Judge Stephanie F. Tew is presiding over Division RJ effective December 28, 2022.
Divisional Instructions Updated 11/29/2023
Division RJ Standing Order effective November 9, 2021
Online Scheduling remains open and dates are available for scheduling. Hearings that are scheduled for 30 minutes or less and are scheduled online in Division RJ will be conducted remotely unless the judge requires the hearing to be in person. All evidentiary hearings and hearings over 30 minutes are to be held in person in Courtroom 6J unless the parties have obtained prior approval from the Court for zoom appearances. Please see below for details in regards to obtaining and providing ZOOM information. Persons who are interested in listening to the court events may contact the Court's Public Information Office, Debra Oats, at 561-355-4495 or 561-644-0054 to obtain an access line.
- For hearings (UMC and Special Set 15, 30 min) set using OLS, you will be provided ZOOM information upon setting the hearing in OLS. It is the scheduling party's responsibility to timely provide this information to appear remotely to all parties. The Zoom information should be listed in place of the Courtroom in your Notice of Hearing. The scheduling party can find or confirm ZOOM info by going back into OLS at any time and reviewing the hearing details.
- Evidence and Caselaw should be mailed to the Judge's chambers or put in the bin on the 1st floor of the main branch courthouse at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing.
Zoom Information for Hearings
Not applicable for PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCES OR MEDIATION
No passcode necessary
- US Toll-free 877-853-5257
- US Toll-free 888-475-4499
Please see the charts below for directions in attending the Case Management Conference or Calendar Call as stated in the Court's Order Implementing Differentiated Case Management Plan:
Expedited Calendar Call schedule:
|January 4, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|February 5, 2024||2:00 p.m.||Via zoom|
|March 7, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|April 4, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|May 2, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|June 6, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|July 11, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|August 1, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|September 12, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|October 17, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|November 7, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
|December 5, 2024||10:00 a.m.||Via zoom|
Streamlined Calendar Call Schedule:
|January 4, 2024||9:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|February 6, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|March 19, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|April 9, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|May 7, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|June 4, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|July 9, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|August 6, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|September 10, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|October 8, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|November 5, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
|December 3, 2024||10:00 a.m.||In person - Courtroom 6J|
- Cases scheduled for in-person Calendar Call will take place in Courtroom 6J in the Main Courthouse located at 205 N Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, Florida.
- Proposed orders, including agreed orders, to appear via zoom or to continue the calendar call/trial may not be submitted to the Court without a hearing. All requests shall be made by filing a motion and setting same for hearing PRIOR to the scheduled calendar call date. For more information, see Administrative Order 3.110, Part 5 and Part 6.
Pursuant to Administrative Order 3.110, the DCM - Case Management Conference Schedule will be as follows:
Hearings will be held on one Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. Please see Online-Scheduling for availability.
New hearing dates are uploaded to Online Scheduling on the first working day of each month.
Uniform Motion Calendar
Hearings requiring less than 10 minutes are set on the Court's Uniform Motion Calendar, held Tuesdays and Thursdays (unless otherwise suspended) at 9:00 am, through On-Line Scheduling. Hearings can be set with 5 business days notice including courtesy copies of the motion and notice to the Court through On-Line Scheduling. FOR A SINGLE CASE - 1 UMC SLOT (MAX OF 2 MOTIONS/10 MINUTES TOTAL) IS PERMITTED. UMC HEARINGS ARE APPROPRIATE FOR MOTIONS THAT ARE 10 PAGES IN LENGTH OR LESS (INCLUDING EXHIBITS) ANYTHING LONGER THAN THAT SHOULD BE SPECIAL SET!
Motions to Dismiss and Motions for Summary Judgment are not appropriate for UMC and should be Specially Set.
Special Set Hearings
Hearings requiring 15 to 30 minutes are specially set on the Court's calendar through On-Line Scheduling. Only after you have confirmed that there are no available 15 and/or 30 minute timeslots available through On-Line Scheduling, should you contact the Judicial Assistant by email at CAD-DivisionRJ@pbcgov.org for alternative hearing times.
Hearings requiring more than 30 minutes, ALL hearings in Landlord/Tenant matters, and ALL Motions for Attorney Fees should be set by contacting the Judicial Assistant by email at CAD-DivisionRJ@pbcgov.org
ANY POST JUDGMENT MOTIONS NEED TO BE EMAILED TO THE COURT AFTER FILING. THE COURT WILL DECIDE IF A HEARING IS NECESSARY.
The motion(s) must be filed and docketed with the Clerk of Court prior to requesting a hearing date and time. In keeping with professional courtesy, any party scheduling a hearing shall make a good faith attempt to resolve the matter, undertake reasonable efforts to contact the opposing party/counsel for availability or scheduling conflicts. Send a courtesy copy of the notice and motion to the Court through On-Line Scheduling at least 5 business days before any scheduled hearing.
WHEN EMAILING THE JUDICIAL ASSISTANT TO SCHEDULE A HEARING, PLEASE ENSURE YOU ARE PROVIDING HOW LONG YOU NEED THE HEARING FOR AND A TIME FRAME AS TO WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING TO HAVE A HEARING.
FOR ANY OTHER QUESTIONS REGARDING SCHEDULING A HEARING PLEASE REFER TO LOCAL RULE 4. View Local Rule 4
Landlord/Tenant hearings are set and noticed by the Court for Thursdays afternoons after review of motions sent to the Court or when the Court decides mediation is appropriate. Mediation is provided at no charge for Residential Mediation and only $60 per side for Commercial Mediation. Counsel may request a hearing by contacting the Judicial Assistant at CAD-DivisionRJ@pbcgov.org.
Please do not set Eviction Final Judgments for Hearing on the Court's calendar without first contacting the Court's office via email at: CAD-DivisionRJ@pbcgov.org
For Unlawful Detainers: It is the duty of the Plaintiff, either Pro Se or represented by counsel, to request a hearing from the Court by contacting the Court's office via email at: CAD-DivisionRJ@pbcgov.org
ALL PROPOSED ORDERS (in Word format) along with the motion shall be submitted to the 15th Judicial Circuit Online Services through the Online Scheduling. Any supporting documents for the Court to review should be efiled with the clerk and then submitted as attachments to the order.
All Memorandum of Law, Briefs, Responses, copies of case law, courtesy copies of Notices of Hearings/Motions, etc., for the Judge's review should be either mailed to the Judge's office or hand-delivered to the 1st floor drop box of the Main Courthouse, at least 5 business days in advance of the scheduled hearing date/trial date. Alternatively, the parties may submit digital copies via e-courtesy. OUR OFFICE DOES NOT ACCEPT ANY COURTESY COPIES OF THE FOREGOING VIA E-MAIL.
Pretrial conferences and Mediation
All small claims pretrial conferences and mediation will be held in person.
Pre-trial hearings are set on Thursday afternoon. All small claims cases must go to mediation. Mediation is provided free of charge. If not resolved, the case will be set for trial. If the parties intend to waive Pre-Trial Conference, the parties should file the signed Stipulation with the Clerk of Court and then send a copy of the e-filed, signed stipulation as a "PDF" along with a Proposed Order in "WORD" format thru our On-Line Scheduling for Judge's signature. Once the Order has been e-signed and e-served to you then the hearing is cancelled. If the Order is not signed, parties have to appear at the hearing unless directed otherwise.
All Pre-trials are held IN-PERSON ONLY.
For cases that are NONSERVED: Plaintiff must request a new summons through the Clerk of Court in the ordinary course.
PIP Pre-trial Procedures
Agreed Waiver of Appearance at Pretrial Conference:
- Prior to submitting an Agreed Waiver of Appearance at Pretrial Conference through the dedicated portal, counsel for the defendant must file their Notice of Appearance with the Clerk of Court.
The parties are directed to attach an e-filed copy of the signed joint waiver of appearance when submitted proposed Orders Waiving Appearances for Pretrial Conference. The Court will not consider proposed orders waiving appearances unless the joint waiver has been docketed or an e-filed copy is included.
Parties are directed to schedule a hearing on Motions to Invoke the Rules of Civil Procedure using online scheduling during any special set time. The moving party should be prepared to present argument as to the specific rules contained within the Rule of Civil Procedure sought, whether the requested rules are already available to the parties pursuant to the Florida Small Claims Rules, and a case-specific reason to invoke the rules sought.
Motions for Attorney Fees
Since the Court utilizes a preliminary order with instructions to be followed in advance of the hearing, all Motions for Attorney's Fees and/or Costs shall attach a document detailing the time records and requested rate(s). The moving party shall request hearing dates by contacting the Judicial Assistant by email at CAD-DivisionRJ@pbcgov.org.
To cancel UMC hearings please do so through the Online Scheduling system, you do not need to notify the Judicial Assistant.
To cancel any Special Set hearings please email CAD-DivisionRJ@pbcgov.org the reason for cancellation. Your hearing is not cancelled until you receive confirmation back from the Judicial Assistant. Opposing counsel should be contacted prior to the Judicial Assistant.
FOR ANY CANCELLATION DUE TO SETTLEMENT OR DISMISSAL: Please email an E-FILED copy of either a Notice of Settlement or Dismissal to the divisional email at CAD-DivisionRJ@pbcgov.org.
Interpreters for County Civil Cases
The Court does not provide interpreters for County Civil cases. It is the responsibility of the party needing an interpreter to bring to court an interpreter who is certified, language skilled, provisionally approved or who is registered with the Office of State Court Administrator as required by Rule 2.560 and Rule 2.565 of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. For further information or for assistance locating an interpreter, please visit Court Interpreters. Persons unable to obtain an interpreter must bring someone to assist. The Court will determine if they are qualified to interpret the proceedings.
Small Claims and Landlord/Tenant cases - If your case has resolved and is no longer at issue please file a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal and advise the Judicial Assistant via telephone or email. A filed Dismissal will remove any future hearings for that case on the Judge's calendar.
|Notice of Voluntary Dismissal|
All non-jury trials are set by the court with a pre-trial procedure order and are held in-person. Jury trials will be set for Calendar Call and Case Management conferences by the Court's Order Implementing Differentiated Case Management Plan. Calendar Calls are in-person.
For ALL Non-Jury Trials:
- You MUST bring printed copies of all documents/exhibits that you intend to use as evidence at trial.
- Even if you file copies of your exhibits with the Clerk of Court prior to trial, you must bring them in hard copy to the trial.
- This includes photographs, screenshots, text messages, emails, etc.
- Evidence contained on a cellphone that has not been printed, or placed on a flash drive if video, will NOT be considered.
- Documents entered into evidence at trial will not be returned to the parties.
- If you intend to rely on an unpaid invoice or estimate created by someone other than a party to the case to prove damages, you must bring the person who created it to testify as a witness.
Neither the Judge nor the Judicial Assistant can give you legal advice regarding how to proceed with your case. For assistance, you can contact the Self-Help Center at 561-355-6781 located on the first floor of the Main West Palm Beach Courthouse. Additionally, the Palm Beach County Bar Association has a lawyer referral and information service at 561-687-3266.
You may also visit the Clerk's webpage: Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller, Palm Beach County | Home (mypalmbeachclerk.com), or view instructional videos: CourtHelp4U - YouTube