can contact Legal Aid at (561) 655-8944 or Florida Rural Legal Services at 1-800-582-3410 for assistance.

Any answers/letters from Defendants should include the Case Number, Defendant's name, phone number, and email address and filed with the Clerk of Court.

Cases may be dismissed for lack of prosecution if not acted upon by the Plaintiff/Landlord upon the Court's review of the docket.

Commercial Eviction Motions can be set by the parties using online scheduling, or upon request to the Court.

Small Claims 

Pretrial Conference Hearings are held every Tuesday morning.

THE COURT IS HOLDING PRETRIAL CONFERENCE HEARINGS IN PERSON ONLY.  

COVERAGE ATTORNEYS ARE LIMITED TO 10 CASES, AND MUST PROVIDE A LIST OF CASES TO THE JUDICIAL ASSISTANT BY EMAIL THE DAY BEFORE THE PRETRIAL HEARING, AND TO THE COURTROOM CLERK.  IF DEFENDANTS HAVE TO WAIT ON A COVERAGE ATTORNEY WHO ACCEPT TOO MANY CASES, THE CASE WILL BE DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE AFTER 30 MINUTES.

In any case in which the Court has awarded a Default or Default Final Judgment, the Plaintiff must provide the Court with a proposed judgment within 30 days.  If not, the case may be dismissed for lack of prosecution without further notice when the Court reviews its docket. 

The Court will accept paper proposed orders by mail or electronically online.  Please do not email orders to the JA or Divisional email.  If an order or judgment is entered electronically online, the Plaintiff shall mail the Defendant's copy.  If the proposed judgment has an improper format, it will be deleted or struck.

Do not send the Court proposed orders invoking the Civil Rules.  You can make your request at the time of Pretrial.  If both sides are represented, the Small Claims rules allow for full discovery.  Therefore, the Court is unlikely to invoke the Civil Rules.

  • For cases that are NONSERVED: Plaintiff must request a new summons through the Clerk of Court in the ordinary course.  The scheduled pre-trial hearing will be procedurally continued pending proper proof of service.

Any case with no record activity for over three months is subject to dismissal without notice to the parties.  Cases that are continued pending settlement at the Pretrial Conference shall file the Stipulation and Dismissal within 30 days, or notice the case for trial.  If not, the case will be considered settled or prosecution of the case abandoned, and subject to dismissal without further notice.

PIP cases will be set for Jury Trial if unresolved at the Pretrial Conference.  The Court will no longer enter the standard PIP Order.  If both parties agree to waive the Pretrial, please provide the Court a proposed order prior to the Pretrial Conference.  If there is only a legal dispute, please inform the Court, and the case will be set for a Summary Disposition Hearing.

THE COURT WILL NOT AGREE TO INVOKE THE CIVIL RULES ON ANY SMALL CLAIMS CASE UNLESS SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SHOWN.

UMC (For 5 minute motion hearings)

The Court will be conducting all UMC hearings remotely via ZOOM on Fridays at 9:30 , 9:45, and 10:00. Wage Dispute cases can be heard at 10:15. Parties can utilize Online Scheduling through Online Services or request a hearing by email by contacting the Court's Judicial Assistant, Diana Grant, at CAD-DivisionRB@pbcgov.org to schedule the hearing.   The parties shall comply with Local Rule 4, in which the parties must try to resolve the issue by speaking to each other. 

The moving party SHALL put the conferencing information in the Notice of Hearing.

Proposed orders can be sent to the Court by mail or online.  Do not email order to the JA or Divisional email.

Parties are encouraged to upload any hearing materials which are less than 10 pages to the Court via OLS.  All Memorandum of Law, briefs, responses, copies of Notices of Hearings/motions, etc. can be mailed or e-mailed to the Judicial Assistant at CAD-DivisionRB@pbcgov.org at least 3 business days in advance of the scheduled hearing date/trial date.

Most Summary Judgment Hearings take longer than 5 minutes.  Please consider specially setting your Summary Judgment motion as stated below.

Special Set Motion Hearings (10-15 Min. or more)

For Motion Hearings that will take 10-15 minutes or longer, the parties can set the hearing using OLS.  If you are pro se or have trouble, you can request a date and time from the Judicial Assistant.  Currently, these hearings can be scheduled for Monday, Thursday morning, or Friday.  Please check OLS for available times.

The parties shall comply with Local Rule 4.

Cancellations: Motion hearings can be cancelled by the moving party with a Notice of Cancellation filed with the Clerk and emailing the J.A.

Motions that are filed, and not set for hearing by the moving party, may be summarily dismissed by the Court.

Trials

The Court is currently conducting Non Jury Trials remotely over Zoom and in person.  The Court is also setting cases for Jury Trial.  Any Jury Trial is subject to the approval of the Chief Judge and the Trial Judge.

Parties can request a trial by filing a Notice of Readiness for Trial.  However, due to the high number of older cases in this division, the Court will be setting all County Court cases over six months old for jury trial if demanded in the pleadings.

Lack of Prosecution

The Court periodically reviews cases for lack of prosecution in which there has been no activity for over four months.  If the Court finds the case shall remain open, but the parties fail to move the case to trial or summary judgment, it will be subject to dismissal.  The Court expects the parties to follow the time standards set forth by the Rules of Judicial Administration.

If a case is given an LOP notice, and there is still no activity after three months, it is subject to dismissal without further notice.  For cases in which a default has been issued, if the Final Judgment has not been provided to the Court within 30 days, it is subject to dismissal without further notice.  For cases over one year since the filing date, with no record activity for over four months, the Court will consider the case has been settled or Plaintiff abandoned prosecution, and is subject to dismissal without further notice.

GARNISHMENTS

Continuing Writs of Garnishment shall be sent to the Court by U.S. Mail with stamped envelopes for the Clerk to mail out.

Pro Se litigants that have access to email are encouraged to fill out and file with the Clerk an email designation form. Please see www.mypalmbeachclerk.com for instructions.