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Procedures/Preferences

Judge Vance reviews motions and orders for signature using the JAWS system. Here are some suggestions for avoiding rejections and other issues with JAWS:

E-Filing Information

Submitting Orders Through JAWS
  • Most orders should be submitted in PDF format. MS Word format is advisable for longer orders such as PG and TPR. If you are not sure which format to use, please email our office.
  • We have had a few JAWS issues with PDF documents that were created from a scan. For best results, PDF documents should be created directly from MS Word, using “save as” PDF or printing to PDF. It is fine to use “scan-to-PDF” for affidavits or other attachments.
  • We have also had issues with PDF documents that were originally MS Word documents that contained a table in them. The formatting used to create tables in MS Word may cause a problem when the document is saved as a PDF, and may cause a JAWS rejection.
  • Cover letters are always appreciated when uploading motions and order.
Formatting
  • It is always appreciated if the title of a Notice, Motion or Order (under the style) encompasses its content. Try to avoid using the generic “ORDER” as a title. Also, if you are submitting an amended Notice, Motion or Order, it is greatly appreciated if the title of the Order explains what has been amended.
  • Either a header or footer that includes page numbers and a case number is appreciated. The preferred page number style is the “number of number” format.
  • Please format proposed Orders so that the signature line is not alone on a page, or the findings statements (THEREFORE, or ORDERED AND ADJUDGED) are not left alone at the bottom of a page. We understand that sometimes the spacing of the document may cause some unwanted disconnect of these areas; it is acceptable to use diagonal lines, or the statement, “Intentionally Left Blank” if it helps to properly format the findings and signature areas of the proposed order.
  • It is helpful if the proper form of “child” or “children” is used throughout your pleadings.
  • Please capitalize the words Mother and Father when referring directly to the child's or children's parents in a dependency matter.
  • Proofreading is greatly appreciated but be mindful that Spellcheck does not necessarily find all errors.
  • We understand that many of your pleadings are built from templates, but when possible to do so, we ask that inapplicable statements, bullets and blank lines be removed.
  • Don't panic if you receive a rejected order. The rejection will contain instructions for resubmitting. Please email our office if you have any questions about a rejected order.
Proposed Orders and Communicating with Associated Parties
  • It is important to remember that only those parties associated with a case will receive copies of Orders signed in JAWS. Make sure you are an associated party before submitting your Order, to ensure that you will receive the conformed copies. If you have questions about associated parties, please email our office.
  • Due to the volume of orders uploaded to JAWS for Judge Vance’s review and signature on a daily basis, we will presume that all Orders uploaded to the JAWS queue have been shared with all parties, and there are no objections.
Timeliness of Order Submission
  • Every effort should be made to submit post-hearing orders to JAWS within ten days of the hearing.
Emergencies and Turn-Around Time for Signed Orders
  • Please email if an urgent or time sensitive order has been submitted to the queue; those orders will receive prompt attention.
  • Generally, orders in the queue are reviewed/signed within a couple of days. If you are missing an order or feel that there was a problem with a signed order please don't hesitate to email our office for assistance.
Scheduling Hearings/Contacting the Office/JA The best and fastest way to reach our office or to request a hearing is via email, to the Judicial Assistant at:  Argoterk@fljud13.org, CirJuvdivS@fljud13.orgDO NOT LEAVE A VOICEMAIL.

For a quick reply to your request, please include:
  • The specific type and reason for the hearing. If it is urgent or time sensitive, please let us know in your email.
  • Whether or not there are any objections to the matter at issue, and approximately how much time is needed for the hearing.
  • The case number (UCN / FFN).
  • A copy of any related pleading such as a Motion or a Petition.
  • The email request should be shared as a courtesy copy to all related parties on the case.
  • A response to your request will be sent to you giving you a hearing date.
  • A Notice of Hearing is required for all hearings, and is the responsibility of the moving party.
  • We cannot hold dates; please reply to given dates in as timely a manner as possible. It is possible that dates offered may no longer be available, as dates are also provided by Judge Vance in the courtroom. If your preferred date is no longer available, you will be advised and offered new dates.
  • Pretrial and Trial call dates are given in court.
Pro Se Parties
Submitting Motions to the Court
  • Parties submitting pro se motions should contact the Hillsborough County Juvenile Court Clerk for forms and more information.

    Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court, Juvenile Division
    Courthouse Annex (Downtown Tampa)
    401 N. Jefferson Street
    4th Floor, Room 452
    Tampa, FL 33602
    (Please note that the public must enter through the Edgecomb main courthouse at 800 E. Twiggs Street)

    Mailing Address:
    Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court
    Juvenile Division
    P.O. Box 1110
    Tampa, FL 33501-1110

    (813) 276-8100
    Website:
    www.hillsclerk.com/publicweb/juvenile_court.aspx