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.
*HEARINGS ARE NO LONGER BEING SCHEDULED IN DIVISION AB. ALL HEARINGS WILL NOW HAVE TO BE SCHEDULED BEFORE THE NEWLY ASSIGNED JUDGE.
Please review the instructions below which were put into place due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. These instructions are effective until further notice and will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Pursuant to Administrative Order No.: 12.510-03/2020.4:
- During the duration of Administrative Order No.: 12.510-03/2020.4, all hearings will be conducted remotely. **PLEASE SEE UPDATE BELOW.
- All papers upon which the parties intend to rely for their scheduled hearings must be filed in advance of the hearing. If the papers do not appear on the docket, the parties must submit all documents which they intend to reference during the hearing 48 hours in advance through E-courtesy at 15thcircuit.com. PLEASE DO NOT SEND SUBMITTALS VIA REGULAR MAIL OR HAND DELIVERY. Hard copies of documents, binders, etc., will not be accepted by this office until further notice. PLEASE SEND THROUGH E-COURTESY OR FILE WITH THE CLERK OF COURT.
- For evidentiary hearings and non-jury trials, the parties should stipulate to the admissibility of evidence for which the admissibility is not reasonably contested. The parties shall provide copies of all intended exhibits, evidence or demonstratives to the Court in advance through E-courtesy at 15thcircuit.com.***
- If witnesses will be called to give testimony, the Court requires that such appearances be pre-arranged with a teleconference or video provider. Pursuant to Justice Canady's Administrative Order (3-13-2020), all rules of procedure, court orders and opinions applicable to court procedure that limit or prohibit the use of communication equipment for conducting proceedings by electronic means are suspended from March 13-27, 2020. This A.O.'s time period may be extended by Justice Canady.
- To the extent possible, court reporters will also utilize
a teleconference or video conference providerCourt Hosted Zoom to cover hearings/non-jury trials. The Court will administer the oath, or oaths are to be administered in accord with Justice Canady's A.O.
- The parties are encouraged to submit any motions to the Court that they mutually agree the Court may address based solely upon the papers and thereby waive oral argument.
- Any motions to assist fair, timely, effective and efficient efforts suggesting procedures to use to address necessary issues for your respective cases during the current outbreak are strongly encouraged by the Court. It is the intention of the Court to enable and facilitate telephone or video hearings in a practical manner or to allow rulings on the papers when acceptable to the parties. Above all, though, the Court wishes to provide for the administration of justice without risking anyone's safety.
The Evidence Portal is now being used for evidence/exhibit submission in regard to evidentiary hearings, non-jury trials and jury trials, and all counsel/parties should contact Court Technology (firstname.lastname@example.org) for evidence portal training prior to trial/evidentiary hearing..
Update regarding scheduling and attending hearings remotely:
Uniform Motion Calendar - Tuesday - Thursday - (8:30 a.m.) - Judge Richard Oftedal presiding - Zoom Meeting Info:
Dial by your location:
Regarding Special Set Hearings
Due to the division closure, all special set hearings must now be scheduled before the newly assigned judge once the Notice of Reassignment has been entered by the Clerk of Court. THERE IS NO MORE SPECIAL SET HEARING TIME AVAILABLE IN DIVISION AB.
Beginning July 2, 2020, all Special Set hearings in Division AB will be conducted via Court Hosted Zoom. Please schedule the hearing via the Online Scheduling System in accordance with the Divisional Instructions and forward an Order Setting Hearing to the Judge for electronic signature. The JA will place the Zoom information in the Order. Orders Setting Hearing should not indicate Courtroom 11D of the Palm Beach County Courthouse as the place of hearing. Instead, the Order must state that the hearing will be held by Zoom Conference. Zoom hearings can be conducted either via telephone or computer. No one will be present in the courtroom. This rule applies to pro se litigants and court reporters as well as attorneys.
(Please continue to monitor this announcement for further updates.)
For Further Assistance
Proposed Orders are to be submitted within 15 days of the hearing via Online Services. No proposed Orders will be accepted via regular mail. (See blue rectangle box below.)
See below for information regarding scheduling of hearings. ALL OTHER DIVISIONAL INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE FOUND ON THE DIVISIONAL INSTRUCTIONS PAGE (Look to the right.)
Scheduling of Hearings
This division uses online scheduling for all hearings (including Uniform Motion Calendar). All special set hearings are set by ORDER (see "Divisional Forms & Orders"). For hearings requiring more than 30 minutes, please see "Divisional Instructions".
Please see "Divisional Instructions" for further information.