Circuit Court Family

The Family Division of the Circuit Court hears civil cases involving dissolution of marriage, name changes and injunctions for domestic and repeat violence. Please visit the Family Information & Forms Page for more information related to the family division.

Juvenile Dependency

The Family Division also hears all matters relating to juveniles who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected, surrendered for the purpose of adoption, or who are persistent runaways, habitually truant or ungovernable.

Register for Document Subscription Service!


Temporary New Procedures for DeSoto County Family Division

Effective immediately through Friday, April 17, 2020, in all Family Divisions:

  1. All nonevidentiary hearings regardless of length may be conducted telephonically, provided a party establishes a telephone bridge and circulates the call-in information to all parties and the Court. No Court Order is required.
  2. For evidentiary hearings, the parties are directed immediately to meet and confer by telephone to discuss whether the evidentiary hearing may be conducted telephonically, by video conference, require live in person appearance, should be postponed until the conclusion of the COVID 19 outbreak, or some other action. After the parties' meet and confer, they shall immediately submit their recommendation via email to the assigned Judge's judicial assistant for the Court to review and take action.

Circuit Family

Judge Don T. Hall

 

If you wish to observe or attend by remote means please contact the Judge’s office for further instructions.

Temporary New Procedures for Manatee County Family Divisions

Although the Florida Supreme Court’s Administrative Order limiting in-person hearings impacts our ability to address some family division matters, we are committed to addressing as many issues as possible using the available technology. Because the court relaxed or temporarily suspended some rule requirements, we have some flexibility in offering attorneys and litigants the means to have their hearings go forward. As such, the following procedures are available.

FINAL HEARINGS (CASE SETTLED)
  1. Telephonic final hearings are permitted where parties are represented by counsel. The parties will conference in with their respective attorneys without the need for a notary presence.
  2. For parties that are not represented by attorneys or where there is an attorney on one side and an unrepresented party on the other side, both sides must waive the notary requirements in order to proceed with a telephonic final hearing.
  3. Where possible, if parties have access to a scanner or fax, they should fax or email the Division a copy of their driver’s license 24 hours prior to the hearing.
CONTESTED HEARINGS; NON-EVIDENTIARY/BOTH SIDES REPRESENTED
  1. Telephonic appearances are allowed. No evidence will be marked or submitted. There is no time limit for these hearings other than what limitations exist based on the technology used.
  2. Attorneys must conference themselves in first and then call the court. If this is not possible, contact the court to determine what technology is available.
CONTESTED HEARING; EVIDENTIARY/BOTH SIDES REPRESENTED
  1. All evidence must be submitted and marked at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. Attorneys should use the same numbering/lettering system the clerk uses when marking evidence (petitioner uses numbers and respondent uses letters).
  2. The court recording sheet/CAR will list what evidence was admitted and will be prepared by the judge if a clerk is not present. Everything submitted, whether formally admitted or not, will go to the clerk for filing.
CONTESTED HEARING: EVIDENTIARY/BOTH SIDES OR ONE SIDE PRO SE
  1. Evidence must be sent to the judge the day before the hearing and must clearly distinguish which side is offering it. Some flexibility will be afforded if the parties use an incorrect identification system. The judge will treat all evidence as marked for identification only and will note on recording sheet/CAR which documents were formally admitted, same as in #2 above.
EVIDENTIARY/TIME SENSITIVE OR EMERGENCY
  1. These hearings may be held in person if they meet the emergency criteria and are approved by the judge. If a witness or party does not wish to appear or cannot appear in person, they may appear by phone/video, with the caveat that if their identity is in doubt, the court may not allow their testimony.
  2. All evidence must be provided to the other side at least one day before the hearing.
ADOPTIONS
  1. These final hearings may be done via video or phone but must have a notary present.
  2. The judges are amenable to conducting these hearings at a location other than the courthouse where practicable as a courtesy to the parties. Please contact the judicial assistant to request such arrangements.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES
  1. These mission critical matters are being conducted in person. The number of people in the courtroom will be limited to ten or fewer, including staff.
  2. Any party who cannot appear or does not wish to come to court may be granted a continuance if deemed appropriate. Unless previously stipulated, we must have a means of verifying identity if we allow a party or a witness to appear telephonically.

Procedures updated March 25, 2020

Circuit Family Forms

 

Circuit Family Division 3

Information, Protocols, and Guidance During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency for Manatee County Family Law Division 3 (Judge Whyte)

Eff. 6/5/20

Thank you very much for your patience and understanding as we move forward during and after this public health emergency. 

The following information, protocols, and procedures are intended to comply with the Administrative Orders and Best Practices from the Florida Supreme Court and the 12th Circuit and may change as new Administrative Orders or Best Practices are received by the Court.  Please refer to the Florida Supreme Court’s “Emergency” page and the 12th Circuit’s homepage for the latest updates.

At this time, all proceedings and court events requiring in-person appearances are postponed or cancelled in Manatee County’s Family Division 3 (Judge Whyte), except for essential proceedings, proceedings critical to the state of emergency or the public health emergency, and other emergency or time sensitive matters as determined by the presiding judge. 

Emergency and Time Sensitive Matters

Emergency or time sensitive matters where an in-person court proceeding is required should be brought to the court’s attention immediately, via the Division 3, so the protocols put in place by the applicable Administrative Orders can be followed.

Emergency/Expedited Matters

Emergency and Expedited matters should continue to be e-filed with the Clerk and sent to the Court, via the Division 3 e-mail, for review and consideration.  Emergency and expedited hearings may occur in-person or by telephone, as directed by the Court.  All evidence must be provided to the opposing party and the Court at least 24 hours prior to the telephonic hearing as set forth herein. 

Non-essential Proceedings

Non-essential proceedings that require in-person court appearances will need to be rescheduled by the scheduling party for a time when normal operations have resumed.  Non-essential proceedings that require in-person court appearances and that were scheduled by the court will be rescheduled by the court for a time when normal operations have resumed. 

Cancellations

If the Movant intends to cancel a hearing that is set to be heard, the Movant should send an e-mail to the Division 3 e-mail, with other parties copied, confirming that the hearing is cancelled.  The Movant should prepare and e-file a Notice of Cancellation with the Clerk of Court and send copies to the parties.

Evidentiary hearings

For evidentiary hearings, the Movant should send an e-mail to the Division 3 e-mail, with other parties copied, to ask if the court will hear the matter via Zoom.  It would be helpful to the Court if the Motion is attached to the e-mail.  If another party objects to hearing the Motion by Zoom, written objections should be provided to the Court with other parties copied.  If the Court agrees to hear the matter via Zoom, the parties should follow the Zoom Protocols below.  There are additional pre-hearing and post-hearing requirements for evidentiary hearings.  Please see Zoom Protocols, below.

Non-evidentiary hearings

For non-evidentiary hearings, Court preapproval is not required to set the matter for a Zoom hearing.  The parties should follow the appropriate Zoom protocol below in coordinating, setting, and noticing a non-evidentiary Zoom hearing.

Uncontested/Stipulated Final Hearings

Parties are encouraged to use the Special Interrogatory process that can be found on the Court’s website.  This will minimize in-person interactions and allow parties to conclude their cases in a timely manner.  The Court is reviewing Special Interrogatory packets on a daily basis and entering Final Judgements. 

If a hearing is required, the Uncontested/Stipulated Final Hearing will be conducted by Zoom.  Parties should use the Court’s Special Interrogatories checklist to prepare a Final Hearing packet.  The Final Hearing packet, including a proposed Final Judgment and a legible copy of proof of Florida residency, should be provided to the Court via e-mail at least 24 hours prior to the hearing to allow the Court to review the docket and to confirm the necessary documents are complete and correct.

Identification of Parties, Witnesses, and Others and the Administration of Oaths
  • If both parties are represented by counsel and both parties stipulate to the identity of the other party and each witness, a notary is not required.  The Court will administer the oath.
  • If one or both parties are unrepresented, both sides must waive the notary requirement in Rule of Judicial Administration 2.530, and both parties will be required to stipulate to the other’s identity and the identity of each witness.
  • If the parties cannot or will not stipulate to the identity of any party or witness, the party or witness will need to have available a notary or other authorized official administer an oath as required by Rule 2.530, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, and AOSC20-23.
Motions to Compel

Pursuant to 12th Judicial Circuit AO 2010-22.2, Section E(1)(d), “Motions to compel discovery shall quote in full each interrogatory, question on deposition, request for admission, or request for production to which the motion is addressed and the objection and grounds given by the opposing party.”   Strict adherence to this rule will facilitate the Court’s review of the contested matters without having to refer to multiple documents.

Adoptions

Parties can request an adoption hearing be conducted via Zoom by following the Zoom Protocols set forth below and having a notary or other authorized official administer an oath as required by Rule 2.530, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, AOSC20-23.  The Court is amenable to conducting adoption hearings at a location other than the courthouse where practicable, as a courtesy to the parties.  Please contact the Court’s JA, via the Division 3 e-mail, to request such arrangements.

Adoption proceedings that must be recorded should be brought to the Court’s attention via an e-mail to the Division 3 email so the protocols put in place by the applicable Administrative Orders can be followed.

Motions for Contempt and/or Enforcement

Please refer to and use the format of Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.960, Motion for Civil Contempt/Enforcement Form.  Motions for Contempt and/or Enforcement should be put in plain and concise terms.  The Court will consider these motions for hearing, pursuant to the applicable Administrative Orders and the procedures and protocols set forth herein. 

Injunction Hearings (Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Repeat Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking)

These mission critical matters will continue to be in-person hearings on the days and times noticed by the Court.  The number of people in the courtroom will be limited to ten or fewer, including staff, and social distancing will apply to all attendees. 

If a party or attorney wishes to appear by Zoom, a motion should be e-filed with the Clerk, sent to the other parties, and e-mailed to the Court at the Division 3 email.  If the request to appear by Zoom is granted, parties and witnesses will need to comply with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.530, including the requirement that a notary or other authorized official administer an oath as required by Rule 2.530, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, and AOSC20-23. 

Parties may also stipulate to a continuance of the hearing and submit the stipulation to the Court for consideration.

Case Management Conferences (CMC)

Parties can submit written stipulations to continue a CMC to another CMC date.  Available CMC dates can be obtained by sending an email to the Division 3 email.  If parties decide to go forward with their CMC, it will be on the same day and time as previously noticed and will be conducted by Zoom as set forth herein

Pre-Trial Conferences (PTC)

The Court will hold PTCs via Zoom on the same days and times as previously noticed.

Trials

Trials can be continued by stipulation of the parties.  The parties will also need to choose another CMC date.  Available CMC dates can be obtained by sending an email to the Division 3 email.

If the parties intend to go forward with the trial, the relevant logistics will be discussed at the PTC.  If the PTC has already passed, the parties must schedule a 30 minute Status Conference with the Court to discuss the relevant logistics of the trial.  Available dates and times for such Status Conference can be obtained by sending an emailing the Division 3 email.

All Other Matters, Motions, and Proceedings

Please contact the Court via the Division 3 email, with a copy to all parties, to begin a dialogue about how to proceed.

Manatee County Family Law Division 3 Zoom Protocols During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The following protocols must be followed for Zoom trials, hearings, and conferences: 

  1. There will not be an audio or video recording made of the hearing.  Court reporters may be accommodated, and the Court must be made aware of the court reporter’s presence at the start of the hearing.
  2. Requirements and protocols for remote appearances must be followed, including the need for a notary public or other authorized official to administer an oath as required by Rule 2.530, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, and AOSC20-23.   
  3. Manatee County Family Law Division 3 has established a Zoom account that must be used by the parties for hearings, and Judge Whyte will be the host of the Zoom.  Zoom also allows for telephonic appearance and participation.  Once the hearing or trial is scheduled, the Court will distribute the Zoom information by email to the attorneys of record and pro se parties.  It is the responsibility of the attorneys and parties to provide the Zoom information to witnesses, court reporters, and other interested parties and to schedule their witnesses as needed.
  4. If the matter is set for hearing via Zoom, the party who scheduled the hearing must:
    1. Prepare a “Notice of Hearing via Zoom” or Notice of Trial via Zoom” that includes:  the case style, names of the parties, and the case number;  the motion/matter to be heard;  the date, time, and log-in information for the Zoom hearing/trial (see #3 above);  and a certificate of service indicating who the motion was served upon and the method of service;
    2. Electronically file (e-file) the Notice of Hearing with the Manatee Clerk of Court through the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal;
    3. Send a copy of the Notice of Hearing to all parties and to the court at the Division 3 e-mail; and
    4. Provide the Court and all parties with copies of any documents or case law to be used or referred to during the hearing (see #12-15 below).
  5. Actual notice must be provided to all parties and affected non-parties, unless actual notice is impossible or impracticable, in which case the Court will inquire at the beginning of the hearing as to why actual notice was impossible or impracticable and decide whether or not to go forward with the hearing.
  6. Parties and attorneys must log in to Zoom at exactly the time that their hearing is noticed to begin.  For scheduling reasons, hearings must end on time, and parties and attorneys must disconnect once their hearing is concluded.
  7. As there may be multiple participants in a Zoom hearing, participants and attendees should “Mute” themselves until recognized by the Court.  Attendees who do not mute themselves and are disruptive or in a noisy environment may be muted by the Court during the videoconference. 
  8. Due to the sensitive nature of the topics generally discussed in family law matters, parties, attorneys, witnesses, and other attendees should not participate or listen to the Zoom using speakerphone unless they are in a private or secluded area. 
  9. Anyone attending, participating in, or viewing the videoconference call will be required to announce themselves prior to the hearing beginning or when they join the hearing.
  10. In order to promote clarity and allow the court to hear and understand the issues being discussed, parties and attorneys should wait for the court to recognize them before speaking.  Parties and attorneys shall refrain from talking over one another or interrupting except to make specific, legal objections.
  11. Attorneys and parties must notify the Court at least 24 hours in advance if language interpretation services will be utilized by any parties or witness during the hearing.  Arrangements for interpreter services are the responsibility of the attorneys and parties.  See Judge Whyte’s Information and Requirements and the 12th Circuit’s website for information about obtaining interpreter services.
  12. Exhibits, Evidence, and Witnesses
    1. If either party intends to introduce physical evidence or exhibits into the record at the hearing, such evidence or exhibits must be pre-marked for identification (see #12 below and Judge Whyte’s Information & Requirements).  Attorneys and parties are responsible for redacting and minimizing exempt, confidential, or sensitive information within exhibits pursuant to Florida Law and Rules of Procedure.
    2. Exhibits should be scanned and emailed as .pdf files.  Each exhibit should be sent as a separate .pdf file, and the file named so that it is readily identifiable by case number, party moving the exhibit into evidence, and exhibit number. For example, a .pdf might be titled/named “2020DR1234 Petitioner Exhibit 4” or “2020DR1234 Respondent Composite Exhibit 7.”  With respect to physical evidence, parties are directed to exchange pictures of the evidence. 
    3. Immediately after the hearing, exhibits should be filed with the Clerk, via the E-Portal, by the admitting party.  This includes both admitted exhibits and if necessary for appellate purposes, exhibits that were offered but not admitted into evidence. 
      1. For exhibits that were offered and admitted into evidence, the admitting party shall file with the Clerk a “Notice of Admitted Exhibits” that clearly indicates and describes which exhibits were received (using the exhibit number, title, or a description of the exhibit), the date of the hearing, and the Motion/Matter for which the exhibit was admitted in support. 
      2. For exhibits that were offered but were not received into evidence, the offering party may file with the Clerk a “Notice of Non-Admitted Exhibits” that clearly indicates and describes which exhibits were offered but not received (using the exhibit number, title, or a description of the exhibit), the date of the hearing, and the Motion/Matter for which the exhibit was offered but not admitted.
  13. Pursuant to the Florida Supreme Court’s COVID-19 Workgroup’s Best Practices for the Management of Evidence in Remote Hearings in Civil and Family Cases (May 5, 2020):
    1. At least 48 hours prior to the start of the hearing, parties shall exchange lists of witnesses that are expected to be called at the hearing.
    2. At least 48 hours prior to the start of the hearing, parties shall exchange exhibits, provide exhibits to the Court via the Division 3 email, and confer remotely for the purpose of stipulating, as much as practicable, to the authenticity and admissibility of the exhibits as well as to the identity of parties and witnesses.  Stipulations should be announced on the record at the beginning of the hearing.
    3. Objections to exhibits may be filed with the Court ahead of the hearing, raised in limine at the beginning of the hearing, or made during the hearing, as appropriate.   
General guidelines on time

Based on the Court’s experience with remote Zoom hearings so far and in an effort to help the parties plan for efficient and effective hearings within the reserved time, the Court provides the following information as very broad, general guidelines:

  • For 30 minute hearings- plan on 10 minutes for introductory matters, court time, and miscellaneous issues that arise, which leaves each party with approximately 10 minutes to present its side.
  • For 1 hour hearings- plan on 10 minutes for introductory matters and 10 minutes for court time and miscellaneous issues that arise, which leaves each party with approximately 20 minutes to present its side.   
  • For 2 hour hearings- plan on 10 minutes for introductory matters and 10 minutes for court time and miscellaneous issues that arise, which leaves each party with approximately 50 minutes to present its side.
  • For 3 hour hearings- plan on 10 minutes for introductory matters and 20 minutes for court time and miscellaneous issues that arise, which leaves each party with approximately 75 minutes to present its side.
Appearing by Telephone using Zoom

While Manatee County Family Law Division 3 is primarily using Zoom videoconferencing for hearings and trials, an attorney, party, or witness can appear via telephone through the Zoom platform, if Zoom videoconferencing is impossible or impracticable.  The Zoom notice contains telephone numbers that can be used to access to the hearing or trial as well as the necessary Meeting ID numbers and passwords, if required. 

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we navigate in these uncharted waters. 

Judge Whyte

Judge Matt Whyte

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Magistrate Paul Hudson

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Circuit Family Division 4

Judge Diana Moreland

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Magistrate David Caskey

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Hearing Officer Charles Denton

 

If you wish to observe or attend by remote means please contact the Judge’s office for further instructions.

Temporary New Procedures for Sarasota County Family Divisions

Although the Florida Supreme Court’s Administrative Order limiting in-person hearings impacts our ability to address some family division matters, we are committed to addressing as many issues as possible using the available technology. Because the court relaxed or temporarily suspended some rule requirements, we have some flexibility in offering attorneys and litigants the means to have their hearings go forward. As such, the following procedures are available.

FINAL HEARINGS (CASE SETTLED)
  1. Telephonic final hearings are permitted where parties are represented by counsel. The parties will conference in with their respective attorneys without the need for a notary presence.
  2. For parties that are not represented by attorneys or where there is an attorney on one side and an unrepresented party on the other side, both sides must waive the notary requirements in order to proceed with a telephonic final hearing.
  3. Where possible, if parties have access to a scanner or fax, they should fax or email the Division a copy of their driver’s license 24 hours prior to the hearing.
CONTESTED HEARINGS; NON-EVIDENTIARY/BOTH SIDES REPRESENTED
  1. Telephonic appearances are allowed. No evidence will be marked or submitted. There is no time limit for these hearings other than what limitations exist based on the technology used.
  2. Attorneys must conference themselves in first and then call the court. If this is not possible, contact the court to determine what technology is available.
CONTESTED HEARING; EVIDENTIARY/BOTH SIDES REPRESENTED
  1. All evidence must be submitted and marked at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. Attorneys should use the same numbering/lettering system the clerk uses when marking evidence (petitioner uses numbers and respondent uses letters).
  2. The court recording sheet/CAR will list what evidence was admitted and will be prepared by the judge if a clerk is not present. Everything submitted, whether formally admitted or not, will go to the clerk for filing.
CONTESTED HEARING: EVIDENTIARY/BOTH SIDES OR ONE SIDE PRO SE
  1. Evidence must be sent to the judge the day before the hearing and must clearly distinguish which side is offering it. Some flexibility will be afforded if the parties use an incorrect identification system. The judge will treat all evidence as marked for identification only and will note on recording sheet/CAR which documents were formally admitted, same as in #2 above.
EVIDENTIARY/TIME SENSITIVE OR EMERGENCY
  1. These hearings may be held in person if they meet the emergency criteria and are approved by the judge. If a witness or party does not wish to appear or cannot appear in person, they may appear by phone/video, with the caveat that if their identity is in doubt, the court may not allow their testimony.
  2. All evidence must be provided to the other side at least one day before the hearing.
ADOPTIONS
  1. These final hearings may be done via video or phone but must have a notary present.
  2. The judges are amenable to conducting these hearings at a location other than the courthouse where practicable as a courtesy to the parties. Please contact the judicial assistant to request such arrangements.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES
  1. These mission critical matters are being conducted in person. The number of people in the courtroom will be limited to ten or fewer, including staff.
  2. Any party who cannot appear or does not wish to come to court may be granted a continuance if deemed appropriate. Unless previously stipulated, we must have a means of verifying identity if we allow a party or a witness to appear telephonically.

Procedures updated March 25, 2020

Circuit Family Division 1

Judge Kimberly Bonner

SCHEDULING HEARINGS USING JACS
 

Circuit Family Division 2

Judge Thomas Krug

SCHEDULING HEARINGS USING JACS
 

Updated Temporary New Procedures for All South County (Venice) Circuit Matters

ALL SOUTH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HEARINGS WILL BE HELD VIA ZOOM With the exception of essential proceedings,[1] all hearings will be conducted via video conference. Essential proceedings can be and have been conducted effectively remotely; therefore, these proceedings may proceed in-person only if it is shown that conducting the proceedings remotely is infeasible due to the lack of technological resources.[2] If an essential matter must be heard in-person, file a motion requesting an in-person hearing and detail the difficulty that exists in being able to participate remotely. Email the motion to the judicial assistant with a copy to all parties.

Nothing precludes the parties from stipulating that matters be determined based solely on written submissions (written motions and written responses with legal analysis). Any such stipulation shall be evidenced by an agreement signed by all parties and filed with the Clerk.

  1. Use of Video Conference for Court Hearings: As a reminder, court hearings remain public proceedings despite the existence of COVID-19. The Court will use the Zoom video conference platform to conduct virtual court hearings. You can find information about Zoom at its website. Zoom is FREE. If you are unfamiliar with the Zoom platform, please go to the Zoom training page to learn how to access the platform.

    The Court must be able to see all parties. The use of the audio number provided with the hearing information is if the video/camera device does not have a two-way microphone.

  2. Scheduling Hearings: There is hearing time available on JACS and nothing about scheduling hearings has changed. If hearing time is not available in the timeframe you need, or for longer hearings, please continue to contact the judicial assistant. Alternate, unconventional dates are always available. Email contact with the judicial assistant with copy to all parties generally is the quicker and more efficient means of communication.
  3. Requirements for the Notice of Hearing: The public’s constitutional right of access to the courts is of upmost importance.[3] The necessary information that will permit the parties and the public access to the court hearing is accessible at Judge Ruhl's Zoom Video Conference Access Information page. Additionally, the Court also requires the notice of hearing to contain language that will direct the parties and public to that site.

CMC, Pre-Trial Conference & Docket Sounding: Plaintiff’s counsel (or defense counsel, if plaintiff is pro se) shall file a Notice of Hearing with all Zoom hearing information separate from the Order entered by the Court.

The Notice of Hearing shall contain the following: zoom website, meeting id, password, audio access (for issues as indicated in paragraph 2), and alternate link from the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court website. If any of the listed information is missing, the hearing will be cancelled by the Court without further notice to the parties as the hearing was not properly noticed. As of August 26, 2020, the direct Zoom link will no longer be required or published. Please utilize the 2 Ways to Access the Hearing as shown in the Required Language section.

REQUIRED LANGUAGE TO INCLUDE IN NOTICE OF HEARING:

Copy to Clipboard

Notice of Hearing for Zoom Video Conference

All parties must appear via VIDEO conference; meaning, the Court must be able to see all parties. Please log into your hearing a few minutes early to test mic and video connections. When asked for your name, please type your FIRST and LAST name so the court may identify you properly. Zoom is FREE. Information about Zoom may be found at its website, https://wwww.zoom.us. If you are unfamiliar with the Zoom platform, please go to the ZOOM training page website, https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials, to learn how to access the platform for use.

DATE & TIME: [insert date & time here]
MATTER: [insert matter here]
LOCATION: Video Hearing

2 WAYS TO ACCESS THE HEARING:

  1. Online: Go to the Zoom Join Meeting page, https://zoom.us/join [Then enter the meeting ID & password listed below]
  2. Alternate link to meeting list: http://jud12.flcourts.org/Public-Information/Public-Court-Hearings/ctl/meetings/mid/1141/pid/11

Meeting Id:
Password:
Audio (if the video/camera device does not have a two-way microphone):

  1. Jury Trials: All jury trials are cancelled through December 31, 2020.[4] However, parties shall attend the Pre-Trial Conference, as it will serve as a Status Conference. If the parties would like a sooner Status Conference, please review JACS for available hearing time or contact the judicial assistant.
  2. Nonjury Trials and Evidentiary Hearings: Prior to docket sounding, the parties shall discuss the logistics of conducting any nonjury trials or evidentiary hearing remotely. Once a date/time certain has been reserved, parties shall set a short Status Conference with the Court to discuss any issues concerning video conferencing matters. For those on a trial docket, this date will usually be set by the Court to occur after Docket Sounding and before the start of trial. Parties are encouraged to review the Civil Guidelines for Virtual Evidentiary Hearings prior to setting the Status Conference.
  3. Emergency Matters: Normal procedures for handling emergency matters outlined in Local Rule 4b are still followed. The Court, when considering any emergency motion, may a require a written response from the other party prior to a video conference hearing being set and the Court may rule upon the motion without any hearing.
  4. Uniform Motion Calendar: UMCs are cancelled. Please review JACS for all available hearing time. There are 5-minute time slots available every week, except during the trial periods. If the parties are looking for hearing time within a week or are not able to find time, proceed with the normal procedure (see paragraph 3). 

Last updated June 1, 2020.

[1] Essential proceedings are Injunction hearings, Emergency Temporary Guardianship hearings, Final Guardianship hearings, and hearings on DNR Orders. See In Re: Comprehensive COVID-19 Emergency Measures for the Florida State Courts, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC20-23.1, Amendment 1 (Fla. May 4, 2020); In Re: COVID-19 Emergency Procedures and Mission Essential Functions, Twelfth Judicial Circuit Admin. Order No. 2020-4.2 (March 18, 2020).

[2] “Participants who have the capability of participating by electronic means in remote court proceedings shall do so.” In Re: Comprehensive COVID-19 Emergency Measures for the Florida State Courts, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC20-23, Amendment 2 (Fla. May 21, 2020).

[3] Fla. Const. art. I, § 21; Fla. Const. art. I, § 24;  Sarasota Herald-Tribune v. State, 924 So. 2d 8, 10 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005).

[4] In Re: Order Suspending Civil Jury Trials Through September 18, 2020, Twelfth Judicial Circuit Admin. Order No. 2020-13.01 (May 29, 2020).

Circuit Family Division H

Judge Maria Ruhl

 

Venice Magistrate, Hearing Officer

SCHEDULING HEARINGS USING JACS