B Divisional Instructions

The following guidelines govern this Division. They are intended to give a reliable framework for resolving or trying cases in this Division.

  1. The first time a case is on the docket in this Division, the Court will ask whether defendant waives speedy trial. If defendant does not waive speedy at that time, the case will be set for a calendar call on the third Friday (not including the Friday of that week) after the case first appears on the docket.
  2. If defendant waives speedy trial at any time, the case will be set for calendar call approximately 90 days after the waiver. The parties may agree to a one-time status check rather than immediately being set for calendar call. However, a calendar call will be set the next time the case appears on the docket within the original 90-day time frame if the case is not resolved.
  3. Trial dockets will be for a 2-week period on Tuesday through Thursday of those weeks.
  4. Each side is entitled to one continuance of a calendar call. Further continuances will be at the sole discretion of the Court, with a showing of compelling circumstances.
  5. The priority for trying cases is:
    1. speedy trial not waived, defendant in custody;
    2. speedy trial not waived, defendant not in custody;
    3. oldest case, defendant in custody;
    4. oldest case, defendant not in custody.
  6. Defendants must be present at calendar calls and plea conferences; defendant's presence can be waived only by court order.
  7. All jury trials will be set for the Tuesday following calendar call, subject to witness and attorney availability.
  8. The Court will accept pleas on the day of trial. The Court does not conduct pre-plea inquiries.  Pleas to the Court may be offered at the day of trial.
  9. Continuances will not be granted on the day of trial absent extraordinary circumstances.
  10. To allow trials to begin as early as possible, attorneys will not place matters on the court's docket for any days other than Monday or Friday without the Court's permission. Next day returns will be heard as necessary during the week.
  11. "Standard" motions in limine will be heard immediately before trial commences. Motions in limine which raise issues peculiarly relevant or novel based on the specific facts of the case to be tried (use your better judgment) are to be set prior to trial day, on Monday at 4:00 p.m.
  12. Motions to suppress are to be set for Monday or Friday afternoons.
  13. Dates and times for specially set motions in limine, motions to suppress/dismiss, and non-jury trials, will be obtained by contacting the Division's Judicial Assistant (William Rivera 561-355-1504; wrivera@pbcgov.org).
  14. Defense counsel will coordinate with the state setting hearings which require witnesses to be subpoenaed. Counsel will present the opposing party and the Court all case law on which a side expects to rely not later than two days prior to the hearing, if possible.
  15. There are no "agreed motions"; there are agreed orders, or there may be joint motions. However, do not present any type of order to the Court unless a written motion has been filed or an ore tenus motion has been made on the record.
  16. Telephonic hearings require approval of the Judge.
  17. All orders submitted must have sufficient copies for distribution, and pre-stamped and addressed envelopes.
  18. If the Court has ordered the defendant to be present for a hearing, the defendant's presence may not be waived by the attorney.
  19. The Court considers "guidelines" to be a work in progress. Please feel free to suggest ways to improve these guidelines.
  20. Any motion 5 minutes or less can be set on Uniform Motion Calendar on Monday or Friday at 8:30 a.m. for defendants with last name A-K and 10:00 a.m. for defendants with last name L-Z.

All orders signed in the courtroom will be handed directly to the Clerk. If you need a copy of an order signed in court, you will need to bring copies to be conformed. Otherwise, copies of orders signed in court can be obtained from the Clerk's Office about 2 – 3 working days after filing.