Divisional Instructions

DIVISION MJCA-K: HEARING ROOM 6I

CAD E-mail Address: CAD-MJCA-K@PBCGOV.ORG

  • Under no circumstances should divisional email: to the divisional email: CAD-MJCA-K@pbcgov.org be used for purposes of copying the Court on any email communications between counsel/parties 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 Magistrate's Assistant.

Emails to the Court

Only Authorized Emails are accepted. For authorized submissions, you must contact the Magistrate's assistant for instructions. Unauthorized emails will be deleted.

Order of Referral

For post judgment non-child support matters an Order of Referral pursuant to Florida Family Law of Procedure 12.490 must be prepared for the Magistrate and shall list the assigned magistrate by name. Please see administrative order 5.104-11/16 for updated procedures for the Order of Referral.

  • To submit a proposed Order of Referral, please log in to your Online Scheduling account and click on "Submit Order from Template". View a tutorial video on how to submit a proposed order in OLS on our CourtHelp4U YouTube channel CourtHelp4U.
  • No Order of Referral to General Magistrate should be issued as to a child support matter; however, pursuant to Ferencz v. Ferencz, 897 So. 2d 558 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2005), if the subject matter referred is in the nature of child support and attorney's fees are sought, an Order of Referral to General Magistrate needs to be entered. In such an instance, the Order of Referral to General Magistrate should state: "The attorney's fees component of this Motion (or Petition) is the sole subject of this Order of Referral to General Magistrate."
  • All orders of referral to the General Magistrate must reflect "Room 6I" under the case number and division.
  • The Court will not accept orders of referrals that refer multiple motions/petitions to the General Magistrate. Each substantive motion/petition must be referred to the General Magistrate by a separate order of referral.

No Order of Referral Needed for Child Support Only Motions/Pleadings

For matters in which only child support or child related expenses are being requested, no Order of Referral is necessary since the matter will be heard pursuant to Rule 12.491, Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure.

Child Support Matters

  • The General Magistrate has inherent jurisdiction over NON-DOR child support establishment, enforcement and modification proceedings pursuant to Florida Family Law Rules Of Procedure, Rule 12.491 and local Administrative Order (this includes items in the nature of health insurance for the parties' children, health care expense payment/reimbursement and child care as well as life insurance to secure same).
  • EXCEPTION: No Order of Referral to General Magistrate should be issued as to a child support matter; however, pursuant to Ferencz v. Ferencz, 897 So. 2d 558 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2005), if the subject matter referred is in the nature of child support and attorney's fees are sought, an Order of Referral to General Magistrate needs to be entered. In such an instance, the Order of Referral to General Magistrate should state: "The attorney's fees component of this Motion (or Petition) is the sole subject of this Order of Referral to General Magistrate."

REQUEST FOR HEARING

Before requesting a hearing for a Motion or a Petition, the motion(s) must be filed and docketed with the Clerk of Court prior to requesting a hearing date and time. In keeping with professional courtesy, any party scheduling a hearing shall make a good faith attempt to resolve the matter, undertake reasonable efforts to contact the opposing party/counsel for availability or scheduling conflicts.

For matters that require a hearing before Magistrate Damary Stokes, the party requesting said hearing should submit an email to CAD-MJCA-K@PBCGOV.ORG [with a copy to the opposing party] and the email shall include:

  1. an estimate of the time needed to hear the matter;
  2. a copy of the signed order of referral [ if necessary]; and
  3. a copy of the motion(s);

    The subject line of the email MUST include the words:

    SPECIAL SET, the case number and name of the parties

    FOR EXAMPLE:

    FROM: ATTORNEY@EXAMPLE.COM
    TO: CAD-MJCA-K@PBCGOV.ORG
    CC: ATTORNEY@EXAMPLE.COM

    SUBJECT: SPECIAL SET 50-2020-DR-000000 EXAMPLE VS EXAMPLE

    The Magistrate Assistant will contact you once Magistrate Stokes has reviewed the motion/petition and hearing request. Available date(s) and time(s) will be provided to the parties. Please note that the Magistrate's office may, from time to time and as the circumstances require, schedule hearings without coordinating it with the parties or their counsel.

  • Special Set Hearings, Non-Jury Trials, and evidentiary Motion hearings are set with the Court through the Magistrate Assistant only.
  • Notices must include the specific motion or petition/counter petition to be tried with the date filed with the Clerk and the estimation of time necessary for trial.
  • CAUTION: Do not notice your case for hearing/trial unless both sides agree the case is ready.
  • Non-Jury Trials and Special Set Hearings are set by Court order and cannot be canceled, continued, or reset unless the issues of this motion(s) have been settled and an order entered, the motion(s) is/are withdrawn or dismissed, or further order of the Court.
  • Magistrate Stokes will review all motions, memoranda of law, and case authority in advance of all special set hearings and non-jury trials. Accordingly, all counsel/parties should provide courtesy copies at least five (5) calendar days in advance of the hearing of their motion(s)/petition(s), memoranda of law and supporting case law to the Court via the divisional email: CAD-MJCA-K@pbcgov.org and designate the date and time of the hearing which they reference. Counsel/parties should highlight or otherwise mark the key language in the most pertinent and important cases and key exhibits for the court and opposing counsel/party.

Caution: If the General Magistrate's J.A. calls you and you fail to call back and respond after her second documented attempt to contact you, your Motion will be deemed abandoned and a Memo to the Clerk memorializing your failure to respond will be placed in the Court file without further action being taken by the General Magistrate.

***Should it be more than two weeks since submitting your request and you have still not been contacted by our office, please call to check the status of your request.***

Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC")

Online Scheduling

  • AS OF JULY 1, 2019, ALL UMC HEARING WITH PARTIES REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEYS MUST BE SCHEDULED THROUGH ONLINE SCHEDULING "OLS".
  • Uniform Motion Calendar will be held weekly WEDNESDAY morning from 8:30am to 9:30am.
  • Only the available dates for UMC will be displayed online in OLS.
  • Parties shall ensure compliance with Administrative Order 5.201-3/19 PRIOR to scheduling a hearing on UMC.
  • Scheduling is solely between the parties and/or self-represented litigant. UMC hearings are not scheduled with the judicial assistant or online.
  • Attach a copy of the Notice of Hearing and Motion(s) being heard at the time the hearing is scheduled online. You do not need to forward or provide a copy of the Notice of Hearing and/or Motion(s) to the Court, as they are required to be uploaded at the time you schedule the hearing online.
  • UMC hearings must be scheduled no less than five (5) business days prior to the hearing date (unless short notice agreed by parties and General Magistrate).
  • All UMC hearings must include the full name of the Motion being heard and the filing date of the Motion.
  • Parties will be heard on a first come, first serve basis (please check in with the courtroom deputy).
  • Ten (10) minutes total allotted (5 minutes per side).
  • No contested evidentiary hearings will be heard on UMC.
  • The Magistrate reserves the right to cancel any UMC hearings that the Magistrate determines is not appropriate for UMC.
  • Self-represented litigants may provide courtesy copies of their UMC motion(s) and notice of hearing to the Court via regular mail.
  • Appearance by telephone is permitted at UMC hearings using CourtCall. CourtCall.com is the service provider used for the purposes of scheduling and appearing at a non-evidentiary hearing via telephone.

Service of Documents On Pro Se Parties

The Court requires that all documents be furnished to pro se parties via U.S. Mail, UNLESS the party has filed a written designation for eservice of court documents. Do not add a pro se party's email to documents or the state portal unless an email designation has been filed by the party.

Evidentiary Hearing:

First, file your motion with the Family Division, Clerk of Court.

Next, if any non-child support issues are framed by your Motion, then an Order of Referral to General Magistrate is required for all the non-child support issues (including attorney's fees). If necessary, please prepare an Order of Referral and submit the Order of Referral for signature to the appropriate Circuit Judge. Please be sure to include the Magistrate's full name - and Room Number 6I.

Upon your receipt of a signed copy of the Order of Referral, do not request a hearing date until after the expiration of the time to file an Objection to the Order of Referral.

Civil Contempt/Enforcement Hearings

If a Party wants to submit documents at the time of the hearing for the Court's consideration, then that Party shall bring TWO (2) COPIES of that document; one for the Court and one for the other Party. If a Party is seeking enforcement of child support, alimony, health insurance premiums, medical expense reimbursement, day care/summer camp costs, etc, which are NOT paid through the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) in Tallahassee, then the Party seeking enforcement shall prepare a detailed organized, itemized, and summarized statement for the Court and opposing party indicating the total of the items that has been paid, what has not been paid, and what if any reimbursement is due. Said Party shall also provide the Court and opposing party with a copy of the supporting bills, canceled checks, credit card receipts, etc.

Commitment Hearing

  • The Affidavit of Non Compliance and Motion for Commitment must be filed and docketed with the Clerk of Court.
  • Submit a letter or memo with the filed Affidavit of Non Compliance and Motion for Commitment to the divisional email: CAD-MJCA-K@pbcgov.org requesting a hearing and setting forth the amount of time you wish to have reserved for the hearing.
  • After our office receives your written request for a hearing along with the Affidavit of Non Compliance and Motion for Commitment, the Magistrate Assistant will contact you once Magistrate Stokes has reviewed the Affidavit of Non Compliance and Motion for Commitment and hearing request. Available date(s) and time(s) will be provided to the parties. The moving attorney shall then coordinate a mutually agreeable date and time with opposing counsel or self-represented party.
  • After coordination of the hearing date/time, the Court will prepare and send out copies to all interested Parties a Notice of Hearing with the date and time of the hearing.

Cancellation of a Hearing:

Cancellations may occur by (1) Agreed Order confirming that the matter has been resolved and the pending matter resolved or withdrawn; or (2) Notice of cancellation confirming that the matter has been resolved and the pending motion or petition resolved or withdrawn. (3) Any other cancellations must be approved by the General Magistrate. The proposed Agreed Order shall include the Agreement, and if applicable, the Parenting Plan and child Support Guidelines Worksheet.

Continuances

Any request for continuance must be in writing and co-signed by the Client and set for hearing on the Magistrate's Calendar (after receiving a hearing date from the Magistrate's Assistant). Alternatively, if the continuance is agreed to by opposing counsel, a stipulation signed by both counsel and their clients should be submitted together with an order either: (a) assigning a new hearing or non-jury trial date; or, setting a status conference to revisit a reset date.

Exceptions and Motions to Vacate:

Exceptions

The original Exceptions should be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court and a courtesy copy furnished to the General Magistrate for his reference, review, and corrections, if any. A copy of the exceptions should be provided by U.S Mail unless otherwise directed. If the General Magistrate does not think any action needs to be taken on the Exceptions, to correct or amend the Report, then he will submit a copy of the Exceptions, his Report and proposed Order to the Judge for action, with a copy of the cover memo being furnished to the Counsel of record, and if none the opposing party. Upon receipt of your copy of the Memo it is the Counsel's obligation to contact the presiding Judge to schedule the Exceptions Hearing. Make certain that the Circuit Judge is furnished with either the Hearing transcript or C.D. tape/transcript within the time frame in advance of the hearing pursuant to the Florida Family Law Rules Of Procedure, Rule 12.490. You can obtain the CD tape/transcript by contacting the Court Reporters Office at (561) 355~6328.

Motions to Vacate

The original Motion to Vacate should be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court and a courtesy copy furnished to the General Magistrate for his reference and review, and corrections, if any. If the General Magistrate does not think any action needs to be taken on the Motion to Vacate, to correct or amend the Recommended Order, then he will submit a copy of the Motion to Vacate to the Judge for action, with a copy being furnished to the Counsel of record, and if none the opposing party. Upon receipt of your copy of the Memo it is the Counsel's obligation to contact the presiding Judge to schedule the Motion to Vacate Hearing. Make certain that the Circuit Judge is furnished with either the Hearing transcript or tape within the time frame in advance of the hearing pursuant to the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, Rule 12.491.

Emergency Hearings:

If a matter is emergent, as defined by case law and the Circuit's Local Rules, then, by definition it is not appropriate for referral to General Magistrate but should be referred to the presiding Circuit Judge for processing and immediate action. If the Circuit Judge deems same non-emergent and refers it to a General Magistrate it shall be set in the normal course.

General Magistrate's "Global" Jurisdiction:

Once an action for non-jury trial or motion is referred to the General Magistrate all discovery issues, procedural motions/matters, motions in limine, etc., as well as any motion for continuance is to be heard by the General Magistrate not the Circuit Judge. It is the function of the General Magistrate to alleviate and assist in the Circuit Judge(s) caseload, part and parcel of which is the global disposition of all ancillary motions/issues pertaining to the underlying action or motion previously referred.

Telephonic Appearances:

Persons appearing telephonically must have notary public present at their location to verify their identity unless there is an agreement of the parties to waive the requirement of the notary.

All telephonic appearances may be agreed upon between the parties, with notice to the Magistrate of the agreement, or determined after motion and hearing.

The cost of the telephonic appearance will not be borne by the Court. The parties shall utilize one of the vendors below unless excused by the Magistrate. The parties shall arrange their telephonic appearance at least 3 days in advance of the hearing by calling one of the following vendors:

Vendor Phone Number Website
Court Call 888-882-6878 CourtCall.com
CourtScribes 833-727-4237 Ext. 3 CourtScribes.com
Zoom 888-799-9666  

Do not submit orders to the divisional CAD - follow instructions below:

Submission of Proposed Reports/Orders/Judgments/ Agreements/ proposed orders of referral's

  • ALL proposed report and recommendations/orders/dismissals/judgments, orders of referral etc. should be submitted through the on-line services system [OLS] without a signature line, as the orders will be signed electronically and will be E-Filed and E-Served. If the order being submitted is regarding a hearing held in open court, the date of that hearing and the parties in attendance must be included in the first sentence of the order. All reports/orders/judgments are to be reviewed by all counsel of record prior to submission. Do not submit any orders in anticipation of an upcoming hearing unless it is a UMC hearing.
  • The online scheduling system does not allow you to hold dates, so you must be sure the date is coordinated with all parties prior to setting the hearing. All motions must be filed and docketed with the clerk prior to scheduling a UMC hearing. All proposed orders must include the motion filing date.
  • The proposed reports/Orders/dismissals/judgments, etc. must be in WORD FORMAT. Do not use tables or macros with the case style or attorney names.
  • To submit your order/judgment: Log on to the NEW 15th Judicial Circuit website and click View All Web Applications under Circuit Web Applications then click online services and sign in with user name and password, then case number and follow the prompts. Pick the 3rd option: Upload a Proposed Order.
  • If you need any help submitting proposed orders via OLS please visit the courts YouTube page [COURTHELP4U] for additional help. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRly6J-BXgCva5dWFlSvDZg

Agreed Orders and Settlement Agreements

  • The Court encourages parties to reach agreements on any and all matters that may be appropriate for resolution by agreement of the parties and counsel and to submit agreed orders in lieu of a hearing. If your Motion/Petition has been referred to the Magistrate, you're your Agreement must be sent to the Magistrate for review with a proposed Order Adopting/Ratifying the Agreement via ONLINE SERVICES [OLS]. However, such agreements are not without limitations, meaning that there are some matters that despite agreement of the parties and counsel such matters nonetheless require a hearing before the Court and are not amenable simply to the entry of an agreed order on the papers.
  • Any agreed orders/judgments seeking the approval and/or adoption of any agreements that provide for sole parental responsibility, supervised or no timesharing, dispense with child support, "waive" child support, deviate from the child support guidelines, or surrender or termination of parental rights, will not be heard on the papers but shall be set for an evidentiary hearing for the presentation of evidence sufficient to enable the Court to make the findings necessary to support the proposed agreed order/judgment.

Recorded Documents

Please review Amendment to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.520(d)(1):
Documents prepared and filed by the court or by any party to a proceeding which are to be recorded in the public records of any county, require a 3 inch by 3-inch space at the top right-hand corner on the FIRST page and a 1 inch by 3-inch space at the top-right hand corner on each subsequent page shall be left BLANK and reserved for use by the clerk of court.

**Any document (Judgment/Dismissal, etc.) that does NOT have the required 3x3 blank space will NOT be recorded.