AJ Divisional Instructions

Please see the Suspension Calendar before setting any hearings.

Strict compliance with Amended Local Rule 4

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

UMC Hearings

UMC Hearings are held at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday - Thursday (on a calendar that concludes at 9:30 a.m.), and are set among counsel (not online) and in accordance with local rules and procedures.

Kindly be advised each side is alloted a total of five minutes for a total of ten minutes per UMC calendar. When a UMC hearing is set, the Moving Party shall send a courtesy copy of the Motion and Notice of Hearing at least 5 business days prior to the hearing by mail and shall submit all other materials via regular mail no later than five (5) days prior to the hearing.

If the matter is resolved or the UMC hearing is cancelled prior to its schedule, please send a copy of the Notice of Cancellation to CAD-DivisionAJ@pbcgov.org to advise the Court immediately. Opposing counsel and all parties shall be copied to all email transmissions to the Court.

Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Hearings MAY NOT be scheduled/set on the Court's Online Calendar until further notice.

Scheduling of Special Set Hearings shall be proposed during UMC Calendar. Counsel shall provide the amount of time needed for hearing and at least three (3) available dates and times that counsel has agreed to have the matter heard.

Upon scheduling a Special Set Hearing with the Court, counsel shall submit a courtesy copy of the Motion to be heard along with a proposed Order Specially Setting Hearing attaching a complete service list and providing self-addressed stamped envelopes for any counsel and/or parties who have opted out and/or who are not registered with the Court's online service.

Important Notice: Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases

Motions that are filed in residential mortgage foreclosure cases shall be set for hearing on the Court's Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC") and shall be heard on a first come-first served basis and in accordance with Circuit Civil Division AJ instructions.

Special Set Hearings

Special Set Motions are scheduled via the Online Scheduling System and are set by Order Setting Hearing which is available under our Divisional Forms and Orders.

Only one block of time (15 & 30 minutes) per day for each case may be reserved.
(You may stack two fifteen minute hearing times to create 30 minutes)

Any request for hearing times that EXCEED thirty (30) minutes must be done so in writing and submitted by mail. Your correspondence MUST include a cover letter stating how much time is requested, why the excess time is needed and include a copy of the motion to be heard. Post-judgment motions must include an order sustaining the motion(s) before the judge.

Please contact the Judicial Assistant 5-7 days AFTER the request has been submitted for available dates.

Contact Judicial Assistant to confirm dates for hearing prior to sending the Order. Telephone messages left for the Judicial Assistant confirming hearing dates will not be considered as confirmation of same.

All special set hearings are set by court order. See our Divisional Forms and Orders for our sample order on special set hearings.

Movant brings to the hearing: proposed order and sufficient copies and self-addressed stamped envelopes for all parties.

Parties may send pertinent court documents, the ORIGINAL memorandum of law and a courtesy copy to the Court seven (7) days prior to hearing along with a cover letter with the case number, style of the case and date of hearing.

All Motions to Dismiss to be heard must include the copy of the complaint and/or the amended complaint that they are referring to.

Specially set hearings are set by Court order and cannot be canceled/continued/added on to except by further order of the Court unless the matter is settled (with agreed order presented to Court at time of scheduled special set hearing or the motion/petition is withdrawn).

Appearance by Telephone

The Court does permit telephonic appearances for the Uniform Motion Calendar and Specially Set Hearings up to 30 min. No telephone hearings are allowed for evidentiary hearings unless by Court order. At least one party must appear in person. At the time of hearing the party appearing in person MUST give the telephone number of the party appearing by phone to the Judge or Courtroom Deputy. If more than one Law Office is appearing by phone, then they should all be on ONE LINE at the time of phone call. Division AJ DOES NOT utilize CourtCall. All court call calendars received will be disregarded.

If multiple parties wish to appear by phone. They must all be on one line at the time that the call is initiated.

E-Service

Division AJ is currently e-serving Orders to attorneys/parties who have registered their primary and secondary email addresses with the 15th Judicial Circuit. Register for Judicial E-service.

E-Filing

Please note that E-filing is the electronic filing of documents with the office of the Clerk & Comptroller of Palm Beach County. See Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.515. For more information on E-filing, please call (561) 355-2986 or visit MyPalmBeachClerk.com.

Proposed Orders

Proposed Orders, including Agreed Orders, Ex Parte Orders, and Orders Specially Setting Hearing are to be submitted through the Online Scheduling System. They will be rejected if they do not include A cover letter of form cover sheet as an attachment/supporting document.

Please list all email addresses of all counsel and all parties on all proposed orders and include a cover letter referencing the date of the hearing and whether opposing counsel has reviewed and approved of the form of the proposed order. All orders submitted without a cover letter will be rejected.

Copies of the motion should also be attached as a supporting document if applicable.

Orders Setting Hearing

Can be found under the Divisional Forms and Orders tab. They are to be submitted via the Online Scheduling portal they should include a cover letter or form cover sheet. All memoranda of law, and a courtesy copy of the motion(s) to be heard MUST be received by mail at least seven (7) business days in advance.

Unique Motions

The following Motions should NOT be set for hearing. A copy of the Motion should be submitted directly to the Judges offices for review:

  • Motions for Contempt/Commitment(please estimate how much time you think you may need for this hearing in your cover letter);
  • Motions for New Trial;
  • Motions for Re-Hearing/Reconsideration/Clarification;
  • Motions for Disqualification

Motions For Continuance

All Motions for Continuance MUST be set on the Uniform Motion Calendar. Please refer to the UMC info above.

Notice To Set Cause For Trial

Please file your original notice of readiness for trial with the Clerk's office and also send a separate courtesy copy to the Judicial Assistant by mail or e-mail. You must also include current notices of unavailability for all parties of record.

Divisional E-Mail Address

ALL PROPOSED ORDERS ARE TO BE SUBMITTED through the Online Scheduling System, Division AJ does NOT accept e-mail transmission of copies of motions, memoranda, Notices of Hearing a/or inquiry correspondence. Exceptions may be made only when the Court specifically requests such a transmittal.

Submission of Orders

Agreed Orders

If a Motion is resolved prior to hearing, an Agreed Order must be submitted to the Judge's office IN WORD FORMAT. The Order must say "Agreed Order on Motion (Title of Motion)". The Agreed Order MUST be sent to the Court via Online Scheduling System.

Online Scheduling

Please include a cover letter/sheet (as a supporting document) to the Judge indicating that all parties have reviewed and agreed to the language of the proposed Agreed Order. The names. E-mail and mailing addresses of all persons receiving copies must appear in the Agreed Order, pursuant to Administrative Order 2.306.

Proposed Orders/Final Judgments

All proposed Orders and Final Judgments MUST be sent to the Court via Online Scheduling System. IN WORD FORMAT and must say "Order on Motion (Title of Motion) or Final Judgment". Please include a cover letter/ sheet (as a supporting document) to the Judge indicating the date the matter was heard.

Attorneys should draft proposed orders promptly and the orders should fairly and adequately represent the ruling of the court.

Attorneys shall provide the proposed order to opposing counsel or pro se litigants for approval. Opposing counsel or pro se litigants should promptly communicate any objections to the drafting attorney. The drafting attorney should immediately submit a copy of the proposed order and advise the court as to any objections from opposing side or if all parties have approved the order. The names, email and mailing addresses of all persons receiving copies must appear in the Order or Final Judgment, pursuant to Administrative Order 2.306.

Format for Submitted Orders

All Agreed or Proposed Orders submitted through the Online Scheduling System, shall not contain a Signature Line, as the orders will be signed electronically and will be E-Filed and E-Served. If the Order is regarding a hearing held in Open Court, the date of that hearing must be included in the first sentence of the Order.

 

FORECLOSURE CASES

 

TRIALS

Notices of Foreclosure Trials must be filed with the Clerk's office.  The Notice shall include the specific matters to be tried and an estimate of time needed for the trial. See Rule 1.440(b), Fla.R.Civ.Pro. The number of witnesses for each side should be included in the notice. See Rule 1.440(b), Fla.R.Civ.Pro. The completed Trial Form must be attached to the courtesy copy.  If there is an opposing counsel, counsels must confer as to the amount of time needed for trial.  The agreement or lack of agreement as to the length of time shall be reflected on the Notice for Trial.  Send a copy to the Judicial Assistant pursuant to the divisional instructions.   The Judicial Assistant will forward all notices of trial requesting ninety (90) minutes or less to a case manager to issue a trial order for a docket to be heard by Senior Judges.  Any requests for two hours or more shall be set for calendar call and heard by the Judge presiding in that division.  Please review each trial order carefully.  All motions for continuances of the trial shall be filed and noticed pursuant to the instructions on the Order Setting Trial prior to the trial date.  Motions for Continuance will be heard in the division in which they are assigned.  Senior Judges will not entertain motions for continuances on the day of trial.    

All evidence for trial should be pre-marked.    

UNCONTESTED SUMMARY JUDGMENT HEARINGS

Plaintiff’s Uncontested/Default Motions for Summary Judgment are set for hearing in front of senior judges.  Hearings lasting up to ten (10) minutes can be set via the Summary Judgment online scheduling system. These should not be set for UMC as a separate block of time is set aside specifically for these hearings.  Motions for Deficiency Judgment, Re-foreclosure, Quiet Title and Defendant's Motions for Summary Judgment are not appropriate for Uncontested Summary Judgment Hearings.   

Once scheduled online (whether a Notice of Hearing has been issued or not), all summary judgment hearings must be cancelled by Court Order. YOU CAN NO LONGER CANCEL A SUMMARY JUDGMENT HEARING ONLINE.  To request a continuance or cancellation of a Summary Judgment hearing when the motion has not been resolved, you must appear at 8:45 Uniform Motion Calendar, prior to the hearing date to request the cancellation.  The Order Canceling Summary Judgment hearing must reflect the date and time the matter is set for hearing. If there is an Agreed/Consent Final Summary Judgment, it should be entered on the Summary Judgment hearing date at the appropriate time. IN THE ABSENCE OF EITHER PARTY, THE FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR A HEARING MAY RESULT IN THE COURT GRANTING OR DENYING THE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.  No paperwork should be submitted prior to the hearing but must be presented as listed below at the hearing.       

The following documents are required at an Uncontested Summary Judgment hearing: 

  • Summary Judgment Foreclosure Checklist with adding machine  tape attached
  • Notice of Hearing
  • Motion for Summary Judgment
  • Payment History
  • Affidavit of Indebtedness (including a loan payment history)
  • Affidavit of Attorney's Fees
  • Affidavit of Costs
  • Opposing affidavits (if any – see FRCP 1.510)
  • Original Note and Mortgage (or copies if already filed with the Clerk's office)
  • Final Judgment and Copies (tab the original for Judge's signature)
  • Final Disposition Form
  • Four sets of self-addressed and stamped envelopes, sorted, with the return address of: Clerk & Comptroller Palm Beach County, P.O. Box 4667, West Palm Beach, Florida 33402-4667
  • If the Final Judgment is entered, the Clerk's office will need the Certificate of Title. 
    Sale dates will be provided at the time of the hearing.  Plaintiff or Plaintiff's attorney must prepare a Notice of Sale and send a copy to all parties on the case.  This step is not required to be conducted in the courtroom. Notices of Sale may be emailed to the designated newspaper for publication.  The original must be filed with the Clerk of Court.  Notices should include sale date, billing information, signature of Plaintiff or Plaintiff's attorney, sale location (www.mypalmbeachclerk.clerkauction.com), time of sale (10:00 AM) and all other information as required by F.S. Section 45.031(2).
    Any Summary Judgment hearings that are contested and will take more than ten (10) minutes shall be set as a special set hearing in the assigned division and titled as a Contested Final Summary Judgment. 
     
  • MOTIONS FOR DISBURSEMENT OF SURPLUS FUNDS
    The party that filed the motion must set motions for Surplus Funds for hearing with notice to all parties.  Sixty days from the issuance of the Certificate of Disbursement must elapse prior to any hearing being set.  Any contested evidentiary hearings taking more than 10 minutes (five (5) minutes each side) should be set for a special set hearing, otherwise most Motions for Surplus can be scheduled for Uniform Motion Calendar pursuant to the divisional instructions.   
     
  • MOTIONS FOR WRIT OF POSSESSION
    All motions for Writ of Possession (to vacate premises) must be set at Uniform Motion Calendar with proof of proper and timely notice to all parties, including unknown tenants.  Tenants who receive a Notice of Hearing for a Writ of Possession have the right to be present at the hearing and must attend if they are seeking an extension.