Stokes - Divisional Instructions

DIVISION DORL-Z: HEARING ROOM 6I

Special Instructions Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you read these instructions entirely and carefully, to make sure that your hearing or trial takes place as soon as possible.

Also, please check the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Website for the Court's latest updates regarding COVID-19.

Administrative Order 12.510, section III. 2 reflects that "all …non-essential court proceedings will be suspended beginning March 18, 2020 until May 1, 2020 unless the presiding judicial officer determines that the matter may be effectively conducted remotely using communication equipment."

None of the matters heard by Magistrate Damary Stokes are considered essential court proceedings. Therefore, all hearings and trials scheduled to be heard by Magistrate Damary Stokes may only be heard by telephone or electronically by Zoom.

At this time, the Magistrate is reviewing all scheduled hearings, case management conferences and trials to determine whether the trial, case management conference or hearing may be effectively conducted remotely either by telephone or electronically through Zoom. If it is determined that the scheduled hearing, case management conference or trial may be effectively conducted remotely, all parties and attorneys, if any, must appear either by telephone or electronically through Zoom. No one may appear in person at the hearing.

If it is determined that for an already scheduled the hearing, case management conference or trial, the hearing may be effectively conducted remotely, you will receive an Amended Order indicating that the proceeding will be conducted remotely. Please follow the instructions on the Amended Order to appear remotely.

For Motions, Notices of Contest, Petitions or other matters not yet scheduled for hearing, the Magistrate will review each pleading to determine whether a hearing or trial may be effectively conducted remotely. If it is determined that the matter may be effectively conducted remotely all parties and attorneys, if any, must appear either by telephone or electronically through Zoom. You will receive an Order Setting Hearing or Trial. Please follow the instructions on the Order to appear remotely.

If you believe that a scheduled hearing or trial cannot be effectively conducted remotely, you have the right to request that the hearing or trial be reset. However, you must file a Motion to Continue or a Motion to Reset Hearing. If you have filed a Motion to Continue or a Motion to Reset Hearing, please contact the Magistrate's office to ensure your motion has been received. The Magistrate will review the motion to determine if the hearing or trial will be continued or reset.

SPECIAL NOTE TO ATTORNEYS: If you have agreed to proceed with an evidentiary hearing or trial, it is your responsibility to exchange documents with opposing counsel prior to the hearing. The proposed exhibits must be exchanged and sent to the Magistrate's divisional e-mail CAD-DORL-Z@pbcgov.org at least 72 hours prior to the hearing or trial. The email must be copied to opposing counsel. If you are calling a witness, it is your responsibility to engage a notary to swear in the witness. It is the responsibility of each attorney to speak to opposing counsel prior to the scheduled hearing or trial to discuss: (a). possible settlement or resolution and (b). the possible stipulation of exhibits. If you are able to resolve the matter prior to the hearing or trial, counsel must submit a proposed agreed order to the Magistrate's divisional e-mail at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. The email must reflect that both counsel have reviewed the agreed order and agree to entry of the agreed order.