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Procedures/Preferences

GOVERNING ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
Thirteenth Circuit Administrative Order S-2024-018 governs County Civil operations. Judge Chandler follows the order. Parties are encouraged to review it at https://www.fljud13.org/Portals/0/AO/DOCS/S-2024-018.pdf.

 

HEARINGS

If you have a hearing scheduled with Judge Chandler, please refer to the notice of hearing you received. It probably has all the information you need to attend your hearing. If not, please do not hesitate to contact chambers. 

 

The following proceedings will be held in person: 

  • Evidentiary hearings.
  • Pretrial conferences, except initial appearance pretrial conferences for small claims set by the Clerk..
  • Jury trials, non-jury trials, small claims final hearings, and summary proceeding trials conducted under section 51.011. 
  • Landlord/Tenant Eviction cases
  • Hearings scheduled for more than 30 minutes
  • Any other matter in which evidence will be taken

 

All other proceedings will be held remotely through Zoom. You can download the Zoom application here for your phone or computer and participate by video. The Zoom Link for Judge Chandler’s courtroom is https://fljud13-org.zoom.us/j/9580902034 with Meeting ID 958 090 2034.

 

If you would like to participate by phone, please call +1 301 715-8592 and then enter the meeting ID (958 090 2034) when prompted. 

 

Attorneys are required to appear by video, unless they file, and Judge Chandler grants, a motion to appear telephonically. To facilitate record-keeping, attorneys should eFile a notice of appearance in advance of the hearing, and they should sign into Zoom using their full first and last names. 

 

**YOUR NOTICE OF HEARING SHOULD INCLUDE THE FILING DATE AND DOCUMENT INDEX NUMBER OF THE MOTION BEING HEARD**

 

Cancellation of Hearings: Any hearing cancellation must be made in writing and emailed to civdivo@fljud13.org. PLEASE NOTIFY THE COURT ASAP IF HEARING TIME IS NOT NEEDED SO THAT THE TIME MAY BE UTILIZED FOR ANOTHER CASE

 

Exception to required in-person hearings. Any party or attorney may submit to chambers (civdivo@fljud13.org) a request to conduct any non-evidentiary hearing remotely through Zoom. The request must copy all parties; it must use the words “REMOTE HEARING REQUEST” in the subject line of the email; and it must contain (1) the case number and caption; (2) the motion being heard; (3) the reasons for requesting a remote hearing; and (4) whether the opposing party consents to the remote hearing. (A statement that you have not heard back from the other side is unacceptable.) If the request is granted, the requesting party will be responsible for timely serving and filing an amended notice of hearing at least 10 days before the hearing

 

Unilateral notices of hearing. Hearings may be unilaterally noticed with a minimum of 60 days’ notice, and only due to a lack of cooperation. A notice of a hearing set unilaterally due to a lack of cooperation must describe, in detail, the efforts made to reach agreement on the hearing date. A single email, letter, or ultimatum is insufficient. Unilaterally set hearings that do not describe efforts to agree on a hearing date may be cancelled by the Court without notice. 

 

Cross-noticing. Cross-noticing hearings is absolutely prohibited. If the parties agree to add certain motions to a hearing and the additional motions will not exceed the time already allotted, they should file an amended notice of hearing after clearing the addition with Judge Chandler’s chambers. Motions unilaterally cross-noticed will not be heard and may be denied without prejudice. 

 

Locating hearing time. All available hearing times up to 30 minutes are listed on JAWS. If you have questions about availability or need more than 30 minutes for your hearing, please contact chambers.  THE UMC DOCKET IS FOR HEARINGS REQUIRING FIVE (5) MINUTES OR LESS.

 

**Please be advised the hearing dates provided by the Judicial Assistant will ONLY be scheduled on Judge Chandler’s docket in JAWS upon receipt of a copy of the eFiled Notice of Hearing.

 

PLEASE NOTE all hearing dates provided by the Judicial Assistant may also be provided to other parties; can be accessed for scheduling in JAWS; and are not guaranteed without confirmation and Notice of Hearing.**

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR HEARINGS
Any legal authority you would like Judge Chandler to consider before a hearing should arrive in chambers no fewer than 7 days before the hearing. Material received after that deadline will not be considered. Judge Chandler does not require authority to be submitted, but will gladly consider any material provided.

 

Materials may be submitted electronically by email or in paper. Electronic materials must be contained in one PDF file and each separate document must be bookmarked. Materials not properly bookmarked will not be considered. Assistance on how to bookmark a PDF can be found here

 

If the materials you submit to the Court have any highlighting, identical copies must be provided to all other parties in advance of the hearing. 

 

**ALL HEARING BINDERS PROVIDED TO THE COURT MUST BE PICKED UP NO LATER THAN 7 DAYS FOLLOWING THE COURT PROCEEDING.  ALL HEARING BINDERS NOT RETRIEVED WITHIN 7 DAYS WILL BE RECYCLED**

 

PROPOSED ORDERS
Proposed orders must be submitted in PDF format through the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal

 

Proposed orders following a hearing must be submitted within 10 days. Failure to timely submit a proposed order may result in denial of the motion without prejudice or a rehearing. As required by paragraph 23 of Administrative Order S-2024-018, the party charged with submitting the order must consult with all parties within 5 days of the hearing and make a genuine effort to agree on the language of the proposed order. 

 

Proposed orders should be accompanied by a cover letter identifying the hearing date (if any) and stating whether all parties agree to the form and content of the order. It is not sufficient to state that the proposing party has not heard back from others, unless 5 days have elapsed without a response. The cover letter must affirmatively state whether the other parties object or do not object to the form and content of the order. Any party objecting to the form and content of an order must notify chambers immediately and submit a competing order within 3 days. (See below.) 

 

Agreed orders. Proposed orders on agreed relief or relief sought jointly by the parties should begin with “Agreed Order” in the caption. The first paragraph of the order must state that the parties agree to the relief afforded by the order, and it must identify the stipulation or motion providing the basis for the relief. Except in rare circumstances, agreed orders that are not preceded by a motion or stipulation will be rejected. See also Admin. Order S-2024-018 ¶ 23(E).

 

Competing proposed orders. If, following a hearing, the parties disagree about the form and content of an order, they may submit competing orders. Competing orders should be submitted in Word format to the division email (civdivo@fljud13.org) with the words “Competing Proposed Order” in the subject line. The email may briefly describe why the party’s proposed form is correct, but additional legal argument is prohibited. Transcripts or excerpts may be submitted, if appropriate.

 

MOTIONS TO COMPEL
Motions to compel discovery must comply with the good-faith conference certification requirements of Rule 1.380. Motions that do not comply will be denied. Judge Chandler has previously issued orders on the good-faith conference requirement, and he expects parties to undertake true, good-faith efforts to resolve discovery disputes before filing a motion to compel. 

 

Orders Without a Hearing. Paragraph 15 of Administrative Order S-2024-018 allows the Court to issue orders compelling discovery without a hearing in certain circumstances. Parties are cautioned to read the administrative order closely before submitting a proposed order.

 

TRIALS AND FINAL HEARINGS
For all civil cases that are not governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules or by the summary procedure in § 51.011, Judge Chandler uses the Circuit Civil Uniform Order Setting Case for Trial and Pre-Trial and Uniform Pre-Trial Conference Order. They can be found here. Pretrial orders should be customized to the needs of the case. 

 

For all small claims or summary procedure trials or final hearings, a detailed pretrial order is not required at this time (but may be in the future). Instead, the parties must: 

  • Agree to and file a notice scheduling the pretrial conference and trial dates. If neither party has counsel, the Court will serve this notice.
  • Exchange the names and addresses of witnesses at least 10 days before trial.
  • Exchange all trial exhibits at least 10 days before trial.
  • Meet at least 3 days before trial to (i) discuss settlement; (ii) mark and exchange exhibits; (iii) prepare an exhibit list, which must include all objections or stipulations concerning the exhibits; (iv) stipulate to any facts that are not in dispute; and (v) create an itemized list of damages the plaintiff expects to prove.
  • For a jury trial, proposed voir dire questions, proposed jury instructions, and a brief joint statement of the case to be read to the jury must be submitted to chambers at least 7 days before trial.
  •  At trial, parties must supply enough copies of all exhibits for all parties, the Court, and the Clerk. The Court greatly prefers the parties provide two binders with all potential exhibits—one for the Court and one for the Clerk. 

Exhibits for any trial may also be submitted through the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, rather than providing binders or copies for the Court and the Clerk. If using the Portal, all exhibits must be submitted at least 3 days before trial.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, or where time does not allow it, mediation will be required before trial.

 

PROFESSIONALISM
Judge Chandler expects the highest standards of professionalism, candor, and preparation in his courtroom. Any attorney or party displaying conduct unbecoming of the proceeding may be subject to sanctions without notice. 

A keystone of professionalism is active cooperation. In that spirit, Judge Chandler expects parties to actively discuss disputes before presenting them to the Court for a ruling. He also expects attorneys to expeditiously respond to inquiries and communications from opposing counsel and other parties. Not responding is not acceptable.

 

MISCELLANEOUS
Litigation by emailing chambers is absolutely prohibited. All relief must be sought by motion or stipulation. Parties who seek any form of relief by emailing chambers—other than for administrative purposes allowed above—may be sanctioned without further notice.

 

CONTACT
Please contact chambers at civdivo@fljud13.org or 813.272.0240 if you have any questions. With any message, please include your name, case number, and phone number, so that we can respond as soon as possible. We are happy to assist, but court staff cannot give legal advice or discuss orders.