Please note: These Divisional Instructions will be updated shortly to include new procedures and schedules. PLEASE SEE DIVISIONAL NEWS. Some of the following Divisional Instructions will change effective December 1, 2017.
Ex Parte Calendar:
Ex Parte Calendar is held on Tuesday and Thursday at 8:45 a.m. Ex Parte hearings are scheduled with the Case Manager, Jill Mitchell (561-355-3954), not the Judge's office. Ex Parte matters are allotted five minutes or less. Counsel shall bring to the hearing a proposed blank order granting/denying the motion/petition, sufficient copies and sufficient self-addressed stamped envelopes - one for each party, if applicable. The hearings are heard on a first-come, first-served basis. The Case Manager keeps a docket of 8:45 hearings and should be contacted at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. No testimony will be taken at Ex Parte hearings. If you are going to cancel or reset a hearing already noticed, please contact opposing counsel or pro se litigant and the Case Manager at 561-355-3954 to advise them of the cancellation.
The court files are not automatically brought to the courtroom for Ex Parte calendar. If the file or any portion thereof is needed for the hearing, please contact the Case Manager, Jill Mitchell, at 561-355-3954, or the Clerk's Office, Probate Division at 561-355-4854 or Guardianship Division at 561-355-6707 at least 24 hours in advance of the Ex Parte hearing.
Uniform Motion Calendar:
Probate and Guardianship Division IB/IC Uniform Motion Calendar hearings (contested hearings of 5 minutes per side - no longer than 10 minutes total) are held every Friday (with the exception of any suspension dates on this webpage) from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. When setting these hearings, please coordinate the hearing with opposing side/pro se/attorney and file the appropriate notice of hearing with the Clerk's office. A copy of the notice of hearing and the pleading to be heard shall be furnished to opposing party (parties) (and the judge's chambers via regular mail) no less than 5 days before the scheduled UMC hearing. No testimony will be taken at these UMC hearings. The attorney setting the hearing shall bring to the Court proposed order(s) and,if pro se parties are involved, sufficient copies of the order(s), plus stamped addressed envelopes. If no pro se parties are involved, the order will be e-served. The Judge does not keep a "calendar" for UMC hearings; therefore, the Judicial Assistant cannot "confirm" whether a hearing has "made the calendar."
Appearance By Telephone:
It is not necessary to contact the Judge's office regarding telephone attendance at hearings. Please review the instructions below for the appropriate hearing:
Special Set Hearings:
Appearance by telephone is permitted for special set hearings. Please contact www.courtcall.com or call 1.888.882.6878 to arrange the telephone hearing. You must arrange the telephone call for special set hearings with Court Call at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled hearing. After scheduling with Court Call, Court Call will inform the judge that there is a telephonic call scheduled for a particular hearing.
Telephone attendance is not permitted for Ex-Parte Hearings (Tuesdays & Thursdays at 8:45 a.m.).
Uniform Motion Calendar:
Telephone attendance is permitted at Uniform Motion Calendar (Fridays at 9:00 a.m.) only if at least one party/counsel is present and brings to the hearing a copy of the Motion to be heard, a copy of the Notice of Hearing and a proposed Order on the Motion with copies and self-addressed stamped envelopes. You must contact Court Call at www.courtcall.com or call 1.888.882.6878 to arrange the telephone hearing. Court call will inform the judge that there is a telephonic call scheduled for hearing.
Special Set Hearings:
The judicial assistant must be contacted for dates and times for special set hearings. After obtaining a firm hearing date and time with the judicial assistant, you are to prepare a Notice of Hearing, with the date, time, place, courtroom, amount of time, judge, matter to be heard, and that the hearing cannot be continued or canceled without further court order, and forward along with a copy of the motion/petition being heard (no cover letter please), to the Judge (via regular mail) within five days of setting the hearing with the judicial assistant. When attending the hearing, please bring with you an original proposed order/judgment.
If an order is submitted and it is an agreed order by all parties, the order must say "AGREED ORDER" on it.
Unless brought directly to a hearing, all proposed orders and final judgments submitted for the judge's signature should include a cover letter (copied to all opposing parties or counsel) indicating the date the matter was heard, the original order or judgment, and enough copies for all parties and/or their counsel involved in the case. The namesand addresses of all persons receiving copies must appear on the order or final judgment pursuant to AO 2.306. If the matter involves PRO SE PARTIES, STAMPED ENVELOPES FOR ALL PARTIES are to be submitted with the original order or judgment and copies. Please make sure you have enough postage on the envelopes to be mailed back to the parties and/or their counsel. Also, in accordance with the Supreme Court, a 3 inch top margin shall be used on all final judgments and orders that will be recorded. You may check with the clerk's office for information on what orders they record.
Stipulations for Substitution of Counsel:
All Stipulations for Substitution of Counsel shall have the signature of the client's consent on the stipulation, together with the proposed original order, sufficient copies for all parties, and addressed, stamped envelopes for all parties. If the client's consent is not included, all documents will be sent back for the consent to be included in the documents. No hearing is required for substitution of counsel.
Withdrawal of Counsel:
All motions to withdraw must be set for hearing, with notice to client (Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.505(f)(i)) and all parties/attorneys.
Settlement, Dismissal, Stay of Cases:
If your case settles, is voluntarily dismissed, or stayed, and there are future hearings or trials scheduled with the Court, the parties shall inform the Court, in writing, in addition to contacting the judicial assistant immediately, to inform the judge's office to cancel all previously scheduled hearings/trials in order to free the docket space for other hearings to be set.
Emergency Motions and Motions for Rehearing/Clarification and Motions for New Trial:
DO NOT set Emergency Motions and Motions for Rehearing and/or Clarification for a hearing. In accordance with Administrative Order 3.2006, the original motion should be filed with the Clerk's office and a copy should be submitted to the judge for consideration. If the judge determines the motion is a true emergency or wishes to address the motion for rehearing/clarification, the judicial assistant will contact you by mail to set it for a hearing and indicate the amount of time needed for the hearing. Motions for new trial should be submitted to the judge for review and not set for a hearing. The judge will determine the amount of time needed for the hearing and the judicial assistant will contact you by mail.
Notices to Set Cause for Trial:
Original notices for non-jury trials should be filed with the Clerk's office when the case is at issue and should indicate how much time to be set aside. A copy of the notice, with stamped/addressed envelopes FOR ALL PARTIES should be sent to the judge's office. It is helpful to have the full addresses and telephone numbers of all counsel/parties included in the notice to set cause for trial.
Communications with Court:
All requests of the Court must be IN WRITING IN THE FORM OF A MOTION, filed with the Clerk, and copied to ALL parties and/or their counsel. Be sure to include the case number, case name, and your address and telephone number. Substantive correspondence to the Court is generally inappropriate and should not be submitted unless requested by the Court. Transmittal/cover letters accompanying proposed Orders must be copied to all counsel/parties. Ex parte communication is prohibited and cannot be considered unless ALL parties and/or their counsel receive a copy of the correspondence. Your correspondence will be returned if you have not copied all parties.
Questions and Advice:
We cannot give you legal advice on how to proceed with your case. If you have questions of a legal nature, or questions concerning how to proceed, please contact or visit the Self Help Center in the main courthouse at 561.355.7048. In addition, the Palm Beach County Bar Association has available a Lawyer Referral and Information Service. For information, please call 561.687.3266.
Checking Website for Suspension Dates:
Division IB/IC encourages you to check the website and judge's page for updates of changes in the divisional instructions and/or suspension dates.