If you file a notice to set cause for jury trial the court is setting trials on the February 2018 trial docket. E-calendar call forms are due by February 6, 2017. The docket runs February 26, 2018 through April 27, 2018.
Note - division AA will no longer be holding calendar calls but will begin using the online E-Calendar. In lieu of appearing for calendar call plaintiff(s)in all division "AA" cases will be required to fill out a form attached to orders setting trial. (see under Form and Orders). Calendar calls set on August 26, October 14, and December 16 are cancelled. See 2016 and 2017 Trial Dockets under Trial Calendar for further information.
Effective June 1st the Court will be accepting proposed orders (in Word format only). Note the only documents the court is allowing to be sent via the online service system are proposed orders from hearings held (special sets, UMC hearings, trials, etc.) before the court, agreed orders, orders allowing telephone hearings, etc. Must not exceed over ten (10) pages. Orders setting hearings must be sent regular mail or courier along with a copy of the motion(s) being heard and confirmation sheet.
Procedures for Circuit Civil Division "AA"
Hearings: please check the Suspension Calendar prior to setting UMC hearing.
Uniform Motion Calendar
Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC") hearings are held Monday through Thursday at 8:45 A.M. on a first come, first serve basis using the Online Scheduling System. There should be only ONE HEARING SLOT scheduled per case. UMC hearings are for matters that can be heard in 5 minutes or less. The Judge will hear multiple motions during this time, but the 5 minute per case rule still applies.
Scheduling is between the parties. DO NOT contact the Judicial Assistant to schedule a UMC hearing or to cancel a UMC hearing. Go to Division AA online scheduling to schedule or to cancel hearing.
All non-evidentiary motions, uncontested motions, etc. can be set for a 10-minute hearing that DO NOT requires testimony. 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 always try to clear date chosen with opposing counsel. See Standard IV(1), The Palm Beach County Bar Association's Standard of Professional Courtesy).
Local Rule 4
The Court expects strict compliance with Local Rule 4. Prior to setting a matter on the motion calendar, the party or attorney noticing the motion/matter shall attempt to resolve the matter and shall certify the good faith attempt to resolve. All notices of hearing for matters scheduled on the Uniform Motion Calendar shall set forth directly above the signature black, the below certifications without modification and shall designate with a check mark or other marking the specific certification which applies.
- Counsel has conferred with all parties who may be affected by the relief sought in the motion in a good faith effort to resolve or narrow the issues raised.
- Counsel has made reasonable efforts to confer with all parties who may be affected by the relief sought in the motion but has been unable to do so.
Judge Oftedal reviews all motions scheduled for UMC prior to the hearing. A copy of the Notice of Hearing and the motion or other pertinent pleading must be sent to Judge Oftedal via Regular mail or by courier. We do not accept Notice of hearings, motion or other pleadings through our email address (CAD-DivisionAA@pbcgov.org) or the online service system.
Appearance by Telephone
Appearance by telephone is permitted on the "UMC" docket. However, one party must appear in person to sign in.
When seeking permission to appear by telephone you must ensure your request is in conformity with Fla.R.Jud.Admin. 2.530. You will need to file your Motion to attend by telephone and submit your ORDER (in Word format), allowing counsel to appear by phone with the court call information must be submitted to the court at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled hearing to the online services system. You must then arrange the telephone appearance with CourtCall at least 24 hours in advance of hearing at CourtCall.com or 1-888-882-6878 to arrange telephonic appearance once ORDER is signed. (See a sample order in Judge Oftedal's website under Forms and Orders).
No telephone appearances will be allowed at calendar call. For special set hearings over 15 minutes and for evidentiary hearings must get approval from the court.
Special Set Hearings
Special Set Hearings Are Scheduled Using Online Scheduling Only.
Motions that require 15 minutes to 30-minute hearing:
All Special Set Hearings are set up to thirty (30) minutes and must be scheduled online at www.15thcircuit and are heard on Mondays from 9:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Hearing dates must be cleared with opposing counsel and an Order Setting Hearing must be submitted for Judge Oftedal's signature (see "Divisional Forms and Orders"). Once the hearing is set, it may not be changed or cancelled unless motion is resolved. Only one block of time (15 or 30 minutes) per day for each case may be reserved.
Orders Setting Hearing should be received by the Judge along with a copy of the subject Motion(s) and the confirmation sheet of scheduling hearing, within seven (7) days of scheduling hearing and should be submitted to the Court by regular mail or by courier.
Do not email ORDERS SETTING HEARING WITH MOTION TO THE CAD-DivisionAA. The Court must receive the order, copy of motion, confirmation sheet along with case law and memorandum (no more than TEN (10) pages, via Regular mail or by courier with sufficient copies and pre-addressed stamped envelopes, for all parties that are not registered for E-Service, along with one extra copy for the Judge.
Motions that require more than a 30-minute hearing
Plese submit a letter to the court requesting time needed for hearing along with the Motion to be heard. All lengthy special set requests are to be sent via postal service to:
Palm Beach County Courthouse
205 N.Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach,Florida 33401
Appearance by Telephone
Appearance by telephone for Special Set Hearings may be requested after the signed Order Setting Special Set Hearing has been received by the parties. The moving party wanting to attend by phone will need to file a Motion requesting to attend hearing by telephone and submit the proposed ORDER. The Court will review and depending on Motion may grant or deny your request. Order must include date and time of hearing and include counsel will make arrangements to appear by phone with court call information, copies and stamped envelopes for all parties that are not registered for E-Service along with one extra copy for the Judge at least five (5) days prior to scheduled hearing. You must arrange the telephone appearance with Court Call at least 24 hours in advance of hearing at CourtCall.com or 1-888-882-6878 to arrange telephonic appearance once ORDER is signed.
No telephone appearances will be allowed at calendar call. For evidentiary hearings, will be need approval of the court and by prior court order.
For a hearing requiring, more than thirty (30) minutes (Evidentiary, Temporary Injunctions, etc.), the moving party shall submit a cover letter by U.S. Mail to the Court along with a copy of said Motion stating the amount of time required for the hearing and should include e-mail addresses for all parties and self-addressed stamped envelopes for those not registered for e-service. The Judicial Assistant will then prepare the order and send to all parties via judicial e-service or regular mail for those not registered. If Judge has any concerns about the length of time requested, the judicial assistant will contact moving counsel and have him/her set the matter down for a status conference on the UMC docket so the Judge can address the matter with all counsel of record and/or pro se litigant(s).
PLEASE NOTE that lengthy motions are put on a trial docket with a calendar call date and time to be provided in the Court's order.
All memorandum of law, briefs, case law or responses, should be sent directly to Judge Oftedal, via regular mail or hand-delivered to the 1st floor drop box on the main floor of the courthouse, no later than seven (7) days in advance of the scheduled hearing and should designate the date and time of the hearing which they reference. The Court WILL NOT accept any courtesy copies of the foregoing via email. The clerk will not file memoranda in the court file without permission from the Judge. Standing orders for division AA can be found under "Divisional Forms & Orders."
E-Service for Division AA
Division AA is currently e-serving orders prepared by the Court and submitted by counsel/parties to attorneys/parties that have registered their primary and secondary e-mail addresses with the 15th Circuit. Please make sure that you have registered for Judicial E-Service.
PLEASE NOTE: the filing of a "notice of e-mail designation" does not register you for judicial e-service. You must register on the 15th Circuit's Online Services. Failure to register may result in orders being sent by default to the e-mail address on file with the Florida Bar.
All proposed orders submitted to the Court must continue to contain the mailing address of all counsel of record and all pro se parties (see Administrative Order 2.310). In addition, all proposed orders shall include the e-mail address of all counsel of record and of all participating pro se parties. Sufficient copies and pre-addressed stamped envelopes shall be provided with all proposed order. Also, see Administrative Order 2.312 as to Electronic Filing of Documents.
Effective February 14, 2017 - Division AA will now be accepting proposed orders (in Word format only) from hearings held before the court via the online services system. Attorneys must be in agreement of the Order being submitted to the Court prior to it being sent. If parties are NOT in agreement to the Order then parties shall submit a cover letter stating the issue(s) and their Proposed Orders for the Court to review. Exception for submitting Order via email is if order is over 10 pages; please send via US Mail or by Courier to the Court for his review. Orders setting hearings must be sent to court via regular mail or courier and must include a copy of the motion(s) being heard and the confirmation sheet. (see under forms and orders). Will not be accepting these orders via email. Only need copies and stamped envelopes for those who are not participating in eservice.
Requests for emergency hearings are decided by the Judge. The movant must file a Motion for an Emergency hearing with the Clerk; Judge Oftedal will review the Motion and decide if an emergency hearing is warranted. The Judge will grant, deny or schedule a hearing or take any other appropriate action necessary. If the Judge deems the matter is an emergency and a hearing is warranted, an order will be prepared advising the parties of a hearing date or time and the judicial assistant will contact the parties advising them of the hearing date.
The attorneys shall not abuse filing Emergency Motions. When filing an Emergency Motion make sure the opposing side is also in receipt of the motion with any attachments. Administrative Order 3.206.
Motions to Compel Discovery
Parties must comply with Administrative Order 3.202.
Motions for rehearing, clarification or reconsideration and motions for new trial: Attorney shall file the original motion/pleading with the Clerk and forward a copy to the Judge for his review. The Judge will review the shall either deny or grant the motion or shall set the motion for a hearing.
Preparation of Judgments and Orders
Administrative order 3.204 is the least complied with Order. Judge Oftedal requires some portion of text of the Order specific to the case be included on signature page. PLEASE NOTE to include the page, case number and style of case in the upper left-hand corner for orders more than one page The Order will be sent back to the moving attorney if the signature page of the order only includes the judge's signature line and is not in compliance with Administrative Order 3.204 & Local Rule No. 3.
Effective February 14, 2017 Division AA will be accepting proposed orders (in word format only) from hearings held before the court via the Online Services system. See further directions under "E-Service for Division AA"
Attorneys should draft proposed orders promptly and the orders should fairly and adequately represent the ruling of the court. Attorneys shall provide the proposed order to opposing counsel or pro se litigant(s) for approval. Opposing counsel or pro se litigant(s) should then promptly communicate any objections to the drafting attorney. The drafting attorney should immediately submit a copy of the proposed order to the court and advise the court as to any objections from opposing side or if all parties approved of the order. (See Standard IV (3), The Palm Beach County Bar Association's Standard of Professional Courtesy).
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. Failure to comply with this order will result in your proposed order being sent back with a memo. Also, the judge wants a final disposition form sent with all closing documents (see under forms and order.
Notices to Set Cause for Trial
The original notice must be filed with the clerk. A courtesy copy must be sent to Judge Oftedal with pre-addressed stamped envelopes for all parties not registered for e-service. The Notice to Set Cause for Trial should include the name, telephone number, mailing address and primary and secondary e-mail addresses of each attorney or pro se litigant in the case. TRIAL ORDERS are served via Judicial E-Service to all parties registered for E-Service.