Commencing July 5, 2022, the probate and family divisions of the Court will be reorganized. The following changes will be implemented:
- Hybrid family/probate divisions will be discontinued and the family and probate divisions will be separated.
- Family Division FD and Civil Division AB will be phased out and closed to accommodate the creation of two independent probate divisions. Attorneys with cases in Civil Division AB should closely monitor the Circuit website and the Palm Beach County Bar Association website for additional information.
- Two probate divisions will be established. One division will be located in the Main Courthouse. Judge Laura Johnson will be assigned to the division in Main. One division will be located in South County. Judge Charles Burton will be assigned to South County.
- Three family divisions will remain in North County and in South County. Family divisions in the Main Courthouse will be reduced from three divisions to two divisions.
Closing of Division AB
To facilitate the separation of the probate and family divisions, Circuit Civil Division AB is being closed. Attorneys, parties and pro se litigants with cases currently assigned to Division AB should be aware of the following:
- Effective May 6, 2022, the Clerk will no longer assign new cases to Division AB.
- Commencing June 1, 2022, the Clerk will begin randomly reassigning cases in Division AB to the 11 remaining civil divisions. The Clerk shall provide the parties with a Notice of Reassignment in each case. All cases shall be reassigned by June 30, 2022.
- Any hearing, UMC or special set, scheduled prior to June 17, 2022 shall be heard in Division AB by a substitute or senior judge (currently Judge Richard Oftedal).
- Effective June 17, 2022, the Division AB UMC and Special Set calendar will be suspended unless the parties are notified by the Court that their hearing will be heard after June 17, 2022.
- If a hearing scheduled to be heard after June 1, 2022 is cancelled, the hearing must be reset in the reassigned division for the case, not in Division AB.
- Emergency motions filed prior to reassignment of a case by the Clerk shall be heard by a substitute or senior judge in Division AB.
Attorneys, parties and pro se litigants are urged to review and become familiar with Administrative Order No. 3.911-5/22. Until a Division AB case is reassigned to a new civil division, all filings including proposed orders and courtesy copies of pleadings shall continue to be submitted in accordance with the current online divisional instructions for Division AB. Inquiries concerning cases in Division AB shall continue to be directed to the Judicial Assistant assigned to Division AB, Katherine Matthews, and to the divisional e-mail, CAD-DivisionAB@pbcgov.org.
Please continue to monitor the Circuit’s website for additional information.