Navigation

You are here: Judicial Directory > Christine A. Marlewski > Procedures/Preferences

Procedures/Preferences

Untitled Document

All parties and their counsel should be familiar with and follow the current Administrative Order on Family Law Procedure.  http://www.fljud13.org/Portals/0/AO/DOCS/S-2017-042.pdf.   


IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A LAWYER: 
The Judicial Assistant CANNOT answer your legal questions, and will not explain your situation to the Judge. Your opportunity to speak to the Judge is during your court hearing.  In cases where BOTH PARTIES do not have lawyers (pro se matters), Court dates are scheduled only through Case Manager, Robert Koehler, 813-272-6183, and not through the Judge’s office. 


COMMUNICATION WITH THIS OFFICE: The preferred form of communication for setting and cancelling hearings is by e-mail at famlawdivJ@fljud13.org. The following should be included in the email: case number, case name, what you are asking to be set or cancelled, and how long you will need for the hearing. Please remember to copy the opposing party or their counsel on all emails.


RESCHEDULING OR CANCELLING A CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE:See Sections C and D of the current Administrative Order.  Specifically, a case management conference may only be rescheduled by order of the court. Either party may move the court for entry of an order continuing the initial case management conference to a later date by sending to the judge’s chambers, preferably via an upload to JAWS, a letter explaining the relief sought and attaching a jointly signed and filed stipulation and also uploading in PDF format a proposed order ratifying the stipulation.  The stipulation must state: (1) respondent has been properly served and an answer has been filed; (2) both parties have exchanged financial affidavits and complied with mandatory disclosure requirements; (3) if there are any minor children, that both parties have completed the parenting course and filed their respective certificates of completion; (4) that mediation has been completed or is scheduled and will not be cancelled except by order of the court; and (5) the date and time of the new case management conference that has been provided by the judicial assistant and cleared by both parties, which is within 60 days of the originally-scheduled date.  Requests to reschedule a case management conference will not be considered if submitted after Wednesday of the week prior to the scheduled conference.

A case management conference may only be canceled if (1) the case settles prior to the date of the case management conference; (2) the written settlement agreement is provided to the presiding judge; and (3) the presiding judge authorizes the cancellation.  A final disposition form and final judgment must be submitted to the court within 10 days of the cancellation, if no hearing is required to prove the elements of the case.  If a hearing is required to prove the elements of the case, the case management conference will be used for the final hearing unless and earlier date is cleared and properly calendared.


SCHEDULING HEARINGS:
The preferred method for scheduling hearings in Division J is by JAWS for any hearing expected to last 30 minutes or less on the Attorney Motion Docket or UMC Open Docket (see below).  For hearings expected to last longer than 30 minutes, the preferred scheduling method is by e-mail request to the Court’s Judicial Assistant to famlawdivJ@fljud13.org rather than by telephone. For cases where one or more party is represented by counsel, please contact the Judicial Assistant via e-mail (preferably) to obtain available dates and times.  For all scheduling requests:

  1. All parties should be copied in the email.
  2. The requesting party shall e-mail the Judicial Assistant the title of the Motion to be heard, the date it was filed, the week(s) during which you would prefer the hearing to take place, and the length of hearing. 
  3. The Judicial Assistant will provide a minimum of 2 available dates/times to the requesting party, and will copy the opposing party by “replying to all.” 
  4. If the requesting party sends the dates to the opposing party or attorney (whichever is applicable) by e-mail or facsimile, that responding party or the attorney’s office is responsible for responding with his/her availability within two business days of receiving the request. 
  5. If the responding party or attorney fails to respond within 2 business days of the request, the requesting party may pick the hearing date and time of his/her choice.  Coordination is to be between the parties, not utilizing the Judicial Assistant as a go between.  This option is not available for hearings if the requesting party is attempting to clear the date with the other party or attorney by telephone as there will not be a paper trail of the scheduling attempts.
  6. Only after the Court “CONFIRMS” the date and time of the hearing shall the party file and serve the Notice of Hearing.
  7. If the parties cannot agree on any of the offered dates, parties may ask for a set of new dates.
  8. If the parties cannot chose from the second set of offered dates, they must notify the court of the scheduling impasse.
  9. When the parties impasse, the court will set the hearing date without regard to the schedules of either party or attorney.

OPEN DOCKET-  UMC (Uniform Motion Calendar) and Uncontested Final Hearings:

This docket is intended for hearings expected to last 5 MINUTES OR LESSThis is a multi-case docket and there will be either a 30 minute docket or a 60 minute docket in which a group of either 7 or 15 cases may be scheduled.  Due to the way in which JAWS is formatted for viewing by outside parties, it may appear to parties that they are setting a hearing for the full 30 or 60 minute block of time.  THIS IS NOT THE CASE.  No adoptions will be heard on the Open Docket.   The Open Docket is appropriate for short hearings such as status conferences, uncontested motions, or other motions for which the hearing is expected to last five minutes or less.  See Administrative Order 2017-042, § 18 for requirements for notices of hearing.


ATTORNEY MOTION DOCKET:

Division J also offers a MOTION DOCKET for non-post-judgment cases to accommodate hearings of either 15 or 30 minutes in duration.  If your Motion is a post-judgment Motion, IT MUST be referred to the General Magistrate and should not be scheduled on this docket.  The Motion Docket will be available on-line through JAWS (similar to the Open Docket) for you to schedule either 15 minute hearings or 30 minute hearings.  No adoptions will be heard on the Attorney Motion Docket.  If you are unable to clear time on the Motion Docket for your hearing, you may e-mail the Judicial Assistant to obtain alternative hearing times, making sure to copy all parties. See Administrative Order 2017-042, § 18 for requirements for notices of hearing.


POST JUDGMENT HEARINGS:
  • All post judgment matters must have an order of referral to the General Magistrate filed at the same time the motion is filed.
  • All post judgment matters MUST be mediated prior to the scheduling of any hearings.
  • You must e-mail the Judicial Assistant to schedule post judgment hearings.
  • Copy of notice and motion need not be delivered to the court.

TEMPORARY RELIEF HEARINGS:

MEDIATION IS MANDATORY PRIOR TO TEMPORARY RELIEF HEARINGS. Absent prior leave of Court, Division J requires mediation to have been completed before convening any hearing seeking any form of temporary relief in accordance with Administrative Order 2017-042, § 15. Any party may set or schedule a temporary relief motion for hearing in accordance with the applicable rules and orders governing scheduling of hearings. However, if a mediation conference has not been completed prior to the date and time set for the temporary relief hearing, that hearing will not go forward.

  • IMPORTANT- If the moving party fails to schedule and cooperate in attending mediation prior to the temporary hearing, the hearing WILL BE CANCELLED by the Court. If the non-moving party is the party not cooperating, that matter will be addressed by the Court at the temporary hearing and sanctions may be imposed.
  • The Responding party shall file a response to the motion within 10 days after being served with the motion (or 15 days if service was by mail), stating what, if any, temporary relief the responding party contends is appropriate. See Administrative Order S-2017-042, § 15 for additional requirements of the response.
  • At least 72 hours prior to the temporary relief hearing, the parties will exchange exhibits and each will file and served a copy to all parties, including the Judge, a Temporary Relief Hearing Memorandum with all required exhibits sent to the Judge.  A proposed Parenting Plan is also required if the case involves minor children.

EMERGENCY MOTIONS:

  • No party or attorney should file an emergency motion without first studying Smith v. Crider, 932 So. 2d 393 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006).
  • File the original motion with the Clerk of Circuit Court, Edgecomb Courthouse, First Floor, 800 East Twiggs Street, Tampa, FL 33602. DO NOT deliver a copy to the judge. 
  • The Clerk will bring the court file and the docketed motion to the Judge’s chambers for review.
  • The Judicial Assistant will fax, e-mail or mail a copy of the Judge’s decision regarding the emergency status of the motion to both parties.

CANCELLATION OF HEARINGS:

DO NOT CANCEL A HEARING WITHOUT NOTIFICATION AND AGREEMENT OF ALL PARTIES. A notice of Cancellation MUST be immediately e-filed with the Clerk of Court AND a courtesy copy of said Notice of Cancellation sent to the division e-mail address at famlawdivJ@fljud13.org.


REQUIREMENTS FOR SUBMITTING MOTIONS, RESPONSES, AND CASE LAW:

Responses and any case law that you wish the court to consider prior to your hearing must be delivered to this Court five (5) business days before the hearing to enable a review by the court.  ANY RESPONSES TO MOTIONS AND COPIES OF CASE LAW DELIVERED OR FAXED TO THIS COURT LESS THAN FIVE (5) BUSINESS DAYS BEFORE THE HEARING WILL NOT BE REVIEWED OR CONSIDERED AT THE HEARING.  Highlighting cases is permitted as long as the opposing party is provided copies with highlighting.


BEFORE SCHEDULING A HEARING, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT ALL PARTIES, INCLUDING THE JUDGE, HAVE A COPY OF THE MOTION(S) TO BE HEARD. A HEARING SHOULD NOT TO BE SET UNTIL ALL PARTIES HAVE A COPY OF THE MOTION(S). YOU MAY E-FILE AND ELECTRONICALLY SERVE THE SAID MOTION TO ALL PARTIES. AS LONG AS THE MOTION THAT IS SET FOR A HEARING IS E-FILED, IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO EMAIL THE MOTION TO THE JUDICIAL ASSISTANT.


TRIALS:

This division will issue an Order Setting Trial and Pretrial Conference at the time a trial date is set and all parties are expected to comply with its requirements.  The ultimate length of the trial will be determined by the Court at the pre-trial conference.  Attorneys should be prepared to discuss provisions set forth in the Order Setting Trial and Pretrial Conference at the time of the Pretrial conference.  Trial dates will be confirmed at the pretrial conference, and no date or week is guaranteed until that time. No trial may be cancelled within three weeks of the scheduled trial date by agreement or stipulation of the parties unless a settlement has been reached. You must request a hearing or phone conference should the parties wish to cancel a trial within three weeks of the trial date.


SKYPE APPEARANCES:

‘Skype’ video conferencing technology is now available in our courtroom. A party, attorney, or a witness who lives over 100 miles from Tampa or a local witness or expert upon which both parties agree may appear by Skype may contact Judge Vance’s Judicial Assistant to arrange for a Skype appearance. You MUST inform the Judicial Assistant by e-mail of your desire to use Skype and the other party’s agreement to same. Attorneys or pro-se parties appearing by Skype MUST contact the Judicial Assistant at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing to arrange the set-up connection. Any witnesses desiring to appear by Skype must have the party requesting their appearance make arrangements for Skype. 


TELEPHONIC APPEARANCES:

Telephonic Appearances are available by approval on a case by case basis. You will need to file a motion and order through JAWS. (Pro se parties may file by paper through mail or hand delivery). The motion must state whether or not the non-moving party concurs with or objects to the requested telephonic appearance. If you are a pro se party representing yourself and wish to appear telephonically, you will need to have a Notary present with you at the time of the hearing to properly identify you, and then swear you in. The individual appearing telephonically is responsible for calling the hearing line at the time of the hearing. That hearing line number is 813-272-8573.


SUBMITTING ORDERS:

Orders are accepted either electronically through JAWS or in hard copy form. Incoming Withholding Orders are submitted in hard copy form only. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ORDERS USING BOTH METHODS. ALL proposed orders must be submitted with a cover letter.  Do not submit any proposed orders with the judicial signature block on a single page; such order will be rejected.  See Administrative Order 2017-042,§ 22 for further requirements for Orders and Judgments. 


DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE

Review the Requirements for dissolution of marriage.