FH and IH Divisional Instructions

FAMILY Email CAD-DivisionFH@pbcgov.org for Delivery of Orders of Referral to General Magistrate and Orders of Referral to Mediation ONLY (if all parties have registered their email address). Otherwise forward your proposed Order via U.S. mail or courier.

Probate and Guardianship:

All proposed Orders must be sent via U.S. mail or courier.  DO NOT SEND ORDERS VIA CAD E-MAIL unless given permission by the Judge or JA.

DO NOT send courtesy copies or correspondence by email

The Court must consider certain criteria defined in Florida Statutes, Section 744.108 when reviewing attorney and guardian fees.  All fee petitions shall include the nature and value of the ward's assets at the time of filing, the monthly income earned by the ward and the monthly expenses of the ward.

Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC)

UMC is heard Tuesday (Family & Probate), Wednesday, (Family) and Thursday, (Family & Probate) – 8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Kindly be advised each side is allotted a total of five minutes for a total of ten minutes per UMC calendar. All UMC hearings shall be:

  • Counsel shall refer to A.O. 5.201 when scheduling a UMC hearing.
  • Five (5) days prior to the hearing, a courtesy copy of the notice of hearing, motion, relevant pleadings or orders, and case law (two case maximum) shall be provided to the judge.
  • Note: The Court does not automatically receive a copy of motions or notices filed electronically in the court file from the Clerk's office.
  • The first motion properly noticed for hearing will be heard. It is the Court's discretion as to whether any additional motions will be heard.
  • At the time of the hearing, movant party must provide to the Court a proposed Order with sufficient copies of proposed Order and stamped, self-addressed envelopes for all parties.
  • Do not call the J.A. for a UMC hearing. Simply pick a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday; check "Suspension Calendar" to avoid setting on a date the calendar is suspended; clear date with opposing counsel or pro se litigant; and mail a courtesy copy to the J.A.

Uncontested Dissolutions of Marriage

  • Can be heard at UMC (follow UMC rules above).
  • Five (5) days in advance, copies of notice of hearing, pertinent pleadings and documents must be provided to Judge;
  • Complete Testimony at Final Hearing and Final Disposition Forms must be completed (available on the 15th Judicial Circuit Website);
  • Confirm notice required. Fla. Fam. L.R.P. 12.440 and Fla. Stat. §61.19;
  • Bring proof of residency to the hearing. Fla. Stat. §61.052(2);
  • Movant party verifies matter is at issue and all documents necessary are in court file. Fla. Stat. §§61.052(7), (8); 61.21(4). Fla. Fam. L.R.P. 12.285(d)(j).
  • Confirm marital settlement agreement addressed all matters required to be considered. Provide a proposed final judgment with self-addressed, stamped envelopes for all parties and Income deduction order if needed.
  • Pursuant to Fl. Stat. §61.21 and Administrative Order 5.212 both parties must have attended a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course prior to setting a final dissolution hearing with children (contested or uncontested).

Special Set Hearings

  • Motions must be filed and docketed with clerk before hearing dates can be given or a hearing can be set.
  • If requesting more than 30 minutes, requesting party must mail a copy of the motion along with a letter to the Judge stating how much time is being requested. Please be sure to copy opposing side. The J.A. will notify the parties once the Judge has determined how much time will be allowed for the hearing.
  • Parties\Attorney's office must contact J.A. by telephone for dates (several will be given).
  • Party requesting hearing must confirm availability for dates (several will be given).
  • Confirm date with Judicial Assistant as soon as possible to reserve – dates are not held.
  • Send copy of Notice of Hearing and copy of pleading being heard to the Judge's chamber.  DO NOT SEND NOTICES VIA CAD E-MAIL UNLESS GIVEN PERMISSION BY JUDGE OR JA.
  • An Order is NOT required for a special set hearing; however a special set hearing cannot be cancelled unless the matter set for hearing is settled (with an agreed order presented to Court) or withdrawn.

Temporary Relief Hearings

Mediation MUST be completed before a temporary relief hearing will be scheduled. Following mediation, if parties are unable to reach an agreement, dates and times for temporary relief hearing can be obtained from the Judicial Assistant following the instructions below.

  • Follow instructions for Special Set Hearings.
  • Hearings are limited to a total of thirty (30) minutes pursuant to Administrative Order 5.207 unless permission is granted by the Court.

Notice to Set Cause for Trial

Notice must include whether the final hearing is on original action or a subsequent action. Fla. Fam. L.R.P. 12 440 and Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.440(b).

A copy of the Notice for Trial, MUST INCLUDE Docket Entry numbers for Petition, Answer, Counter-Petition etc. on the NOTICE FOR TRIAL

  • An estimated time for the final hearing and opposing party's position on the same.
  • Self-addressed, stamped envelopes must be provided for all parties.

Trials are set by Court order and cannot be cancelled or continued except by further order of the Court unless the matter is settled with an executed settlement agreement.

PLEASE NOTE: Exhibits MUST be marked PRIOR to start of trial/hearing with Judge's Name, Case Number, Case Style, Date of Hearing, and Exhibit Number

Service and Preparation of Judgments and Orders:

  • Administrative Order 5.204 requires that some portion of text of the Order be included on signature page.
  • Proposed Final Judgments and/or Orders should be submitted within ten (10) days following the hearing via U.S. mail or courier. DO NOT EMAIL.
  • Proposed Order should include a cover letter specifying the date of the hearing.

Post Judgment Matters:
Modifications, Motions for Contempt & Enforcement of Final Judgment:

  • All post-judgment matters are referred to the General Magistrate.
  • All child support post-judgment matters are heard by the Magistrate.
  • All post judgment Motions to Withdraw as Counsel of Record are heard by the Magistrate, unless an Order Sustaining Objection has been entered and the matter has been referred back to the Judge
  • A proposed form of order of referral must be submitted to the Judge along with sufficient copies of the proposed order and self-addressed, stamped envelopes for mailing to all parties.
  • The signed order will be forwarded to the Magistrate for processing.
  • Attorney or pro-se litigant may file an objection to the referral.
  • Pro se litigants should contact the division case manager (561-624-6674) to schedule the matter.
  • The Magistrate reviews the objection and enters the Order sustaining the objection at which time the matter is referred to the Judge and the party shall follow this Court's divisional instructions for special set hearings. Administrative Order 5.104

Adoptions and Name Changes:

  • All adoption and name change statutory requirements must be met before a final hearing will be set.
  • Staff Attorneys review all adoption matters and the Case Manager reviews name changes petitions.
  • No hearings will be set until reviewed by the Staff Attorney or Case Manager.
  • A status order from the Court may be issued to the parties.
  • Following all requirements being met by the parties, the Judicial Assistant will contact the attorney/party(ies) to schedule a final hearing upon receiving notice from the Staff Attorney.
  • PLEASE SEE Administrative Order 5.807 "Chapter 39 Adoptions" before requesting a final hearing.

Appearance by Telephone

Contact Information for Attorneys and Self-Represented Litigants:

Attorneys and Self-Represented Litigants may appear via telephone by registering at least two days prior to the scheduled hearing via any of the following three (3) court-approved vendors:

Court Call:       888 882-6878 or 310 342-0888

CourtScribes:  833-727-4237 ext 3

Zoom:              888-799-9666

Attorneys may appear via telephone appearance unless otherwise ordered; no witness or party testimony shall be allowed via telephone appearance absent prior approval of the Court. 

Telephone appearances are not allowed for attorneys or parties for Domestic Violence/Dating Violence/Repeat Violence injunction hearings.