CIRCUIT CIVIL COURT

Florida Circuit Civil Courts have jurisdiction in all civil actions exceeding $30,000 and also hear appeals from the County Courts. The 12th Circuit Civil Division has four Circuit Judges in Sarasota County, two Circuit Judges in Manatee County, and two Circuit Judges in DeSoto County. 

COUNTY CIVIL COURT

Florida County Courts have jurisdiction in civil actions which do not exceed $30,000, small claims (i.e., civil actions under $8,000) and most landlord / tenant actions. The County Civil Division has five County Judges in Sarasota County, four County Judges in Manatee County, and one County Judge in DeSoto County.

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Circuit Civil Division

Judge Don T. Hall

 

County Civil Division

Judge Danielle Brewer

 

Temporary New Procedures for Manatee County Circuit Civil Divisions B & D

All hearings in Circuit Civil Divisions B and D are canceled from March 18 through March 27, 2020.

Procedures updated March 19, 2020

Circuit Civil Division B

Judge Charles Sniffen

 

Circuit Civil Division D

Judge Edward Nicholas

Schedule Hearings
 

County Civil Division 1

Judge Renee Inman

 

County Civil Division 2

Judge Robert A. Farrance

 

County Civil Division 3

Judge Heather Doyle

 

County Civil Division 4

Judge Mark Singer

 

Updated Temporary New Procedures for Sarasota County Circuit Civil Divisions A, C, E & H

Even during the Court’s emergency operations, the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 (“Safer at Home Order”), and the Chief Justice of Florida’s Administrative Order 20-23, along with any extensions of those orders, the circuit civil divisions remain open and functional. Certain nonemergency hearings within the civil divisions may continue. We are trying to have simple, uniform procedures that assist practitioners and litigants. Please keep monitoring this site, as we try to communicate updated procedures as quickly as possible.

In Circuit Civil Sarasota County, effective immediately through Friday, May 29, 2020 (unless extended):

  1. NONEVIDENTIARY MOTION HEARINGS.
    Nonevidentiary motion hearings may occur at the discretion of the assigned judge. All nonevidentiary hearings, regardless of length, must be conducted via Zoom videoconferencing or telephonically. If there is a court reporter, the court reporter must be remote and not in the courtroom. Should the scheduled hearing present a difficulty for any party, please file a motion to continue and explain that difficulty. A copy of the motion should be emailed to the judicial assistant with copy to all parties.
  2. SCHEDULING HEARINGS.
    There is hearing time available on JACS over the next few weeks, and nothing about scheduling hearings has changed. If hearing time is not available in the timeframe you need, or for longer hearings, please continue to contact the assigned judge’s judicial assistant. The judicial assistants have received a much higher volume of telephone calls. Email contact with the judicial assistant with copy to all parties generally is the quicker and more efficient means of communication.
  3. JURY TRIALS.
    All jury trials during this time are cancelled.
  4. NONJURY TRIALS AND EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS.
    Currently, it is possible to conduct certain nonjury trials and evidentiary hearings during the COVID-19 state of emergency via Zoom videoconferencing at the discretion of the assigned judge. The parties should discuss the logistics of conducting any nonjury trial or evidentiary hearing and to notify the assigned judge in advance for final determination as to whether the proceeding may occur. If a party has an objection to proceeding, please explain the reason or difficulty in a motion to continue.
  5. EMERGENCY MATTERS.
    Normal procedures for handling emergency matters outlined in Local Rule 4b are still followed. Emergency matters must first be presented to the assigned judge who, in most instances, will resolve the matter.
  6. RESIDENTIAL FORECLOSURE.
    All foreclosure trials for April 2, 2020, April 23, 2020, and May 28 have been (or will be) cancelled and they have been (or will be) rescheduled for July 9, 2020. The April foreclosure motion days have also been cancelled and reset for May. No decision has been made yet on the May foreclosure motion date. Foreclosure sales have been continued until June. The Chief Justice of Florida has directed that all clerks suspend the issuance of writs of possession through at least May 29, 2020.
  7. UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR.
    Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC) are cancelled through the end of May.
  8. USE OF VIDEO CONFERENCES FOR COURT HEARINGS.
    The Sarasota circuit civil judges are using the Zoom video conferencing platform to conduct court hearings, although traditional telephonic hearings remain a viable option. Information about Zoom may be found at its website. There are no fees for attending a court hearing via Zoom. This platform will allow individuals to appear via telephone if they do not have an available camera.
  9. COURT PROCEEDINGS ARE PUBLIC; HOW TO ACCESS A COURT HEARING.
    As a reminder, Court hearings remain public proceedings despite the existence of COVID-19. The Court has created a Zoom video conference page where attorneys and the public may obtain the log-in credentials for court hearings. Until the conclusion of the COVID-19, attorneys and parties must reference this webpage and, if then available, the log-in credentials for the Zoom videoconference.
  10. SUGGESTED NOTIFICATION TO ADD TO THE NOTICE OF HEARING.
    A suggested notification to include on the notice of hearing is as follows:

    During the COVID-19 outbreak, no person will be permitted inside the courtroom for a circuit-civil hearing, including the court reporter. All individuals, including the court reporter, must attend using the Zoom platform. Please select the “Join A Meeting” link and then enter the Meeting ID to access the hearing. There are no fees for attending this court hearing via the Zoom platform. No camera? No problem! The Zoom platform allows individuals to appear via telephone if they do not have an available camera. The log-in credentials are:

    Meeting ID:    [fill in]

    Password:       [fill in]
    Telephone:      (253) 215-8782 and use the same Meeting ID

    If the credentials to access the Court hearing are not listed in this notice of hearing, please visit the Court’s central Zoom access page at http://www.jud12.flcourts.org/Public-Information/Public-Court-Hearings. The judges will attempt to place the credential information on this website a few days prior to the hearing.
  11. DO NOT ASSUME CANCELLATIONS OF HEARINGS OR TRIALS.
    The Court will enter an order cancelling a hearing or trial. Please do not assume that a hearing or trial is cancelled. If in doubt, please email the Court’s judicial assistant with copy to all other attorneys.

Procedures revised April 4, 2020.


Circuit Civil Divisions A, C & E

 

Circuit Civil Division A

Judge Stephen M. Walker

Schedule Hearings
 

Circuit Civil Division C

Judge Andrea McHugh

Schedule Hearings
 

Circuit Civil Division E

Judge Hunter Carroll

Schedule Hearings
 

County Civil Division A

Judge Erika Quartermaine

 

County Civil Division B

Judge Maryann Boehm

 

County Civil Division C

Judge David Denkin

 

County Civil Division D

Judge Phyllis Galen

 

Civil Magistrate

Magistrate Deborah Bailey

Schedule Hearings
 

Updated Temporary New Procedures for All South County (Venice) Circuit Matters

Effective immediately through Friday, April 17, 2020:

  1. INJUNCTIONS FOR PROTECTION WILL PROCEED AS NORMAL
    but can be heard remotely.  Any party wanting to attend the hearing via video conferencing must email the judicial assistant within 24 hours of the hearing to obtain the video conferencing link. 
  2. Case Managements, Pre-Trials, Docket Soundings and all nonevidentiary hearings
    regardless of length must be conducted via video conferencing.  If there is a court reporter, the court reporter must be remote and not in the courtroom. Should the scheduled hearing present a difficulty for any party, please file a motion to continue and explain that difficulty. A copy of the motion should be emailed to the judicial assistant with copy to all parties.
  3. Scheduling Hearings:
    There is hearing time available on JACS over the next few weeks, and nothing about scheduling hearings has changed. If hearing time is not available in the timeframe you need, or for longer hearings, please continue to contact the assigned judge’s judicial assistant. The judicial assistants have received a much higher volume of telephone calls. Email contact with the judicial assistant with copy to all parties generally is the quicker and more efficient means of communication.
  4. Jury Trials:
    All jury trials during this time are cancelled.
  5. Nonjury Trials and Evidentiary Hearings:
    Currently, nonjury trials and evidentiary hearings may not occur during the COVID-19 state of emergency unless ordered by the assigned judge (usually with the consent of all parties).  The parties should discuss the logistics of conducting any nonjury trial or evidentiary hearing via video conferencing and to notify the assigned judge in advance for final determination as to whether the proceeding may occur.
  6. Emergency Matters: 
    Normal procedures for handling emergency matters outlined in Local Rule 4b are still followed. Emergency matters must first be presented to the assigned judge who, in most instances, will resolve the matter.
  7. Uniform Motion Calendar:
    Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC) are cancelled through the end of April.
  8. Emergency Temporary Guardianship hearings/Final Guardianship hearings/Hearings on DNR Orders:
    shall be conducted via video conferencing.  If the matter necessitates an in person hearing, a motion requesting an in person hearing must be filed indicating the reasons why the matter cannot be heard remotely. 
  9. Use of Video Conference for Court Hearings:
    The Zoom video conferencing platform will be used to conduct virtual court hearings, although traditional telephonic hearings remain a viable option. Information about Zoom may be found at its website. There are no fees for attending a court hearing via Zoom—the Court is obtaining the necessary licenses to permit judges to host the court hearings on the Zoom platform. This platform will allow individuals to appear via telephone if they do not have an available camera.
  10. Court proceedings are public; how to access a court hearing:
    As a reminder, Court hearings remain public proceedings despite the existence of COVID-19.  Until the Zoom platform is fully implemented, contact the judicial assistant via email to obtain the video conference link and call-in information for your hearing.  The party scheduling the hearing must include the video conference link and call-in information on the notice of hearing.

When the Zoom platform is fully implemented, the current plan (subject to change) is for those judges to post on a single page on the Court’s website the necessary information that will permit the parties and the public to access the court hearing. The Court will publicize the specific location of that page when it is available. Additionally, the Court will then require the notice of hearing to contain language that will direct the parties and public to that site.

Last updated March 26, 2020


Circuit Civil Division H

 

Circuit Civil Division H

Judge Maria Ruhl

 

County Civil Division H

Judge Dana Moss

 

Notice of Continuances for South County Venice Cases

The Clerk of Court will send out notices of the new court dates. As an aside, Judge Moss is willing to set up a video/audio conference call to handle any non-evidentiary matters that both parties agree can be resolved without appearing in person. Please contact Kelly Berney directly by email, or telephone, (941) 861-3050, to schedule such matters. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.

Week of 03/23/2020
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Monday, 03/23/20 in Venice are continued to May 11th
  • County Criminal Pretrial Conferences set for Tuesday, 03/24/20 in Venice are continued to May 19th
  • County Civil Small Claims Pretrial Conferences set for Wednesday, 03/25/20 in Venice are continued to May 20th
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Thursday, 03/26/20 in Venice are continued to May 14th
  • County Civil Traffic set for Thursday, 03/26/20 in Venice are continued to May 7th

Week of 04/06/2020
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Monday, April 6, 2020 in Venice are continued to Monday, June 1, 2020.
  • County Criminal Pretrial Conferences set for Tuesday, April 7, 2020 in Venice are continued to Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
  • County Civil Small Claims Pretrial Conferences set for Wednesday, April 8, 2020 in Venice are continued to Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
  • County Criminal Docket Sounding set for Wednesday, April 8, 2020 in Venice are continued to Criminal Pretrial Conferences Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Thursday, April 9, 2020 in Venice are continued to Thursday, June 4, 2020.
  • County Civil Traffic set for Thursday, April 9, 2020 in Venice are continued to Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Week of 04/13/2020
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Monday, April 13, 2020 in Venice are continued to Monday, June 1, 2020.
  • County Civil Small Claims Pretrial Conferences set for Wednesday, April 15, 2020 in Venice are continued to Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
  • County Civil Animal & Tobacco Hearings set for Wednesday, April 15, 2020 in Venice are continued to Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Thursday, April 16, 2020 in Venice are continued to Thursday, June 4, 2020.
  • County Criminal VOPs set for Friday, April 17, 2020 in Venice are continued to Friday, May 15, 2020.