AF Divisional News

DIVISION “AF” UPDATE

Judge Carolyn Bell is now presiding over Division AF in Courtroom 9D.

Beginning January 3, 2023- EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

REMOTE AND IN PERSON APPEARANCES:

All  UMC’s, Calendar Calls, and Case Management Conferences will be conducted via Zoom on the Divisional AF Zoom link:

Zoom Link:   https://zoom.us/join

Meeting ID: 930 3054 1310

Toll Free: (877) 853-5257

                (888) 475-4499

All other matters will be held IN PERSON unless specific permission has been obtained from the Court for remote appearance and a private, individual Zoom Link has been sent by the Court to the parties. 

Counsel may seek permission for any unopposed remote appearance for any attorneys, litigants or witnesses by sending an email to the Divisional mailbox at CAD-DivisionAF@pbcgov.org and JA Breanne Perry at BPerry1@pbcgov.org , copied to all counsel of record and pro se litigants.  Any email requests that do not include all counsel of record and pro se litigants will not be considered.  Please include in your email the reason remote appearance is requested, and confirm there is no opposition.  Any requests that are opposed may be requested via motion and scheduled on the Court’s UMC calendar. 

DOCUMENT DELIVERY:

The Division requests that both hard copies and electronic copies of all documents pertinent to any matter scheduled before the Court be emailed and delivered to chambers, either via U.S. Mail or courier and/or hand-delivery, at least five (5) days prior to any hearing or trial.  If the hard copy documents are not received on time, your hearing will be canceled.

CONTACTING CHAMBERS:

For any case related matters, please contact chambers by sending an email to the Divisional mailbox at CAD-DivisionAF@pbcgov.org and JA Breanne Perry at BPerry1@pbcgov.org , copied to all counsel of record and pro se litigants.  Any emails that do not include all counsel of record and pro se litigants will not be considered.  Emails should be limited to scheduling and other administrative matters.  Please do not include any substantive matters when communicating with chambers outside of Court – substantive matters may be addressed via motion.    

 

ALL OTHER DIVISIONAL INSTRUCTIONS REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Important Notice:

Beginning in November 2020 additional UMC time slots will be added to the Online Scheduling System on Mondays from 4:00- 4:30 p.m. to assist parents with school-aged children for whom attending 8:30 a.m. UMC hearings causes a significant inconvenience. To obtain one of these hearing slots the attorney/party must certify in the Notice of Hearing that there is a need to hold the hearing at the alternate time because he/she is a parent with a child attending school remotely, and that appearing at an 8:30 a.m. UMC hearing causes a significant inconvenience. Please refer to Division AF's online divisional instructions for further information re: UMC's.

Important Notice Regarding in Court Hearings

There are important changes to the procedures for setting and conducting remote hearings in Division AF.  The Chief Judge has recently amended Administrative Order No. 12.510-05/2020.11 – In Re Mitigating Measures In Response to COVID-19.  AO No. 12.510-05/2020.11 now provides, in part:

Non-essential proceeding outlined in section III.(1), below, will be held remotely and may not proceed in-person until further order of the Court. The Circuit has purchased Zoom licenses for judges and court staff which allow the Court to host remote hearings via Zoom at no cost to the parties. Therefore, for the sake of consistency, all remote proceedings will be conducted via Zoom unless the litigants request otherwise.

In compliance with AO No. 12.510-05/2020.11, remote hearings SHALL now be conducted by Zoom, subject to clarifications and provisions set forth below UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  Please note that Zoom does not require a video appearance.  While a video appearance is available, Zoom also allows participants to participate using only the audio feature.

Members of the press and other persons who are interested in listening to or monitoring remotely scheduled court events may contact the Court’s Public Information Office, Debra Oats, at (561) 355-4495 or (561) 644-0054 to obtain access information


Delivery of Documents

All paperwork for the Judge's review (courtesy copies of notice of hearings and/or motions, memos of law, briefs, responses, case law, etc..) must either be sent to the Judge's office via u.s. regular mail, fed ex, ups, or via hand-delivery (to the 1st floor drop box) in the main courthouse. Our office does not accept the foregoing via e-mail.

Divisional Instructions

Please note that this is not our divisional instructions. You will find our instructions on the Divisional Instructions page.

Clerk's Office Hours

The Clerk's office operating hours for the public are 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday.

Formatting of Documents

Please note: very important information - for all documents that need to be recorded in the public records, i.e.: orders of dismissal, voluntary dismissals, final judgments (Consent FJ, Default FJ, Summary FJ, Amended FJ), orders vacating FJ, orders cancelling sales, order setting aside, vacating, amending certificates of title, writs of garnishment, etc.. must comply with Supreme Court Rule of Judicial Administration 2.520. These documents must have a 3" by 3" space at the top right hand corner on the first page and a 1" by 3" space at the top right hand corner on each subsequent page. Also, all documents filed with the Court must have a 1" margin on all sides for the Clerk's date and time stamps. If your proposed document does not comply with the Supreme Court requirement, the Clerk of Court will not record your pleading and our office will be forced to return same to you in order to be corrected.

Judicial E-service

Circuit Civil Division "AF" DOES participate in Judicial E-service (from court to counsel ONLY), IF all parties are represented by counsel and have a valid e-mail address. When submitting a proposed Order and Judgment to our office (please submit electronically) for the Judge's signature (IF all parties are represented by counsel and have a valid e-mail address), you DO NOT have to submit conforming copies, as the Judicial Assistant will e-mail the signed Order/Judgment back to counsels.

Important e-service information: In accordance with the 15th Judicial Circuit's Administrative Order 2.310, please ensure that primary and secondary email addresses are registered with Court Administration at via online services.

Please be reminded that the filing of an e-mail designation with the Clerk's Office is NOT a registration with Court Administration for JUDICIAL e-service.

JUDICIAL e-service is also NOT e-filing. E-filing is done through the Clerk's Office E-portal.

To see which divisions are participating in JUDICIAL e-service, please go to our Online Services FAQ page and click on "View the list of participating divisions."

Email

Our office DOES NOT ACCEPT E-MAIL EXCEPT when given permission from the Judge or Judicial Assistant to send letters/pleadings/proposed Orders and/or Judgments via e-mail. If you wish to e-mail the Judge's chambers, you must call and receive permission from the Judicial Assistant.

All Memorandum of Law, Briefs, Responses, copies of case law, courtesy copies of Notices of Hearings/Motions, etc.. for the Judge's review should be either mailed to the Judge office or hand-delivered to the 1st floor drop box of the Main Courthouse, at least 5 business days in advance of the scheduled hearing date/trial date. Our office does not accept any courtesy copies of the foregoing via e-mail.

Please make note of the new Administrative Order 2.311 which relates to Notice of Change of Address/Substitutions of Counsel and Designation of Attorney of Record. This Administrative Order contains specific language which must be included in the proposed Order submitted to the Court for signature.

Faxes

Our office DOES NOT accept faxes.

Ex-parte Personal Correspondence

Our office CANNOT and WILL NOT accept any ex-parte personal correspondence on a case. If you have a matter to bring to the Court's attention, please file the proper Motion with the Clerk of Court, and copy all parties and/or counsel in the case with said Motion.