Divisional Instructions for Circuit Civil Division AH
Please Contact the Judicial Assistant via the Divisional Email Address CAD-DIVISIONAH@PBCGOV.ORG
Table of Contents
Click Online Services. If already registered, insert the user name, password and case number and follow prompts to Div. AH section. If not registered, please follow prompts to set up an account.
ALL Uniform Motion Calendar [UMC] hearings and Special Set Hearings are scheduled online (including foreclosures).
I. Uniform Motion Calendar and Mandatory Compliance with Rule 4
Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC") hearings are held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8:45 A.M. and are set on the Online Scheduling System. Scheduling for UMCS is solely coordinated 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/short set a motion. Attorneys should always attempt to clear the date chosen with opposing counsel. Mandatory compliance with Local Rule 4 is strictly enforced. Specifically, 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.” If you do not comply with Local Rule 4, your hearing may be canceled.
For all hearings, the motion, any responsive pleadings and any case law for the hearing must either be filed and docketed in the court file or provided through e-Courtesy on the 15thcircuit.com five (5) days prior to the hearing for the Court's review for the hearing to go forward. Please do not send paper or notebooks to the courthouse.
Please do not submit proposed orders in advance of the hearing on the Online Scheduling System.
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-DivisionAH@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, 30 and 60 minutes and must be scheduled via the Division AH online calendar through the Online Services. Prior to scheduling a special set hearing online, you must have previously filed your motion and you must clear the hearing date and time with ALL parties. The order setting hearing will be automatically produced by on-line scheduling at the time the hearing is set on-line and sent to the Court. Special set hearings of more than 60 minutes must be requested by filing a notice to be placed on a non-jury docket and providing the notice to the Court through the divisional email. The notice shall provide the title of the motion, the filing date and the amount of time requested. The Order to be used following special set hearings will be prepared and submitted by the prevailing party following the hearing.
One motion only may be scheduled at a 15 minute hearing. Two (2) motions can be scheduled at a 30 minute hearing and up to four (4) motions can be scheduled at a 60 minute hearing.
All specially set hearings are scheduled online and set by court order only. The order is automatically uploaded through the online system and signed by the judge. The hearing cannot be cancelled without Court order.
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
ALL DOCUMENTS FOR HEARINGS AND NON-JURY TRIALS ARE TO BE SUBMITTED USING E-COURTESY ON THE 15THCIRCUIT.COM ONLINE SYSTEM unless specifically directed by the Court or Judicial Assistant to submit them otherwise. Furthermore, any memorandum or materials provided to the Court shall be simultaneously sent to the opposing party.
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 upload the motion(s) to E-Courtesy and the Divisional email CAD-divisionAH@pbcgov.org with a cover letter to the Court indicating how much time is requested. Judge Scott will review the motion(s) and determine how much time will be allotted.
III. Submission of Orders
If a Motion is resolved prior to hearing, an Agreed Order must be submitted to the Court via the 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 or by email 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 on 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 reflecting the Court’s ruling.
E-Service for Proposed Orders
Division AH 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 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 SCHEDULING SERVICES THROUGH ONLINE SERVICES. Failure to register may result in orders being sent by default to the email address on file with the Florida Bar.
Pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516(h)(1), Division AH will serve all orders by "email to all attorneys who have not been excused from e-mail service in writing and to all parties not represented by an attorney who have designated an e-mail address for service."
IV. Appearance by Telephone
Appearance by telephone for UMC hearings is permitted.
Appearance by telephone for specially set hearings is discouraged unless otherwise noted in these instructions.
Any testimony by a person for whom appearance by telephone is sought, such as a witness, must be in strict compliance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.530, unless otherwise noted in these instructions.
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
For ex-parte motions to compel discovery, a hearing is not 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, please notify the Judicial Assistant immediately by both email and phone 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. Please submit Orders of Dismissal of Cases on the Online Scheduling System.
IX. Requests for Emergency Hearing
Pursuant to Administrative Order 3.206, the Judge will decide whether the reasons set forth in a motion for emergency hearing constitute an actual emergency. If the Judge determines that the motion does allege a bona fide emergency, she will take whatever action deemed appropriate, including entry of an ex-parte order if permissible by law.
X. Notices to Set Cause for Trial
The original notice to set the cause for trial 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. Please email the copy of the Notice for trial to the judicial assistant or the case will not be set for trial.
The Court has a 6 week trial docket. Per the Order Setting Trial, all notices of unavailability/conflict (pre-paid vacation/special set trial settings only) must be filed and provided to the Court at the Divisional email address (CAD-DivisionAH@ pbcgov.org) ten (10) days prior to Docket Call to be considered in setting matters on the docket. There is no in person calendar call and the trial docket will be posted on this webpage on the Trial Calendar page on the morning of the day of E-Calendar Call.
ZOOM Docket Calls are held Fridays in advance of the Court's six-week trial dockets. Counsel with full knowledge and authority over the case are expected to appear. Please have the weeks you are available during the 6-week trial docket time ready when you appear.
No motions of any kind will be heard at Docket Call.
Prior to calendar call, counsel must have:
- participated in mediation
- held a pretrial conference
- exchanged exhibit and witness lists
- agreed on the length of time the trial will take, including jury selection where applicable
- agreed on time periods during the upcoming trial docket when all counsel are available
- filed the joint pretrial stipulation
- collaborated on proposed jury instructions, providing trial clerk with a single copy, noting the parties differences, if any, on any specific provision
- pre-marked the exhibits in accordance with instructions of the clerk and comptroller, and
- scheduled for hearing prior to trial any motions in limine or other pretrial motions.
At least 2 weeks before trial, counsel must:
- Provide Chambers with one set of joint proposed jury instructions. If any are disputed, provide each parties respective proposals and the legal grounds supporting them.
- Pre-mark the exhibits in accordance with instructions of the clerk and comptroller
- Exchanged pre-marked trial exhibits with opposing counsel
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. Please file the original with the Clerk and provide a copy with supporting authority to the judicial assistant via email to be reviewed by the Judge.
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.
XIII. Pretrial Conferences and Motions in Limine
If, after the parties develop a pretrial stipulation, any party believes a pretrial conference will be in the interest of judicial economy, they should contact the judicial assistant to determine whether the Judge will specially-set a pretrial conference. Whether at a pretrial conference or at a hearing of more limited scope, in the interest of saving prospective juror time and in an effort to focus the parties' evidence presentation prior to commencement of the trial, the Judge will make all attempts to hear argument on motions in limine prior to the first day of trial.
Any party seeking to exclude evidence under a Daubert analysis shall file a motion with the court specifically identifying the basis for the Daubert challenge. All Daubert motions shall be specially set and heard prior to the commencement of the trial docket.
In no event will the Judge entertain unnecessary motions in limine such as ones which do no more than seek an order prohibiting counsel from violating the rules of evidence or procedure.
XIV. Standing Orders for Division AH
Standing orders for Division "AH" can be found on the Divisional Forms & Orders page.
XV. Ex-parte Personal Correspondence
Our office CANNOT and WILL NOT accept any ex-parte personal correspondence on a case. If you have a matter to bring to the Court's attention, please file the proper Motion with the Clerk of Court, and copy all parties and/or counsel in the case with said Motion.