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Procedures/Preferences

DIVISION “Y” - ADULT DRUG “RECOVERY COURT” COVID-19 TEMPORARY REMEDIAL PROCEDURES (Revised 08-20-2020)

Circuit Judge Elizabeth G. Rice

Judicial Assistant: Brittany Conner

Criminal Annex Courtroom 32

Division E-Mail: felonydivy@fljud13.org

Office Phone Number: (813) 276-2433

 

ZOOMTM VIRTUAL HEARING ROOM
Meeting ID: 999 0248 6065

 

Join ZoomTM Hearing by Computer or Tablet
https://zoom.us/j/99902486065
Meeting ID: 999 0248 6065

 

Join ZoomTM Hearing by Cellphone or ZoomTM App
(786) 635–1003
Meeting ID: 999 0248 6065

 

              Pursuant to Supreme Court of Florida Administrative Order AOSC20-23 and its Amendments and Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Order S-2020-023 requiring temporary remedial measures because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Recovery Court will observe the following temporary remedial procedures until further notice:

 

1. Time Period of Temporary Remedial Procedures. Unless extended or otherwise modified, these temporary remedial procedures will remain in effect through Friday, October 2, 2020.

 

 2. Notice of Rescheduled Hearing Dates/Times. Notice of Defendant’s scheduled hearing date and time will be provided to Defendant by U.S. Mail at the address Defendant has on file with the Clerk of the Court. Defendant’s attorney and Defendant’s Bondsman (if any) will receive notice electronically from the Clerk of Court. Please note, if Defendant’s address on file with the Clerk of Court is incorrect or has changed since the filing of Defendant’s case, Defendant must promptly 9complete and file a “Designation of Current Mailing and E-Mail Address” form, which is available on clerk’s website at: https://www.hillsclerk.com/About-Us/Forms (“Change Contact Information”).

 

3. ZoomTM Hearing Dockets. Recovery Court will conduct all court proceedings occurring via videoconference through Zoom Video Communications, Inc.’s (“ZoomTM”) videotelephony services (see access details in subparagraph c. below).

 

a. ZoomTM Hearing Docket Dates. The Court has scheduled “ZoomTM Hearing Dockets” on/at the dates/times reflected in the ADRC/JDRC Court Calendars posted on the Schedule page in staggered, 60-minute increments (i.e., 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., etc.).

 

b. Attending Hearings Remotely Via ZoomTMAll Defendants must appear solely via ZoomTM videoconference, and no Defendant will be allowed to appear in person. Private Counsel shall appear via ZoomTM or may appear in Courtroom 32 or Courtroom 17 with prior court approval. The following Recovery Court Team Members shall appear via ZoomTM or may appear in Courtroom 32 or Courtroom 17 with prior court approval: Assistant State Attorney, Assistant Public Defenders, Recovery Court Specialists, and DOC Representative. The Deputy Clerk of Court and Court Reporter likewise may appear via ZoomTM or may appear in Courtroom 32 or Courtroom 17 with prior court approval.

 

c. Download “Zoom App”. You must download the ZoomTM application from https://zoom.us/ prior to attending the hearing.  The Zoom application is available for free for iOS and Android devices (i.e., cellphone or tablet).  The ZoomTM application also may be accessed via a desktop Windows or macOS computer (with camera and microphone).  You do not need an account or have to pay a fee to use this service.  Please visit the ZoomTM Help Center at https://support.zoom.us/ (click on “Join a Meeting”) to familiarize yourself with the service well in advance of your hearing.  You do not need to be together to use ZoomTM, and all parties and counsel should plan to appear separately to maintain proper physical distancing.

 

d. ZoomTM Hearing Docket Link. The ZoomTM Hearing Docket may be accessed through the ZoomTM link appearing at the top of this page. Please email judicial assistant, Brittany Conner at felonydivy@fljud13.org with any questions regarding the link.

 

e. Initial Waiting Room/Disconnections. The ZoomTM Hearing Docket will be configured to allow early entrants to be placed into a “Waiting Room” until the entrant’s case is called.  When entering the Waiting Room, each entrant MUST use the entrant’s full real name and case number (e.g., “John Doe  20-CF-012345”) and avoid using nicknames or the device’s default name setting (e.g., “John’s iPhone” or “555-555-5555”). Please immediately rename your device upon entering the Waiting Room.  The Court will begin calling cases at the times indicated above.  However, holding times may be lengthy due to the individualized attention given to participants, so your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated!  If a ZoomTM Hearing participant becomes disconnected at any time during the videoconference, the participant will need to remote/call back in using the access information provided above.

 

f. Muted Appearances. All entrants are to remain muted until their case is called.  When your case is called, please un-mute your microphone and state your appearance.

 

g. ZoomTM Videoconferencing Tips. Please review the following tips in preparing for your videoconference hearing:

 

•Dress and look like you are going to court. No hats please.

•Do your best to have a stable internet connection. Ask others in your residence or office to avoid large data use (i.e., game streaming; video streaming, etc.) during your videoconference.

•Be as still as possible while speaking and waiting to speak.

•Do your best to have a solid or non-distracting background, or utilize a virtual background.

•Have the camera face you straight on. Avoid leaning in or away from the camera.

•Be aware of your microphone and audio set up. Mute your microphone unless you are speaking. (Note: Wireless earbuds are less distracting than large headphones and exclude outside noise. Wired earbuds can be distracting and the built-in microphone often rubs on your clothes.)

•Speak slowly and clearly.

•Avoid speaking over others.

•Avoid typing, eating, or drinking during the conference.

•Do your best to ensure privacy during the conference; everyone understands children, pets, and other members of the household might wander in.

 

h. Open Access to Public. The ZoomTM hearings are open to the public, similar to a traditional courtroom, and may be observed by anyone. Accordingly, the ZoomTM link may be forwarded to any interested person.

 

i. ZoomTM ADRC Staffings/Team Meetings. Staffings for all Recovery Court Participants will take place every Monday, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (except on court holidays and judicial vacation days), for cases set for Tuesday through Friday of that week. Defense counsel are required to attend staffings, which are conducted via ZoomTM. The information needed to participate in Recovery Court staffings is:

Universal Meeting ID: 974 4895 0317

Join ZoomTM Meeting by Computer or Tablet:
https://zoom.us/j/97448950317
Meeting ID: 974 4895 0317

Join meeting by Cellphone or the ZoomTM App:
(786) 635 – 1003
Meeting ID: 974 4895 0317

 

4. Agreed Orders. If you confer with opposing counsel, and there is no opposition to the relief requested, please submit an agreed order through JAWS. Please include the word “stipulated” or “agreed” in the title of the order and submit a short cover letter confirming the stipulated nature of the order, so that the Court will know that a hearing is unnecessary.

 

5. Bond Motions Without Hearing. If you would like the Court to consider a bond motion without evidence or hearing, please email a copy of the motion to the judicial assistant, Brittany Conner, at: felonydivy@fljud13.org. Please state in the email that you are requesting the Court rule on the motion without a hearing. The Court will then direct the State to respond to the Motion in writing within 48 hours. Shortly thereafter, the Court will make a ruling and generate an order based on the motion, the State’s response, and the file. If you would like a bond motion to be considered with hearing, please contact the judicial assistant through the division email above to request a hearing date and time. There is no ability at this time in Division “Y” to have an in-custody defendant appear by videoconference for the ZoomTM hearing docket. Accordingly, bond motion hearings must include a waiver of the defendant’s presence.

 

6. Out-of-Custody Defendants – Negotiated Plea Procedures and Scheduling of Hearings. Before requesting a case be added to a Division “Y” docket for a change in plea for a Defendant who is out of custody, please review the Procedures for Out of Custody Pleas and then download and use the following four forms located on the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s website at https://www.fljud13.org/Forms.aspx under CIRCUIT - CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND TRIAL Plea Forms – Out of Custody Defendants: (a) Plea Form - felony bi-lingual, (b) Plea Form DNA Addendum; (c) Waiver of Presence Addendum to Plea Form (Out-of-Custody Defendants); and (d) 13th Circuit Fingerprint Form.

 

a. Discussion of Forms with the Defendant. Attorneys are required by the terms of those forms to discuss each of them line by line with the Defendant in person and/or in a private, confidential setting that allows for meaningful discussions between the attorney and the defendant regarding the case(s) and the plea(s.).  Please note, the plea form indicates that the Defendant has reviewed and agrees with the scoresheet as prepared by the State, so you must go over that document with the Defendant as well, and be prepared to answer questions regarding the same.

 

b. Obtaining the Defendant’s Fingerprints.The Defendant is to report to one of the following substations of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office  Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to have his/her fingerprints rolled on a court-supplied form:

 

 

District 1

14102 N. 20th St.
Tampa, FL 33613-3696

District 2

2310 N. Falkenburg Rd.
Tampa, FL 33619-0913  

District 3

7202 Gunn Highway
Tampa, FL 33625-3108  

District 4
508 33rd St. SE
Ruskin, FL 33570-5259
District 5
10128 Windhorst Rd.
Tampa, FL 33619-7826
Identification Station
2306 N. Falkenburg Rd.
Tampa, FL 33619-0913

 

The Fingerprint Form may be downloaded from the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Website (see above), or the HCSO District Offices will have copies there to use.

 

There is no charge for Hillsborough County residents, and a $10.00 charge (cash only) for non-Hillsborough County residents. 

 

c. Signature on Forms.

• VIA VIDEO VISITATION: Once the attorney has fully discussed ALL forms with the Defendant and obtained the Defendant’s permission for the attorney to sign those forms FOR him/her (or, s/he has chance to sign them at or after the time of your video visitation,) the attorney will sign each form (either physically or electronically.)

 

OR

 

• IN PERSON: The Defendant shall sign the forms in the presence of the attorney before the plea is scheduled if s/he has met with the attorney in person in preparation for the plea.

 

d. Filing of Forms.  Each form is then to be uploaded as a separate document via the E-Portal.  Each individual case number requires each of these forms be filed separately (i.e. for two felony cases, you would have eight separate forms uploaded.).

VOP cases DO NOT need the Plea Form - felony bi-lingual nor the Plea Form DNA Addendum, but DO require the Waiver of Presence Addendum to Plea Form (Out-of-Custody Defendants) and the 13th Circuit Fingerprint Form.

 

e. Docketing the Plea(s)All four forms must be filed with the Clerk via the E-Portal no less than two full business days before the entry of the plea; that includes a scanned copy of the completed Fingerprint Form.  Due to time constraints placed on our staggered dockets at this time, pleas will not be taken on regularly scheduled dockets unless the above procedures have been complied with prior to the docket, and the court has agreed to take the plea at that time.

 

f. Requirement to MAIL-IN Fingerprint FormImmediately after the entry of the plea, the attorney is required to send the original Fingerprint Form via US MAIL to:

 

Clerk of the Circuit Court
401 N Jefferson Street
3rd Floor, FINGERPRINTS: Attn: Angela Freestone
Tampa, FL 33602

 

7. In-custody Defendants - Negotiated Plea Docket & Procedures. Please be aware that the Hillsborough County Jail is not transporting in-custody Defendants to the Courthouse during the closure period.  The negotiated plea dockets cover all lettered divisions and will be held during the week on Tuesday, Thursday, and occasional Fridays by one Judge in Courtroom 17.  If the Defendant is in custody, defense counsel must confer with the Defendant in a private, confidential setting that allows for a meaningful question and answer session to confirm that the Defendant will waive his or her appearance at the plea hearing before seeking any relief.  This procedure to take pleas is limited at this time to negotiated, agreed upon sentences by the State and the in-custody Defendant.

 

a. Adding a Case for a Negotiated Plea. Before requesting a case be added to a Felony Plea Docket, please review the Procedures for Inmate Video Conference Pleas and then download and use the following three forms located on the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s website at https://www.fljud13.org/Forms.aspx under CIRCUIT - CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND TRIAL Plea Forms – Incarcerated Defendants: (a) Plea Form - felony bi-lingual, (b) Plea Form DNA Addendum; and (c) Waiver of Presence Addendum to Plea Form (Incarcerated Defendants).

 

(1) Discussion of Forms with Defendant. Attorneys are required by the terms of those forms to discuss each of them line by line with the Defendant in person and/or in a private, confidential setting that allows for meaningful discussions between the attorney and the defendant regarding the case(s) and the plea(s.).  Please note, the plea form indicates that the Defendant has reviewed and agrees with the scoresheet as prepared by the State, so you must go over that document with the Defendant as well, and be prepared to answer questions regarding same.

 

(2) Signature on Forms. Once the attorney has fully discussed ALL forms with the Defendant and obtained the Defendant’s permission for the attorney to sign those forms FOR him/her (or, he/she has a chance to sign them at or after the time of your video visitation,) the attorney will sign each form and upload each as a separate document via the E-Portal.  The forms may be signed physically or with an electronic signature.

 

(3) Filing on FormsEach individual case number requires each of the three forms be filed separately (i.e. for two felony cases, you would have six separate forms.)

 

VOP cases DO NOT require the Plea Form - felony bi-lingual or the Plea Form DNA Addendum, but DO require the Waiver of Presence Addendum to Plea Form (Incarcerated Defendants).

 

(4) Scheduling Hearing with ClerkAfter all three forms have been signed and filed, the attorney must contact Angela Freestone at the clerk’s office via email at freeston@hillsclerk.com and copy felonypleas@hillsclerk.com on the email.  The case(s) will be put on the next available Felony Plea Docket, and the clerk will let you know the date set.

 

PLEASE DO NOT FILE A NOTICE OF HEARING.
PLEASE DO NOTcontact the individual division judicial assistant or judge to add these cases onto the division docket.

 

b. Attending Court for a Negotiated PleaThe attorney will appear in the Courthouse Annex Courtroom 17 (video courtroom) on the scheduled hearing date for entry of the plea.  If the attorney would like to appear by phone or videoconference, please contact the judicial assistant at the division email so she may inquire whether there is a procedure in place at this time allowing participation by telephone or videoconference.

 

(1) Limited Docket. The docket is limited in the number of pleas that can be accepted on the current schedule which is Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30am with occasional Friday dockets.)  As a consequence of that limitation, if the Defendant is unsure about the process and/or indicates in any manner that he/she does not understand, nor has been given private time with you to discuss the offer and options, scoresheet, and plea and waivers of presence and DNA forms; the judge will likely stop the plea in progress and set it at a future date and time to ensure the record clearly indicates that the Defendant has a clear understanding of what is happening.

 

(2) Video Visitation with Incarcerated Defendants. For your convenience, below is the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office official policy disseminated to the courts and bar:

 

Sheriff Chad Chronister is opening up the video visitation center to the private bar as the preferred method of contact with clients in the jail, in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus.  The new hours for visitation will be 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.  Members of the bar will be given priority access. The Sheriff is also ensuring that all equipment in the visitation center is regularly sanitized with disinfectants.  The visitation Center is located in the Falkenburg Road Jail at 520 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa, FL 33619.


The phone number is 813-247-8300.  Alternatively, attorneys can register for an account to be able to video conference remotely off site, for a small fee.  The link to register for an account is at: https://hcsovisit.com/app.

 

 

*UPDATES ON COURTHOUSE CLOSURE/RE-OPENING*

 

              Updates regarding the extension of the Hillsborough County Courthouse partial closure and an anticipated full reopen date may be monitored through the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit website at: https://www.fljud13.org/Covid-19-Updates.aspx.

 

              Although the courthouse currently is operating under restricted status, certain mission critical matters may require or allow you to visit the courthouse.  Before visiting the courthouse for any reason, please contact (813) 276-8100 (Clerk of Court Self-Service Contact Number) if you are uncertain whether your need relates to a matter that requires or permits your personal appearance at the Courthouse.  IMPORTANT: Pursuant to Hillsborough County Order and Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Order S-2020-038 (Health & Safety Requirements in Courthouse Facilities during COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts), members of the public shall wear a mask or facial covering when attempting to gain entry into the Courthouse.  If you fail to comply with these orders, you will be denied entrance into the Courthouse.  There will be no exceptions made to these orders.

    
DIVISION “E” - JUVENILE DRUG “RECOVERY COURT” COVID-19 TEMPORARY REMEDIAL PROCEDURES (Revised 07-02-2020)
PRO SE / SELF-REPRESENTED PARTIES (GENERALLY)
VIEWING FILED DOCUMENTS (HOVER)
JAWS "HOW TO" GUIDE