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Please refer to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Website for the latest updates regarding COVID-19. The Chief Judge has issued Administrative Order No. 12.515, COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS AND OPERATIONAL PROTOCOLS.
Most court proceedings are now in person including Plea Conferences, Calendar Call Hearings, and Bond Hearings. Other hearings are only occurring remotely on Zoom at the discretion of the Judge. Please check your court notices and proceed to appear in person or remotely as directed for your hearing.
All agreed and proposed orders must be submitted as a WORD attachment by email to CAD-DivisionB@pbcgov.org. The Court will require all orders to be submitted in WORD format through Online Services once it is available.
All requests for hearings are to be cleared through the Judge's office. If a matter does not fall within the guidelines set by the Orders it is not likely to be set for hearing unless the matter, if granted, will result in the case being closed. The Judge's office can be reached by emailing the Judicial Assistant at CAD-DivisionB@pbcgov.org.
The following guidelines govern this Division. They are intended to give a reliable framework for resolving or trying cases in this Division.
- The first time a case is on the docket in this Division, the Court will ask whether defendant waives speedy trial. If defendant does not waive speedy at that time, the case will be set for a calendar call on the second Monday (not including the Monday of that week) after the case first appears on the docket.
- Trial dockets will be for a 2-week period on Tuesday and Wednesday of those weeks. Tuesday and Wednesday are specifically reserved for TRIALS ONLY and other matters specially set by the court.
- Each side is entitled to one continuance of a calendar call. Further continuances will be at the sole discretion of the Court, with a showing of compelling circumstances.
- The priority for trying cases is:
- speedy trial not waived, defendant in custody;
- speedy trial not waived, defendant not in custody;
- oldest case, defendant in custody;
- oldest case, defendant not in custody.
- Defendants must be present at calendar calls and plea conferences; defendant's presence can be waived only by court order.
- All jury trials will be set for the Tuesday following calendar call, subject to witness and attorney availability.
- The Court will accept pleas on the day of trial. The Court does not conduct pre-plea inquiries. Pleas to the Court may be offered at the day of trial.
- Continuances will not be granted on the day of trial absent extraordinary circumstances.
- To allow trials to begin as early as possible, attorneys will not place matters on the court's docket for any days other than Monday or Tuesday without the Court's permission. Next day returns will be heard as necessary during the week.
- No motions in limine will be heard on the day of trial. All motions in limine shall be filed not later than one week prior to calendar call. All motions in limine will be heard not later than the Friday before trial. The parties shall make a good faith effort to discuss the issues raised in motions in limine prior to the hearing. Motions in limine addressing electronic recordings (audio and video) shall specify, whenever possible, the specific times in the recording to be addressed.
- Motions to suppress and motions to dismiss are to be set for Monday or Tuesday afternoons.
- "Long" Motion Hearings: Dates and times for specially set motions in limine, motions to suppress/dismiss, and non-jury trials, will be obtained by contacting the Division's Judicial Assistant (William Rivera; CAD-DivisionB@pbcgov.org).
- Defense counsel will coordinate with the state in setting hearings which require witnesses to be subpoenaed. Counsel will present the opposing party and the Court all case law on which a side expects to rely not later than two days prior to the hearing.
- Agreed Orders: There are no "agreed motions"; there are agreed orders, or there may be joint motions. However, do not present any type of order to the Court unless a written motion has been filed or an ore tenus motion has been made on the record.
- If the Court has ordered the defendant to be present for a hearing, the defendant's presence may not be waived by the attorney.
- The Court considers these "guidelines" to be a work in progress. Please feel free to suggest ways to improve these guidelines.
All orders signed in the courtroom will be handed directly to the Clerk. If you need a copy of an order signed in court, you will need to bring copies to be conformed. Otherwise, copies of orders signed in court can be obtained from the Clerk's Office.