Requirements and Information
December 15, 2022
In accordance with this Circuit’s Administrative Order 21-09.2, the Court is no longer operating under COVID restrictions.
Many types of hearings can take place by Zoom. Zoom is a platform by which people can appear by telephone or by video. More information about the platform is available on Zoom's website. If, after reviewing these guidelines, you are unsure about whether a hearing can occur by Zoom or whether you are supposed to appear in person, please contact the Judicial Assistant. Please note that those individuals appearing live will be heard prior to those appearing by Zoom. Additionally, even if a hearing is noticed by Zoom, the Court will permit litigants and attorneys to appear live and the hearing will go forward even if one or more litigants are on zoom and one or more are in the courtroom. If a hearing is noticed as an in-person hearing, litigants and attorneys must appear in person absent an order authorizing him/her to appear by Zoom.
Trials and evictions shall take place live in the courtroom and the notice shall include language that the hearing is taking place live in the courtroom and not by remote means. Requests to appear by Zoom for these types of proceedings will be granted upon the Court’s finding of good cause and if such request is received in Judge Quartermaine’s office no less than two business days prior to the scheduled hearing and if otherwise in compliance with Rule 2.530 of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration.
Evidentiary hearings including hearings on claims of exemptions may be noticed as a Zoom hearing without prior authorization from the Court as long as the Notice of Hearing includes the Meeting ID, Password, and information about how to access and utilize Zoom.
Link to Judge Quartermaine’s current Zoom Meeting ID and Password
Arraignments, trials, evidentiary hearings, open pleas, and non-evidentiary hearings expected to last longer than fifteen minutes will take place live in the courtroom and shall be noticed as such absent a court order permitting an appearance by Zoom. Requests to appear by Zoom for these types of proceedings will be granted upon the Court’s finding of good cause and if such request is otherwise in compliance with Rule 2.530 of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration.
Pretrial conferences, plea hearings for negotiated pleas, docket sounding hearings, violations of probation and other non-evidentiary matters expected to last 15 minutes or less may be noticed as a Zoom hearing without prior permission from the Court. If such a hearing is set during a prior court hearing, no notice of hearing is necessary, and the attorneys and defendants can appear by Zoom.
Link to Judge Quartermaine’s current Zoom page, including Meeting ID and Password
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. All parties are required to coordinate hearing time with the opposing parties. If a party is encountering difficulty in procuring cooperation that party may unilaterally schedule a 10-minute status hearing providing at least two-weeks notice to the opposing party or parties.
All motions must be filed prior to or simultaneously with reserving hearing time. Civil and Criminal Hearings may be scheduled using the Court’s JACS. If you are requesting more than 60 minutes, please contact the Judicial Assistant to specially set it. If you find there is insufficient hearing time available or you have to wait more than two weeks to obtain hearing time, please contact the Judicial Assistant.
Hearings are limited to the time reserved. The parties opposing the motion are entitled to equal time. Accordingly, the party reserving and scheduling the hearing should either determine how much hearing time is necessary and then at least double it to account for response time, or preferably confer with opposing counsel and agree to the time required. Please email courtesy copies of hearings to the JA. Hard copies are not necessary. Cross-noticing is not permitted unless agreed upon by all parties.
Hearings scheduled through JACS may be cancelled using JACS up to three days prior to the hearing date. If the JACS deadline for cancelling a hearing has passed, the scheduling party must contact the Judicial Assistant to cancel the hearing, notify all parties of the cancellation, and file a Notice of Cancellation with the Clerk. Please email courtesy copies on cancellations to the JA. Hard copies are not necessary.
Provide copies of case law at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. If you do not provide the case law in advance, your hearing time may be decreased by the time it takes for the Judge to read whatever is provided.
Monthly calendars for Division A are available on the Divisions page.
All requests for emergency hearing time must be made by first filing an emergency motion with the Clerk and then providing a copy of the motion for the Judge’s review.
The motion shall contain certification that the attorney has personally spoken with opposing counsel, or has made diligent attempts to contact opposing counsel, in an effort to resolve the disputed issue(s) and recite opposing counsel’s position prior to requesting an emergency hearing.
The motion shall be accompanied by a cover letter that must include an estimate of the amount of hearing time required. The Judge will review the motion to determine whether an expedited hearing is necessary.
Once the Clerk has entered the Default, the Final Judgment of Possession may be emailed to the JA. Hard copies are not necessary. Once signed, the Judicial Assistant will scan and email them back. If an answer is filed, the Court will review the response and determine whether a hearing is warranted. If a hearing is required, the Judicial Assistant will schedule the hearing and notify all parties.
All motions for Rehearing, Reconsideration or for New Trial must be filed with the Clerk and a copy submitted directly to the Judge. After review, the Judge will determine whether a hearing is necessary.
Stipulations for substitution of counsel must include the signature of the client signifying his/her consent to the substitution of counsel.
Criminal Pretrial Conferences can be continued two times without the need for the Defense Attorney to appear provided that the Defense Attorney has filed with the Clerk the Pretrial Conference Request Form prior to the scheduled Pretrial Conference. Do not send the completed forms to the Judicial Assistant. Forms are available via direct download and in the courtroom. Additionally, an attorney can hand this form to the Clerk at the Pretrial Conference and the attorney may then leave without waiting for the Court to call his or her case.
Upon receipt of a legally sufficient motion pursuant to Rule 3.210(b) of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Court will enter an order appointing an expert for purposes of evaluating competency. The Court will choose this expert based upon a rotation of the approved experts in this jurisdiction. The Court will consider the appointment of additional experts at a hearing on a motion from either the State or Defense.
Please refer to the Administrative Order 2022-07.1.
Attorneys are encouraged to use the statewide Portal as is described in Administrative Order 2022-1.2. However, attorneys may send proposed orders to the Judicial Assistant via email or by hard copy.
Appearance in person is required at Small Claims Pretrials. If a plaintiff has not been able to serve all of the defendants in the case, the Court will leave the case open without the necessity of the plaintiff appearing upon request from the plaintiff. It will be the responsibility of the plaintiff to obtain another summons in order to schedule another court date.
1. See an example Notice of Hearing with the required information.
2. See footnote 1.