Important Notice Concerning Circuit Civil Case Reassignment

Upon review and consideration of the elimination of the Major Trial Division and senior judge coverage for residential foreclosure trials, the Sarasota Circuit Civil Division requires a third Civil Division judge to handle the current and pending circuit civil case docket due to the number, frequency and complexity of the pending cases in Sarasota County.

Effective January 1, 2018, the Court is creating a third civil division in Sarasota (Division E) and is dissolving the major trial division (Division T). All cases in existing Divisions A, C, and T are being reassigned to Divisions A, C, and E. Notification of the new division assignments will not be made in individual cases. Instead, the Court is publishing on its website a master list of cases containing all assignments, and it is also providing notification to the Sarasota County Bar Association. Parties and attorneys are responsible for ensuring they check this list to determine the correct division assignment. Please do not assume that your case or cases will continue to be assigned to the same division after January 1.

In 2018, divisions A, C, and E will have the same trial periods. Thus, this reassignment will not impact trials already set for former Division A and C cases. However, hearings already set to occur after January 1 will be impacted if the case is being reassigned to a different division. After January 1, existing hearings in an incorrect division must be reset and heard before the judge newly assigned to the case. In other words, hearing time will not automatically transfer between divisions. Parties and attorneys are responsible for cancelling the affected hearings and resetting them before the correct division judge. The Court may also cancel a hearing In a case that has been reassigned to another division. Former Major Trial Division (Division T) cases are being reassigned and these cases will need to be rescheduled with the newly assigned division judge. Cases referred to Magistrate Bailey will not be impacted. Beginning on January 1, the Magistrate will send the Report and Recommendation to the newly assigned judge for further handling.

The Court understands that this reassignment of cases will cause some temporary inconveniences. The Court appreciates your patience as the Court works through the logistical issues associated with creating a new division and dissolving another. Thank you.

Walt Smith
Court Administrator
Twelfth Judicial Circuit

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