FJ and IJ Divisional Instructions

Please Check Back Frequently for Updates

E-MAIL ADDRESSES FOR FAMILY DIVISION FJ AND  PROBATE DIVISION IJ:

FJ - CAD-DIVISIONFJ@PBCGOV.ORG

IJ - CAD-DIVISIONIJ@PBCGOV.ORG

Zoom Information Divisions FJ AND IJ

Time: These are recurring meetings, meet anytime

  Meeting Link Meeting ID Passcode
UMC Hearings Zoom Link 998 3380 9466 382348
Special Set Hearings Zoom Link 854 7739 9105 915843
Trials Zoom Link 867 6549 6602 328257
Dial by your location for all meetings:
  • US Toll-free 877-853-5257
  • US Toll-free 888-475-4499

In the event you do not find an answer to your question on this website, please send an e-mail to the family or probate division with your inquiry.

All evidence, case law, memos, etc. for an upcoming ZOOM hearing must be delivered to the Judge's office at least FIVE (5) days in advance - hard copy only via U.S. mail, courier, etc.  E-mailed documents will not be accepted or considered.

Effective June 21, 2021: Judge Willis will continue to conduct the following hearings via Zoom video conference:

FAMILY CASES:

UMC Hearings, Lack of Prosecution Hearings, Case Management and Status Check Conferences, Emergency Temporary Guardian Hearings, Uncontested Pro Se Dissolution and Paternity hearings, Guardian Advocacy Hearings, Do Not Resuscitate Preliminary Hearings.

PROBATE CASES:

UMC Hearings, Case Management and Status Check Hearings, Probate and Guardianship Hearings of thirty (30) minutes or less,  Incapacity Hearings, Petitions to Appoint Guardian Hearings, Guardianship Contempt Hearings, Emergency Temporary Guardianship Hearings, Do Not Resuscitate Preliminary Hearings .

ALL PROPOSED ORDERS NEED TO BE UPLOADED TO THE OLS Online Services  IN WORD FORMAT.

Persons who are interested in listening to the Zoom Court Hearings may contact the Court's Public Information Office, Debra Oats, at 561-355-4495 or 561-644-0054 to obtain an access line.

UMC HEARINGS:  UMC matters are heard on Tuesday and Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. via Zoom. No more than two (2) matters per case may be set on the UMC docket.  You must schedule your hearing via the Online Scheduling system through Online Services (OLS) in order to be heard.  The Zoom Meeting ID and Password are below and all Notices of Hearing must reflect the Zoom information. Please upload your proposed Order via (OLS) at least 2 DAYS in advance of the hearing.  If setting an uncontested Final Hearing in a Dissolution of Marriage matter, be sure to also upload any settlement agreement and parenting plan, your client's driver's license, the Testimony at Final Hearing form and a Final Disposition Form via OLS.  PLEASE NOTE all uploaded documents requiring the Judge's signature MUST BE SENT IN WORD format. 

UMC Zoom Meeting Information

Meeting Link: Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 998 3380 9466

Passcode: 382348

Dial by your location:
  • US Toll-free 877-853-5257
  • US Toll-free 888-475-4499

Probate UMC Matters Include:

  • Motion to Intervene
  • Motion for Instructions
  • Motion to Compel
  • 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

Please upload your Order to the Online Services system at least 2 DAYS in advance of the hearing.

PATERNITY AGREEMENTS:  If you have the written agreement of the parties you can simply upload your documents, including a proposed Final Judgment, via Online Services.

SPECIAL SET HEARINGS: Any hearing that is more than 5 minutes per side must be special set. Please submit via e-mail to the proper division FJ or IJ with a copy of your motion or petition, a cover letter stating the amount of time you are requesting.   Judge Willis will review the  motions/petitions and a hearing date will be set.  Please have Notices of Unavailability filed with the Court.  Please do not continually send e-mails to follow up on when the hearing will be set.   If the hearing is via ZOOM - All Exhibits must be submitted via mail/delivery five (5) business days prior to the hearing.  E-mailed Exhibits will not be accepted or considered.

Zoom Info for Special Set Hearings

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime<

Meeting Link: Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 854 7739 9105

Passcode: 915843

Dial by your location:
  • US Toll-free 877-853-5257
  • US Toll-free 888-475-4499

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND INJUNCTION HEARINGS: These are deemed as essential hearings per A.O. 12.515, Mitigating Measures in Response to COVID-19, and will be held LIVE.

SUBMISSION OF PROPOSED ORDERS: All proposed orders must 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.

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.


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 upload a copy of the consent, motion and proposed Order to OLS. 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.

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, send your request for hearing via e-mail to the FJ or IJ Division e-mail..
  • 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.

Zoom Information for Trials

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime

Meeting Link: Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 867 6549 6602

Passcode: 328257

Dial by your location:
  • US Toll-free 877-853-5257
  • US Toll-free 888-475-4499

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 the OLS.
  • 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 is entered the attorney should contact the Judicial Assistant via e-mail 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.

To obtain a copy of this form, please visit the Florida Court's Website. See the copy of this form is also listed on our website.

Petitions for Temporary Custody:

  • These matters no longer require review by a Staff Attorney. Please contact the Judge's J.A. via e-mail 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.
  • These matters will not be heard on the UMC docket. Pleasee-mail the JA for a special set hearing.

Motions for Rehearing/Reconsideration:

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 e-mail the JA. 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.

Probate/Guardianship:

ATTORNEY/GUARDIAN FEES:

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.

Guardian Procedures:

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
Tel.# 561-688-4760

11498 Okeechobee Blvd.
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
Tel.#561-790-5180

1937 Q North Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
Tel.#561-688-3838

Credit Check Can Be Done with The Three Major Credit Bureaus with FICO Score Included:

  • Experian
  • Transunion
  • Equifax

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.

Probate

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Digital Probate Checklists Now Available

Digital Probate Checklists are now available in the 15th Circuit's Online Services System ("OLS").

Digital Checklists eliminate the need to schedule ex-parte hearings, or even come to the courthouse.

Additionally, they limit the constant flow of paper back and forth between the probate divisions and the case managers.

Digital Checklists also comply with Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC19-74.

All lawyers are encouraged to use Digital Checklists now to help identify any technical or operational issues prior to the hard launch date, after which they will be the required method of submission.

SUBMIT A PROPOSED ORDER

How Does It Work?

To Submit an Order:

As an example, below are the steps to submit an Order for Testate Summary Administration:

  • Log into the 15th Circuit's OLS
    • in OLS, create the appropriate order one of three ways:

    Follow the instructions on the screen to submit the order to the court.

    1. Click on the "Submit Order from Template" button
      • Review the document and make any format adjustments necessary prior to submission.
      • Browse your computer and select, then upload the order;
    2. In OLS, click the "Submit Proposed Order" button;
      • Click "Submit" to send the order to the judge.
      • Follow the instructions on the screen and complete.
    3. If you have previously drafted the order in Word offline, cut and paste the order text into the body of the Generic Order template.
      • Select the Generic Order template, and type in the text of your order; or
    4. Click on the "Submit Order From Template" button;

To Submit a Digital Probate Checklist:

  • Click "Submit" to send the order to the judge.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen and complete.
  • Populate the checklist completely and accurately.
  • Select the appropriate probate checklist from the dropdown menu.
  • In OLS, click on the "Submit Order From Template" button;

We realize that the current paper process can cause delays in processing these orders, which impacts families at the worst time when they are dealing with the death of a loved one. Digital Checklists are intended to expedite the receiving, processing, filing and service of these orders.

For additional information on court provided digital training resources visit the Circuit's YouTube channel, CourtHelp4U.

You may also send an e-mail to CAD-WEB@pbcgov.org for assistance with uploading documents onto OLS.

Ex-Parte/Uniform Motion Calendar/Special Set & Trial Instructions For Probate/Guard

Zoom Information Divisions FJ AND IJ

Time: These are recurring meetings, meet anytime

  Meeting Link Meeting ID Passcode
UMC Hearings Zoom Link 998 3380 9466 382348
Special Set Hearings Zoom Link 854 7739 9105 915843
Trials Zoom Link 867 6549 6602 328257
Dial by your location for all meetings:
  • US Toll-free 877-853-5257
  • US Toll-free 888-475-4499