IC Divisional Instructions

Important Messages:

Pursuant to Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC21-17, and Local Administrative Order 12.515-07/2021*, effective July 30, 2021, all trials and hearings will be conducted in person, except the following, which will occur via Zoom, until further order of the Court:

Probate/Guardianship Division IC

  • UMC hearings
  • Emergency Temporary Guardianship hearings
  • Incapacity Hearings
  • Guardianship Contempt Hearings
  • Lack of Prosecution hearings
  • Case Management and Status
  • Do Not Resuscitate Preliminary hearings
  • Non-evidentiary hearings of 30 minutes or less

All hearings previously noticed to occur via Zoom, will proceed unchanged, unless the parties agree to in-person proceedings, which is subject to approval by the Court.

Do Not Resuscitate ("DNR")

  • Please file Petitions for Order Authorizing Guardian to Execute DNRs as an emergency petition, so that the Court may hold a preliminary hearing within 72 hours of the filing of the petition to rule on the requested relief. See s. 744.441(2), Fla. Stat.

Digital Probate Checklists Now Available

Digital Probate Checklists are now available in the 15th Circuit's Online Services System ("OLS").

Digital Checklists eliminate the need to schedule ex-parte hearings, or even come to the courthouse.

Additionally, they limit the constant flow of paper back and forth between the probate divisions and the case managers.

Digital Checklists also comply with Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC19-74.

All lawyers are encouraged to use Digital Checklists now to help identify any technical or operational issues prior to the hard launch date, after which they will be the required method of submission.

How Does It Work?

To Submit an Order:

As an example, below are the steps to submit an Order for Estate Summary Administration:

  • 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.

To Submit a Digital Probate Checklist:

  • In OLS, click on the "Submit Order From Template" button;
  • Select the appropriate probate checklist from the dropdown menu.
  • Populate the checklist completely and accurately.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen and complete.
  • Click "Submit" to send the order to the judge.

We realize that the current paper process can cause delays in processing these orders, which impacts families at the worst time when they are dealing with the death of a loved one. Digital Checklists are intended to expedite the receiving, processing, filing and service of these orders.

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



Incomplete or inaccurate checklists will be returned with a deficiency or rejection memorandum in the ordinary course. To avoid unnecessary delays in processing your paperwork, please ensure all checklists are accurate and complete.

If you receive a Deficiency or Rejection Memorandum, Status Order, or other Order of Deficiency, you may avoid an ex-parte hearing by curing your deficiency immediately and filing all necessary documentation to show the deficiency has been cured.  Once ALL the cited deficiencies have been cured and related documents have posted on the docket, please send your proposed order(s) through OLS with a notation that all deficiencies have been cured.

Ex-Parte/Uniform Motion Calendar/Special Set & Trial Instructions For Probate/Guardianship

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Division IC is NOW participating in Online Scheduling for hearings thirty (30) minutes or less.

Probate UMC & Ex-Parte Calendar:

UMC Zoom Information

Join Zoom Meeting: Link
Meeting ID: 963 0759 4064
Passcode: 23684444


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 Services (OLS) (current users can use their existing account).

The ex parte calendaring application can also be accessed by clicking the following link for Online Scheduling through the Online Services system or by visiting www.15thcircuit and selecting "View All Web Applications" from within the Circuit Web Applications box”

Please send all courtesy copies of motions for special set hearings, memorandums, and case authority via the US Mail.

DO NOT send Orders to the Court by via email.

Probate Ex-Parte Calendar is held Tuesday @ 8:45 a.m., in Courtroom 6B. Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC) is held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The hearings are not scheduled with the Judicial Assistant. The hearings are scheduled online using the UMC Online Scheduling Program or the Ex Parte scheduling program through Online Services. Accordingly, please send a courtesy copy of the motion and notice of hearing for all UMC matters, containing the name and docket number of your motion via the US Mail. Judge Francis will review all motions prior to the hearing.

Online Services

If you resolve your motion prior to the hearing date please cancel online.

All waivers, consents, renunciations and receipt of assets must be notarized.

Examples of Ex-Parte and UMC Matters:


  • Petition for Administration (with or without agreed order for PR Appointment)
  • Petition to Authorize Sale
  • Petition for Summary Administration
  • Petition to Extend Time
  • Petition to Determine Heirs (Uncontested)
  • Petition to Strike Claims ( Uncontested)
  • Petition to Determine Homestead or Exempt Property
  • Elective Share (Uncontested)
  • Petition for Distribution
  • Petition to Appoint Administrator ad Litem/Curator

Matters brought before the court must be noticed 5 days prior to the hearing for in-state residence and 10 days for out-of-state residence. The Notice of Hearing must be e-filed and a courtesy copy sent to the Judicial Assistant by email.

The following motions WILL NOT be heard at Ex-Parte or UMC:

  • Petition for Attorney, Guardian or Personal Representative Fees
  • Petition to Approve Minor's Settlement
  • Personal Representative or Guardian Discharge (Petition to Discharge) - mail in only, no special set required
  • Appointment of Emergency Temporary Guardian
  • Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration
  • All Evidentiary Hearings Petition for appointment of guardians

Special Set Hearings

Zoom Meeting Information

Meeting Link: Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 962 5699 8942
Passcode: 818015
  • Notice for Unavailability are required to be filed on all cases. 
  • 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 scheduling the hearing. 
  • Special set hearings are now scheduled using the Online Scheduling program for hearings thirty (30) minutes or less.  Once the hearing is scheduled , it cannot be cancelled except by further order of the Court unless the matter is settled (with an agreed order presented to Court) or withdrawn.
  • Failure to comply with these procedures will result in cancellation of your hearing by the Court.
  • Any hearing that requires thirty (30) minutes or more, please send your request to the Judicial Assistant with the amount of time requested for your motion and a copy of the motion (email your request).

Judge Francis will review all motions, memoranda of law (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 US Mail 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. 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.

Telephonic Appearance

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. CourtCall.com is the service provider used for the purposes of scheduling and appearing at an evidentiary hearings or trial via 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. 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.

Attorney/Guardian Fees

The Court must consider certain criteria's defined in FL 744.108 when reviewing attorney and Guardian fees: therefore, effective immediately, all fee petitions shall include the nature and value of the wards assets at  the time of filing ,the monthly income earned and the monthly expenses of the ward.

Fingerprinting-Electronic Only and Credit Reports for All Guardians

Prior to the appointment of a Guardian, all proposed guardians are required to submit to a Level 2 criminal background check and a credit report as required by Florida Statue 744.3135.

Professional guardians: if you are not currently in the clerk's database, you must also comply. Once in the database the records remain valid on file for two (2) years.

VISIT the FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT WEBSITE FOR THE ENTIRE LIST OF LIVESCAN SERVICE PROVIDERS TO HAVE FINGERPRINT AND CRIMINAL CHECK DONE. Palm Beach Sheriff Department is another option for in state guardians, see special instructions for out of state guardians below.

You will need this ORI number for electronic transmission to the clerk: FL050063Z - professional guardians, FL050064Z- non professional guardians.


FINGERPRINTING – Palm Beach County Sheriff's Departments:

14925 Cumberland Drive
Delray Beach, FL 33446
Tel.# 561-688-4760 or 561-688-4777

11498 Okeechobee Blvd.
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
Tel.# 561-790-5180 or 561-904-8290

1937 Q North Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
Tel.# 561-688-3838 or 561-688-3839

Special Instructions for Out-of-State Guardians Only:

  1. The Guardian must go to a police station in their resident state to have their fingerprints done on a hard card.
  2. While at the police station, the Guardian must call a Florida approved livescan provider who has hard card scanning capabilities to obtain instructions to have the hard card scanned and transmitted to Guardian (see some FDLE approved centers below, entire list can be found at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website.
  3. Florida Livescan center will then transmit to FDLE & FBI for processing using the circuit's ORI# FL050064Z. (Note- Livescan center charges for this service).
Company Contact Phone Email
123 Fingerprinting
Hard Card Scanning Capable
David Gibbons (407) 299-7328 info@123fingerprinting.com
AAA DallasLiveScanFingerprinting.com (Texas)
Hard Card Scanning Capable
Neal Stout (214) 529-8157 nealstout6079@msn.com
Absolute Mobile Fingerprints and Out of State Card Scanning #1
Hard Card Scanning Capable
Jake Saliba (954) 980-8782 jake@mobilefingerprints.com
Advanced Mobile Fingerprinting and Notary
Hard Card Scanning Capable
Raj Shah (561) 612-7037 info@fingerprintsofpalmbeach.com
Livescan Pompano Fingerprinting
Hard Card Scanning Capable
Al Lang (954) 594-7536
(561) 292-5776
Livescan Studio, Inc.
Hard Card Scanning Capable
Andrew Easler (855) 722-6695
(954) 317-1712
(352) 205-4623
# A1 Florida Mobile Fingerprinting & Live Card Scanning, LLC.
Hard Card Scanning Capable
Susan Rathbone (904) 373-1953
(877) 373-1953
# Affordable Background Checks & DNA Testing Sean Daley (561) 574-5716
(954) 486-1127

CREDIT CHECK must include FICO SCORE: E-filed together with a notice of confidential filing


Emergency Motions

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." 

Notice/Motion to Set Cause for Trial

  • Notice for Unavailability are required to be filed on all cases. 
  • 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-DivisionIC@pbcgov.org. Trial Orders are served via email to all parties registered for e-service.
  •  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

  •  Motions and  Memoranda of Law are to be mailed via the US Mail or dropped off at 205 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401.
  • Proposed orders are to be sent via the OLS.
  • Administrative Order 5.204 requires that some portion of text of the Order be included on signature page.
  • Remember to leave a 3x3 inch blank space in the upper right hand corner for recording purposes.  The Clerk will not record your Final Judgment without this space.
  • Proposed order should include a cover letter specifying the date of the hearing.