May 12, 2020
FOR MISSION CRITICAL MATTERS:
Pursuant to Administrative Order 2020-4.2, the Probate and Guardianship Division of Sarasota County will be scheduling limited hearings on the following matters determined to be mission essential matters, pursuant to Administrative Order 2020-4.2
- Hearings on Do Not Resuscitate Orders
- Hearings for the appointment of emergency temporary guardian
- Final Guardianship hearings
- Hearings on Risk Protection Orders
Parties calling witnesses for mission essential hearings must comply with Supreme Court Administrative Order No. AOSC20-16 regarding notaries & witnesses:
If you are unable to locate hearing time on the JACS calendar for a mission critical court proceeding, please contact the judicial assistant.
FOR ALL NON-MISSION CRITICAL MATTERS
With the exception of certain matters that have been previously scheduled on the JACS calendar, and Until Further Notice The court shall continue to hear non-evidentiary, uncontested and stipulated matters less than 15 minutes in length as part of its Ex Parte calendar.
All hearings scheduled before Judge Williams shall be conducted telephonically. Again, it must be emphasized that the scheduling attorney is primarily responsible for arranging the necessary conference call and coordinating with all the required parties to the hearing. No witnesses shall be called and no evidence shall be introduced.
Conference call-in information and courtesy copies of paperwork must be transmitted to the probate coordinator. Failure to provide conference call information will result in the cancellation of your hearing.
In an effort to avoid delays in hearing non-mission critical telephonic hearings, the court is adopting a staggered JACS hearing calendar that attorneys may scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Attorneys should have conference call details available at the time of scheduling to include in the JACS notes.
Parties unable to schedule or locate hearing time for non-mission critical telephonic hearings on the JACS calendar may request hearing time by contacting the judicial assistant.
Every effort will be made to accommodate all hearing requests.
The JACS schedule follows:
- 9:30 a.m. 3 hearing timeslots
- 9:45 a.m. 3 hearing timeslots
- 10:00 a.m. 3 hearing timeslots
- 10:15 a.m. 3 hearing timeslots
- 10:30 a.m. 3 hearing timeslots
- 10:45 a.m. 3 hearing timeslots
- 11:00 a.m. 3 hearing timeslots
- 11:15 a.m. 3 hearing timeslots
- 11:30 a.m. reserved for court set emergency hearings
- 11:45 a.m. reserved for court set emergency hearings
NEW: Limited contested matters may now be scheduled for telephonic or virtual hearings
Contested matters defined: a contested matter is one that is adversarial in nature, is not agreed to, or an opposing party is involved who does not consent to the proposed action by the court.
Parameters: contested matters shall be matters less than three hours in length and consist of a reasonable number of witnesses and documents of evidence. The reasonableness number of each shall be determined at a case management conference prior to the contested hearing taking place.
To obtain hearing time contact the judicial assistant.
Mandatory Case Management Conference: prior to the contested matter being heard the parties shall coordinate a case management conference on the Court’s JACS calendar at least one week prior to the hearing to discuss matters such as stipulations, presentation of witnesses and evidence and other potential logistical concerns inherent to remote hearings.
If the Court determines that the matter is not appropriate for a telephonic/remote/virtual hearing, the Court may cancel the hearing.
Parties are reminded that pursuant to Administrative Order No. 2003.4-5 (see page 8 of the Court’s requirements), those Probate matters that are identified by the moving party to last ½ day (3 hours) must be re-assigned to a Civil Division Judge. The moving party must make a written request to the Court for hearing time. The re-assigned Civil Judge will make the decision as to whether the matter is appropriate for a telephone/virtual contested matter.
IMPORTANT - NEW REQUIREMENT FOR ORDERS TRANSMITTED TO THE COURT FOR HEARINGS
Effective immediately, the Court requires that all orders transmitted to the Probate Coordinator for hearings pending before the court must be sent in a separate .pdf document. Petitions, motions and any other courtesy copies shall be sent in a .pdf scan separate from proposed orders.
Parties are reminded that the Court requires all paperwork for hearings to be transmitted to the Probate Coordinator via e-mail. The e-mail subject line shall include the case style, motion and date of the hearing and the paperwork shall be transmitted no later than 1:00 p.m. on the preceding day of the hearing.
TRANSMITTING ROUTINE PAPERWORK TO THE COURT FOR REVIEW & NEW POLICY REGARDING OBTAINING COPIES OF ORDERS ENTERED BY THE COURT
Please note that the requirements for transmitting routine ex parte proposed orders to the Court for consideration without a hearing have not changed. See pages 4 and 5 of Judge Williams’ requirements.
Judge Williams does not accept proposed routine ex parte orders via e-mail. Please do not send proposed orders to the probate coordinator or judicial assistant e-mail address unless specifically directed to do so. If your office is experiencing exceptional circumstances that prevent following this requirement, please contact the judicial assistant.
Until further notice, our office will not be distributing conformed copies of orders to the parties, regardless of whether copies and envelopes were provided to the court. It shall be the moving party’s responsibility to obtain a copy of the order from the clerk’s website and distribute a copy to the relevant parties.
Please continue to check the 12th Circuit website for up to date information on court proceedings and the COVID-19 pandemic.