Division FC is now participating in Online Scheduling, E-filing, and E-mail Service. The following email address should be used for e-mail service to the Court: CAD-DivisionFC@pbcgov.org.
Family Law Division FC – please send all proposed orders and judgments, and all courtesy copies of motions for special set hearings, memorandums, and case authority to: CAD-DivisionFC@pbcgov.org.
You do not need to send a courtesy copy of your notice of hearing and motion to the judicial assistant. It will automatically be uploaded when you schedule the hearing online. Scheduling of the UMC hearing is still between the parties or pro se litigant. The hearings are not scheduled with the judicial assistant. Do not send proposed orders in advance of the UMC hearing.
Orders sent to the Court by email will be served to the parties by email ONLY. All orders must state a mailing and email address for each party for service. IF THE OPPOSING SIDE IS AN EMAIL EXCUSED ATTORNEY OR A PRO SE party (unless pro se party has agreed to email service) DO NOT SEND YOUR ORDER BY EMAIL. A hard copy of the proposed order must be provided to the Court with sufficient envelopes provided to the Court for service.
Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC)
- Tuesday through Thursday, 8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m., in Courtroom 6B. Scheduling is between the parties or pro se litigant. 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).
- Ten (10) minutes allotted (5 minutes per side)
- No contested evidentiary hearings which includes default final hearings.
- Uncontested final hearings in dissolution, paternity, name change and temporary custody cases will be heard during UMC.
- With five (5) business days notice to opposing counsel or pro se litigant (unless short notice agreed by parties).
- DO NOT SEND PROPOSED ORDERS IN ADVANCE OF THE UMC HEARING.
- 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's Judicial Assistant will e-serve all Orders from UMC hearings.
If you resolve your motion prior to the hearing date, please 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. Court Call, CourtScribes and Zoom are 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 someone is appearing by telephone.
To set a telephonic appearance for a hearing that is presently set, please contact Court Call (888-882-6878), CourtScribes (833-727-4237 ext 3), or Zoom (888-799-9666) and follow the instructions.
Uncontested Dissolutions of Marriage
- Can be heard at UMC (follow UMC rules above)
- Testimony at Final Hearing sheet and Final Disposition form must be completed (available on the 15th Judicial Circuit Website)
- Confirm notice required by Fla. Fam. L.R.P. 12.440 and Fla. Stat. §61.19
- Bring proof of residency Fla. Stat. §61.052(2)
- Verify all documents necessary are in court file (Fla. Stat. §§61.052(7), (8); 61.21(4); Fla. Fam. L.R.P. 12.285(d)(j)
- Bring a proposed final judgment with all email addresses listed on it, or provide self-addressed stamped envelopes for each party. Judge Francis' Judicial Assistant will e-serve all orders, or mail to parties using envelopes provided to the Court. Please remember to leave a 3X3 inch space on the top-right-hand corner of the Final Judgment for recording purpose. The Clerk will not docket or record your Final Judgment without this space.
- Bring Income Withholding Order, if needed.
Domestic Violence Hearings
No Domestic Violence matters may be set on the Uniform Motion Calendar. All motions are to be filed with the Clerk in the Domestic Violence Division. The motion will be forwarded to the Judge for review. The Judicial Assistant cannot cancel or change hearings. For questions regarding domestic violence matters you need to contact the Domestic Violence Division at 561-274-1541 or 561-274-1591.
Special Set Hearings
- Motions must be filed and docketed with clerk before hearing dates can be given or a hearing can be set.
- Person requesting hearing must confirm availability with opposing counsel or pro se litigant before setting the hearing. Special set hearings must be scheduled online via the Division FC online calendar. Hearing times are available in blocks of 15 or 30 minutes. The Order Specially Setting Hearing will automatically be uploaded and sent to the Court for entry. Therefore, it is not necessary to send a courtesy copy to the Court.
- Special set hearings are set by Court order and cannot be cancelled except by further order of the Court, unless the matter is settled (with an agreed order presented to Court) or withdrawn
- If the hearing is evidentiary, that must be noted on the proposed Order on Special Set Hearing.
- Failure to comply with these procedures will result in cancellation of your hearing by the Court.
- Any hearing that requires more than thirty (30) minutes, please send your request to Judge Francis with the amount of time requested for your motion and a copy of the motion to CAD-DivisionFC@pbcgov.org. Judge Francis will review and decide whether the amount of time you are requesting is appropriate for your motion. The judicial assistant will contact you once Judge Francis has reviewed the motion.
Judge Francis will review all motions, memoranda of law (10 pages maximum - either in support or opposition to the motion), and case authority in advance of all special set hearings. Accordingly, all counsel/parties should provide courtesy copies of their special set motions, memoranda of law and supporting case law to the Court via the following email address: CAD-DivisionFC@pbcgov.org, and designate the date and time of the hearing which they reference. Counsel/parties should highlight or otherwise mark the key language in the most pertinent and important cases and key exhibits for the court and opposing counsel. If the documents exceeds 10 pages, please send a courtesy copy via US mail to the Court (please allow plenty of time if sending via US mail).
All parties and witnesses shall be physically present when testifying at a hearing or trial, unless approved for telephonic appearance, or otherwise directed by court order.
Appearance by telephone is permitted at special set hearings/trials only with leave of Court, and in full compliance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.530 and Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.451.
To set a telephonic appearance for a hearing that is presently set, please contact Court Call (888-882-6878), CourtScribes (833-727-4237 ext 3), or Zoom (888-799-9666) and follow the instructions. A witness may testify by telephone only in strict compliance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.530 and Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.451. Please note, if you are a witness or are planning to give testimony in your case, you must have a notary public present with you for the purpose of confirming your identification, and/or to swear the witness.
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
Motions for Emergency Hearing should be filed with the Clerk's eportal and then click the Emergency Filing box that states, "Check This Box to Specify That This is an Emergency Filing." Judge Francis will review the Emergency Motion and email any Order(s) on the Emergency Motion to all counsel of record.
Post Judgment Matters
Modifications, Motions for Contempt and/or Enforcement of Final Judgment.
All post judgment matters referred under Rule 12.490, Fla. Fam. L.R.P. (Non-Child Support Issues) require an Order of Referral to General Magistrate. See Administrative Order 5.104 and 12.490 Fla. Fam. L.R.P.
A proposed Order of Referral to General Magistrate must be submitted to the Judge utilizing the approved template in Online Scheduling application.
To submit a proposed Order of Referral, please log in to your Online Scheduling account and click on "Submit Order from Template". View a tutorial video on how to submit a proposed order in Online Scheduling application.
No Order of Referral to General Magistrate should be issued as to a child support matter. See, Fla. R. Fam. P. 12.490 and Fla. R. Fam. P. 12.491. However, pursuant to Ferencz v. Ferencz, 897 So. 2d 558 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2005), if the subject matter referred is in the nature of child support and attorney's fees are sought, an Order of Referral to General Magistrate needs to be entered. In such an instance, to avoid unnecessary Objection to an Order of Referral to General Magistrate, if attorney's fees are at issue, the Order of Referral to General Magistrate should state: "The attorney's fees component of this Motion (or Petition) is the sole subject of this Order of Referral to General Magistrate."
Effective immediately: All Orders of Referral to a General Magistrate must contain the appropriate Magistrate's hearing room number, under the case number. Each Order of Referral may only refer one matter per Order of Referral. Therefore, if you have three motions, you will need three separate Orders of Referral (one per motion). The following rooms are associated with the following Magistrates: Peter Bassaline = Hearing Room "C" and Temi Zeitenberg = Hearing Room "D"
Post judgment matters shall be referred to the Magistrates, as follows:
- Magistrate Damary Stokes: A-K (Male last name)
- Magistrate Maxine Williams : L - Z (Male last name)
- Attorney or pro se litigant should send the proper 15th Judicial Circuit Order of Referral to Magistrate to the Judge.
- Attorney or pro se litigant may file an objection to the referral
- After an Order Sustaining Objection is docketed, Attorney should set the hearing via the Division FC online calendar (Administrative Order 5.206) and send the Order Specially Setting Hearing in Word format to CAD-DivisionFC@pbcgov.org with a copy of the pleading and the order sustaining the objection to the judge's office.
Notice/Motion to Set Cause For Trial
- Original notice/motion to set cause for trial filed with Clerk's office
- Please adhere to all instructions in Administrative Order 5.209
- Judge must receive a courtesy copy of the notice for trial.
- In cases where one side is represented by an attorney and the other side is pro se, the notice shall contain the e-mail address for the attorney and the physical street address for the pro se party. Submit the notice with a self-addressed stamped envelope stapled to the Notice for Trial for the pro se, and the trial order will be served via judicial e-service to the attorney and by U.S. Mail to the pro se party
- Notices must include specific motion or petition/counter petition to be tried and the estimate of time necessary for trial.
- You may obtain a trial date before completing mediation, but you must complete mediation prior to trial.
- The original notice must be filed with the Clerk. A courtesy copy should be emailed to CAD-DivisionFC@pbcgov.org. Trial Orders are served via email to all parties registered for e-service.
- Continuances of trial require a hearing on Uniform Motion Calendar. CAUTION: Do not notice your case for trial unless both sides agree the case is trial ready. Continuances will only be granted if good cause is shown.
Service and Preparation of Judgments And Orders
- FINAL JUDGMENTS and Orders will be e-mailed to all parties or mailed if there are pro se litigants or attorneys without e-service.
- Administrative Order 5.204 requires that some portion of text of the Order be included on signature page.
- All Final Judgments must have a 3X3 inch blank space on the top-right-hand corner for recording purposes. The Clerk will not docket or record the Final Judgment without this space.
- Proposed Final Judgments and/or Orders should be submitted by email to to CAD-DivisionFC@pbcgov.org, in Word format or Rich Text Format, within ten (10) days following the hearing
- Proposed order should include a cover letter specifying the date of the hearing
Adoptions and Name Changes
- All adoption and name change statutory requirements must be met before a final hearing will be set. TPR or Final Hearing requests must be put in writing to the Judge and are set by the Judicial Assistant once all requirements have been met
- Staff Attorneys review all adoptions and minor child name changes (No hearings will be set until reviewed by Staff Attorney)
- A status order from the Court may be issued to the parties
- Following all requirements being met by the parties, the Judicial Assistant will contact the attorney/party(ies) to schedule a final hearing
- An uncontested TPR may be heard at the end of a Uniform Motion Calendar, time permitting. If you have any questions regarding your adoption case, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org