AF Divisional Home Page

Judge Carolyn Bell

presides over Division AF in Courtroom 9D
assisted by Judicial Assistant Breanne Perry

(updated 2/23/2024)

The AF Division Home Page, AF Divisional Instructions and AF Trial Docket are intended as helpful guides to practice before Judge Bell. The information is purposely detailed in order to assist all parties with efficiently getting answers to the most frequently asked questions about procedures followed in this Division.

In addition to reviewing the information here on our home page, please be sure to click on AF Divisional Instructions link and the AF Trial Docket link prior to reaching out to chambers.

I. Professionalism and Courtesy

"Professionalism is the pursuit and practice of the highest ideals and tenets of the legal profession. It embraces far more than simply complying with the minimal standards of professional conduct. The essential ingredients of professionalism are character, competence, commitment, and civility."

Professionalism Expectations of The Florida Bar (excerpt)

All counsel are reminded they have taken an Oath that includes the following:

I will maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;

To opposing parties and their counsel, I pledge fairness, integrity, and civility, not only in court, but also in all written and oral communications;

I will abstain from all offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged.

Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar (excerpt)

The Court expects all pro se parties and counsel to follow these principles and act professionally and courteously towards witnesses, parties, counsel and the Court.

II. Zoom and In Person Appearances

Unless otherwise ordered, only UMC hearings, Calendar Calls, Case Management Conferences and 15 minute Special Set Hearings are conducted via Zoom.

  1. Division AF Zoom Meeting Information

    Absent a Court ordered sealed hearing or arrangements by the parties for a different remote platform, Division AF remote appearances are via Zoom at the following link:

    Meeting Link: Division AF Zoom Link
    Meeting ID: 930 3054 1310


    Dial by your location:
    • Toll-free 877-853-5257
    • Toll-free 888-475-4499
  2. Zoom Appearance Guidelines

    Anyone (counsel, party, or witness) appearing remotely:

    • Must have a stable video Zoom connection, tested in advance
    • Must appear via video (phone appearances or appearances without camera are not permitted)
    • Must be appropriately dressed for Court
    • Must be alone in a quiet place (unless client and counsel are together)
    • If testifying, must have no other electronic devices on or other electronic windows open without Court approval
    • Must not be in a moving vehicle. (Participants may appear from a vehicle as long as the vehicle is not moving)

    Counsel must be able to use Zoom adeptly for evidence presentation, impeachment, and refreshing recollection.

  3. In Person Hearing Guidelines

    The Court finds that while Zoom is a valuable tool for certain types of hearings, there is great benefit in having counsel appear in person, particularly for longer and more involved hearings. In that light, absent court order, all Division AF Trials and Hearings more than 15 minutes are conducted with counsel appearing in person in Courtroom 9D, at the Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley Courthouse (Main Courthouse), 205 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401. Witnesses, parties and Court Reporters may appear remotely for these matters unless there is a written objection, separately set for UMC hearing, by opposing counsel.

    The Court will consider allowing counsel to appear via Zoom for hearings of less than 1 hour based on distance or other good cause. In those cases, counsel may send an email to the JA at, with all parties copied, indicating the basis for the request for Zoom appearance and whether there is any objection. The Court will either approve the request via email or advise counsel to set the matter for UMC hearing.

    For hearings 1 hour or more, counsel may be allowed to appear via Zoom for good cause, which generally does not include distance within the State of Florida. All such requests must be made pursuant to Motion and set for UMC hearing.

III. Communication with Chambers

Communication with chambers on scheduling and procedural case-related matters is via email to JA Breanne Perry at, with all parties copied on the email. Please ensure the subject line of your email includes the case name and case number, and that your email includes the reason for your inquiry and any pending calendar call/trial dates. Please also attach any pertinent documents to your email. Please do not reply to all and include the JA in threads between counsel.

All substantive issues are handled by the Court via Motion.

The Court does not accept ex parte communications via email or by telephone. The JA will direct anyone who contacts chambers ex parte to send an email with all parties copied. Unless otherwise provided by law, ex parte materials submitted to Chambers will be filed with the Clerk of Court and served upon all parties and, if unauthorized, the party making the submission may be sanctioned.

JA Perry is a dedicated public servant with a heavy workload. Please be sure to treat her courteously and respectfully as she works to assist you on your case.

IV. Division AF Trial/Short Call Dockets

The Court's current Trial/Short Call Docket may be found at AF Trial Docket.

Division AF has 8 week trial docket periods, with Calendar Calls scheduled every 6 weeks:

8- Week Docket Calendar Call Date
JANUARY 29, 2024 – MARCH 22 2024 JANUARY 17, 2024
MARCH 11, 2024 – MAY 3, 2024 FEBRUARY 28, 2024
APRIL 22, 2024 – JUNE 14, 2024 APRIL 10, 2024
JUNE 3, 2024 – JULY 26, 2024 MAY 22, 2024
JULY 15, 2024 – SEPTEMBER 6, 2024 JULY 10, 2024
AUGUST 26, 2024 – OCTOBER 18, 2024 AUGUST 14, 2024
OCTOBER 7, 2024 – NOVEMBER 29, 2024 SEPTEMBER 25, 2024
NOVEMBER 18, 2024 – JANUARY 10, 2025 NOVEMBER 6, 2024
DECEMBER 30, 2024 – FEBRUARY 21, 2025 DECEMBER 18, 2024
FEBRUARY 10, 2025 – APRIL 4, 2025 JANUARY 29, 2025
MARCH 24, 2025 – MAY 16, 2025 MARCH 12, 2025
MAY 5, 2025 – JUNE 27, 2025 APRIL 23, 2025
JUNE 16, 2025 – AUGUST 8, 2025 JUNE 4, 2025
JULY 28, 2025 – SEPTEMBER 19, 2025 JULY 16, 2025
SEPTEMBER 8, 2025 – OCTOBER 31, 2025 AUGUST 27, 2025
OCTOBER 20, 2025 – DECEMBER 12, 2025 OCTOBER 8, 2025
DECEMBER 1, 2025 – JANUARY 23, 2026 NOVEMBER 19, 2025

V. Courtroom Facilities and Technology

Courtroom 9D is a medium sized courtroom with an 8 seat jury box. There is an easel on which the parties can place a large paper pad to use in front of the jury or the Court. Zoom appearances and electronic exhibits can be displayed on the large television screen in the courtroom. Electronic evidence is best displayed using the share screen function of Zoom. Alternatively, it may be displayed utilizing a dongle connecting a laptop to the courtroom system, or a USB thumb drive plugged directly into the courtroom system. Any requests to utilize any display system other than the courtroom system must be made via Motion and approved by the Court. Counsel is invited to contact the JA to arrange a time to inspect the courtroom and technology in person, prior to any trial or hearing.

VI. Next Generation Lawyers

Ordinarily, only one lawyer for each party may argue at a hearing. Nevertheless, Judge Bell has a strong commitment to supporting the development of our next generation of lawyers. The Court encourages parties and senior attorneys to allow less-experienced practitioners the opportunity to argue in court. A party should advise the Court prior to the beginning of the hearing if a lawyer of 7 or fewer years of experience will be arguing the matter. In that event, the Court will allow multiple lawyers to argue on behalf of that party.

VII. Parties Without Counsel

Unrepresented, Pro Se Litigants are required to comply with all relevant rules of procedural and substantive law as are attorneys, both in Court and in their written submissions to the Court.

Pro Se Litigants may go to to seek information on locations of Self-Help Centers and other resources to assist with understanding the Court's procedures and obtaining proper forms and information on filing the proper motion.

For additional help, please contact the Palm Beach County Bar Association at (561) 687-2800 or

If you are unrepresented for financial reasons, you are encouraged to contact the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County 561-655-8944 or Toll-Free: 800-403-9353 or