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County Criminal Division D Procedures During the Coronavirus Shutdown

Amended January 6, 2021

Until the Courts reopen for normal business, proceedings covered by paragraph 7 of AO S-2020-23 as amended will be handled as set forth below.  Persons appearing before the Court should check this site regularly as procedures may be modified to conform to changing circumstances as well as updated orders from the Florida Supreme Court and the Chief Judge.

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, ALL HEARINGS WILL BE BY ZOOM EXCEPT MATTERS HANDLED BY VIDEO FROM THE JAIL ON THE REGULAR WEDNESDAY 3:00 P.M. DOCKET. Attorneys may receive notices from the clerk for hearings other than those listed above, which indicate a court appearance is required.  Notwithstanding the clerk’s notice, counsel should appear by Zoom.

The Zoom link is Meeting ID: 571 310 5947 (IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO DOWNLAOD ZOOM, YOU CAN CALL 1-786-635-1003 AND THEN ENTER THE MEETING ID: 5710 310 5947)

The Zoom app may be downloaded for free onto an iPad, smartphone or computer. No fee is needed to use Zoom. Pro Se litigants or others not familiar with Zoom should download the app and familiarize themselves with Zoom well in advance of the hearing. Upon logging in to the Zoom docket you will be placed in the waiting room. MUTE YOUR MICROPHONE UNTIL YOUR CASE IS CALLED.

Upon entering the waiting room, attorneys should rename themselves by their name and the case name. Defendants should rename themselves to their correct name, no aliases or nicknames.

When your case is called, unmute your microphone. When your case is concluded mute your microphone unless you leave the meeting.


MOTIONS: After filing a motion, the moving party shall contact opposing counsel to determine if the matter can be resolved by a stipulated order. After discussing the matter with opposing counsel, the moving attorney shall e-mail the Judicial Assistant, Naysha Massey, a copy of the motion and let her know whether the matter has been resolved by agreement or whether a hearing is requested.

If the motion is one seeking termination of probation, counsel should contact both Assistant State Attorney and probation to determine whether there is any objection or whether the defendant may have outstanding paperwork which needs to be submitted.

After discussing the matter with the Court, the J. A. will e-mail probation to have the order to terminate uploaded for the Judge to sign.  

If the motion is evidentiary, all exhibits, including videos, must be submitted to the Court 48 hours prior to the motion. All case law upon which counsel relies must be cited in the body of the motion.

PLEAS:  ALL PLEAS WILL BE IN ABSENTIA, UNLESS YOU’RE CLIENT IS IN YOUR OFFICE. The Court will accept pleas in absentia, including violations of probation, in any case not eligible for the Wednesday 3 P.M. Courtroom 17 docket. Contact the J.A. for dates and times. PIAs for DUIs, Petit Theft, Battery, DWLS, Unlicensed Contracting, and Stalking must include (1) full fingerprints and (2) a written waiver of appearance in court and PIA packet. A private service for fingerprints may be used if TPD or HCSO are not available. The Misdemeanor Probation Client Profile must be submitted with the packet for cases in which the defendant is to receive probation.

PIA packets may be mailed or delivered to the JA and must be received before the date of the hearing.  For cases requiring fingerprints and filed via the e portal, a scanned copy of the prints must be filed and the original print card must be submitted to the JA. For cases not requiring fingerprints or involving probation, counsel may announce their authority to enter a plea on behalf of the client at a disposition hearing, pretrial conference, last call or other hearing set for that purpose.

A form for the PIA, fingerprints, waiver of personal appearance in court and the Probation Client Profile are available online by going to the Thirteenth Circuit website, clicking Judicial Directory, clicking my name and selecting Forms.

DISPOSITION HEARINGS: If the case is being resolved by plea, the PIA paperwork must be submitted to the J.A. at least 24 hours before the hearing. In all cases in which the case is not being resolved, attorneys shall complete the usual form requesting either another disposition date or a trial date.  Attorneys who are not on the disposition form email blast list may contact the Judicial Assistant and request to be put on the list in order to receive a form by email.

Disposition forms must be received at least 15 minutes before the start of the docket.  Pretrial and trial dates will be given for any case not resolved by the fourth disposition hearing or for which the dispo form is not filed.

ARRAIGNMENTS: Any case set for arraignment in which a Notice of Appearance has been filed by private counsel will automatically be continued for a Jury Trial unless Speedy Trial is waive, then the case will be set for a disposition hearing.  Unrepresented defendants who are not in custody will appear in court via Zoom.

PRETRIAL CONFERENCES: Pretrials will be by Zoom and will resume when jury trials are authorized.  There will be a Last Call docket, however, the parties are encouraged to resolve cases at the Pretrial Conference and not wait until the Last Call docket. Last Call should be reserved for those cases in which a genuine and unavoidable reason exists for the delay.

VIOLATIONS OF PROBATION: In custody VOP pleas could be heard at the 3:00 p.m. Division O docket or request to have the Inmate present via Jail Zoom. Out of custody VOPs will be by PIA on the VOP docket.

NON JURY TRIALS: Will be heard via Zoom