IY Divisional News

Family Law Division "FX":  E-mail address is CAD-DivisionFX@pbcgov.org

Probate Law Division "IY":  E-mail address is CAD-DivisionIY@pbcgov.org

Judge Burton is available to provide the attorney's and the public with continuous access to the Family and Probate Court.  The Court is able to assist the parties by hearing any issue that may be helpful in resolving your case.  Since most matters are considered to be non-essential, all hearings would have to be heard by video conference.  Video hearings can be difficult unless the parties are willing to be flexible.  Use your imagination and think out of the box.  If the lawyers and parties are willing to stipulate to some matters it will be easier for the Court to keep your cases moving. 

ZOOM Meetings for "FX" and "IY" Hearings

Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC) Hearings

As the court continues to hold hearings via Zoom, parties may view the recurring Zoom Meeting information on the Court's website to appear at Uniform Motion Calendar hearings.  A recurring Zoom Meeting link is being provided for all UMC hearings through December 2020 on the Court's website under ("FX" & "IY" UMC Zoom Meetings).  The moving party scheduling the hearing can provide the necessary Zoom Meeting information on the Notice of Hearing, as the Court will no longer be inviting parties to Uniform Motion Calendar.  It will be the responsibility of the parties to appear via Zoom with the Zoom Meeting information provided on the Court's website.

Special Set Hearings/Trials

The Court will continue to set up all Zoom Meetings for special set hearings and trials. The court will only invite the attorney's representing the parties.  It will be the responsibility of the attorney's to provide the Zoom link to their clients and any additional parties wishing to appear at the scheduled hearing.

Providing Documents to the Court for All Trials and Evidentiary Hearings

  1. Sending an e-mail the "SUBJECT LINE" should indicate: Date of Hearing/Time of Hearing/Style of Case/Case Number
  2. **Any documents/exhibits must be clearly marked and case law shall be sent by hard copy five (5) days prior to the hearing.
  3. Proposed Orders should be sent to the (OLS) on-line system one (1) day prior to the hearing.
  4. For very short hearings, that you would want the Court to only view a document you may send via e-mail two (2) days prior to the hearing.
  5. Any witness appearing via video with be sworn-in by the court.
  6. Any witness appearing via telephone (no video) must have a notary public available to be sworn-in or have filed an Affidavit if a notary is not available.

Please Note: Zoom Hearings

Judge Burton is hearing all UMC matters and special set hearings by Video Conference using Zoom. Even if you do not have video capability, Zoom provides a toll free telephone number to appear by audio at no cost to the user. It is very important that the moving party provides our office with the email address of all participants so that we can send a link to the video conference and telephone information. In addition, you may continue to appear by telephone using CourtCall or any other service of your choosing. However we have no control over the fee's charged by these services. If you are using an iPhone or iPad, you will have to download the Zoom app to your device.  In addition, a Zoom link to the daily UMC docket will be posted to these instructions weekly.

Remember, If you are the moving party, you should forward all email addresses of the lawyers or pro se parties to the Court so that all parties can receive a Zoom link directly. Until further Order, you may schedule uncontested Dissolution of Marriage final hearings, adoption, or any other special set hearings. If an evidentiary hearing is required, you and opposing counsel must contact the judicial assistant prior to setting the hearing.

Please refer to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Website for the courts latest updates regarding COVID-19 impact on the court.

Uncontested Dissolutions of Marriage

Uncontested Dissolutions of Marriage can be heard by video conference or by telephone as noted above or can be emailed or uploaded through OLS without the need for a hearing. If the Final Judgment is emailed in, the cover letter needs to specify that all parties, pro se or opposing counsel, have reviewed the Final Judgment and have no objection. Be sure and include a copy of the answer and waiver as well as a copy of your client's driver's license. Also, if there are children involved, the Final Judgment needs to incorporate specifics on child support (i.e. how much, how it is to be paid, & how often.)

Most evidentiary hearings cannot be handled remotely unless the parties can reach agreement on some of the procedural or evidentiary rules.  Witnesses and Court reporters would also have to appear remotely.  Please contact Judge Burton's office if you desire to schedule an evidentiary hearing.  If you believe that your case requires emergency action pursuant to Family Admin. Order 5.203-1/17 or Probate Admin. Order 6.104-11/14, you should file the appropriate motion in writing.

If all parties agree, Judge Burton will rule on any motions based on the written pleadings and responses without the necessity of a hearing.


Important Update

The Clerk's office will be opening to the public starting May 11th. In addition, due to social distancing requirements, you may wish to continue filing all Probate and Family matters by U.S. Mail, UPS, FedEx, etc. Remember to enclose payment and return envelope if you are in need of certified copies.  Please check the Clerk's Office website for mailing addresses.

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.

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

To Submit a Digital Probate Checklist:

  • In OLS, click on the "Submit Order From Template" button;
  • Select the appropriate probate checklist from the dropdown menu.
  • Populate the checklist completely and accurately.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen and complete.
  • Click "Submit" to send the order to the judge.
  • Please Note: If you are submitting an Order for Discharge and a digital checklist, you must still obtain the Probate Closing Checklist from the Clerk.

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.

IMPORTANT:

All proposed orders for Probate cases should be submitted directly through the OLS system and should not be sent to the Judge's CAD division email or via us mail. Please see Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC19-74 which discusses transition to a "fully electronic environment that is largely paperless."

PLEASE NOTE:

Documents without a checklist may be forwarded to the case manager for review in the ordinary course. Incomplete or inaccurate checklists will be returned with a deficiency or rejection memorandum in the ordinary course. To avoid unnecessary delays in processing your paperwork, please ensure all checklists are accurate and complete.

Deficiencies:

If you receive a Deficiency or Rejection Memorandum, Status Order, or other Order of Deficiency, you may avoid an ex-parte hearing by curing your deficiency immediately and filing all necessary documentation to show the deficiency has been cured.  Once ALL the cited deficiencies have been cured and related documents have posted on the docket, please send your proposed order(s) through OLS with a notation that all deficiencies have been cured.


Effective as of 8/14/19: Attorney/Guardian Fees

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.

Online Scheduling is now available for UMC and Special Set hearings in Family Division "FX" and Probate Division "IY".

Prior to first use, users must created an account in the Court's Online Services (current users can use their existing account).

The UMC and SPECIAL SET calendaring application can be accessed by visiting www.15thcircuit.com and selecting "View All Web Applications" from within the Circuit Web Applications box.

You may upload your Notice of Hearing, Motion, and Additional Documents for the Court's review prior to the scheduled hearing. **YOU MUST UPLOAD ORDERS**

Instructions for Special Set Hearings - Family Division "FX" and Probate Division "IY"

Family Division "FX" and Probate Division "IY" are now participating in Online Scheduling for Special Set Hearings for hearings thirty (30) minutes or less.

Please contact the Court's judicial assistant for special set hearings that require one (1) hour or longer.

Accordingly, please mail courtesy copies of documents larger than ten (10) pages (ex.: motions, memorandum of law and legal authority) for Special Set Hearings to the Court for review in advance of all hearings.   Judge Burton will review all motions, memorandum of law and legal authority prior to all Special Set Hearings.

Formatting Documents

All recorded documents (including final judgments) must provide a 3x3 space in the upper right hand corner. The Clerk of Court will no longer accept documents for recording without this space. Please see Rule 2.520, and MyPalmBeachClerk.com. You may also contact the Clerk of Court for further information as to the specific documents required.

Local Rule 4

Strict compliance with amended Local Rule 4. Prior to setting a matter on the motion calendar, the party or counsel noticing the motion shall attempt to resolve the matter and shall certify the good faith attempt to resolve. See amended Local Rule 4.

Self-Represented Parties (Pro Se)

If you are a self-represented pro se party (with no attorney), you must contact the Family Court Case Manager for questions and guidance regarding your case.

Erika Ireland at 561-330-1733

Do Not Send Letters, Emails or Notes To The Court

The Court does not act on letters, notes or emails 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. 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.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE SEE THE COURT'S DIVISIONAL INSTRUCTIONS.