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Procedures/Preferences

A)  SUBMISSION OF PROPOSED ORDERS

Any Proposed Orders electronically submitted through JAWS must be in PDF format. Microsoft word format is not accepted for this Division. All final Judgment/orders need to be accompanied by a Final Disposition Sheet.

If the opposing party is ProSe, it is the attorney’s obligation to make sure copies of signed orders they submit are provided via email and/or U.S. Mail to the unrepresented party.


B)  OPEN DOCKET: UMC (Uniform Motion Calendar) and UNCONTESTED (Final Hearings)

 

No adoptions will be held on this docket. This is a MULTI-CASE docket. Due to the nature of JAWS and its visibility to outside parties, parties may believe that they setting a hearing for the full 30 or 60 minutes. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. When setting a hearing on the UMC/Uncontested Final Hearing Docket, parties should bear in mind that this docket is expressly for hearings LASTING 5 MINUTES OR LESS.

 

C)  MOTION DOCKET

 

Division I now offers a MOTION DOCKET for non-post-judgment cases.  If your Motion is a post-judgment Motion, IT MUST be referred to the General Magistrate and not scheduled on this new docket.  This docket will be available on-line through JAWS (similar to our Open Docket) for you to schedule hearings up to 30 minutes in length.  The Motion Docket is for 15- or 30-minute hearings, and it is the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SCHEDULING PARTY TO ORDER THE COURT FILE FROM THE CLERK AT LEAST 2 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF HEARING.  Hearings are not permitted to be scheduled back to back.  If you are unable to clear time on an available Motion Docket, you may e-mail the JA to obtain alternative hearing times.   

D) TRIALS  

 

The length of any trial will be determined by the Court at the pre-trial conference. Attorneys should be prepared to discuss provisions set forth in the pre-trial conference order, which will be provided at the pre-trial conference.

 

  *** NEW *** 

E)  SKYPE HAS ARRIVED!


 ‘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 Polo’s Judicial Assistant to arrange for same.  You MUST inform the Judicial Assistant by e-mail of your desire to use Skype and the other party’s agreement to same.  Any witness appearing by Skype MUST contact the Judicial Assistant at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing to arrange the set-up connection.

F)  SCHEDULING HEARINGS


The preferred method for scheduling in Division I is by e-mail request rather than telephone.   For any scheduling request, the requesting party shall e-mail the Judicial Assistant at famlawdivI@fljud13.org for hearing time(s) and copy the opposing party.  The Judicial Assistant shall provide a minimum of two available dates/times to the requesting party, also with a copy to opposing party by “replying to all.”  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.  IF THE RESPONDING PARTY OR ATTORNEY FAILS TO RESPOND WITHIN TWO BUSINESS DAYS OF THE REQUEST, THE REQUESTING PARTY MAY PICK THE HEARING DATE AND TIME OF HIS/HERCHOICE

 

The ability of the requesting party to choose a hearing date of his/her choice is an option only if:

•  there has been no response from the responding party or attorney within two business days of the request or

•  the requesting party is not 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

 

Only after the court puts “CONFIRMED” date in the subject line, file and serve Notice of Hearing.  If the parties cannot agree on any of the offered dates, ask (once) for new set of dates.  If the parties cannot choose from the second set of dates, notify the court of the scheduling impasse.  When the parties impasse, the court sets the hearing without regard to the schedules of either party or attorney.  If the Court schedules the hearing, the attorney seeking the order will supply it with copies and self-addressed, stamped envelopes.

G)  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 post mediation.

• Copy of notice and motion need not be delivered to the court.


H)  TEMPORARY RELIEF HEARINGS

1.  Division I will only hear temporary relief motions in Division I cases, other than those which require referral to the General Magistrate.

2.  Please refer to Judge Polo’s Temporary Relief Requirements for specific instructions and all required prerequisites.

3.  Please follow instructions above (‘Scheduling Hearings’) for instructions on scheduling your hearing.

4.  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 entered.

 

MEDIATION IS MANDATORY PRIOR TO TEMPORARY RELIEF HEARINGS: Absent prior leave of Court, Division I requires mediation to have been completed before convening any hearing seeking any form of temporary relief in accordance with Administrative Order 2013-075, § 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.

 

5. At least 48 hours prior to the temporary relief hearing, the moving party will file an original and serve a copy on all parties, including the Judge, a Temporary Relief Hearing Memorandum.  A proposed Parenting Plan is required if the case involves minor children.

I)  EMERGENCY MOTIONS


1. No party or attorney should file an emergency motion without first studying 
Smith v. Crider, 31 F.L.W. D1018 (2d DCA April 7, 2006).
2. 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.  
3. The Clerk will bring the court file and the docketed motion to the Judge’s chambers for review.
4. The judicial assistant will Email or mail a copy of the Judge’s decision regarding the emergency status of the motion to both parties.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  RESPONSES TO MOTIONS AND COPIES OF CASE LAW 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 TO THIS COURT LESS THAN FIVE (5) BUSINESS DAYS BEFORE THE HEARING WILL NOT BE REVIEWED OR CONSIDERED AT THE HEARING.

 

BEFORE SCHEDULING A HEARING, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT ALL PARTIES HAVE A COPY OF THE MOTION(S) TO BE HEARD.  A HEARING IS NOT TO BE SET UNTIL ALL PARTIES HAVE A COPY OF THE MOTION(S).


J)  1st CASE MANAGEMENT
Either Party may move the Court for entry of an Order continuing the first case management conference to a later date by sending to the Judge's chambers a jointly-signed statement and Order ratifying same that states:  (1)  Service of Process has been effectuated and an Answer or responsive pleading has been filed; (2)  both parties have exchanged Financial Affidavits and complied with mandatory disclosure requirements;  (3)  if there are minor children, that both parties have completed the parenting course and filed their Certificates of Completion;  (4)  that mediation has been completed or is scheduled and will not be canceled except by Order of Court;  (5)  the date and time of the new Case Management Conference that has been provided by the JA and cleared by both parties, which conference shall be within 60 days of the originally-scheduled date.

K)  DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE 
Review the Requirements for dissolution of Marriage.


L)  FINAL JUDGMENTS/ORDERS CLOSING A CASE:

A final Disposition Form is to be submitted with final judgment/orders closing a case.  Failure to submit same may result in the documents being returned unsigned.