Requirements and Information
January 1, 2020
All attorneys and Pro Se litigants must follow the Local Rules and Standards of Professionalism, which are also available on the Sarasota Bar Association’s website.
JACS dockets are closed three days prior to the hearing date. After a docket is closed, no additional changes can be made using JACS. Dockets are distributed via email. Please email the division email to be included on the distribution list
Monthly calendars for Felony Division 2 are posted on the Circuit’s website and are updated regularly.
Tentative and Final versions of trial dockets for Felony Division 2 are distributed via email.
All hearings up to 60 minutes must be scheduled using the Court’s JACS. Hearings can be scheduled through JACS or by telephone at (941) 861-5227. Hearing times are available in 5, 15, 30 and 60-minute time slots. Please note that hearing time is available up to 10 weeks in the future. Do not schedule back-to-back time to obtain more hearing time (i.e., filling two back-to-back 15-minute slots to obtain 30 minutes of hearing time).
Hearings 60 minutes or longer must be scheduled by contacting the Judicial Assistant. Any hearing greater than 60 minutes scheduled on JACS will be canceled by the Court without notice.
Hearings are limited to the time reserved. The party opposing the motion is entitled to equal time. Accordingly, the party reserving and scheduling the hearing shall confer with opposing counsel and agree to the actual time required.
All hearings must be set in time-slots designated for the type of hearing. Some hearing times are assigned to specific Assistant State Attorneys. The scheduling party must determine the ASA assigned to the case and schedule the hearing accordingly.
In instances where it is necessary to set a hearing on a day other than the ASA’s assigned day, the scheduling party must clear the specially-set hearing time with the Court, the ASA and any other interested party and note that agreement in JACS.
Hearings scheduled through JACS may be canceled using JACS up to 3 days prior to the hearing date. If JACS deadline for canceling a hearing has passed, the scheduling party must contact the JA to cancel the hearing and notify all parties of the cancellation.
The attorney canceling the hearing shall be responsible for notifying the bailiff’s office that an inmate’s present will not be required.
Hearings are limited to the time reserved. The party opposing the motion hearing is entitled to equal time; as a result, the party scheduling the shall confer with opposing counsel to determine how much time is need for both sides to address the Court before scheduling the hearing.
All motions and other relevant paperwork shall be filed prior to the moving party reserving hearing time.
The Court only has access to the Clerk’s electronic docket at hearings. Hearing, the motion and all other relevant documents and case law to the Court at least three days prior to the scheduled hearing. Please do not email the Court these materials. Please obtain the Court’s permission before emailing documents to the Court.
Any party wishing to add a case or hearing to the docket after JACS has closed must contact the JA no later than 10 a.m. the day prior to the scheduled hearing. Cases may not be added on without the express consent of opposing counsel and the Court.
Cross-notices, “piggybacks” and substitutions are not allowed without the express consent of opposing counsel as well as of the Court.
All requests for emergency hearing time must be made by contacting the JA by telephone after emailing a copy of the motion for the Judge to review that includes an estimate of the amount of hearing time required. The Judge will review the motion to determine whether an expedited hearing is necessary.
Please indicate in the “Notes” on JACS when scheduling a hearing that an interpreter is needed.
The scheduling attorney is responsible for notifying the bailiff’s office if an inmate needs to be transported to the courthouse from the jail for a hearing and when, if a hearing is cancelled, an inmate should not be transported to court.
When scheduling a hearing on a single defendant involving multiple cases, all case numbers are required on the Notice of Hearing, beginning with the lowest case number. When scheduling through JACS, use the lowest case number and list additional cases in the “Notes” section.
Telephonic appearances are permitted for all non-evidentiary hearings less than 15 minutes in length without prior leave of the Court.
On the Notice of Hearing, the attorney wishing to appear by telephone must indicate his or her intent to appear by phone and indicate whether the Court is to call a toll-free number or by collect call.
Bond hearings that will take less than 15 minutes and where there is no Alleged victim will take place Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. at the jail as set forth on the Court’s monthly docket.
Bond hearings in excess of 15 minutes or with alleged victims may be scheduled using JACS on the ASA’s assigned day.
The Court strictly adheres to the mandates established by the United States Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court, Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.545(e) and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.190(g).
All motions to continue must be in writing unless made at trial and signed by the moving party unless good cause is shown. All requests for a continuance must be in writing and include: a Certificate of Good Faith; be signed by the Defendant; indicate whether the Defendant is in custody; the date the Information or Indictment was filed; the charge(s); the number of prior continuances and the parties requesting those continuance; a waiver of speedy trial; the status of discovery; details regarding efforts to get the case to trial; and any other information that is appropriate for the Court to consider.
The Court will generally not hear oral motions to continue.
Stipulations to continue cases set on a trial docket must contain the same information set forth in motions to continue.
All requests for continuances will be considered and reviewed by the court on a case-by-case basis.
All motions to modify or terminate supervision must be submitted in writing directly to the Court. The JA will set the motion for a hearing, at which the State and supervising officer shall be present. The State and supervising officer shall notify the Court in writing prior to the hearing as to whether there is an objection.
The Court will presume that early termination is possible in the express absence of no early termination being an expressly negotiated term agreed to by the parties at the time of the plea and sentencing.
All motions for Rehearing, Reconsideration or for New Trial must be filed with the Clerk of Court and a courtesy copy submitted directly to the Court along with a cover letter. After requesting a written response from opposing counsel, the Court will review the motion to determine whether a hearing is necessary.
Motions to release uncharged defendants must be provided to Court and the State. The motion shall include the Clerk’s time stamp. The JA will contact the State and defense to confirm receipt of the motion.
If the State files an Information by 5:00 p.m. the same date the motion to release is filed, the State shall provide a copy of the Information with the Clerk’s time stamp to the Court and the defense. The State shall submit a proposed order to the Court denying the motion to release.
If the State has no objection to an uncharged defendant’s release, the State shall notify the Court and defense by submitting a copy of the original motion along with the following written statement: “I have no objection to this Defendant’s immediate release.” along with the ASA’s signature. The defense attorney shall be responsible for providing copies of the order releasing the defendant to all interested parties in order to secure the defendant’s release.
If the State does not respond to the motion by 5:00 p.m. the date it is filed, the motion will be set for hearing within 72 hours. The defense attorney shall prepare the Notice of Hearing.
The State and Defense shall comply with Circuit Criminal Administrative Order 2009-1 re procedures and protocol for CMC hearings, including the timely conveyance by the State of a sentencing recommendation to the Defense as well as a Case Management Certification.
All defendants shall appear at Case Management unless previously excused by the Court prior to CMC.
State and Defense shall confer prior to CMC and select a trial date. The attorneys shall prepare a proposed trial order prior to the hearing to avoid taking time in Court to fill in the case style, trial dates, and other information.
Trial periods are set for two-week periods. All cases shall be ready to pick a jury and proceed to trial the Monday of trial.
The purpose of Docket Sounding is to enter a plea or announce that a case is ready to proceed to trial. A defendant’s appearance at Docket Sounding is mandatory. No oral motions of any kind will be heard by the Court at Docket
The plea cut-off date for all cases set on a trial docket is 5:00 p.m. the Friday of Docket Sounding week. All pleas taken after that time will be straight-up and require a sentencing hearing.
After Trial Scheduling, the attorneys shall confer and submit a proposed joint set of jury instructions to the Court via email to the Felony Division 1 email address. If there is a disagreement between the attorneys on a particular instruction, each attorney shall submit their own proposed instruction along with supporting authority.
When a defendant enters a plea to a new substantive charge or admits to a violation of probation, the Acknowledgement and Waiver of Rights Form must refer to the date the governing Information was filed and the Counts and Charges to which the defendant is entering a plea or the date the affidavit in support of the violation of probation was signed by the officer.
All score sheets must be completed in full (or to the extent possible on a straight-up plea) so that, at most, only the judge’s signature will be required.
On days where violations of probation (VOPs) are heard, the Court will hear pleas and other non-evidentiary VOP motions in the morning.
All motions to terminate or modify community control or probation must be submitted in writing to the Court prior to a hearing along with statements by the probation officer and Assistant State Attorney stating whether there is an objection to the termination or modification.
It will be up to the pro se defendant or defense counsel to ensure that the proper documents have been secured prior to the hearing or the probation officer will be present to state his or her position. In cases where the probation officer’s position is unknown to the Court, the motion will be denied without prejudice.
If there is no objection to a modification from either the State or probation, the Court will enter an appropriate order and no hearing is necessary.
Contested motions to modify or termination probation will be heard at 11:30 a.m. on VOP days.
Evidentiary Hearings for VOPS will be conducted starting at 1:30 p.m. on VOP days.