RE Divisional Instructions

(Updated Dec. 1, 2021)

In compliance with AOSC21-15 & A.O. No.12.515-06/2021, the 15th Judicial Circuit is recommencing live, in-person hearings in the courthouse.

Effective June 21, 2021 until further notice:

The following Court events are being held in-person:*

  • Evidentiary hearings
  • Special set hearings longer than 30 minutes
  • Trials and final hearings
  • Evictions
  • Pretrial conferences
  • Calendar call
  • *Parties may appear by Zoom by uploading an agreed order or upon request and approval. If any party is pro se, the request must be made sufficiently in time to mail a copy of the order or otherwise notify the pro se party.

The following Court events are being held by Zoom:

  • UMC hearings (10 min. or less)
  • Special set, non-evidentiary hearings 30 minutes or less
  • These court proceedings will presumptively be held by Zoom unless an agreed order is uploaded and approved by the Court, or unless otherwise notified.

When in doubt, to avoid confusion, please adhere to the most recent Notice of Hearing from the moving party or the Court. For any questions, please email the Court's Judicial Assistant at mailto:CAD-DivisionRE@pbcgov.org; however, all parties must be copied on all communications with the Judicial Assistant, and please read the entirety of these instructions before emailing.

Persons interested in listening to the Court events may contact the Court's Public Information Office, Debra Oats, at 561-355-4495 or 561-644-0054 to obtain an access line.

Table of Contents

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I. Proposed Orders

  1. All Proposed Orders must be submitted through Online Services (OLS). The Court is unable to accept paper orders.
  2. Select the applicable date of hearing under "scheduled event."
  3. Please "preview" the proposed order to ensure it is formatted correctly. Using macros, columns, or paragraph tabs is not compatible with the OLS system; please remove all special formatting when submitting.
  4. Any affidavits or supporting documents for the Court to review must be e-filed with the Clerk and then submitted as attachments to the order, as filing take up to 3 days to appear on the docket. (Or, submit the judgment after the supporting document(s) appear on the docket).
  5. Agreed orders: please indicate the order is agreed in the body of the order.
  6. Any motion that has not been expressly agreed to by the opposing party requires a hearing to be set and noticed by the moving party. Except for default or ex parte motions allowed by rule, the Court will not enter proposed orders without a hearing or agreement of the parties.
  7. Please do not upload a proposed order unless one of the following is met: 1) it is agreed; 2) the hearing has already occurred; or 3) it is proper to be considered ex parte. Proposed orders not in compliance will not be considered.
  8. Envelopes must be delivered to the Court for mailing to any pro se parties.

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II. Settlements

Parties shall either file a voluntary dismissal or must upload a proposed order approving settlement and dismissing the action, in order for the settlement to be approved and the case closed.

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III. Hearings

  1. Online Scheduling through Online Services(OLS)

    Please note: Use of the online scheduling system requires a user ID and password. This can be obtained by going to Online Scheduling System and clicking on "Register a New User" to create an account.

    Online Services

    *After confirming your hearing online, the Zoom link will be provided. The moving party shall provide notice of the Zoom information to all parties in the notice of hearing.*

  2. Cancellations

    Please cancel your hearing online to open a spot for other parties. If your cancellation is within forty-eight (48) hours of the hearing, please email a courtesy copy of your Notice of Cancellation to CAD-DivisionRE@pbcgov.org.

  3. UMC's

    UMC Hearings are scheduled through Online Services as follows:

    1. Mondays at 8:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
    2. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8:45 a.m.

    UMC is strictly for non-evidentiary motions which can be heard in a total of 10 minutes (5 minutes per side). Fees hearings, contested summary judgment, and any evidentiary matters are not appropriate for UMC and should be specially set for hearing. Please Note: default final judgments and uncontested Motions for Summary Judgment may be set on the Uniform Motion Calendar. Permission of the Court is not required to set UMC's.

    Mandatory compliance with Local Rule No. 4 is strictly enforced. Attorneys are required to "make reasonable efforts to actually speak to one another and engage in reasonable compromises to resolve or narrow the disputes before seeking court intervention." Prior to scheduling, the “attorney noticing the motion shall attempt to resolve the matter and shall certify to the Court the good faith attempt to resolve.”

    Courtesy copies: The Court reviews all motions and supporting materials prior to the hearing. If the motion or opposition includes lengthy exhibits, or if the parties wish to submit case law, a printed courtesy copy of the Motion or Opposition, Notice of Hearing, exhibits, and relevant case law must be mailed or hand-delivered and received by chambers at least three (3) days prior to hearing. Banking and credit card account statements do not need to be mailed. For telephonic hearings with pro se parties, proposed orders and stamped envelopes must be included.

    To cancel a hearing scheduled for UMC, login to Online Services and use Online Scheduling, select "Uniform Motion Calendar Scheduling" then select "Cancel Hearing" and follow the directions on the screen.

    *PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE AND CANCEL ONLINE ANY HEARING THAT IS NO LONGER NEEDED OR RESOLVED PRIOR TO THE HEARING DATE SO THAT OTHERS MAY SCHEDULE THEIR MOTIONS.

  4. Special Set Hearings

    Special Set hearings are available for 15 minute and 30 minute blocks of time through Online Scheduling via Online Services. The Court will open dates approximately 60 days in advance.

    Courtesy copies: The Court reviews all motions and supporting materials prior to the hearing. If the motion or opposition includes lengthy exhibits, or if the parties wish to submit case law, a printed courtesy copy of your Motion or Opposition, Notice of Hearing, exhibits, and relevant case law must be mailed or hand-delivered and received by Chambers at least five (5) days prior to the hearing. Those portions of case law and documents to be considered by the Court should be appropriately tabbed and highlighted. Absent permission, the Court will not accept any courtesy copies of the foregoing via email. Any memorandum or materials provided to the Court shall be simultaneously sent to the opposing party.

    In order to cancel a Special Set Hearing, a Notice of Cancellation must be filed with the Clerk and a copy e-mailed to the Judicial Assistant (CAD-DivisionRE@pbcgov.org). Also, the Notice MUST note the reason for cancellation.

    Any party may unilaterally set a hearing only if the opposing party does not respond after a good faith effort has been made in accordance with Local Rule No. 4.

  5. Hearings Requiring More than Thirty (30) Minutes

    For hearings requiring more than thirty (30) minutes, a scheduling request must be sent to CAD-DivisionRE@pbcgov.org. Prior to setting the hearing date and time, please make sure that ALL Motion(s) are filed and docketed with the Clerk of Court.

    A courtesy copy of the Motion or Opposition, Notice of Hearing, exhibits, and relevant case law must be mailed/hand-delivered and received by Chambers at least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing.

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IV. Landlord/Tenant Cases

Evictions: all Plaintiffs/Landlords must file a motion requesting any relief or judgment, prior to submitting a proposed order or judgment. Final judgments will not be granted without a motion on file with the Clerk. Please attach a stamped e-filed copy of the motion when uploading a proposed order, as filings take up to 3 days to appear on the docket.

Final hearings with mediation are heard on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. These cases are set by the Court when the Court determines that mediation is necessary. Mediators will be available at no charge to the parties.

For final hearings or other motions not set by the Court, the moving party shall schedule the hearing online through OLS (special set hearing only).

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V. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) cases:

All PIP matters shall follow the procedures for hearings as outlined herein.

PIP pre-trials are scheduled for 8:45 am on Thursday mornings. Currently, PIP pre-trials are automatically set by the Clerk for in-person appearance.

Any stipulations to invoke the rules and waive the pre-trial must be filed with the Clerk and an Order uploaded to the Court in the format found on the Forms and Orders page titled "Order Invoking the Rules of Civil Procedure", at least two days prior to pre-trial. Pursuant to the Court's Order, jury trial will be set approximately one year from the date of filing with a combined case management order. Accordingly, the parties do not need to submit agreed case management plans for small claims PIP cases.  

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VI. Small Claims Pre-trials

Pre-trial Conferences for Small Claims are set every Thursday at 9:00, 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. All small claims must go to mediation and mediators are provided. If not resolved, the case will be set for trial.

Pre-trial Conferences: through July 15, 2021, will move forward through Zoom for all served cases only. All non-served cases will be continued pending service. The Zoom information is provided on the initial Summons and Notice to Appear, or by notice from the Court.

Pre-trial Conferences: after July 15, 2021, will be held in person. Only served cases will be called. All non-served cases will be continued pending service.

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VII. Motions for Attorney's Fees:

The Court utilizes a preliminary order with instructions to be followed in advance of the hearing. All Motions for Attorney's Fees and/or Costs shall attach a document detailing the time records and requested rate(s).

The moving party shall request a hearing date by contacting the Judicial Assistant by email at CAD-DivisionRE@pbcgov.org.

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VIII. Trials

Trials are set by the Judicial Assistant upon request or upon the filing of a Notice for Trial once the case is at issue. An Order Setting Trial will be sent to both parties regarding mediation and uniform pretrial procedures. Any party who has not received an Order Setting Trial within seven (7) days of request or notice should email the Judicial Assistant or set a UMC status hearing on readiness for trial. Jury Trials will be set for a Mandatory Calendar Call/Case Management Conference.

If the case settles prior to the Trial date please notify the Court as soon as possible by emailing CAD-DivisionRE@pbcgov.org. A written confirmation of the settlement agreement must be filed/uploaded with the Court with a copy to opposing party.

Cases set for calendar call CANNOT be continued with an Agreed Order. Any motions for continuance must be filed and set by the moving party in advance of the calendar call date.

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IX. Communications with the Court

ALL COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE COURT MUST BE IN WRITING, filed with the Clerk and copied to all parties in the lawsuit. Be sure to include the case number, case name, 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.

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