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The Honorable Melissa M. Polo

  

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What your legal assistant and paralegal need to know about Differentiated Case Management (“DCM”) process in the Thirteenth Circuit.


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The Honorable
Melissa M. Polo
Circuit Civil, Division C

COVID-19 HEARING PROCEDURES 

Because of the restrictions occasioned by COVID-19, and consistent with the 13th Circuit guidelines as posted on https://www.fljud13.org, and numerous administrative orders of the Florida Supreme Court, most recently AOSC21-17, as amended and issued January 8, 2022.  Only trials, evidentiary hearings (i.e., live testimony, not summary judgment) and pretrials may be held in person.  All other hearings will be conducted via ZOOM.  See ZOOM information below.

The Court’s Zoom link is https://zoom.us/j/8901592416  and Zoom Meeting ID number is 890-159-2416.  If joining the hearing via telephone, call 1-786-635-1003 and then use the same meeting ID number referenced above.  No additional password is required for attendance.  Rather, you will be placed in the ZOOM “waiting room” until the Judge “joins” you into the meeting when the hearing commences.  The ZOOM App is available for free for IOS and Android devices, and it may also be accessed via desktop computer.  This is a free service.  The ZOOM Help Center is at https://support.zoom.us  Counsel/parties do not need to be together to use ZOOM and all parties and counsel should plan to appear separately.  Please enter the case number of the case for which you are appearing, along with your name, so the Court is able to identify participants in each scheduled case.

 

EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS

Testimonial evidence may be introduced by ZOOM conference.  Please make sure any testifying witness has a photo ID available to present over the videoconference.  Memos must be e-filed and then uploaded to JAWS.  They may not be mailed, hand-delivered or emailed to the J.A.  Please do not submit briefing notebooks.  Due to present work-place constraints, mailed and hand-delivered submissions will not be reviewed.  Memos may not exceed 10 pages.  Photographs, charts and diagrams do not count against page limit.

NON-EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS

IN LIEU OF A HEARING, counsel/parties may agree to allow the Judge to decide the matter on the papers.  If you choose this option, then 1) e-file your motions and memos and upload them to JAWS and 2) advise the judicial assistant via email of the title(s) of the specific motions you want the Judge to resolve.  Judge Polo’s assistant, Cheryl Whaley, may be contacted at circivdivc@fljud13.org  so that we know to expect written submissions in lieu of a hearing.  DO NOT mail, hand-deliver or email the motions and memos to the judicial assistant.  Please do not submit briefing notebooks.  Due to present work-place constraints, mailed and hand-delivered submissions will not be reviewed.  Memos may not exceed 10 pages.  Photographs, charts and diagrams do not count against page limit.

Judge Polo will be happy to conduct audio/visual hearings in non-evidentiary matters, and you may access your already scheduled hearing via ZOOM as indicated on Judge Polo’s web page. The above-referenced memorandum rules also apply to memorandum for matters that will be heard.

When scheduling a hearing on JAWS, take special notice to the instructions listing the remote attendance for that hearing.  Instructions are located in a box under the “I AM ASSOCIATED WITH”, section on JAWS 

You may also continue the hearing to a time when the Court resumes in-person hearings.  Although the certain date for this is unknown, you may schedule when the Florida Supreme Court allows hearings to take place.

We apologize for these inconveniences.  Our primary concern is to maintain safe social distancing and do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.