AN Divisional Instructions

Suspension Calendar

Scheduling Uniform Motion Calendar("UMC")

Be advised that the Judicial Assistant has no control of setting or resetting any Uniform Motion Calendar hearing.

  1. Unless otherwise specified on Judge Coates' Suspension Docket, UMC is held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of every week.
  2. UMC begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 9:30 a.m.
  3. The scheduling of all UMC Hearings is between the parties and must be coordinated and scheduled at mutually convenient times to counsel. NO EXCEPTIONS. UMC Hearings are not scheduled online, and are not scheduled with the Judicial Assistant. Notices of hearing must be filed at least 5 business days in advance. The Court expects strict compliance with Local Rule 4. If counsel are unable to agree after first attempting to coordinate by phone as to a hearing date, then the scheduling difficulty may be brought to the Court's attention for appropriate disposition.
  4. Prior to setting a matter on the motion calendar, the party or attorney noticing the motion shall attempt to resolve the matter and shall certify the good faith attempt to resolve. UMC hearings are not scheduled through the online scheduling system.
  5. You may notify the Court of any UMC cancellations by emailing a Notice of Cancellation to CAD-DIVISIONAN@PBCGOV.ORG ALL parties MUST AGREE to the cancellation.

Protocol for UMC

AT ALL TIMES, THE PARTIES SHALL COMPLY WITH THE STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL COURTESY AND CIVILITY PROMULGATED BY THE PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION AND ENDORSED BY THE JUDGES OF THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.

  • UMC hearings are limited to a total of ten (10) minutes per case, regardless of the number of matters sought to be heard and are heard on a first come, first serve basis. All counsel and parties (if pro se) must sign in with the Court's Courtroom Deputy.
  • Copies of ALL motions, petitions, or other matters to be heard shall be delivered to the Court's Judicial Assistant no later than five (5) working days before the scheduled hearing. The Court endeavors to review all materials prior to the scheduled hearings.
  • The original Motion and Notice of Hearing must be filed at least 5 working days in advance of the UMC hearing date, with the Clerk of Court, Civil Division, and a courtesy copy MUST be sent to opposing counsel and Judge Coates' Judicial Assistant (send to the Judicial Assistant via U.S. regular mail NOT E-MAIL).
  • Please DO NOT CALL the Judicial Assistant to confirm if a Motion "has made" the UMC calendar, as the daily UMC calendar is determined by who signs in on the morning of the hearing date.
  • While multiple motions may be heard, the number of such motions or matters shall not expand the hearing time on UMC. Any motions or matters not heard within the ten (10) minute timeframe must be rescheduled.
  • Piggybacking is only permitted with agreement of counsel and shall not expand the UMC hearing time for each case.
  • NOTE: Copies of all notices and motions should be provided to the Court's Judicial Assistant, notwithstanding that such have been e-filed with the Clerk of the Court. Simply e-filing a notice or motion does not result in the Court or the Judicial Assistant seeing or even being aware of the notice or motion prior to the hearing.
  • All motions or matters on UMC will be heard in the order that they were noticed for hearing. For multiple motions or matters noticed at the same time, the order of hearing will be the date of filing of each motion or matter.
  • Any motions or memoranda submitted to the Court for UMC are limited to five (5) pages, excluding exhibits; provided, however, in all events, the submissions to the Court for UMC (including exhibits) shall be amenable to being reviewed by the Court in advance of the hearing and requiring no more than a total of ten (10) minutes for review.
  • In addition, all counsel are required to provide to the Court at the beginning of each hearing on UMC courtesy copies of all motions to be heard AND PROPOSED ORDERS. Most motions heard on UMC are decided during UMC, making the submission of proposed orders especially important to judicial efficiency and prompt administration of justice.
  • Unless directed otherwise by the Court, all argument at UMC shall be as follows: 1) Movant's argument; 2) Opposing argument; 3) rebuttal, if necessary.

The following matters SHALL NOT be noticed for UMC, but shall be specially set for hearing as provided below:

  • Motions for Contempt
  • Motions for Sanctions
  • Motions for Attorneys' Fees
  • Motions for Rehearing and/or Reconsideration (Only to be set upon approval of the Court)
  • Contested Motions for Summary Judgment
  • Any motions requiring evidence to be taken or findings to be made by the Court, unless expressly permitted herein
  • Any hearing of any nature reasonably requiring more than five (5) minutes per side to argue.

Lengthy Hearings

For hearings that require more than half an hour, please send your formal request (via Cover Letter) to Judge Coates with the amount of time requested for your motion and a copy of the motion. Judge Coates will review and decide whether the amount of time you are requesting is appropriate for your motion. Once reviewed you will receive an order adding your motion will to the next available trial docket.

Special Set Hearings("SSH")

  1. Special Set hearings must be set via the Online Scheduling System. The Court expects strict compliance with Local Rule 4. Hearing times are available in blocks of 15 and 30 minutes. Prior to scheduling a special set hearing online, you must have 1) agreed upon the date and time for the scheduled hearing with ALL parties and 2) have previously filed your Motion with the Clerk's office. Failure to comply with these procedures will result in cancellation of your hearing by the Court.
  2. Once scheduled the Online Scheduling System will generate an Order Setting Hearing, that the Court will sign and distribute via e-service to ALL parties of record.
  3. ALL counsel/parties should provide via U.S. mail courtesy copies of their special set motions, memoranda of law and supporting case law, no later seven (7) days in advance of the hearing, and should designate the date and time of the hearing which they reference. Counsel/parties should mark the key language in the most pertinent and important cases and key exhibits for the court and opposing counsel. Courtesy copies of motions, memoranda of law, and case authority should be sent by U.S. regular mail to the Court 5-7 business days in advance. Orders in anticipation of a hearing should be brought to Court at the time of the hearing.

Protocols for SSH

  • SSH are hearings requiring longer than ten (10) minutes total time to argue. These hearings are set via the Court's Division AN Online Calendar and subject to coordination with Counsel. Usually, these are motions that cannot be heard on the UMC because they require testimony or other evidence and/or are longer than 10 minutes in duration.
  • No SSH may be cancelled or rescheduled except upon entry of Order of the Court.
  • AT ALL TIMES, THE PARTIES SHALL COMPLY WITH THE STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL COURTESY AND CIVILITY PROMULGATED BY THE PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION AND ENDORSED BY THE JUDGES OF THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.
  • All SSH Hearings must be coordinated and scheduled at mutually convenient times to counsel. NO EXCEPTIONS. If counsel are unable to agree after first attempting to coordinate as to a hearing date, then the scheduling difficulty may be brought to the Court's attention for appropriate disposition.
  • SSH hearings shall be scheduled for a time appropriate to the motion or matter to be heard. No SSH may be set for a period in excess of 30 minutes except upon Court approval.
  • While multiple motions may be heard on SSH, the number of such motions shall not expand the hearing time for SSH.
  • Parties CANNOT reserve 2 consecutive 30-minute hearings via the online scheduling for the same case/motion.
  • All motions on SSH will be heard in the order that they were noticed for hearing. For multiple motions noticed at the same time, the order of hearing will be the date of filing of each motion.
  • Piggybacking is only permitted with agreement of counsel and shall not expand the SSH hearing time provided by the Court.
  • Copies of ALL motions, along with proposed orders, shall be delivered to the Court's Judicial Assistant no later than seven (7) working days before the scheduled hearing. The Court endeavors to review all materials prior to the scheduled hearings.
  • Absent leave of the Court, any motions or memoranda submitted to the Court for SSH are limited to twenty (20) pages, excluding exhibits.
  • NOTE: Copies of all notices and motions should be provided to the Court's Judicial Assistant, notwithstanding that such have been e-filed with the Clerk of the Court. Simply e-filing a notice or motion does not result in the Court or the Judicial Assistant seeing or even being aware of the notice or motion prior to the hearing.
  • In addition, all counsel are required to provide to the Court at the beginning of each hearing on SSH courtesy copies of all motions, petitions, or other matters to be heard and proposed orders.
  • Unless directed otherwise by the Court, all argument at SSH shall be as follows: 1) Movant's argument; 2) Opposing argument; 3) rebuttal, if necessary.
  • Absent leave of the Court, all exhibits to be introduced as evidence at SSH shall be exchanged between the parties no later than forty-eight (48) hours before the scheduled hearing.
  • All exhibits to be introduced as evidence at SSH shall be pre-marked.
  • While the Court endeavors to determine most motions at the conclusion of the SSH, at times the Court may take the matter under advisement and ask for the parties to submit post-hearing memoranda and/or proposed orders based on the evidence presented and admitted at the SSH or based on preliminary rulings made by the Court at the conclusion of the SSH.
  • The Court's standard practice is to require (unless otherwise directed by the Court at the conclusion of the SSH) that all post-hearing submissions (including the foregoing proposed orders) be made ten (10) working days following the SSH, pursuant to Administrative Order 3.204-9/05*. Compliance with this deadline is MANDATORY, as the Court finds the timely submission of post-hearing proposed orders to be especially important to judicial efficiency and prompt administration of justice.
  • All submissions of proposed final judgments or orders in connection with a SSH: 1) shall be by uploading same via the Online Scheduling System and submission via CAD-DivisionAN@PBCGOV.ORG; 2) shall be in both Word and PDF format; and, 3) shall be in Times New Roman 12 font.
  • The submission of all post-hearing proposed judgments and orders and any objections thereto shall be governed by and in compliance with Administrative Order No. 3.204-9/08*. NOTE: Some portion of the text of the Judgment or Order specific to the case MUST be included on Judge Coates' signature page. PLEASE include the style of the case, the case number and the page number in the upper left-hand corner for Judgments and Orders more than one page. The Judgment or Order WILL be sent back to the moving attorney if the signature page of the Judgment or Order only includes the Judge's signature line and is not in compliance with Administrative Order No. 3.204-9/08*.

Agreed Orders and Matters Heard on the Papers

All agreed orders are to be submitted via the Online Scheduling System Proposed agreed orders must be uploaded in MS Word format. Please upload your Cover Letter and any other relevant documents as an attachment in PDF format.

The following matters the Court will not accept and enter an agreed order on the papers in lieu of a hearing (evidentiary and/or non-evidentiary) before the Court.

  • Motions for Continuance. The Court does not accept agreed orders of continuance. All motions for continuance must be heard by the Court and be in compliance with Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.460.
  • Motions to Dispense with Mediation. The Court will not enter an agreed order dispensing with mediation without conducting a hearing on same.
  • Motions for Judicial Default.
  • Motions to Withdraw. Normally, a hearing is required on all motions to withdraw. However, the Court will enter an agreed order of withdrawal of counsel on the papers and in lieu of further hearing if the Court is provided: 1) the client's consent to the withdrawal; 2) opposing counsel's consent and/or non-objection to the withdrawal; and, 3) a proposed order that provides the most current address and email for service of papers on the client.

Appearance at Hearings by Telephone

  • The Court permits telephonic appearances by Counsel at UMC and SSH. At any hearing in which evidence is to be taken, the Court permits telephonic appearance by a party only upon agreement of all parties; otherwise, a motion will need to be filed seeking same and decided by the Court.
  • The Court uses Courtcall.com as the service provider for the purposes of scheduling and appearing at a hearing via telephone.
  • To schedule a telephonic appearance for a hearing that is presently set, please go to courtcall.com and/or call 1-888-882-6878 and follow the instructions. Subject to the above, no motion or order for telephone appearance is normally required, however, your opposing counsel/party must be aware and in agreement that you are appearing via telephone.
  • If you wish to appear at a hearing via telephone, you MUST contact Courtcall and make the appropriate arrangements at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the scheduled hearing date and time.

CAD Email

CAD-DivisionAN@pbcgov.org.

  • Under no circumstances should CAD-Email address be used for purposes of copying the Court on any email communications between counsel regarding any matter, including without limitation, scheduling of hearings, depositions, etc., settlement discussions of any kind, or any other communication not expressly permitted by the Court's Judicial Assistant. This email is for direct communication to Division AN and not for apprising the Court of communications between the parties or their counsel.
  • Submissions of Motions for Rehearing, copies of Notice for Trial and copies of Notices of Cancellation of UMC are the only documents allowed to be submitted via the Divisional E-Mail.

Motions for Reconsideration/Rehearing

TRIALS

  • The moving party must file with the Clerk of the Court a Notice for Trial with their estimated time of trial, and whether the case is to be set for jury or non-jury trial. Also, a courtesy copy of the notice should be sent via U.S. Mail to the Court's Judicial Assistant for the setting of the trial along with envelopes for "pro se" parties.
  • All notices or motions for trial shall be in compliance with the Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • All trial exhibits must be pre-marked.
  • The Court's standard practice is to require (unless otherwise directed by the Court at the conclusion of the trial) that all post-trial submissions be made ten (10) calendar days following the trial. Compliance with this deadline is MANDATORY, as the Court finds the timely submission of post-trial proposed judgments/orders to be especially important to judicial efficiency and prompt administration of justice.
  • All submissions of proposed final judgments or orders: 1) shall be by filing same with JVS Division AN, and, if requested by the Court, email to: CAD-DivisionAN@PBCGOV.ORG; 2) shall be in both Word and PDF format; and, 3) shall be in Times New Roman 12 font.
  • The submission of all post-trial proposed judgments and orders and any objections thereto shall be governed by and in compliance with Administrative Order No. 3.204-9/08* unless provided otherwise herein. NOTE: Some portion of the text of the Judgment or Order specific to the case MUST be included on Judge Coates' signature page. PLEASE include the style of the case, the case number and the page number in the upper left-hand corner for Judgments and Orders more than one page. The Judgment or Order WILL be sent back to the moving attorney if the signature page of the Judgment or Order only includes the Judge's signature line and is not in compliance with Administrative Order No. 3.204-9/08*.

Emergency Motions/Request for Emergency Hearings

  • All emergency motions must be filed with the Clerk of Court, Civil Division. The Clerk's Office will then forward the motion to Judge Coates, or an alternate Judge in his absence, for immediate review and consideration, after which the motion will either be denied, or if appropriate, an emergency hearing set thereon, or interim emergency relief entered. Do not set an emergency motion for hearing unless directed to do so by the Court's Judicial Assistant.

Ex-Parte Motions to Compel Discovery

  • No hearing is necessary if Motion is in compliance with Administrative Order 3.202-9/08*.
  • The moving attorney must submit the Motion and Order for signature by the Judge.

Courtroom Media Requests

  • For all media equipment requests for trial, please complete the Courtroom Media Request form. Complete the form and submit it to Court Technology at least 5 days prior to trial. The judicial assistant does not handle any courtroom issues or requests regarding equipment used for trials.

Division AN Do's and Don'ts

  • The following is intended as a practice aid to attorneys and parties appearing in Division AN.
  • Do:
    • Comply With The Standards Of Professional Courtesy And Civility Promulgated By The Palm Beach County Bar Association And Endorsed By The Judges Of The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit
    • Introduce yourself at each hearing even if you think the Court knows who you are
    • Come prepared to respond to Court's questions (there almost always are some)
    • Be courteous to the Court's Judicial Assistant, the Courtroom Deputy, and other Court Staff (the Court does hear about it when you are not)
    • Avoid interrupting opposing counsel except to assert a "valid" objection
    • Be courteous to the Court and oblige by remaining quiet when the Court starts to speak and ask questions, and remain silent until the Court is done
    • Submit materials in advance to the Court (they will be read)
    • Come to hearing with proposed orders
    • Coordinate all hearings
    • Come to court with pre-marked exhibits
    • Exchange exhibits prior to the hearing
    • Be on time for all hearings
    • Call the Court's Judicial Assistant if not able to be on time due to circumstances beyond your control (generally bad traffic is not a sufficient basis)
  • Don't:
    • Schedule hearings unilaterally on UMC
    • Send more than five (5) minutes of reading per side for a UMC hearing
    • Ignore the Court's deadline to submit proposed orders
    • Assume a continuance will be granted (even if it is agreed)
    • Assume the Court will dispense with mediation (even if agreed between the parties)
    • Assume an order will be entered just because it is agreed
    • Try to talk over the Court (be courteous) or interrupt opposing counsel (except to make a valid objection)
    • Schedule contempt or sanctions motions for UMC, they are evidentiary
    • Let a case sit for an inordinate amount of time and then try to schedule a motion for continuance shortly before trial (diligence is required)
    • Bait the Court to take positions you know or should know are not supported by the law (i.e, setup for reversal)
    • Put unsupported findings in proposed orders
    • Provide caselaw to Court in hearings or in papers that has not been cite-checked (i.e., is still good, controlling, or persuasive law)
    • File emergency motion unless it constitutes a true emergency as recognized under the law
    • Roll your eyes or express visible disagreement with the Court's rulings. Maintain professionalism.
    • Be late to any hearing!

Communications with Court and Judicial Assistant

  • No ex parte communications (except as may be permitted under Florida law) are permitted with the Court (inclusive of Judge Coates and his Judicial Assistant) addressing any substantive issues in any case. However, proposed or agreed orders may be submitted with cover letter provided all counsel are copied contemporaneously on communications with Court.
  • Communications with Judge Coates' Judicial Assistant are permitted for purposes of scheduling hearings, docket management, submitting proposed orders, and ministerial matters related to case administration. However, no substantive issues in any case should be discussed with Judge Coates' Judicial Assistant, as the Judicial Assistant is not permitted to provide legal advice or recommendations. All substantive and procedural issues and matters must be raised by motion or other pleading with the Court.
  • Submission of Proposed Orders: Unless otherwise permitted by the Court, Division AN does not accept proposed orders by email. However, when specifically requested by the Court, proposed orders can be emailed in Word format to facilitate editing by the Court. All proposed orders, unless otherwise requested by the Court, must be submitted through Online Scheduling System and accompanied by an explanatory letter advising when the hearing occurred and whether the proposed form is agreeable to opposing counsel. When the form of the order is disputed after a hearing has occurred, each party may submit its own proposed order along with a transmittal letter. Under no circumstances should an order be submitted to the Court for execution in JVS that has not had a hearing held on it or is not otherwise an agreed order. All agreed orders must indicate such on the form of the order. All orders failing to comply with the foregoing will be rejected.
  • To submit an order to the Court (WORD FORMAT), log on to the 15th Judicial Circuit Online Scheduling website, sign in, and follow the directions. Training videos have been posted on YouTube. Please open YouTube on the internet and search "15th Judicial Circuit of Florida" for more information. Should you have questions concerning the system, email your questions and feedback to CAD-WEB@pbcgov.org. Please do not call the Judicial Assistant for training. The parties must be in complete agreement of the order to be submitted through the online scheduling system. Otherwise, if the parties are not in full agreement the order must be submitted by U.S. regular mail and indicate that multiple orders will be forthcoming from the same hearing.
  • Do not submit any orders via the Circuit Online Scheduling website in anticipation of a hearing. Division AN will serve all orders by email to all attorneys who have not been excused from e-mail service and to all parties not represented by an attorney who have designated an email address for service.
  • The Court's Judicial Assistant is in Court Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and unavailable for telephone contact during this time, as well as between the hours of 12:00 Noon and 1:30 p.m. every day. It is highly recommended that you avoid calling during the above times and refrain from leaving voice messages because of the high volume of calls. While the Court's Judicial Assistant will make every reasonable effort to timely return all calls within forty-eight (48) hours, if you have not received a return call within that time frame, then please re-initiate your telephonic contact.