AD Divisional News
IMPORTANT MESSAGE (updated as of July 1, 2020):
IN RE: MITIGATING MEASURES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 to easily enable TELEPHONIC or VIDEO Hearings, or Rulings Solely on the Papers
The following shall be implemented in Division AD pursuant to Administrative Order No.: 12.510-6/2020.12
- Unless the parties stipulate otherwise, all scheduled hearings in Division AD will remain pending. Absent a stipulation, parties may move to reschedule the hearing, and the Court will promptly consider the request. A copy of all such requests should be sent to CAD-DivisionAD@pbcgov.org or by submission of an agreed order through the Court's Online Services System.
- During the duration of Administrative Order No. 12.510-06/2020-12*, all Uniform Motion Calendar hearings will be conducted via ZOOM, unless litigants request otherwise. A link to the ZOOM Meeting will be included within the hearing details online when the Uniform Motion Calendar hearing is scheduled online by registered users using the Court's online services system. Upon entering the Uniform Motion Calendar/ ZOOM meeting, please mute your audio (located at the bottom of your ZOOM screen) until your case is called by the Judge (at which time you will unmute your audio). All counsel/parties who scheduled their hearing on the Uniform Motion Calendar through the Court's online services system will be in attendance and will be waiting for their case to be called in the ordinary course of Uniform Motion Calendar. For further information on how to join ZOOM, you may view the following brief instructional: https://www.15thcircuit.com/zoom-instructions-litigants. If any of the parties request that their Uniform Motion Calendar hearing be held remotely by another telephone/ web service provider, the parties shall send an email to CAD-DivisionAD@pbcgov.org (with copies to all counsel/parties) no later than 48 hours in advance of the hearing with detailed instructions including the access number and passcode that the parties have agreed to use to join the call during that Uniform Motion Calendar.
- All special set hearings will be conducted remotely and access information must be pre-arranged with a telephone/ web conference provider. This requirement applies to pro se litigants as well as attorneys. Telephone conference providers include Court Call (888-882-6878), CourtScribes (833-727-4237 ext 3), and ZOOM (www.zoom.us.com), but parties are free to seek out other vendors or utilize their own conference call provider if they have one. If a teleconference provider does not automatically provide a dial-in number upon confirmation, the parties shall send an email to CAD-DivisionAD@pbcgov.org including the number and passcode that the Court will use to initiate the call at the time of the hearing 48 hours prior to the hearing time.
- Uniform Motion Calendar ("UMC") hearings shall be held remotely by telephone conference and not by video conference alone. The Uniform Motion Calendar starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 9:30 a.m. Remote hearings will be called by the Judge on a call-by-call basis, in the order determined by the Judge. Thereby, the timing of when the Judge will join your telephone/web conference cannot be determined during the Uniform Motion Calendar. Therefore, counsel/ parties shall wait remotely until such time the Court joins the telephone/web conference and calls the case to commence the hearing.
- All papers upon which the parties intend to rely for their scheduled hearings must be filed with the court in advance of the hearing. If the papers do not appear on the docket, the parties must submit all documents which they intend to reference during the hearing in advance through E-Courtesy on the 15thcircuit.com.
- For evidentiary hearings and non-jury trials, the parties should stipulate to the admissibility of evidence for which the admissibility is not reasonably contested. The parties shall provide hard copies of all intended exhibits, evidence or demonstratives to the Court five (5) days in advance through E-Courtesy through the Court's Online Services System. The Court shall hold a pre-trial conference with all counsel to ensure the requirements expressed in the below items 7 and 8 will be adhered to.
- If witnesses will be called to give testimony, the Court requires that such appearances be pre-arranged with a teleconference provider as in paragraph 2 above or via video with an appropriate provider. Per Justice Canady's Administrative Order (3-13-2020), all rules of procedure, court orders and opinions applicable to court procedure that limit or prohibit the use of communication equipment for conducting proceedings by electronic means are suspended from the March 13-27, 2020. Moreover, this Administrative Order's time period may be extended by Justice Canady. Oaths for any evidentiary hearing or non-jury trial shall be administered remotely in accordance with Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC20-16.
- Court reporters will also utilize a teleconference or video conference provider to cover hearings/non-jury trials. The Court will administer the oath, or oaths are to be administered in accord with Justice Canady's Administrative Order (3-13-2020).
- The parties are encouraged to submit any motions to the Court that they mutually agree the Court may address based solely upon the papers and thereby waive oral argument.
- Any motions to assist fair, timely, effective and efficient efforts suggesting procedures to use to address necessary issues for your respective cases during the current outbreak are strongly encouraged by the Court. It is the intention of the Court to enable and facilitate telephone or video hearings in a practical manner or to allow rulings on the papers when acceptable to the parties. Above all, though, the Court wishes to provide for the administration of justice without risking anyone's safety.
For your immediate reference:
Reader Note: Please be advised that the reader of these pages should scroll down the entire page to ensure that he/she has reviewed all of the instructions indeed as it may appear on the front to only contain a minimum passage when actually there is more to the page than meets the initial viewing upon uploading these web pages. Also, please note bookmarks/hyperlinks located at the bottom right of each of the Judges' pages with additional information to view. Visit Division AD Instructions
All hearings in Division AD take place in Courtroom 9A; unless otherwise directed by the Court.
Please check Division AD and the Court's suspension calendar dates prior to setting any hearings as these calendars may be updated from time to time.
Division AD email address: CAD-DivisionAD@pbcgov.org
Electronic correspondence to the Court must be copied to all parties/counsel of record.
- Do not attach proposed orders unless instructed by the Court. Proposed Orders are either mailed to the Court with sufficient copies and self-addressed stamped envelopes when any of the parties are not registered with the Court for electronic service or submitted to the Court using the Court's Online Services when all parties are registered with the Court for electronic service.
- Do not attach copies of motions, memoranda, or other correspondence that are more than ten (10) pages. Material exceeding ten (10) pages shall be mailed to the Court via regular mail, courier or other mail delivery service, and shall be simultaneously sent to the opposing party.
Uniform Motion Calendar: UMC hearings are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and must be coordinated among parties and scheduled online.
After scheduling a UMC hearing online, please send a courtesy copy of the Notice of Hearing and underlying motion(s) in advance of the hearing to: CAD-DivisionAD@pbcgov.org. Please include the full title of the motion(s) in the body of the notice. DO NOT attach motions and supplemental documents that exceed 10 pages as these items should be mailed to the Court by express or regular mail prior to the hearing.
Please note that the Court is moving towards a paperless system, thereby all orders are now required to be submitted electronically through the Court's Online Services system.
Submission of Orders: If you are a registered user of the Court's Online Services system, please upload your proposed orders separately in Microsoft Word format, and then select "attachments" to include your cover letter and other supporting documentation, if necessary. For information on the Court's Online Services system, see the Court Technology E-service Page. See also AD Divisional Instructions at "Submission of Orders".
Online Services: Pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516, all attorneys who have not been exempted by a rule of procedure or by an order of the court, must serve and accept court filings by email. It is important to note the differences between "E-filing" and "E-service(s)". "E-Filing" is the electronic filing of documents/pleadings with the Clerk, and "E-service" is either the mandatory electronic mailing of documents between attorneys or the electronic mailing of orders by judges with the Court. Attorneys must separately register with The 15th Judicial Circuit Court's Online Services system for "E-service(s)". Once registered, an individual must maintain his/her user profile with updated email addresses and/or other significant updates as necessary; particularly when counsel of record is no longer counsel of record. For more information on The 15th Judicial Circuit's online services system, see the Court Technology E-service Page; see also: Administration Order 2.310
Notices of Trial: When a case is "at issue", please file the Notice of Trial with the Clerk of Court and send a courtesy copy to: CAD-DivisionAD@pbcgov.org ONLY if all parties are registered for online services with the Court. Please ensure proper form, including estimated time for trial, whether the trial is to be by a jury or non-jury, and whether the trial is on the original action or a subsequent proceeding. See Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.440.
If there are pro se parties involved in the case and/or if any of the parties are not registered for online services/judicial e-service, you must mail a copy of the Notice of Trial including the self-addressed stamped envelopes for those parties to the Court by U.S. Mail and not by email. Further, all Notices of Trial must include the mailing address, email address, and telephone number for each party.
Division AD is currently setting trials during the 8-week docket period:
January 4, 2021 thru February 26, 2021/ Calendar Call is scheduled for December 18, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.
Formatting of Recorded Documents: All documents that need to be recorded in the public records (e.g. final judgments (consent final judgments, default final judgments, summary final judgments, and amended final judgments), orders of dismissal, voluntary dismissals, orders vacating final judgments, orders cancelling sales, orders setting aside, amending or vacating certificates of title, writs of garnishment) must comply with Rule of Judicial Administration 2.520 to accommodate recording space. These documents must have a 3" by 3" space at the top right hand corner on the first page and a 1" by 3" space at the top right hand corner of subsequent pages. Additionally, all documents filed with the Clerk of Court must have a 1" margin on all sides to accommodate the Clerk's date and time stamp.
Effective July 1, 2019: Section 45.031 and Section 45.032, Florida Statutes have been amended with corrective language as to Final Judgment, Publication of Sale, and Disbursement of Proceeds. See also Administrative Order 3.316-12/17.
All Motions to Cancel and/or Reschedule a Sale Date are set for hearing on UMC Calendar and must be set prior to the scheduled date of sale. See Administrative Order 3.301-11/12.
All contested Summary Judgments must be specially set for hearing and scheduled online. Uncontested Summary Judgment motions are set online by utilizing the "Request an Uncontested Summary Judgment Hearing" button located on the Court's online services/scheduling page, and will be heard by an alternate judge. ONLY Default Summary Judgments may be set on UMC Calendar.
The following packet of documents are typically required at an Uncontested Summary Judgment hearing:
- Notice of Hearing
- Motion for Summary Judgment
- Summary Judgment Foreclosure Checklist (including attachment of adding machine tape)
- Payment History
- Affidavit of Indebtedness (including loan payment history)
- Affidavit of Attorneys' Fees
- Affidavit of Costs
- Opposing Affidavits (if any) [see FRCP 1.510]
- Original Note and Mortgage (or copies thereof-if already filed with the Clerk's office)
- Final Judgment (format to comply with the requirements for recorded documents) [see sample document]
- Four sets of self-addressed and stamped envelopes with return address: Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County, P.O. Box 4667, West Palm Beach, Florida 33402-4667
Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem/ Administrator Ad Litem is assigned by the Court using a wheel system for appointing pre-approved attorneys. DO NOT send any orders with names of attorneys who are not pre-approved attorneys. When preparing the Order, the section for appointment shall be blank for the Court to insert a name, address, and telephone number upon appointment.
Original Promissory Notes and Mortgages are routinely filed as exhibits in foreclosure trials, and Plaintiffs are usually required to either present the original promissory note (and mortgage) at trial, or if otherwise alleged in the Complaint, re-establish the lost note. If the original note (and mortgage) is in the Court file, please email CAD-DivisionAD@pbcgov.org at least 5 days prior to the trial date to notify the Court to make the request to the file clerk (for the Court file) in advance of the trial date. See also Administrative Order 3.311-04/12 regarding disposal of foreclosure trial exhibits.
Strict Compliance with Local Rule 4
Prior to setting a matter on the Uniform Motion Calendar and Special Set Hearings, counsel and/or parties noticing the matter shall attempt to resolve the matter and shall certify a good faith attempt to resolve the matter. All notices of hearing scheduled on the UMC Calendar shall set forth directly above the signature block, the below certifications without modification:
___ Movant's attorney has spoken in person or by telephone with the attorney(s) for all parties who may be affected by the relief sought in the motion in a good faith effort to resolve or narrow the issues raised.
___ Movant's attorney has attempted to speak in person or by telephone with the attorney(s) for all parties who may be affected by the relief sought in the motion.
___ One or more of the parties who may be affected by the motion are self-represented.
, and shall designate with a check or other marking next to the specific certification which applies.
Judge Goodman requires the above certifications as required by Local Rule 4 to be included in the order and notice
See Local Rule 4.
Telephone Appearances at Non-Evidentiary Hearings:
- Telephone appearance at Uniform Motion Calendar Hearings are automatically permitted.
- Telephone appearance at Special Set Hearings must be pre-approved with the Court, unless otherwise determined by the Court.
Telephone appearances are NOT PERMITTED* for:
- Calendar Call
- Case Management Conference; nor
- Any Evidentiary Hearings
*unless otherwise determined by the Court.
For further details, see Division Instructions.
Video Appearance at Non-Evidentiary Hearings:
Division AD participates in the Fifteenth Circuit's Video Appearance Project for non-evidentiary hearings. Details concerning this project, participating vendors and training resources for interested parties can be found on the Circuit Civil Video Appearance Project page.
Only video appearances using an approved service provider and an approved web-based solution will be allowed.
Note: Division AD has limited permission for video appearances to the following persons:
- Out of State Attorneys;
- Attorneys traveling 100 miles to and from West Palm Beach, Florida; and
- Persons who have been permitted for video appearance by Court Order.
Instructions for Scheduling a Video Appearance:
- Coordinate the video appearance through an approved service provider. View a list of approved video service providers and their contact information.
- Log into the Circuit's Online Services System ("OLS")
- Locate your hearing in OLS;
- Schedule the appearance via the Circuit's Online Services System ("OLS")
- Provide a back-up phone number for use to continue the hearing in the event of technical difficulties;
- Note: video appearances can only be scheduled for events listed in the OLS system.
No Motion or Order is required for video appearance at Uniform Motion Calendar.
A Motion and Order is required for video appearance at Special Set Hearings
Opposing counsel/party must be aware that you are appearing via video.
Direct any technical questions to CAD-WEB@PBCgov.org
Scheduling of Hearings
Division AD utilizes the Court's Online Scheduling System for all hearings (including Uniform Motion Calendar); with exception to hearings requiring 30 minutes or more. See Division Instructions.
The Court's online system requires a user ID/password. Please find more information and/or registration on the Online Services page.
Due to limited availability of hearing time for special set hearings, each case may take only one time slot per day. If more than one party attempts to schedule a hearing on the same case online and/or if there is already a hearing set on that case on that day, the second hearing may be cancelled by the Court.
Please be advised that the Online Scheduling System does not allow you to hold dates so you must be sure the date is coordinated with all parties prior to setting the hearing. ALL MOTIONS MUST BE TIMELY FILED AND DOCKETED WITH THE CLERK PRIOR TO SCHEDULING A HEARING [note: it may take 2-3 business days for motions/pleadings to be docketed by the Clerk of Court and thereby viewed by the Court] Please upload the Order Specially Setting Hearing online upon your reservation, including a separate copy of the underlying motion(s). Please include the title and file date of your motion and time reserved when scheduling, and include same in the order. The Court must receive the order and copy of the motion(s) with the complement confirmation sheet.
Parties seeking hearing time must confirm availability with opposing parties (including pro se litigants) before setting the matter for hearing. Further, sufficient time should be reserved to permit a complete presentation by counsel for all parties and/or pro se litigants. See Palm Beach County Bar Association's Standards for Professional Courtesy and Civility.
Documents that are related to hearings that are scheduled online must be timely filed and provided to the Court well in advance of the schedule hearing date.
If cancelling a UMC hearing, please go online and cancel the hearing through the Online Scheduling System. Please file the Notice of Cancellation with the Clerk of Court and provide a courtesy copy of that notice to the parties and to the Court at CAD-DivisionAD@pbcgov.org for timely notice.
If cancelling a Special Set Hearing, you may submit a proposed order for the Court's consideration. Special Set Hearings are set by Court Order and cannot be cancelled except by further Court Order.
Materials in Excess of 10 pages: Judge Goodman reviews all motions, briefs, memoranda, case law and legal authority (including Responses and Rebuttals) prior to all hearings. Accordingly, please mail any supporting materials to the Court for review at least 5 business days prior to the scheduled hearing via U.S. Mail and/or express delivery service. Courier deliveries or hand-deliveries are only received at the information desk and/or in the "Judges' Box" located in the main lobby of the Main Courthouse. Email or upload of these materials will not be accepted; unless specifically directed by the Court. Please include a cover sheet stating the date and time of the hearing (and/or mark materials accordingly) when delivering materials in support of scheduled hearings. Case law and legal authorities must be tabbed with pertinent sections highlighted. All exhibits shall be clearly marked by a number label on the top right hand corner of the front of each exhibit, clearly identifying the case number and party prior to the hearing. All affidavits, verified pleadings, and other sworn documents submitted to the Court by mail or at a hearing must be original documents with original signatures.
Submission of Orders
All orders shall be submitted through Online Services. If the order submitted is the result of a hearing, the date of the hearing and the parties in attendance must be included in the first sentence of the order. Do not file blank orders with the Clerk nor submit any blank orders in anticipation of an upcoming hearing. Please submit your orders in Microsoft Word format (if able). It is preferred that you do not use tables or macros. All parties must be registered with Online Services and in full agreement to submitting court documents and orders via the online system.
If any party is not registered with Online Services, court documents and orders must be mailed to the Court via regular mail with a cover letter and sufficient copies and self-addressed stamped envelopes for all non-registered parties to be properly served. If the parties are submitting a proposed Order of Dismissal, Order Specially Setting Hearing, Ex Parte Orders, Orders of Substitution of Counsel, and/or other orders which require the Court to review additional documents, such shall be attached thereto (whether submitting the order online or by U.S. Mail). DO NOT SEND DUPLICATES-use only one of the delivery methods expressed above and in accordance with these division instructions.
ALL ORDERS MUST INCLUDE A MAILING ADDRESS AND EMAIL ADDRESS FOR EACH PARTY FOR SERVICE. See Administrative Order 2.306.
No order or judgment shall contain a signature page that does not include a portion of the text of the order or judgment. Please check and preview your documents before submitting your orders online and/or otherwise. See Administrative Order 3.204.
Order should be provided by the drafting attorney/party, either orally or in writing, to the opposing attorney/party for approval. In response, the opposing attorney/party should communicate promptly any objections to the drafting attorney/party. Upon submission, the drafting attorney/party should state whether the opposing attorney/party agrees or objects to the form of the order. See Palm Beach County Bar Associations' Standards for Professional Courtesy and Civility.
ALL RECORDED DOCUMENTS MUST PROVIDE A BLANK 3-INCH by 3-INCH SPACE ON THE TOP RIGHT HAND OF THE FIRST PAGE AND A BLANK 1-INCH by 3-INCH BLANK SPACE AT THE TOP-RIGHT HAND CORNER ON EACH SUBSEQUENT PAGE. The Clerk of Court will not accept documents for recording without this format in place. See Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.520. See Guidance and/or www.mypalmbeachclerk.com for further information. For your immediate reference, see also: sample of circuit civil documents that require space for recording by the Clerk of Court.
Pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.520, court documents must have at least 1-inch margin, be in 12 point ADA accessible font, and the pages must be consecutively numbers.
Please note that the filing of a "Notice of E-Mail Designation" does not automatically register parties for Judicial E-Service. Persons must register his/her primary and secondary email addresses with the 15th Circuit through Online Services to participate in the Online Scheduling System and Judicial E-Service. Failure to register may result in orders being sent by default to (an) the email address on file with The Florida Bar. Do not add a party's email to documents if he/she is not registered for Online Services (e.g. pro se parties) unless he/she has opted in or registered with the Court for online services. If a party is not registered for online services/ judicial e-service, parties are required to submit all proposed orders via U.S. Mail with sufficient copies and self-addressed stamped envelopes for all parties to be properly served; unless that non-registered party has filed and registered a written designation for e-service of all court documents. See Administrative Order 2.310. If a party is no longer involved in the case, he/she shall immediately update his/her profile and follow the necessary steps to remove his/her email from the Clerk and the Court's systems.
Ex Parte Communication
The Court cannot and will not accept any ex parte communication/ personal correspondence on a case. If you have a matter to bring to the Court's attention, please file the proper Motion with the Clerk of Court, and provide/serve a copy of said Motion to all parties and/or counsel in the case. Pro Se Litigants may go to www.mypalmbeachclerk.com to seek information on locations of Self-Help Centers and other resources to assist him/her in understanding the Court's procedures and in obtaining proper forms and information on filing the proper motion.