Order of Referral to General Magistrate & Objections
- All orders of referral to the General Magistrate must reflect "Room 6I" under the case number and division.
- The court will no longer accept orders of referrals which refer multiple motions/petitions to the General Magistrate. Each motion/petition must be referred to the general magistrate by a separate order of referral.
- The Order must identify the General Magistrate by name, and by the motion's or petition's exact title and filing date. In all cases involving counsel, it is counsel's obligation to prepare the Order of Referral to General Magistrate and submit same to the Circuit Court Judge for signature.
- Objections to an Order of Referral to General Magistrate should be furnished to the General Magistrate and should identify the Order of Referral to General Magistrate by date, as well as attach a copy of the Motion, Petition or other matter which is the subject of the Order of Referral to General Magistrate.
- Once a motion or petition is referred to the General Magistrate with "all related matters thereto", 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 and does not require additional orders of referral. 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.
Child Support Matters
- The General Magistrates have inherent jurisdiction over 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).
- 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, to avoid unnecessary Objection to an Order of Referral to General Magistrate, if attorney's fees are an issue, 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."
Uniform Motion Calendar (“UMC”)
- Uniform Motion Calendar will be held weekly every Wednesday morning from 8:30am to 9:30am.
- Prior to scheduling the hearing on UMC, please check Magistrate Zeitenberg’s suspension calendar.
- Scheduling is solely between the parties and/or pro se litigant. UMC hearings are not scheduled with the judicial assistant or online.
- UMC hearings must be scheduled no less than five (5) business days prior to the hearing date (unless short notice agreed by parties).
- All UMC hearings must include the full name of the Motion being heard and the filing date.
- 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.
- Please send a signed copy of the Order of Referral to General Magistrate (if applicable) along with a courtesy copy of the notice of hearing and motion(s) for all UMC matters in pdf, to Magistrate Zeitenberg’s divisional email: CAD-MJCA-K@pbcgov.org. Please send the motion(s) and notice of hearing for each case in a separate email, and include the name and filing date of your motion. All parties must be copied on the e-mail.
- Pro se litigants may provide courtesy copies of their UMC motion(s) and notice of hearing to the Court via regular mail or email.
- 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.
- Any party or attorney may appear for Uniform Motion Calendar, Case Management Conference, or Status Hearing via telephonic appearance. No Motion, Order, or Court’s permission for telephone appearance is required for UMC, Case Management Conference, or Status Hearing.
- To set a telephonic appearance for a UMC, Case Management Conference, or Status Hearing that is presently set, please go to CourtCall.com and/or call 1-888-882-6878 and follow the instructions.
- Any party, witness, or attorney wishing to appear or desiring to present testimony through communication equipment for an evidentiary hearing shall, prior to the hearing at which the testimony is to be presented, contact all parties to determine whether each party consents to this form of testimony.
- If all parties consent to the appearance of the party, witness, or attorney appearing telephonically, an Agreed Order shall be submitted to the Court in MS WORD Format, 12 point Times New Roman font, to the divisional email: CAD-MJCA-K@pbcgov.org.
- If a party objects to the appearance of the party, witness, or attorney appearing telephonically, the party seeking to present the testimony shall move for permission to present testimony through communication equipment, which motion shall be set on Uniform Motion Calendar and set forth good cause as to why the testimony should be allowed in this form.
- If the telephonic appearance is granted by the Court, the moving party must go to CourtCall.com and/or call 1-888-882-6878 and follow the instructions to set up the appearance at that party’s expense.
- A witness or party may testify only in strict compliance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.530 and Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.451(b). Testimony may be taken through communication equipment only if a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths in the witness’s jurisdiction is present with the witness and administers the oath consistent with the laws of the jurisdiction.
- No telephonic appearances are allowed by calling the Court’s chambers or Magistrate Assistant.
Notice/Motion to Set Cause For Non-Jury Trial/Requests for Special Set Hearings
- Special Set Hearings, Non-Jury Trials, and evidentiary Motion hearings are set with the Court through the Magistrate Assistant only.
- Notice/Motions to Set Cause for Trial must be filed and docketed with clerk before hearing dates can be given or a hearing can be set. Notices must include specific motion or petition/counter petition to be tried with the date filed with the Clerk and Docket Entry Number and the estimate of time necessary for trial.
- For any hearing request, please send your Notice/Motion to Set Cause for Trial or written request with the Order of Referral to divisional email: CAD-MJCA-K@pbcgov.org with the amount of time requested for your motion/petition and a copy of the motion/petition. Magistrate Zeitenberg will review and decide whether the amount of time you are requesting is appropriate for your motion.
- The Magistrate Assistant will contact you once Magistrate Zeitenberg has reviewed the motion/petition 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 pro se party. If counsel/parties are unable to agree after first attempting to coordinate as to a hearing date, then the scheduling difficulty may be brought to the Court's attention on UMC for appropriate disposition.
- Upon coordination of the hearing date/time, the Court will send out an “ORDER SETTING HEARING BEFORE GENERAL MAGISTRATE”.
- The Court will e-file and/or mail the signed “Order Setting Hearing Before General Magistrate” to all counsel and parties.
- 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 Zeitenberg 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) 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.
- The Affidavit of Non Compliance and Motion for Commitment must be filed and docketed with the Clerk of Court.
- Submit a letter or memo 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. Please include a file copy of your Affidavit of Non Compliance and Motion for Commitment.
- 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 Zeitenberg 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 pro se party. If counsel/parties are unable to agree after first attempting to coordinate as to a hearing date, then the scheduling difficulty may be brought to the Court's attention on UMC for appropriate disposition.
- Upon coordination of the hearing date/time, the Court will send out an “ORDER SETTING HEARING BEFORE GENERAL MAGISTRATE”.
Service and Preparation Reports
- Reports will be e-mailed to all parties or mailed if there are pro se litigants who have not elected e-service.
- Administrative Order 5.204 requires that some portion of text of the Order be included on signature page.
- Proposed Reports should be submitted by email to: CAD-MJCA-K@pbcgov.org, in MS Word Format, 12 point Times New Roman font, and submitted within ten (10) days following the hearing.
- Proposed Reports should include a cover letter specifying the date of the hearing.
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. 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. Without intending to be exclusive, the Court identifies the following matters on which it will not accept and enter an agreed order on the papers in lieu of a hearing (evidentiary and/or non-evidentiary) before the Court.
- Motions for Continuance. The Court does not accept agreed orders of continuance. All motions for continuance must be heard by the Court and be in compliance with Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.460.
- Motions to Dispense with Mediation. The Court will not enter an agreed order dispensing with mediation without conducting a hearing on same.
- Motions to Withdraw. Normally, a hearing is required on all motions to withdraw. However, the Court will enter an agreed order of withdrawal of counsel on the papers and in lieu of further hearing if the Court is provided: 1) the client's notarized consent to the withdrawal; 2) opposing counsel's consent and/or non-objection to the withdrawal; and, 3) a proposed order that provides the most current address and email for service of papers on the client.
- 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.
CAD E-mail Address
Under no circumstances should 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 Court's Magistrate Assistant.