FC Divisional Instructions

Please Note:

Judge Bradley Harper is currently overseeing divisions FC and IC. For these divisions please review Judge Harper's Instructions.

The Fifteenth Circuit has launched a new ex-parte calendaring app that will serve all probate divisions in South County, North County and West Palm Beach.

Prior to first use, users must create an account in the Court's Online Scheduling System (current users can use their existing account).

The ex parte calendaring application can also be accessed by clicking the following link or by visiting www.15thcircuit.com and selecting "View All Web Applications" from within the Circuit Web Applications box.

Division FC and Division IC are now participating in Online Scheduling and E-mail Service, therefore, all Special Set Hearings (15/30 minutes) are to be scheduled online.

Division FC and Division IC are now participating in UMC Online Scheduling. To schedule a UMC hearing click on the link Online Scheduling and follow the directions.

Online Scheduling

IMPORTANT UPDATE: All Orders Must Be Submitted Through E-Filing Portal (OLS)

Pursuant to Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC19-74, all orders are to be filed electronically, and directly through the Portal. No mail or email orders. Instead of bringing paper orders (or emailing orders to the court for printing and signing), please submit your orders through our OLS system.

How Does It Work?

To Submit an Order:

  • Log into the 15th Circuit's OLS
  • In OLS, create the appropriate order one of three ways
    1. Click on the "Submit Order From Template" button;
      • Select the Generic Order template, and type in the text of your order; or
    2. If you have previously drafted the order in Word offline, cut and paste the order text into the body of the Generic Order template.
      • Follow the instructions on the screen and complete.
      • Click "Submit" to send the order to the judge.
    3. In OLS, click the "Submit Proposed Order" button;
      • Browse your computer and select, then upload the order;
      • Review the document and make any format adjustments necessary prior to submission.
      • Follow the instructions on the screen to submit the order to the court.

For additional information on court provided digital training resources visit the Circuit's YouTube channel, CourtHelp4U.

Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC)

  • Tuesday through Thursday, 8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., in Courtroom 6B. Scheduling is between the attorneys and/or self-represented litigants. The hearings are not scheduled with the judicial assistant. Parties will be heard on a first come, first serve basis (please sign in with the courtroom deputy).
  • Generally, five (5) minutes is allotted for a matter on the UMC docket.
  • No contested evidentiary hearings (including default final hearings) will be heard during UMC.
  • Final hearings for adoption should not be set on the UMC calendar.  These matters will be special set for final hearing by the Court.
  • Uncontested final hearings in dissolution, paternity, name change and temporary custody cases will be heard during UMC.
  • Matters should be set with five (5) business days' notice to opposing counsel or pro se litigant (unless short notice agreed by parties).
  • Judge Francis will review all motions scheduled for UMC prior to the hearing. Accordingly, prior to the scheduled hearing, please send a courtesy copy of the notice of hearing and motion for all UMC matters, to Judge Francis' divisional email,CAD-DivisionFC@pbcgov.org.
  • Counsel should also bring a copy of the motion and notice of hearing to the UMC hearing, along with one blank proposed Order with all email addresses listed upon the Order. Judge Francis' Judicial Assistant will e-serve all Orders from UMC hearings.

If you resolve your motion prior to the hearing date, please contact the Judicial Assistant and advise as quickly as possible. You can call 561-355-3028 or email CAD-DivisionFC@pbcgov.org to notify the Court of your cancellation.

Appearance by telephone is permitted at UMC hearings in compliance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.530 and Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.451, using CourtCall.  CourtCall.com is the service provider used for the purposes of scheduling and appearing at a non-evidentiary hearing via telephone. You must notify the opposing side to let them know that you will be appearing by telephone.  The opposing side that is not appearing by telephone, must advise the judge at the beginning of the hearing that the hearing is  by telephone.

To set a telephonic appearance for a hearing that is presently set, please go to CourtCall.com and/or call 1-888-882-6878 and follow the instructions.

Formatting Documents

Proposed order should include a cover letter specifying the date of the hearing.

All recorded documents (including final judgments) must provide a 3x3 inch space in the top-right-hand corner. The Clerk of Court will no longer accept documents for recording without this space. Please see Rule 2.520, and MyPalmBeachClerk.com. You may also contact the Clerk of Court for further information as to the specific documents required.

FINAL JUDGMENTS and Orders will be e-served by the Court to all parties or mailed if there are self-represented litigants without e-service.

Proposed Final Judgments should not be submitted prior to Final Hearing

  • Special Set Hearings of thirty minutes or less are scheduled online and the parties should not call the Judicial Assistant to special set hearings.
  • The hearing times are set in 15 or 30 minute increments. The parties should not set more than 30 minutes per case per day.
  • Please do not call the judicial assistant if there are no available hearing dates or dates the parties cannot agree to. The Judicial Assistant monitors the online scheduling on a regular basis and will open dates as they become available. What is listed is what is available.
  • For special set hearings lasting more than 30 minutes, please submit a cover letter specifying the amount of time requested, a courtesy copy of the pleading, and any dates of unavailability.

Local Rule 4

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

Self-Represented Parties (Pro Se)

If you are a self-represented pro se party (with no attorney), you must contact the Family Court Case Manager, Tara Kranz, at 561-355-1764, for questions and guidance regarding your case.

To receive and serve court documents by email, please review Administrative Order 2.310 and complete and file a Notice of Designation of Email Address for E-Service.

Do Not Send Letters, Emails or Notes To The Court

The Court does not act on letters, notes or emails sent by either party. The Court acts on petitions or motions properly filed with the Clerk of the Court. File the appropriate petition or motion with the Clerk of the Court, send a copy to the opposing side and a courtesy copy to the Court in order for requests to be addressed by the Court. All documents emailed to the Court must state that they were emailed to the opposing side in the same email or they will be returned as ex parte communication.

Post Judgment and Child Support Matters

  • All post judgment and child support matters are to be referred or assigned to the General Magistrate.
  • Post judgment matters, other than those dealing with child support, require an Order of Referral to Magistrate.  The Order of Referral must include the date of filing, the specific Magistrate assigned, and the hearing room number of the Magistrate listed immediately above the style of the case.
  • Order of Referral to General Magistrates are to be sent directly to the Magistrates for review. Please review the Magistrates Webpage for the instructions on submitting proposed Orders via the OLS.
  • Please see Administrative Order 5.104 regarding Appointment of Magistrates Unified Family Court Cases.
  • Please visit the General Magistrates' page on the court's website for additional information regarding the Magistrates' instructions, phone numbers and procedures.
  • Temporary Relief Hearings

  • Mediation ON THE TEMPORARY RELIEF SOUGHT (following the filing of the motion for temporary relief) must be held before a temporary relief hearing will be scheduled Administrative Order 5.207.
  • Following mediation, if parties are unable to reach an agreement, temporary relief hearings may be set via the Division FC online calendar.
  • Hearings are limited to a total of thirty (30) minutes. Administrative Order 5.207 unless permission granted by the Court.
  • Follow instructions for Special Set Hearings as set forth above.