AJ Divisional Instructions


NOVEMBER 21, 2022, BY 9:30 A.M.


Strict compliance with Amended Local Rule 4

Prior to setting a matter on the motion calendar, the party or attorney noticing the motion shall attempt to resolve the matter and shall certify the good faith attempt to resolve. See amended Local Rule 4.

UMC Hearings

All paperwork for the Judge's review (courtesy copies of notice of hearings, memorandum of law (NOT TO EXCEED 10 DOUBLE SPACED PAGES), briefs, responses, case law, etc..) must either be sent to the Judge's office via U.S. regular mail, FedEx, 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 or e-courtesy.

UMC Hearings are held at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday beginning October 5, 2021 ,and are SET ONLINE and in accordance with local rules and procedures. When a UMC hearing is set, the Moving Party shall send a courtesy copy of the Motion, Notice of Hearing and all other materials via regular mail no later than seven  (7) days prior to the hearing. If the matter is resolved or the UMC hearing is cancelled prior to its schedule, please send a copy of the Notice of Cancellation to CAD-DivisionAJ@pbcgov.org to advise the Court immediately. Please DO NOT set Summary Judgments on UMC calendar, the motion will not be heard. The Court will only need a notice of hearing for Motions to Withdraw and Motion for Case Management.

Important Notice: Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases

Motions (with the exception of Motion for Summary Judgment) that are filed in residential mortgage foreclosure cases shall be set for hearing on the Court's Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC") and shall be heard on a first come-first served basis and in accordance with Circuit Civil Division AJ instructions.

Special Set Hearings 

All paperwork for the Judge's review (courtesy copies of notice of hearings, memorandum of law (NOT TO EXCEED 10-DOUBLE SPACED PAGES), briefs, responses, case law, etc..) must either be sent to the Judge's office via U.S. regular mail, FedEx, 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 or e-courtesy.

Special Set Motions are scheduled via the Online Scheduling System and are set by Order Setting Hearing which is available under our Divisional Forms and Orders.

Only one block of time (15 & 30 minutes) per day for each case may be reserved. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Any request for hearing times that EXCEED sixty (60) minutes must be done so in writing and submitted by mail. Your correspondence MUST include a cover letter stating how much time is requested, why the excess time is needed and include a copy of the motion to be heard including all case law for the Court to consider.

All special set hearings are set by court order. See our Divisional Forms and Orders for our sample order on special set hearings.


Parties must send by U.S. MAIL pertinent court documents, the memorandum of law and a courtesy copy to the Court at least seven (7) days prior to hearing along with a cover letter with the case number, style of the case and date of hearing. In the event all pertinent Court documents are not received timely the Court reserves the right to have parties reschedule the hearing.

All Motions to Dismiss to be heard must include the copy of the complaint and/or the amended complaint that they are referring to.

Specially set hearings are set by Court order and cannot be canceled/continued/added on to except by further order of the Court unless the matter is settled (with agreed order presented to Court at time of scheduled special set hearing or the motion/petition is withdrawn).


Division AJ is currently e-serving Orders to attorneys/parties who have registered their primary and secondary email addresses with the 15th Judicial Circuit. Register for Judicial E-service through Online Services.


Please note that E-filing is the electronic filing of documents with the office of the Clerk & Comptroller of Palm Beach County. See Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.515. For more information on E-filing, please call (561) 355-2986 or visit MyPalmBeachClerk.com.

Proposed Orders

Proposed Orders, including Agreed Orders, Ex Parte Orders, and Orders Specially Setting Hearing are to be submitted through the Online Scheduling System. They will be rejected if they do not include A cover letter of form cover sheet as an attachment/supporting document.

Please list all email addresses of all counsel and all parties on all proposed orders and include a cover letter referencing the date of the hearing and whether opposing counsel has reviewed and approved of the form of the proposed order. All orders submitted without a cover letter and a copy of the Motion will be rejected.

Copies of the motion must also be attached as a supporting document if applicable.

Orders Setting Hearing

Can be found under the Divisional Forms and Orders tab. They are to be submitted via the Online Scheduling portal they should include a cover letter or form cover sheet. All memoranda of law, and a courtesy copy of the motion(s) to be heard MUST be received by mail at least seven (7) business days in advance.

Unique Motions

The following Motions should NOT be set for hearing. A copy of the Motion should be submitted directly to the Judges offices for review:

  • Motions for New Trial;
  • Motions for Re-Hearing/Reconsideration/Clarification;
  • Motions for Disqualification

Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.540(b) motions to vacate or set aside is not a unique motion and needs to be set for hearing.

Motions For Continuance

All Motions for Continuance MUST be set on the Uniform Motion Calendar. Please refer to the UMC info above.

Notice To Set Cause For Trial

Please file your original notice of readiness for trial with the Clerk's office and also send a separate courtesy copy to the Judicial Assistant by mail. You must also include current notices of unavailability for all parties of record.

Divisional E-Mail Address

ALL PROPOSED ORDERS ARE TO BE SUBMITTED through the Online Scheduling System in Online Services, Division AJ does NOT accept e-mail transmission of copies of motions, memoranda, Notices of Hearing a/or inquiry correspondence. Exceptions may be made only when the Court specifically requests such a transmittal.

Request for Emergency Hearing

Motions for Emergency Hearing should be filed with the clerk.  Pursuant to Administrative Order 3.206, Judge Cheesman will determine whether an emergency exists and, if so, shall schedule a hearing, enter any ex parte order deemed necessary, or take any other appropriate action.

Agreed Orders

If a Motion is resolved prior to hearing, an Agreed Order must be submitted to the Judge's office IN WORD FORMAT. The Order must say "Agreed Order on Motion (Title of Motion)". The Agreed Order MUST be sent to the Court via OnLine Services (OLS).

Online Services

Please include a cover letter/sheet (as a supporting document) to the Judge indicating that all parties have reviewed and agreed to the language of the proposed Agreed Order. The names. E-mail and mailing addresses of all persons receiving copies must appear in the Agreed Order, pursuant to Administrative Order 2.306.

Proposed Orders/Final Judgments

All proposed Orders and Final Judgments MUST be sent to the Court via Online Scheduling System. IN WORD FORMAT and must say "Order on Motion (Title of Motion) or Final Judgment". Please include a cover letter/ sheet (as a supporting document) to the Judge indicating the date the matter was heard.

Attorneys should draft proposed orders promptly and the orders should fairly and adequately represent the ruling of the court.

Attorneys shall provide the proposed order to opposing counsel or pro se litigants for approval. Opposing counsel or pro se litigants should promptly communicate any objections to the drafting attorney. The drafting attorney should immediately submit a copy of the proposed order and advise the court as to any objections from opposing side or if all parties have approved the order. The names, email and mailing addresses of all persons receiving copies must appear in the Order or Final Judgment, pursuant to Administrative Order 2.306.

Format for Submitted Orders

All Agreed or Proposed Orders submitted through the Online Scheduling System, shall not contain a Signature Line, as the orders will be signed electronically and will be E-Filed and E-Served. If the Order is regarding a hearing held in Open Court, the date of that hearing must be included in the first sentence of the Order.

Foreclosure Cases


Notices of Foreclosure Trials must be filed with the Clerk's office. The Notice shall include the specific matters to be tried and an estimate of time needed for the trial. See Rule 1.440(b), Fla.R.Civ.Pro. The number of witnesses for each side should be included in the notice. See Rule 1.440(b), Fla.R.Civ.Pro. The completed Trial Form must be attached to the courtesy copy. If there is an opposing counsel, counsels must confer as to the amount of time needed for trial. The agreement or lack of agreement as to the length of time shall be reflected on the Notice for Trial. Send a copy to the Judicial Assistant pursuant to the divisional instructions. The Judicial Assistant will forward all notices of trial requesting ninety (90) minutes or less to a case manager to issue a trial order for a docket to be heard by Senior Judges. Any requests for two hours or more shall be set for calendar call and heard by the Judge presiding in that division. Please review each trial order carefully. All motions for continuances of the trial shall be filed and noticed pursuant to the instructions on the Order Setting Trial prior to the trial date. Motions for Continuance will be heard in the division in which they are assigned. Senior Judges will not entertain motions for continuances on the day of trial.

All evidence for trial should be pre-marked.

Uncontested Summary Judgment Hearings

Plaintiff’s Uncontested/Default Motions for Summary Judgment are set for hearing in front of senior judges. Hearings lasting up to ten (10) minutes can be set via the Summary Judgment online scheduling system. These should not be set for UMC as a separate block of time is set aside specifically for these hearings. Motions for Deficiency Judgment, Re-foreclosure, Quiet Title and Defendant's Motions for Summary Judgment are not appropriate for Uncontested Summary Judgment Hearings.

Once scheduled online (whether a Notice of Hearing has been issued or not), all summary judgment hearings must be cancelled by Court Order. YOU CAN NO LONGER CANCEL A SUMMARY JUDGMENT HEARING ONLINE. To request a continuance or cancellation of a Summary Judgment hearing when the motion has not been resolved, you must appear at 8:30 Uniform Motion Calendar, prior to the hearing date to request the cancellation. The Order Canceling Summary Judgment hearing must reflect the date and time the matter is set for hearing. If there is an Agreed/Consent Final Summary Judgment, it should be entered on the Summary Judgment hearing date at the appropriate time. IN THE ABSENCE OF EITHER PARTY, THE FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR A HEARING MAY RESULT IN THE COURT GRANTING OR DENYING THE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT. No paperwork should be submitted prior to the hearing but must be presented as listed below at the hearing.

The following documents are required at an Uncontested Summary Judgment hearing:

  • Summary Judgment Foreclosure Checklist with adding machine tape attached
  • Notice of Hearing
  • Motion for Summary Judgment
  • Payment History
  • Affidavit of Indebtedness (including a loan payment history)
  • Affidavit of Attorney's Fees
  • Affidavit of Costs
  • Opposing affidavits (if any – see FRCP 1.510)
  • Original Note and Mortgage (or copies if already filed with the Clerk's office)
  • Final Judgment and Copies (tab the original for Judge's signature)
  • Final Disposition Form
  • Four sets of self-addressed and stamped envelopes, sorted, with the return address of: Clerk & Comptroller Palm Beach County, P.O. Box 4667, West Palm Beach, Florida 33402-4667
  • If the Final Judgment is entered, the Clerk's office will need the Certificate of Title. Sale dates will be provided at the time of the hearing. Plaintiff or Plaintiff's attorney must prepare a Notice of Sale and send a copy to all parties on the case. This step is not required to be conducted in the courtroom. Notices of Sale may be emailed to the designated newspaper for publication. The original must be filed with the Clerk of Court. Notices should include sale date, billing information, signature of Plaintiff or Plaintiff's attorney, sale location (www.mypalmbeachclerk.clerkauction.com), time of sale (10:00 AM) and all other information as required by F.S. Section 45.031(2).

    Any Summary Judgment hearings that are contested and will take more than ten (10) minutes shall be set as a special set hearing in the assigned division and titled as a Contested Final Summary Judgment.

  • Motions for Disbursement of Surplus Funds
    The party that filed the motion must set motions for Surplus Funds for hearing with notice to all parties. Sixty days from the issuance of the Certificate of Disbursement must elapse prior to any hearing being set. Any contested evidentiary hearings taking more than 10 minutes (five (5) minutes each side) should be set for a special set hearing, otherwise most Motions for Surplus can be scheduled for Uniform Motion Calendar pursuant to the divisional instructions.
  • Motions for Writ of Possession
    All motions for Writ of Possession (to vacate premises) must be set at Uniform Motion Calendar with proof of proper and timely notice to all parties, including unknown tenants. Tenants who receive a Notice of Hearing for a Writ of Possession have the right to be present at the hearing and must attend if they are seeking an extension.