RB Divisional News

Online Scheduling (OLS)

We participate in Online Scheduling (OLS) for UMC hearings and Short Special Set hearings for 15 minute and 30 minute blocks of time ONLY. The Court will open dates approximately 60 days in advance. Use of the system requires a user ID and password. Please see the link to the instructions on the homepage. Technical questions regarding the system should be directed to CAD-WEB@pbcgov.org. In keeping with professional courtesy, any party scheduling a hearing shall make reasonable efforts to contact the opposing party/counsel for availability or scheduling conflicts.

OLS is not permitted for Eviction (residential or commercial) related hearings/ motions nor is it permitted for Claim of Exemption Hearings on all Garnishment proceedings.  Hearings/motions on these matters must be special set by contacting the Judicial Assistant.

Proposed Orders

All represented parties and parties registered for eservice shall use the Online Scheduling System (OLS) to upload any proposed order(s). All submissions must include as an attachment the relevant and/or supporting document(s) being approved/considered, and must be formatted in conformity with Local Rules and Rules of Judicial Administration. The submission must indicate whether the order is agreed/unopposed and the date of hearing if applicable. Any order not in compliance will be rejected. If the order involves an older case where the supporting documents are not visible in the court file i.e. party is seeking a continuing order of garnishment based upon a final judgment issued in 2005, a copy of the signed final judgment should be e-filed and provided as an attachment for the court to review.

Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC)

UMC hearings are held on Mondays at 1:00 p.m. and Fridays at 9:00 a.m. (Maximum 10 minutes). Hearings can be set with five (5) business days notice including courtesy copies of the motion and notice to the Court through On-Line Scheduling.  Please file your Motion with the Clerk of Courts and then submit a Proposed Order.  Relevant Case Law must be received by chambers at least three (3) days prior to the hearing or the hearing is subject to cancellation by the Court. All parties shall abide by Local Rule 4 to try to resolve the matter and certify the good faith attempt to resolve on the Notice of Hearing.  Hearings can be cancelled in OLS without court approval.

Emergency Motions must be filed with the Clerk of Courts before submitting to the Judge for review.

***IMPORTANT***

Motions for Summary Judgment, Damages Hearings, Eviction matters, Claims of Exemption from Garnishment Hearings and/or any other evidentiary type matters requiring witness testimony will NOT be heard at UMC, and are subject to cancellation if they are scheduled

Special Set Hearings

Special Set hearings are available for 15 minute and 30 minute blocks of time through OLS. The Court will open dates approximately 60 days in advance. Hearings that will take longer than 30 minutes should be set by contacting Yvette Deas, Judicial Assistant to Judge Surber, at 561-355-7885 or CAD-DivisionRB@pbcgov.org.  Prior to setting the hearing, ALL Motion(s) must be filed with the Clerk of Courts and then submit a copy of the Motion and Proposed Order thru the On-Line Scheduling.  All parties shall abide by Local Rule 4 to try to resolve the matter and certify the good faith attempt to resolve on the Notice of Hearing.  Special Set hearings can only be cancelled by Court Order.

Motions for Attorney Fees

Since the Court utilizes a preliminary order with instructions to be followed in advance of the hearing, all Motions for attorney's fees and/or costs shall attach a document detailing the time records and requested rate(s).  The moving party shall request the time for the hearing with the Judicial Assistant via telephone or email.

Landlord / Tenant Cases

Residential Eviction hearings are set and noticed by the court for Tuesdays of each week at 10:15 and 10:30 a.m.  All hearings must be set by contacting the Court's Judicial Assistant.

Small Claims Pre-Trials

Pretrial Hearings are held on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

Non-Jury and Jury Trials

Non-Jury Trials are set by the Court with attached information regarding mediation and uniform pretrial procedures. Jury Trials are set by the Court in an "Order Setting Jury Trial and Case Management Conference Directing Pretrial and Mediation Procedures". If the case settles prior to the Trial date notify the Court by contacting the JA. A written confirmation of the settlement agreement must be filed with the Court with a copy to opposing party.

Cancellations

To cancel Special Set Hearings, Jury & Non-Jury Trials, etc. a Motion and proposed Order must be filed with the clerk. The Motion MUST note the reason for cancellation.

Appearance by Telephone/Phone Calls/Emails

  1. The procedure for telephone appearance by parties is strictly governed by Fla.R.Jud.Adm. 2.530. Telephonic appearances for attorneys and/or parties on non-evidentiary hearings are coordinated through a vendor chosen by the party such as CourtCall, CourtScribes, or Zoom. The Court takes no position on which vendor is used.
    1. To satisfy the requirements of the above rules/law, include the following language on your Notice/Order: "This party/witness (fill in name) will appear by telephone unless objection is filed with the Court and mailed to (fill in name) at least (5) days prior to this hearing. The opposing party may also appear by telephone by contacting the other party (fill in name & telephone #). The scheduling party shall initiate the call/conference call to the Judge's Chambers /Court call at the time of the hearing. Do not submit a separate motion and order. PLEASE REVIEW THE COURTS ORDER SETTING THE HEARING/TRIAL as this language may already be contained therein.
    2. Telephone appearance for hearing more than (15) minutes, require Motion or Agreed Order.
  2. Witness testimony is allowed by telephone only as authorized by Rules below:
    1. Small claims cases are governed by Fla. Sm.C.I.R. 7.140.
    2. All other Civil county cases are governed by Fla.R. Jud.Adm. 2.530(d) and F.R.C.P. 1.451.

ALL COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE COURT MUST BE IN WRITING, filed with the Clerk and copied to all parties in the lawsuit. Be sure to include the case #, case name, and your telephone number, the reason for said correspondence or documents being sent and, if the case is scheduled for a hearing or trial, include the date and time.

Pro Se litigants that have access to email are encouraged to fill out and file with the Clerk an email designation form.  This will allow the Court to submit orders to the parties via email instead of sending in the U.S. Postal Service which will greatly reduce the time for the parties' communication with each other and the Court.

Questions and Advice

Neither the Judge nor the Judicial Assistant can give you legal advice regarding how to proceed with your case. For assistance, you can contact the Self-Help Center at 561-355-6781 located on the first floor of the Main West Palm Beach Courthouse. Additionally, the Palm Beach County Bar Association has a lawyer referral and information service at 561-687-3266

Effective January 21, 2020 Judge Melanie Surber will Preside over Division RB.

Please take note of changes to the Divisional Instructions

Div RB is participating in online scheduling for UMC's and Short Hearings at this time (15 & 30 mins).  Please refer to the  Divisional Instructions before scheduling through the online calendar system for important information.

All other special set hearings must be coordinated through the judicial assistant by emailing CAD-DivisionRB@pbcgov.org.

 Online Scheduling