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Due to the disparity of practices amid procedures in the various courtrooms within the Criminal Division of the County Court, and in an effort to promote uniformity, consistency and professionalism within the division, the Court hereby enters this Pretrial Order, which shall, consistent with the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, govern the manner and methods by which attorneys shall practice in this Court. For good cause shown, this Court may modify or waive these procedures on an individual basis.


ALL CASES ARE IN PERSON unless special set on Zoom. This court will make every effort to accommodate attorney’s and their clients to appear virtually, however good cause MUST be shown and documentation MAY be required in certain circumstances. (examples: hospitalization, positive for COVID, residence in a different state, etc.)

Attorneys and their client(s) are EXPECTED to attend disposition hearings unless a written waiver has been previously filed with the court. The written waiver MUST have the defendant’s signature. In certain circumstances the court MAY require the appearance of the defendant regardless of whether a written waiver has been previously filed.

The defendant and attorney are REQUIRED to appear at all pretrial conference hearings.

All Assistant State Attorneys and Assistant Public Defenders are REQUIRED to be in the courtroom at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of traffic and misdemeanor arraignment dockets, 20 minutes prior the beginning of traffic and misdemeanor disposition dockets, and 30 minutes prior to traffic and misdemeanor pre-trial dockets.



The Judicial Assistant is not permitted to answer legal questions, give advice, or explain your situation to the Judge. Your opportunity to speak to the Judge happens in court only, when all parties are given the opportunity to be present and heard. Parties must be mindful to avoid ex parte communication with the Court.  Substantive ex-parte communications sent to the court, regardless of how they are sent, will be filed in the court file. Please be advised that all email communications sent to the court are subject to public records requests. The preferred method of communication with the Court is through email, at the Division’s email CIVDIVJ@FLJUD13.ORG. Direct communication with the Court through the division email is PRIMARILY FOR SCHEDULING PURPOSES. Parties are not to communicate with the Court outside the presence of the opposing party, unless authorized by law or a previous court order. PARTIES EMAILING THE COURT MUST INCLUDE OPPOSING PARTY AT ALL TIMES. Telephonic communication is reserved primarily for emergencies, and litigants without access to JAWS.


WAIVER’S OF SPEEDY TRIAL: WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL. Waiver’s of Speedy Trial MUST be written and filed in either a notice or motion (see below for procedure) or made on the record.


Proposed orders are to be submitted through the e-portal for consideration. If it’s a stipulated order please submit the stipulation along with the order as one. If the stipulation is for a continuance of a pre-trial and jury trial, a new pre-trial date and jury trial must be in the order, these dates shall be obtained from the judicial assistant.



ALL MOTIONS MUST FILED AND SERVED UPON OPPOSING COUNSEL AT LEAST 14 DAYS PRIOR TO THE HEARING DATE. All MOTIONS MUST BE HEARD PRIOR TO THE PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE.  Any motion not timely filed and set for hearing is waived absent a showing of good cause as to why the motion was not timely filed and heard prior to pre-trial conference.

MOTION TO CONTINUE: Any Motion for Continuance SHALL state whether any prior motion for continuance has been filed and SHALL, as with any other motion, be in WRITING and be set and heard PRIOR to the trial date.

MOTION TO WITHDRAW CAPIAS: all motions to withdraw capias SHALL be in person and the defendant’s presence is REQUIRED. See below for motion filing procedures.

DISCOVERY MOTIONS AND MOTIONS IN LIMINE: All Motions in Limine and all motions pertaining to Discovery disputes SHALL contain a statement by the moving party that good faith attempt to resolve the matter without Court involvement has been made and SHALL describe the manner in which the attempt was made. Motions to Compel Discovery should be filed within 10 days after the date the Discovery is due.  Motions to Compel More Adequate Responses to Discovery should be filed within 10 days of receipt of the alleged incomplete Discovery. Lack of diligence in pursuing remedies for discovery will be considered in determining whether to grant a continuance or to which party a continuance should be charged.

MOTION FILING PROCEDURE: No motion, other than a legitimate emergency motion, will be set for a hearing unless the motion is electronically filed with the clerk PRIOR to contacting the Judicial Assistant for a hearing date and time.  The Judicial Assistant will check the court file when a request is made to set a hearing to determine whether the motion is in the file.  If the motion is not in the court file, the motion will not be calendared absent a representation by counsel that the motion has in fact been filed, but has not yet appeared for viewing.  This process is facilitated if the attorney filing the motion includes the JA’s email address on the e-filing.  Counsel will still need to call the JA to get a hearing date.

Boiler plate motions (including motions which fail to include a factual basis or which simply provide "facts to be presented or argued at hearing") are NOT permitted and will be stricken as legally insufficient. Such motions will not satisfy this Court's requirement of a written motion. All motions and notices of hearing requiring witness testimony MUST be filed a sufficient length of time in advance of the hearing date for the opposing party to comply with Section 48.031 (4)(a) Florida Statutes.  It is the responsibility of the party affected by late filing to raise this issue. All motions SHALL contain the facts and law which form the basis for the relief sought.

CASE LAW/STATUTORY AUTHORITY: All cases, statutes, rules or other citations of authority a party wishes the Court to consider SHALL be provided to the Court at least 2 business days prior to the hearing on the motion.  Cases and other citations will be cited in the motion.  The Court will NOT consider cases provided for the first time at the hearing absent a showing of good cause.

CANCELING MOTIONS/HEARINGS: A party MUST notify the Judicial Assistant as soon as possible via email that the hearing is to be cancelled and CC opposing counsel.



If a written plea of not guilty is filed with a request for a disposition date, a Waiver of Speedy Trial MUST be filed otherwise the case will be set for pretrial and trial.

The inmates who are scheduled for arraignment will not be transported to court unless they are going to resolve their cases. If the defendant will be resolving their case at arraignment, please notify the JA at least 24 hours prior to the arraignment date with the name and case number for the inmate who is going to resolve their case. The JA will then provide this information to the Clerk, who will give notice to the jail to have these defendants transported to court. For those defendants not resolving their cases the judge will reset the case within an appropriate time frame in order to protect the individual’s right to a speedy trial.



ATTORNEYS AND THEIR CLIENT(S) ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND DISPOSITION HEARINGS.  If an attorney has a conflict, the attorney should arrange coverage by another attorney or may submit a request for a trial date or another disposition date (see below).  A failure to appear or to request a new court date will result in the case being set for trial and MAY result in a warrant being issued for the arrest of the defendant.


DISPOSITION FORMS: CANNOT be used when set for pre-trial. If an attorney wishes to continue a case that is scheduled for pre-trial the attorney MUST file a Motion to Continue (see above for procedure) and have it heard either PRIOR to pre-trial or a signed stipulation form maybe filed and submitted. Attempts to continue the day of pre-trial REQUIRE BOTH the attorney and the defendant to be present. A failure to appear at pre-trial SHALL result in the case being struck from the trial docket and a warrant being issued for the arrest of the defendant.


Absent good cause shown, NO MORE THAN 3 DISPOSITION HEARINGS ARE ALLOWED.  This number includes any hearings missed due to a conflict and as to any dispositions which took place prior to counsel’s Notice of Appearance.



The defendant and attorney are REQUIRED to appear at all pretrial conference hearings.

MOTION TO CONTINUE PRE-TRIAL: If an attorney wishes to continue a case that is scheduled for pre-trial the attorney MUST file a Motion to Continue (see above for procedure) and have it heard either PRIOR to pre-trial OR a signed stipulation (see proposed orders above) form maybe filed and submitted PRIOR to pre-trial. Attempts to continue the day of pre-trial REQUIRE BOTH the attorney and the defendant to be present. A failure to appear at pre-trial SHALL result in the case being struck from the trial docket and a warrant being issued for the arrest of the defendant.


DISPOSITION FORMS: CANNOT be used when set for pre-trial. See above for procedure.



NEGOTIATED PLEAS: should be conveyed to, and fully discussed with, the defendant PRIOR to announcing the plea in Court. Such discussion should include the minimum and maximum penalties and the issues covered by Rule 3.172. If counsel wishes to address the Court on any issue regarding the plea, this should be done at the time the plea is first announced, not after the plea colloquy has been concluded. ALL PLEASE ARE IN PERSON, unless a plea in absentia (see below for procedure) has been filed.


PLEAS OF GUILTY OR NO CONTEST IN ABSENTIA:  If a defendant wishes to enter a plea of guilty or no contest and wishes to be excused from court attendance at the time of the entry of the plea, then a written plea in absentia MUST be presented to the court that comports with the requirements of Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.172.  If the plea being entered is for an enhanceable offense, the written colloquy must include an acknowledgement that the defendant has been advised of the enhancement ramifications for said offense should the defendant reoffend in the future for that offense.  Pleas in absentia for enhance able offenses as well as DUI and Reckless Driving MUST include fingerprints.  A plea of guilty or no contest to a criminal offense will NOT be accepted based strictly on counsel stating that they have their client’s authority to enter the plea when the defendant is not present and counsel does not have a written plea in absentia to present to the court.



This court expects all parties to be prepared and ready for trial on the morning of the trial date. Defendants who are late to court on trial morning should expect a warrant to be issued.

All objections made during trial or any other evidentiary proceeding SHALL be supported by specific statutory authority or case law that shall be provided, if requested by the Court, at the time of the objection.

All exhibits that an attorney intends to introduce as evidence during any trial or other proceeding shall be pre-marked by the Clerk prior to the time the trial or proceeding is scheduled to begin.

No hearing or trial shall be delayed or continued beyond the scheduled starting time because an attorney needs to confer with a witness or review evidence with a witness.



Attorneys, at all times, shall conduct themselves consistent with the Guidelines for Professional Conduct and abide by the requirements of Administrative Order 2012-008.

This Court is aware that attorneys often have more than one case set for hearing or trial, requiring them to be in different courts at the same time. If a scheduling conflict arises, it is expected that the attorney will communicate this to their client, and that the attorney will advise the Court (by note, phone call, or through opposing counsel) if they are in another courtroom and when they expect to return. This demonstrates respect not only to the Court, but to the client, witnesses, and opposing counsel as well. Such common courtesy is not only encouraged, but required.

The court attempts to provide timely access to the parties, especially for the purposes of pretrial motions and discovery matters. However, only a limited number of cases can be placed on each calendar. Therefore, if you set a motion for a hearing, please make sure that you appear for the hearing. If you are unable to appear due to unforeseen circumstances, it is incumbent upon you to call the Court to advise us of those circumstances.

This Court solicits input and feedback from attorneys. You are in a unique position to provide comment and insight into courtroom procedures and how they can be improved. If there are procedures you would like to see implemented in Court, of if you have an opinion regarding the existing procedures, please share these opinions with us.