FI and II Divisional Instructions

Hearings

Uniform Motion Calendar:

Tuesday through Thursday @ 8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 3. The hearings are not scheduled by the Judicial Assistant. Please coordinate dates with opposing counsel or pro se litigants giving five business days notice. Ten minutes are allotted – five minutes per side. Send a courtesy copy of your motion, supporting documentation and case law to the Judge for review, five days prior to the UMC hearing.

No contested evidentiary hearings which includes default final hearings.

Please note: the Court does not automatically receive a copy of motions or notices filed electronically in the court file from the Clerk's office. Parties must provide proposed order granting/denying motion with sufficient copies of the proposed order and stamped self-addressed envelopes to the hearing.

Administrative Order 5.201

Temporary Relief Hearing:

Motion for Temporary Relief must be filed and mediation MUST BE COMPLETED on the Temporary Relief sought before hearing time is secured. Contact the Judicial Assistant at (561) 624-6687 for hearing dates and times. Hearings are limited to a total of thirty minutes.

Administrative Order 5.207-/5.09

Special Set Hearing:

PRE-JUDGMENT Motions must be filed and docketed with clerk before hearing dates can be given or a hearing can be set. These are motions that cannot be heard on the Uniform Motion Calendar because they require testimony, evidence and are more than ten minutes. Moving attorney calls the JA and the JA supplies the attorney with three dates to coordinate with opposing counsel (unless the other side is Pro Se), moving attorney's office must call the JA to secure the date and time agreed upon by all attorneys. An Order is not required for a special set hearing. However, a special set hearing CANNOT be cancelled unless the Judge's office is contacted, followed by a written request to remove the matter from the Judge's calendar.

All parties are required to have with them at the time of the hearing, a proposed Order on the Motion being heard with copies for conforming and self-addressed stamped envelopes for each party. Please see Local Rule 3.

Administrative Order 5.005

Uncontested Dissolutions of Marriage:

Can be heard at UMC. Testimony at Final Hearing and Final Disposition forms must be completed (available on the 15th Judicial Circuit Website. Confirm notice required by Fla. Fam. L.R.P. 12.440 and Fla. Stat. §61.19. Bring proof of residency Fla. Stat. §61.052(2).Verify all documents necessary are in the court file. (Fla. Stat. §61.052(7), (8) 61.21(4); Fla. Fam. L.R.P. 12.285(d) (i). Provide a proposed Final Judgment with self-addressed for each party. Income Deduction Order or Income Withholding Order if required.

Domestic Violence Hearing:

Domestic Violence matters may NOT be set on the Uniform Motion Calendar. All motions are to be filed with the Clerk in the Domestic Violence Division. The motion will be forwarded to the Judge for review.

Adoption and Name Change Hearings:

All adoption and name change statutory requirements must be met before a final hearing will be set. TPR or Final Hearing requests must be put in writing to the Judge and are set by the Judicial Assistant once all requirements have been met. Staff Attorneys review all adoptions and name changes. (No hearings will be set until reviewed by Staff Attorney) A status order from the Court may be issued to the parties. When all requirements are met by the parties, the Judicial Assistant will contact the attorney/party to schedule a final hearing.

Emergency Hearing:

Requests for emergency hearings are decided by the Judge. The movant must file a Motion for an Emergency hearing with the Clerk. The Judge will review the Motion and decide if an emergency hearing is warranted, as defined in Administrative Order 2.004.

"The term ‘emergency' encompasses the foregoing ex parte applications and other matters of extreme urgency, i.e., matters of life and death or instances of irreparable harm."

NOTE: Difference between request for expedited hearing and pleading the existence of an "emergency" is narrowly defined and sets in motion much courthouse turmoil. Be sure it is not abused.

Motions for Rehearing or Motions to Vacate:

Attorney shall file the original pleading with the Clerk and copy the Judge. The Judge shall either deny the motion or shall set it for oral argument.

Contempt Hearing:

PRE-JUDGMENT (on a temporary order), JA can give contempt hearing on the next available date. Post-Judgment matters are heard by the Magistrate, unless an attorney files a written objection. Blanket objections to hearings before the Magistrate are NOT permitted.

Post Judgment Modifications:

All post judgment modifications, motions for contempt and/or enforcement of Final Judgment are referred to the Magistrate. Magistrate Kirigan A-K (Male last name) or Magistrate Williams L-Z. All child support post-judgment matters are heard by the Magistrate. Parties are directed to do an Order of Referral. See Administrative Order 5.104-5/09, Fla. R. Fam. P. 12.490 and Fla. R. Fam. P. 12.491. If the attorney objects to the Magistrate, it is up to the attorney to file a written Objection to Magistrate timely. Only after an Order Sustaining Objection is docketed, should the attorney contact the Judge's office.

Motions to Compel Discovery:

No hearing is necessary; attorney must submit the motion and order for signature of judge.

Administrative Order 5.202

Notice/Motion to Set Cause for Trial

Moving party must file a Notice for Trial with the clerk. Please adhere to all instructions in A.O. 5.209-5/09. JUDGE MUST RECEIVE A COURTESY COPY OF THE NOTICE FOR TRIAL. Notices must include specific motion or petition/counter petition to be tried and the estimate of time necessary for trial. Moving party to submit self addressed stamped envelopes for all parties. Any trial lasting more than one day will require a Case Management Conference set by the Court. Mediation MUST be completed prior to trial.

Continuances of trial require a hearing on Uniform Calendar. NOTE: Do not set your case for trial unless both sides agree the case is at issue and ready for trial.

Evidence

All evidence must be premarked by the attorneys prior to the hearing/trial.

Preparation of Judgment and Orders

  1. Submit Order or Judgment within ten (10) working days
  2. Objections should be submitted within five (5) working days
  3. Copies or envelopes for service on the opposing parties
  4. Title shall contain the subject matter pursuant to rule 1.200
  5. Order of Judgment shall contain a signature page that includes a portion of the text of the Order or Judgment. Done and Order is not considered a portion of the text.

Administrative Order 5.012

All Pro Se Motions:

All Pro Se Motions are directed to the Case Manager for review and setting on the Case Manager's Pro Se calendar if at issue.

Probate and Guardianship:

Probate and Guardianship UMC and Ex-Parte calendar are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:45.

Phone Appearances:

The Court is utilizing Court Call for phone hearings. Arrangements should be made with Court Call by calling (888) 882-6878. All phone appearances must be pre-approved with the Court's Judicial Assistant prior to the hearing.

Questions and Advice:

We cannot give legal advice on how to proceed with your case. If you have questions of a legal nature, or questions concerning how to proceed, please contact or visit the Self Help Center located on the First Floor, Room 1434 of the North County Government Center/Courthouse OR on the Second Floor, Room 2.2200 of the Main Branch Courthouse located at 205 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL. In addition, the Palm Beach County Bar Association has available a Lawyer Referral and Information Service, phone (561) 687-3266.

Divisional e-mail: CAD-DIVISIONFI@pbcgov.org