Division RF Coronavirus Protocol (Updated October 11, 2021)
Generally, the following Court events are being scheduled in-person:
- Small Claims Pretrial Conferences
- Bench Trials
- Calendar Call
The following Court events are generally being scheduled via Zoom:
- UMC hearings (10 min or less)
- Special set, and non-evidentiary hearings 30 minutes or less
There are exceptions to these general guidelines and the information contained in the Notice of Hearing controls. If you have any questions, please email the Court's Judicial Assistance at CAD-DivisionRF@pbcgov.org, but be sure to copy all parties to any such communication. Also, please read the entirety of these instructions before emailing the JA.
With the exception of Small Claims Pretrials, which are occurring in person to facilitate mediation, if a party wishes to appear remotely at an event that has been noticed as in-person, the Court will accommodate the request by resetting the the event as a remote proceeding as long as all parties have the technological resources to participate remotely and the request has been made far enough in advance to provide notice to all parties. The Court WILL NOT proceed with one party appearing remotely and the other appearing in person.
Zoom Meeting Information
- US Toll-free 877-853-5257
- US Toll-free 888-475-4499
I. Proposed Orders
- All Proposed Orders and Final Judgments must be uploaded via the Online Services system ("OLS"). No paper documents will be accepted.
- Please note: Use of OLS requires a user ID and password. This can be obtained by going to Online Service and clicking on "Register a New User" to create an account.
- When uploading a proposed order, select the date of the corresponding hearing, if applicable, under "scheduled event."
- Formatting: Please preview the proposed order to make sure it is formatted correctly.
- The Court prefers Times New Roman font, 12pt, double spaced.
- Remove all special formatting, such as paragraph tabs, macros, and columns.
- No need to leave blank space for the date in the "DONE and ORDERED" line, you can simply say "DONE and ORDERED in Palm Beach County, Florida."
- No need to include signature line, just leave space for the judge to impose the electronic signature.
- Final Judgments require a 3in. x 3in blank space in the top right corner of the document to accommodate the Clerk's recording stamp.
- Any supporting documents for the Court to review MUST be submitted as attachments to the proposed order. The Court does not have instantaneous access to documents filed through the e-portal, it takes about 3 days for them to be processed and appear on the docket. Therefore, if the order you are sending is based on a newly filed motion, please file the motion as an attachment. If you fail to attach the supporting documents, the Court may reject your order.
- If the order is agreed, please indicate as such in the title and body of the order.
- DO NOT upload a proposed order unless 1) it is agreed, 2) the hearing has already occurred, or 3) it is proper to be considered without a hearing.
- Parties who have entered into a settlement agreement must either submit 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 to be closed. The settlement or stipulation must be either in the court file or attached as an exhibit to a proposed order approving settlement and dismissing the case.
III. Scheduling Hearings
- Hearings may be scheduled online through OLS
- Local Rule 4 will be strictly enforced.
- UMC hearings are currently being held on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. UMC is strictly for non-evidentiary motions which can be heard in 10 minutes or less. Fee hearings, summary judgment, and any evidentiary matters will NOT be heard at UMC.
- Special set hearings are available in 15 and 30 minutes blocks through OLS.
- Hearings longer than 30 minutes require a scheduling request to CAD-DivisionRF@pbcgov.org (copies to all parties).
IV. Coverage Attorneys
- Coverage attorneys are expected to comply with Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.505(e)(6) and(g) by filing a Notice of Stand-In counsel or otherwise having their appearance reflected on a record maintained by the court or Clerk of Court (e.g. pretrial sheet). The Court may not recognize the appearance of coverage attorneys who fail to comply with the Rule.
V. Landlord/Tenant Cases
Eviction cases are heard on Wednesday afternoons. These cases are set by the Court after a review of any motions sent to the Court, or when the Court decides there is a need for Mediation. Mediators will be available at no charge to the parties for Residential Mediations and $60.00 per side for Commercial Mediations.
Final Hearings on Eviction cases will normally be heard after Mediation, but may be specially set on another date.
All Plaintiffs/Landlords must file in support of any request for final judgment of possession:
- The Landlord Information Sheet attached to Local A.O. 12.512 -10/2020* prior to requesting relief relating to non-payment of rent; and
- A motion for relief. Final judgments will not be granted without a motion on file with the Clerk. Attach e-filed copy when uploading proposed order.
VII. Small Claims Pre-trials
Pretrial Hearings for Small Claims cases are set every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. All Small Claims cases must go to Mediation. If not resolved, the case will be set for trial. Mediators are provided for free.
VIII. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Please review the County Civil Division PIP Procedures information which can be found on the County Civil page.
IX. Stipulations to Invoke the Rules of Civil Procedure
All stipulations to invoke the Rules of Civil Procedure must be approved by the Court. The Court strongly encourages Agreed Order in all cases, when appropriate. Parties who agree to impose the rules must comply with the Circuit's Differentiated Case Management Plans as set forth in Administrative Order 3.107.
Trials are set by the Judicial Assistant upon request. A pretrial order will be sent to both parties requiring mediation. Jury Trials will be set for a Calendar Call/Case Management Conference.
XI. Communication With the Court
Neither the Judge nor the Judicial Assistant can give you Legal advice regarding how to proceed with Your case. For assistance, you should contact the Self-Help Center at the 561/355-6781,l which is located on the first floor of the Main Courthouse. The Palm Beach County Bar Association has a lawyer referral/information service, please contact them 561/687-3266.