AK Divisional Instructions

Judge Paige H. Gillman Courtroom 10A

Divisional Email

For case specific questions, the best way to contact the Judicial Assistant is via the Divisional Email Address at CAD-DIVISIONAK@PBCGOV.ORG

Table of Contents

Online Services

Online Services

Click Online Services. If already registered, insert the user name, password and case number and follow prompts to Div. AK section. If not registered, please follow prompts to set up an account.

ALL Uniform Motion Calendar [UMC] hearings and Special Set Hearings [15/30/45/60 minutes] are scheduled online (including foreclosures).

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I. Uniform Motion Calendar and Mandatory Compliance with Rule 4

Scheduling of UMC Hearings

Until further notice, UMC hearings shall be conducted via Zoom:

Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC") hearings are set on the Online Services System. Please do not call the Judicial Assistant to schedule or cancel a UMC hearing.

UMC is strictly for non-evidentiary motions that can be heard in a total of 10 minutes (5 minutes per side). FOR A SINGLE CASE – UP TO 2 MOTIONS/10 MINUTES TOTAL IS PERMITTED. Motions for Attorney's Fees, to Compel Better Answers, for Summary Judgment, to Dismiss, and any evidentiary matters are NOT appropriate for UMC and should be specially set for hearing. Motions in Limine are not to be set on UMC, please see below regarding when Motions in Limine are heard. Please Note: Default Final Judgments and uncontested Motions for Summary Judgment may be set on the Uniform Motion Calendar.

When a hearing is scheduled for UMC using Online Services (OLS), Division AK’s Zoom meeting ID will be automatically displayed on your OLS confirmation screen. The party scheduling the hearing shall place the meeting identification information into their Notice of Hearing and take reasonable steps to ensure that all parties are provided notice of the Zoom ID.

Before scheduling, attorneys/pro se parties must first file the motion with the Clerk's office. Attorneys should always attempt to clear the date chosen with opposing counsel and give at least five (5) business days' notice, unless the parties have agreed to the short notice/short set a motion. Mandatory compliance with Local Rule 4 is strictly enforced. Specifically, attorneys are required to "make reasonable efforts to actually speak to one another and engage in reasonable compromises to resolve or narrow the disputes before seeking court intervention." Prior to scheduling, the “attorney noticing the motion shall attempt to resolve the matter and shall certify to the Court the good faith attempt to resolve.” If you do not comply with Local Rule 4, your hearing may be cancelled.

All hearing materials must be provided to the Court for review through e-Courtesy on 15thcircuit.com (if less than 50 pages) or mailed (if more than 50 pages) at least five (5) days prior to the hearing.

Cancellation of UMC Hearings

To cancel a hearing scheduled for UMC, the scheduling attorney's office must file a Notice of Cancellation and submit it to the Court via CAD-DivisionAK@pbcgov.org.

In addition, the scheduling party must log in to the 15th Judicial Circuit's Online Scheduling System, select "Uniform Motion Calendar 'UMC' Scheduling;" select "Cancel Hearings" and follow the directions on the screen. If you receive a message that you are unable to cancel the hearing, you are in the wrong place. Please go back and follow the instructions above.

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II. Specially Set Hearings

Scheduling of Special Set Hearings (60 mins or less)

Until further notice, Special Set hearings scheduled online shall be conducted via Zoom:

Specially set hearings are available in blocks of 15, 30, 45 and 60 minutes and must be scheduled via the Division AK online calendar through the Online Services.

Prior to scheduling a special set hearing online, you must have previously filed your motion and you must clear the hearing date and time with ALL parties. Online available dates are not to be selected and scheduled until all parties confirm their availability. Selecting and scheduling a special set hearing date to “hold” for coordination is not permitted.

One (1) motion only may be scheduled at a 15 minute hearing. Up to two (2) motions can be scheduled at a 30 minute hearing. Up to three (3) motions can be scheduled at a 45 or 60 minute hearing. Please see instructions below for scheduling hearings longer than 60 minutes. Parties are not permitted to stack hearing times on OLS to create a hearing slot that is more than 60 minutes.

All specially set hearings scheduled online are set by court order only. The Order setting hearing will automatically generate by online scheduling at the time the hearing is set online and must be submitted to the Court. The auto-generated order will include Division AK’s Zoom information.

New Special Set dates for 15, 30, 45, and 60 minute hearings are uploaded onto OLS on the first working day of every month. When trying to coordinate a date, please keep in mind that the dates uploaded on the first working day of the month are typically hearing dates for the following month. (For example, dates uploaded on November 1 are hearing dates/times in December) The Court also adds additional time throughout the month as available and reopens dates/times as agreed orders are signed on previously scheduled hearings. If no dates are available online, parties should continue checking for reopened dates and/or check back on the first working day of the following month. Any and all available dates/times are posted on and must be scheduled through OLS.

Scheduling of Special Set Hearings (more than 60 mins)

Special set hearings of more than 60 minutes must be requested by sending a letter requesting the hearing to the Judicial Assistant via email at CAD-DivisionAK@pbcgov.org with all parties copied on your request.

Your letter should include: case number and style, specific motion(s) requesting to be heard, amount of time being requested, if the hearing will be evidentiary, the names and contact information for all parties, and must note if the matter is on a trial docket.

Depending on the Court’s availability, lengthy motions may be placed on a trial docket and given a calendar call date.

Parties may also follow this procedure to schedule 60-minute hearings if they prefer.

Orders Specially Setting Hearings and Cancellations

All specially set hearings are set by Court Order (not by Notice of Hearing, unless specifically directed otherwise by the Court or Judicial Assistant) and cannot be cancelled except by further Court Order.

Any motions for cancellation or continuance of a specially set hearing must be set on UMC.

If the matter specially set for hearing has been resolved between the parties, an Agreed Order cancels the hearing. Please let the Judicial Assistant know via email once you have uploaded the Agreed Order for the Court’s review.

If the motion is withdrawn, an e-filed copy of the notice of withdrawal emailed to and confirmed by the Judicial Assistant cancels the hearing.

If a case with a specially set hearing resolves as a whole, an e-filed copy of a Notice of Settlement or Dismissal emailed to and confirmed by the Judicial Assistant cancels all future hearings. Please list any future hearing or trial dates in your email.

Evidentiary Special Set Hearings and Exhibits

Parties must notify the Judicial Assistant via email if a hearing they are scheduling will be evidentiary in nature.

For all evidentiary matters, including Non-Jury Trials, two identical but separate bound hard-copies of all exhibits/evidence pre-marked in accordance with the Clerk of Court's instruction must be sent to the Court's office at least five (5) days before the hearing. The Court's office will provide one copy to the Clerk.

Materials in Support of Specially Set Matters

Please note, this information is current. We are accepting hard copies of materials.

Materials provided to the Court for hearings and Non-Jury Trials must be received by our office at least five (5) days prior to the hearing. Materials should be submitted as directed below, unless otherwise directed by the Court or Judicial Assistant.

Less than 50 pages total: E-COURTESY ON THE 15THCIRCUIT.COM ONLINE SERVICES.

More than 50 pages total: HARD COPIES VIA MAIL. Hard-copies sent to the Court MUST be bound in a binder or folder.

Any memorandum or materials provided to the Court shall be simultaneously sent to the opposing party.

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III. Motions for Attorney’s Fees and Costs

If entitlement has not been found, a hearing on entitlement must be set first. If entitlement has previously been found or if entitlement is not being contested, an evidentiary hearing on reasonableness will be set. The Court will simultaneously enter a Preliminary Order with the Order Setting Hearing on reasonableness. Reasonableness hearings may not be set through the online scheduling system.

All hearings on Motions for Attorney’s Fees and Costs must be requested by sending a letter requesting the hearing to the Judicial Assistant via email at CAD-DivisionAK@pbcgov.org with all parties copied on your request.

Your letter should include: case number and style, the names and contact information for all parties, and must note if entitlement has been found or is not being contested. If entitlement has not been found, please include the amount of time requested for the entitlement hearing. If entitlement has been found or is not being contested, please include the amount of time requested for the reasonableness hearing.

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IV. Motions for Temporary Injunctions

Temporary Injunctions should not be routinely filed as emergencies. Parties should file their Temporary Injunction with the Clerk of Court through ordinary course and send a courtesy copy with all exhibits/attachments to the Judicial Assistant at CAD-DivisionAK@pbcgov.org. Please be sure to copy all parties, if applicable. The Judge will review your motion and you will receive an Order. You may receive an Order with a hearing date and time from the Court. The hearing may be a Case Management Conference to discuss scheduling.

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V. Motions in Limine

Motions in Limine are not permitted to be set via OLS on the Court’s UMC or Special Set calendar. All Motions in Limine will be heard prior to trial at a time set by the Court after Calendar Call. A list of the pending Motions in Limine including how much time is needed for hearing should be included with the Case Information Sheet submitted for E-Calendar Call.

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VI. Motions to Appear Telephonically

Appearance by telephone for UMC hearings is permitted. A motion and order are required. (Not applicable during the current COVID-19 pandemic.)

Appearance by telephone for specially set hearings is discouraged unless otherwise noted in these instructions.

Any testimony by a person for whom appearance by telephone is sought, such as a witness, must be in strict compliance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.530, unless otherwise noted in these instructions.

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VII. Submission of Orders

In compliance with the Florida Supreme Court’s November 1, 2019 Administrative Order (AOSC 19-74), all orders shall be signed electronically by the court. Division AK does not accept hard copies/emailed copies of Orders. Please submit your documents using the online services system for the Judge to review. Please do not send duplicate Orders in the mail or by email that have been uploaded on the Online Services System.

Agreed Orders

If a Motion is resolved prior to hearing, an Agreed Order must be submitted to the Court via the Online Services System. The Order must say "Agreed Order on (Title of Motion)". Please include a cover letter (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, email and mailing addresses of all persons receiving copies must appear in the Agreed Order, pursuant to Administrative Order 2.306.

Orders Submitted Following a Hearing

If the Court directs an attorney to prepare and submit an Order after a hearing, the Order must state the date the hearing was held. All parties must have reviewed the Order before it is submitted on the Online Services System. Please include a cover letter (as a supporting document) stating that all parties have reviewed the Order and are in agreement with the form of the Order. If parties are not in agreement with the form of the Order, that must be noted in the cover letter to the Judge.

Competing Orders

Parties may submit competing Orders and the Judge will sign the Order reflecting her ruling. Competing Orders should be uploaded with a cover letter or a 'note' (an option in OLS) identifying it as a competing Order.

E-Service for Proposed Orders

Division AK electronically serves orders to attorneys/parties that have registered their primary and secondary e-mail addresses with the 15th Circuit. Please ensure that you have registered for judicial e-service.

NOTE: THE FILING OF A "NOTICE OF E-MAIL DESIGNATION DOES NOT REGISTER YOU FOR JUDICIAL E-SERVICE. YOU MUST REGISTER WITH THE 15TH CIRCUIT'S ONLINE SERVICES SYSTEM. Failure to register may result in orders being sent by default to the email address on file with the Florida Bar.

Pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516(h)(1), Division AK will serve all orders by "email to all attorneys who have not been excused from e-mail service in writing and to all parties not represented by an attorney who have designated an e-mail address for service."

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VIII. Stipulations for Substitution of Counsel

Stipulations for substitution of counsel must comply with Fla. R. Jud. Admin 2.505(e). The written consent of the client must be included. Submit the Order for signature by the Judge via the Online Scheduling System and attach a copy of the signed stipulation and written client consent.

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IX. Withdrawal of Counsel

All Motions to Withdraw must be set for a UMC hearing, with proper notice to the client, in accordance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.505(f)(i), and all parties/attorneys.

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X. Ex-Parte Motions to Compel Discovery

For ex-parte motions to compel discovery, a hearing is not necessary if the Motion is in compliance with A.O. 3.202. The moving attorney must submit the Order for signature by the Judge and a copy of the motion as an attachment via the Online Scheduling System.

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XI. Settlement or Dismissal of Cases

If a case settles or is voluntarily dismissed and there are future hearings or a trial scheduled on the Court's docket, please provide the Judicial Assistant with an courtesy copy of an e-filed Notice of Settlement or Dismissal immediately by email at CAD-DivisionAK@pbcgov.org to allow the Court to free up hearing/trial time for other cases.

Parties are directed to file appropriate dismissal papers including the Final Disposition Form (see Form 1.998) as required by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.545. Parties may submit an Order of Dismissal electronically through the Online Schedule System. Parties will only be excused from hearings if the file has been closed by the Clerk of Court PRIOR to the hearing date or by a written court order. Dismissal documents must address all defendants, counterclaims, cross claims, third party claims etc.

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XII. Requests for Emergency Hearing

Pursuant to Administrative Order 3.206, the Judge will decide whether the reasons set forth in a motion for emergency hearing constitute an actual emergency. If the Judge determines that the motion does allege a bona fide emergency, she will take whatever action deemed appropriate, including entry of an ex-parte order if permissible by law.

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XIII. Notices to Set Cause for Trial

The original notice to set the cause for trial must be filed with the Clerk. The notice should include the name, telephone number, mailing address and email address of each lawyer or self-represented party in the case. Please email the copy of the Notice for trial to the judicial assistant or the case will not be set for trial.

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XIV. Rehearing or Relief-from-Judgment Motions

Post-judgment rehearing or relief motions, including motions for reconsideration, motions for clarification, and motions for new trial, may not be set for hearing online. Please file the original with the Clerk and provide a copy with supporting authority to the judicial assistant via email to be reviewed by the Judge.

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XV. Mandatory Compliance with Administrative Order 3.204-9/08 & Local Rule No. 3

All orders for dismissal, final judgments (summary, default or consent), amended final judgments, notices of voluntary dismissals, orders vacating final judgments, orders granting motion to amend final judgment, and any other closing documents must be in compliance with Supreme Court Order no. SC13-2384 amendments to Florida rule of judicial administration 2.520 requiring a 3 x 3 inch available space in the right upper hand corner; one inch margin on all sides of documents; and pages must be consecutively numbered.

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XVI. 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.