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Procedures/Preferences

County Criminal Division C Procedures

 Amended November 3, 2022

The following proceedings will continue by Zoom until November 29, 2022:

1.       Dispositions

 

All other matters will be in person. The Court will accept pleas in absentia at in person dockets.


 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.

 

The Zoom link is: https://zoom.us/j/9814348181 Meeting ID: 981 434 8181


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.

 

Any person desiring to attend a disposition hearing in person prior to November 29, 2022 may do so.

 

Any person may attend a disposition hearing after November 29, 2022 by Zoom upon good cause shown. Contact the J.A.

 

MOTIONS:  All motions must be heard prior to the pretrial conference or will be considered waived. 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, Shambra Patrick, 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, in addition to contacting the assigned ASA, counsel should also contact probation to determine whether probation has 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 counsel regarding whether to upload an order through the portal or whether a hearing is required.

 

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:   The Court will accept pleas in absentia, including violations of probation, in any case pending in the division.  PIAs for DUIs, DWLS, Petit Theft and Battery must include, (1) Acknowledgement and Waiver of Rights in Absentia (2) full fingerprints and (3) a written Waiver of Personal Appearance in Court. RIDR and non enhanceable offenses require documents (1) and (3) but do not require prints.  A private service for fingerprints may be used if TPD or HCSO are not available. The Misdemeanor Probation Client Profile must be emailed directly to probation at probation@hcso.tampa.fl.us.

 

PIA packets should be filed with the Clerk via the e portal and must be received before the date of the hearing.  For cases requiring fingerprints, a scanned copy of the prints must be efiled and the original print card must be submitted to the Clerk’s office. No documents are required to be provided to the Court. The Court will rely on the court file. For cases not requiring fingerprints and not 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 Acknowledgement of Rights in Absentia, Waiver of Personal Appearance in Court, Thirteenth Circuit Fingerprint Card 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:  No attorneys or defendants should appear for disposition hearings unless the case is being resolved or there is a matter the parties need to discuss with the Court. If the case is being resolved by plea in absentia, the PIA paperwork must be submitted to the J.A. at least 24 hours before the hearing and filed via the e portal. In all cases in which the case is not being resolved or there is no matter to be discussed with the Court, attorneys should 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.   


ARRAIGNMENTS: Any case set for arraignment in which a Notice of Appearance and a Waiver of Speedy Trial have been filed by private counsel will be removed from the arraignment docket and set for a disposition hearing.  Cases in which no Waiver of Speedy Trial has been filed will be placed on the trial docket. Unrepresented defendants who are not in custody will appear in court personally.

 

PRETRIAL CONFERENCES:   There will be separate pretrial dockets for private counsel, public defender and pro se cases. 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.