Instructions for Circuit Civil Division AA
Judge Gregory M. Keyser
Table of Contents
IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE:
JUDGE KEYSER REQUIRES ALL HEARING MATERIALS TO BE REVIEWED IN PREPARATION FOR ANY HEARING IN HARD COPY, VIA U.S. MAIL OR DELIVERY TO THE COURTHOUSE (NOT EMAILED) AT LEAST FIVE (5) DAYS PRIOR TO THE HEARING.
DIVISIONAL ZOOM ACCESS INFORMATION:
Zoom Meeting Information
- US Toll-free 877-853-5257
- US Toll-free 888-475-4499
I. Uniform Motion Calendar
Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC") hearings are held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8:30 A.M. and are set through Court Online Services. Scheduling is solely between the parties. Please do not call the Judicial Assistant to schedule or cancel a UMC hearing.
UMC is strictly for non-evidentiary motions which can be heard in a total of 10 minutes (5 minutes per side). Motions for attorney's fees, 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.
Before scheduling, attorneys/pro se parties must first file a motion and notice of hearing with the Clerk's office and give opposing side(s) at least five (5) business days' notice, unless the parties have agreed to the short notice. Attorneys should always attempt to clear a date chosen with opposing counsel. Mandatory compliance with Local Rule #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.”
The Court reviews all motions prior to the hearing. A copy of the Notice of Hearing and the motion or other pertinent pleading must be sent to chambers in advance, via regular mail, express mail or courier. Proposed Orders and pre-addressed stamped envelopes for all parties not registered for e-Service should be brought to the hearing. Please do not submit proposed orders in advance of the hearing on the Online Scheduling System. They will be rejected and returned unsigned.
Cancellation of UMC Hearings
To cancel a hearing scheduled for UMC, the scheduling attorney's office must file a Notice of Cancellation and submit it to the Court via CAD-DivisionAA@pbcgov.org. In addition, that attorney's office must log in 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.
II. Specially Set Hearings
Specially Set Hearings are available in blocks of 15 and 30 minutes and must be scheduled via the Division AA online calendar through Online Services. Prior to scheduling a special set hearing online, you must (1) clear the hearing date and time with ALL parties, and (2) have previously filed your motion. If there are no available dates/times provided through the Online Services, Parties may Email the Judicial Assistant (email@example.com) requesting special set hearing time. The email requesting hearing time must be copied to ALL PARTIES and include the following information: CASE NAME, CASE NUMBER, CAPTION OF MOTION BEING SET WITH DOCKET ENTRY NUMBER, and AMOUNT OF TIME REQUIRED FOR HEARING.
Orders Specially Setting Hearings
All specially set hearings are set by Court Order (not by Notice of Hearing) and cannot be canceled except by further Court Order, unless the matter is settled (with an agreed order submitted to the Court), or the motion is withdrawn (with a copy of the notice of withdrawal furnished to the Court). Any motions for cancellation or continuance of a specially set hearing must be set on UMC. Once the date is scheduled on the online system, a proposed order will be generated automatically and submitted to the Judicial Assistant for review and signature. You must include a copy of the motion as a supporting document.
Materials in Support of Specially Set Matters
A copy of the motion, memorandum of law and case law must be sent directly to Judge Keyser, via U.S. mail, express mail or hand-delivered to the judicial drop box on the main floor of the courthouse, no later than five (5) days in advance of the scheduled hearing. Those portions of case law and documents to be considered by the Court should be appropriately tabbed and highlighted. 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. Proposed Orders and pre-addressed stamped envelopes for all parties not registered for e-Service should be brought to the hearing. Please do not submit proposed orders in advance of the hearing on the Online Scheduling System. They will be rejected and returned unsigned.
Specially Set Motions Requiring Additional Time
If a case has multiple motions or if any of the parties believe that the hearing will take longer than 30 minutes, the moving party shall submit via U.S. mail a courtesy copy of the motion(s) with a cover letter to the Court indicating how much time is requested. Judge Keyser will review the motion(s) and determine how much time will be allotted. Please be advised that lengthy motions will be placed on a non-jury trial docket with a calendar call date.
III. Submission of Orders
If a Motion is resolved prior to hearing, an Agreed Order must be submitted via the Court Online Services. The Order must say "Agreed Order on (Title of Motion)". Please include a cover letter (as a supporting document) to the Judge indicating that all parties have reviewed and agreed to the language of the proposed Agreed Order. The names, email and mailing addresses of all persons receiving copies must appear in the Agreed Order, pursuant to Administrative Order 2.306.
Please note: Do not send duplicate Orders in the mail that have also been uploaded on the Online Scheduling System.
Orders Submitted Following a Hearing
If the Court directs an attorney to prepare and submit an Order after a hearing, the Order must state the date the hearing was held. All parties must have reviewed the Order before it is submitted to the Court Online Services. Please include a cover letter (as a supporting document) stating that all parties have reviewed the Order and are in agreement with the form of the Order. If parties are not in agreement with the form of the Order, that must be noted in the cover letter to the Judge. Parties may submit competing Orders and the Judge will sign the Order which reflects the Court’s ruling.
E-Service for Proposed Orders
Division AA electronically serves orders to attorneys/parties that have registered their primary and secondary e-mail addresses with the 15th Circuit. Please ensure that you have registered for judicial e-service with Court Online Services. NOTE: THE FILING OF A "NOTICE OF E-MAIL DESIGNATION DOES NOT REGISTER YOU FOR JUDICIAL E-SERVICE. YOU MUST REGISTER WITH THE 15TH CIRCUIT'S ONLINE SERVICES. Failure to register may result in orders being sent by default to the email address on file with the Florida Bar.
Pre-addressed stamped envelopes shall be provided with all proposed orders for pro se parties without an email designation. Also see Administrative Order 2.312-11/14 as to Electronic Filing of Documents.
IV. Appearance by Telephone
Appearance by telephone for UMC hearings is permitted. A motion and order are not required. Until further notice, due to COVID, all hearings are conducted remotely using the Zoom platform or by telephone conference.
Appearance by telephone for specially set hearings is discouraged. If counsel nevertheless wishes to appear by telephone, the same procedure as set forth above for telephonic appearance in UMC hearings applies.
Appearance by telephone for calendar call is NOT permitted.
Any testimony by a person for whom appearance by telephone is sought must be in strict compliance with Florida Rules of Judicial Administration 2.530
V. Stipulations for Substitution of Counsel
Stipulations for substitution of counsel must comply with Fla. R. Jud. Admin 2.505(e). The written consent of the client must be included. Submit the Order for signature by the Judge via the Online Scheduling System and attach a copy of the signed stipulation and written client consent.
VI. Withdrawal of Counsel
All Motions to Withdraw must be set for a UMC hearing, with proper notice to the client, in accordance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.505(f)(i), and all parties/attorneys.
VII. Ex-Parte Motions to Compel Discovery
No hearing is necessary if the Motion is in compliance with A.O. 3.202. The moving attorney must submit the Order for signature by the Judge and a copy of the motion as an attachment via the Online Scheduling System.
VIII. Settlement or Dismissal of Cases
If a case settles or is voluntarily dismissed and there are future hearings or a trial scheduled on the Court's docket, EMAIL the Judicial Assistant immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform her of same, to allow the Court to free up hearing/trial time for other cases. Of course, that notification must be followed up by necessary and appropriate formal paperwork. Submit Orders of Dismissal of Cases on the Online Scheduling System.
IX. Requests for Emergency Hearing
Pursuant to Administrative Order 3.206, Judge Keyser will decide whether the reasons set forth in a motion for emergency hearing constitute an emergency. If the Judge determines that the motion does allege a bona fide emergency, he will take whatever action he deems appropriate, including entry of an ex-parte order if permissible and warranted under the law.
X. Notices to Set Cause for Trial
The original notice must be filed with the Clerk. The notice should include the name, telephone number, mailing address and email address of each lawyer or self-represented party in the case. If all parties are registered for E-service, it is not necessary to mail a notice of trial with envelopes to the Judge’s office. However, please provide a notice for trial with envelopes for any parties that are self-represented and are not registered for E-service.
Do not call the judicial assistant to inquire when the trial will be set. Jury and non-jury dockets are 6 weeks long and the docket call will be approximately 10 days prior to the first day of the trial docket. Judge Keyser may conduct trials on Mondays through Fridays; however, you may be called to trial before an alternate judge.
Prior to calendar call, counsel must have: (1) participated in mediation, (2) held a pretrial conference, (3) exchanged exhibit and witness lists, (4) agreed on the length of time the trial will take, including jury selection where applicable, (5) agreed on time periods during the upcoming trial docket when all counsel are available, (6) filed the pretrial stipulation, (7) collaborated on proposed jury instructions, providing trial clerk with a single copy, noting the parties differences, if any, on any specific provision, (8) pre-marked the exhibits in accordance with instructions of the clerk and comptroller, and (9) scheduled for hearing prior to trial any motion in limine or other pretrial motion.
XI. Rehearing or Relief-from-Judgment Motions
Post-judgment rehearing or relief motions, including motions for reconsideration, motions for clarification, and motions for new trial, may not be set for hearing online. File the original with the Clerk and provide a copy with supporting authority to the judicial assistant via U.S. mail for review by Judge Keyser.
XII. Mandatory Compliance with Administrative Order 3.204-9/08 & Local Rule No. 3
All orders for dismissal, final judgments (summary, default or consent), amended final judgments, notices of voluntary dismissals, orders vacating final judgments, orders granting motion to amend final judgment, and any other closing documents must be in compliance with Supreme Court Order no. SC13-2384 amendments to Florida rule of judicial administration 2.520 requiring a 3 x 3 inch available space in the right upper hand corner; one inch margin on all sides of documents; and pages must be consecutively numbered.