Current Divisional Instructions During Implementation of Administrative Order 12.510.
Please Check Back Frequently for Updates
In the event you do not find an answer to your question on this website, please CALL the J.A. with your inquiry. DO NOT email the J.A. as she is responsible for 8 separate electronic inboxes, which is incredibly time consuming.
If you have evidence, case law, memos, etc. for an upcoming trial or hearing you must deliver your package to the Judge's office at least TWO (2) days in advance.
UMC HEARINGS BEGINNING TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2020: UMC matters will be held via Zoom. The Meeting ID and Password are below. Simply go to Zoom.us and enter the following information when prompted:
Meeting ID: 998 3380 9466
If an evidentiary hearing of 30 minutes or less is required, please contact the Judicial Assistant. If you are requesting more than 30 minutes please submit a copy of your motion or petition with a cover letter stating the amount of time you are requesting.
Uniform Motion Calendar will be held at 8:45 A.M. on every Tuesday and Wednesday and will only be heard if scheduled via OLS.
ALL NOTICES OF HEARING MUST REFLECT THE ZOOM INFORMATION ABOVE.
Please upload your Notice of Hearing, Motion or Petition being heard and proposed Order to the Online Scheduling system at least 5 DAYS in advance of the hearing.
IF YOU HAVE AN UPCOMING SPECIAL SET HEARING OR TRIAL: the J.A. will reach out to you approximately 1 week in advance to let you know if the hearing or trial will be held remotely or in person. You will either get a Zoom invitation, meaning your hearing or trial will be held via Zoom, or an email confirming in person attendance.
If Setting an Uncontested Final Hearing:
Be sure to upload your proposed Final Judgment, Testimony Sheet, Final Disposition Form and copy of your client's driver's license when setting your matter in the Online Scheduling system.
Probate UMC Matters Include:
- Motion to Intervene
- Motion for Instructions
- Motion to Compel
- Status Conference
- Motion for Protective Order
- Motion to Withdraw
- Motion for Continuance
- Motion for Default
- Agreed Orders (Except for PR Appointment)
- Motion to Terminate or Limit Examinations
- Modification of Trust or Trust Complaints
Please upload your Notice of Hearing, Motion or Petition being heard and proposed Order to the Online Scheduling system at least 5 DAYS in advance of the hearing.
Please refer to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Website for the latest updates regarding COVID-19. The Chief Judge issued Administrative Order No. 12.510, Mitigating Measures in Response to COVID-19. Based on the Administrative Order, only essential in-person court proceedings are being held, such as domestic violence and all injunction hearings. All non-essential in-person proceedings are suspended until further order of the Chief Judge. These would include the suspension of the in-person UMC docket for Family and Probate as well as the ex parte Probate Docket.
Submission of Proposed Orders
All Agreed Orders and Proposed Orders shall be submitted and uploaded through the OLS system. All Probate Division Orders and Checklists should be uploaded through the OLS system and each proposed order and checklist should be done separately.
Please note that if you have a trial or special set hearing, the J.A. will contact you approximately 1 week beforehand to either confirm the hearing (to be held by telephone or video) or reset the proceeding.
If you are a self represented litigant calling on a Family matter, please call the Case Manager, Linda Peters, at 561-624-6674.
If you have a question concerning a Status Order or are inquiring about a proposed Order on a Probate or Guardian matter, please call the Case Manager, Debbian Livingstone at 561-624-6516.
Normal Divisional Instructions When Admin. Order 12.510 is Not in Place
FAMILY Email CAD-DivisionFJ@pbcgov.org for Delivery of Orders of Referral to General Magistrate and Orders of Referral to ADR Mediation only (NOT PRIVATE) as long as 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.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE J.A. TO ASK IF YOUR PLEADING IS AN EXCEPTION TO THE E-MAIL INFORMATION ABOVE. THE ONLY 2 ORDERS ACCEPTED BY EMAIL ARE LISTED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH ABOVE.
- DO NOT send proposed Final Judgments, even if agreed, by email. All proposed Final Judgments, Exhibits to Final Judgments, Memoranda of Law and Closing Arguments must be sent to the Judge via U.S. mail or courier.
- Division FJ accepts the following by email in MS Word format as long as all parties have registered their email address: Orders of Referral and Orders Setting Mediation only.
- Orders sent to the Court by email will be served to the parties by email ONLY. All orders must state a mailing and email address for each party for service.
- All documents emailed to the Court must state that they were emailed to the opposing side in the same email or they will be returned as ex parte communication.
- IF THE OPPOSING SIDE IS AN EMAIL EXCUSED ATTORNEY OR A PRO SE party (unless pro se party has agreed to email service) DO NOT SEND YOUR ORDER BY EMAIL. A hard copy of the proposed order must be provided to the Court with sufficient envelopes provided to the Court for service.
- DO NOT EMAIL to the Court unless specifically directed by the Court: copies of Notices of UMC Hearing, Motions, Letters, Notices of Filing, Request to Produce, Interrogatories, Memorandum of Law, Case Law, etc.
- INCOME WITHHOLDING FOR SUPPORT ORDER AND FLORIDA ADDENDUM: Please note that the previously used Income Deduction Order has now been replaced with the INCOME WITHHOLDING FOR SUPPORT ORDER AND FLORIDA ADDENDUM (IWO). The IWO is a required Federal form to be used for all cases involving support.
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
Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC):
- FOR FAMILY CASES: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 8:45 a.m. Do NOT schedule online and PLEASE do not call the J.A. to set a UMC hearing. Simply pick a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday; check "Suspension Calendar" to avoid setting on a date the calendar is suspended and file your Notice of Hearing accordingly. Be sure to mail a courtesy copy of the Notice of Hearing to the Judge. Please refer to Administrative Order 5.201.
- FOR PROBATE/GUARDIAN CASES (One party, no opposition, 5 minutes or less):
- Tuesday and Thursday - 8:45 a.m.
- Ten (10) minutes allotted (5 minutes per side).
- No contested evidentiary hearings.
- If you have default in a dissolution or paternity matter, please notice your Final Hearing on the Court's Uniform Motion Calendar.
- NO PETITIONS FOR TEMPORARY CUSTODY-please call J.A. to get a special set hearing.
- Uncontested final hearings in dissolution, paternity, name change and temporary custody cases will be heard during UMC
- With five (5) business days notice to opposing counsel or pro se litigant (unless short notice agreed by parties).
- Judge MUST RECEIVE five (5) business days prior to the hearing by regular mail - courtesy copy of the notice of hearing, motion, supporting documentation and case law.
- Note: The Court does not automatically receive a copy of motions or notices filed electronically in the court file from the Clerk's office.
- Counsel or pro se litigant brings to hearing: Proposed order granting/denying motion with email addresses for each party or sufficient copies of the proposed order and stamped, self-addressed envelopes for each party, if any party has opted out or if opposing party is pro se.
- Do not call the J.A. for a UMC hearing. Simply pick a date, check "Suspension Calendar" to avoid setting on a date the calendar is suspended and review Administrative Order 5.201.
Motions to Withdraw:
If you have the written consent of your client AND if the case is not set for trial or a special set hearing, you can mail a copy of the consent, motion and proposed Order to the Judge. Otherwise, you will need to set the matter for hearing on the Court's Uniform Motion Calendar docket. Please remember a copy for conforming and self-addressed stamped envelope for any pro se litigant.
FAMILY CASES: Please see Administrative Order 5.203. Once you file your motion as an emergency with the Clerk the motion is automatically forwarded to the Judge for consideration. An order addressing the emergency motion will be entered by the end of the day.
PROBATE/GUARDIANSHIP CASES: Please see Administrative Order 6.104.
Uncontested Dissolutions of Marriage:
- Can be heard at UMC (follow UMC rules above).
- 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 court file (Fla. Stat. §§61.052(7), (8); 61.21(4); Fla. Fam. L.R.P. 12.285(d)(j).
- Provide a proposed final judgment with self-addressed stamped envelopes for each party.
- Income Deduction Order or Income Withholding 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 hearing (dissolution or paternity) 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.
- Please call the J.A. in order to obtain a special set hearing.
- If requesting more than 30 minutes, you must mail a copy of the motion along with a letter to the Judge stating how much time you are requesting. PLEASE be sure to copy the other side. The Judicial Assistant will notify you once the Judge has determined how much time is allowed for the hearing.
- Attorney's office contacts Judicial Assistant by telephone for dates (several will be given).
- Person requesting hearing must confirm availability with opposing counsel or pro se litigant.
- Confirm date with Judicial Assistant as soon as possible to reserve – dates are not held.
- Send courtesy copy of Notice of Hearing and copy of pleading being heard to the Judge's chamber. If not courtesy copy is received YOUR HEARING WILL BE STRICKEN from the docket.
- 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 executed Agreed Order PRIOR to the hearing).
Each Notice of Hearing for special set hearings must contain the following language:
The attorneys/parties must submit to the court FIVE (5) BUSINESS DAYS before the hearing:
- Copies of all relevant pleading; and
- A copy of any memorandum of law; and
- Copies of all case law authority; and
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.
This hearing has been specially set and cannot be canceled unless the issues of this motion have been resolved and an Order entered, or the motion is withdrawn."
Temporary Relief Hearings:
- A Motion for Temporary Relief must be filed and docketed. The Judge will NOT allow a special set hearing on a request for Temporary Relief included in an Answer or Counter-Petition. A separate Motion for Temporary Relief must be filed.
- Mediation ON THE TEMPORARY RELIEF SOUGHT (following the filing of the motion for temporary relief) must be held before a temporary relief hearing will be scheduled Administrative Order 5.207.
- Following mediation, if parties are unable to reach an agreement, dates and times for temporary relief hearings can be obtained from Judicial Assistant.
- Hearings are limited to a total of thirty (30) minutes Administrative Order 5.207 unless permission granted by the Court following UMC hearing.
- Follow instructions for Special Set Hearings.
Notice/Motion to Set Cause for Trial:
- Original notice/motion to set cause for trial filed with Clerk's office.
- Please adhere to all instructions in Administrative Order 5.209.
- JUDGE MUST RECEIVE A COURTESY COPY OF THE NOTICE FOR TRIAL ALONG WITH SELF-ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPES FOR ANY PRO SE LITIGANT.
- Notices must include specific motion or petition/counter petition to be tried and the estimate of time necessary for trial.
- A Case Management Conference will be set once a Notice for Trial is received by the Court. At that hearing the parties will receive a trial date.
- Continuances of trial require a hearing on Uniform Motion Calendar.
- If noticing a post judgment matter, a copy of the Order Sustaining Objection to General Magistrate and a copy of each motion being heard must accompany the trial notice.
PURSUANT TO FL STAT 61.21 and Administrative Order 5.212 both parties must have attended a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Courts prior to the setting of a Final Hearing with children (contested or uncontested).
Once a case is set for trial the Judge will only grant motions to withdraw as counsel of record in extreme circumstances. All notices of unavailability must be filed prior to the case management conference which will be set prior to trial.
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 and/or Enforcement of Final Judgment:
- If filing a preemptory objection to the General Magistrate, NO Order of Referral is necessary. Simply forward a copy of your preemptory objection to the General Magistrate for consideration.
- All post judgment modifications, motions for contempt and/or enforcement of final judgment 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 was referred back to the Judge.
- Attorney or pro se litigant should send the proper 15th Judicial Circuit Order of Referral to the Judge (See Divisional Forms and Orders).
- If the attorney or pro se litigant files an objection, please copy the General Magistrate with same.
- If an order sustaining objection entered the attorney should contact the Judicial Assistant to schedule the matter (Administrative Order 5.104).
- Pro se litigants should contact the division case manager (561-624-6674) to schedule the matter.
- When requesting a Final Hearing on a post judgment Petition or Motion, PLEASE include the name of the pleading in your trial notice AND include a copy of the pleading and Order Sustaining Objection to General Magistrate with your trial notice.
Requirement for Notice of Hearing on Motion for Contempt in Support Matters
Effective immediately, the 15th Judicial Circuit mandates using Florida Supreme Court Form 12.960, Notice of Hearing on Motion for Contempt in Support Matters, heard by Child Support Hearing Officers or a General Magistrate. For contempt matters heard by a Judge, please refer to the individual judge's website to see if they require matters to be set by Order.
This is to comply with the recent changes to the Form 12.960, for support matters that went into effect in September 2018.
This form must be used to set a hearing before a Child Support Hearing Officer or a General Magistrate on a Motion for Contempt/Enforcement for support matters.
Petitions for Temporary Custody:
- These matters no longer require review by a Staff Attorney. Please contact the Judge's J.A. in order to obtain a special set hearing.
- Please see Administrative Order 5.111, which requires the filing of a checklist prior to requesting a hearing.
Motions for Rehearing/Reconsideration:
- Please see Local Rule No. 6.
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. If you feel your adoption matter is ready for final hearing, please call the J.A. who will contact the Staff Attorney for you.
- If you have a name change petition, please be sure the criteria outlined in F.S. 68.07 has been met. Case Managers review pro se petitions. If the Petitioner has counsel, please call the J.A. for a hearing date.
- PLEASE SEE Administrative Order 5.807 "Chapter 39 Adoptions" before requesting a final hearing.
EFFECTIVE AS OF 8/14/19:
The court must consider the criteria defined in FL STAT §744.108 when reviewing Attorney and Guardian fees requests; therefore, all fee petitions should include the nature and value of the Ward's assets at the time of filing the fee request, the monthly income earned and the monthly expenses of the Ward.
Fingerprint - Electronic Only and Credit Reports for All Guardians
Prior to the appointment of a Guardian, all propose guardians are required to submit to a level 2 criminal check and a credit report as required by Florida Statue 744.3135.
Professional guardian's: if you are not currently in the clerk's data base must also comply Once in the data base the records remain valid on file for two (2) years.
Visit The Florida Department of Law Enforcement website for a list of Livescan Service Providers and to have fingerprints and criminal check done..
The sheriff department is another option, see locations below.
You would need this - ORI number for electronic transmission to the clerk:
FL050063Z - professional guardians
FL050064Z- non professional guardians
ALL FEES MUST BE VERIFIED WITH THE SHERIFF DEPARTMENT
Fingerprinting – Palm Beach County Sheriff Departments:
345 South Congress Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33445
11498 Okeechobee Blvd.
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
1937 Q North Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
Credit Check Can Be Done with The Three Major Credit Bureaus with FICO Score Included:
Results should be e-filed with a notice of confidential filing within court file.
Appearance by Telephone
Any attorney may appear telephonically by contacting Court Call at 1-888-882-6878 and register at least two days prior to the scheduled hearing.
Notice to Self Represented Litigants: Contact the division case manager, Linda Peters, 561-624-6674, with any questions.
Do Not Send Letters or Notes to the Court
The Court does not act on letters or notes sent by either party. The Court acts on petitions or motions properly filed with the Clerk of the Court. File the appropriate petition or motion with the Clerk of the Court, send a copy to the opposing side and a courtesy copy to the Court in order for requests to be addressed by the Court.