Honorable Hunter W. Carroll

Circuit Court Judge

Contact Information

Judge Hunter Carroll

Judicial Service

  • Circuit Court Bench, November 23, 2015


  • JD, University of Florida College of Law, 2000
  • BS, University of Florida, 1997
  • BA, University of Florida, 1997
Judicial Assistant
Email Sarah at sscibak@jud12.flcourts.org
(941) 861–7946
Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center
Physical Address
2002 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34237
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 48927, Sarasota, FL 34236
Office Hours
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed for lunch Noon-1 p.m.
Proceedings are held in Courtroom 6C
Notice to the public: The Code of Judicial Conduct governing behavior by judges forbids the Judges of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit to discuss pending cases with the public. Please do not call or email the Court expecting to speak with a Judge about any case. The Court is only allowed to consider arguments made in the courtroom and in documents properly filed by actual parties in the case as authorized by law and the Rules of Court. The Court cannot ethically read or consider any other opinions or arguments about the case. Communications that do not meet these legal requirements cannot be forwarded to the Judges.

Requirements & Information

Standards of Professionalism

Judge Carroll expects all attorneys who appear to know and adhere to the Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s Standards of Professionalism, also available on the websites of the Manatee County Bar Association and the Sarasota County Bar Association.

Mandatory use of Document Identification Number [DIN]

The Clerk’s Office on the progress docket identifies a unique, sequential Document Identification Number [DIN] for each docket entry. Once assigned by the Clerk, the DIN does not change. Please include the DIN when referencing any filing, especially on hearing notices. Use of the DIN will reduce confusion as to what motion is to be heard.

Just, speedy, and inexpensive determinations of every action.

Florida Court rules are designed to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action. Judge Carroll adheres to this philosophy, and Judge Carroll expects the attorneys and litigants will govern themselves accordingly.

A. Remote Appearance

Judge Carroll maintains a hybrid courtroom, meaning that Judge Carroll can conduct Court with parties appearing in-person and remotely by Zoom at the same time. There are exceptions.

The following proceedings are always “in person” only (no Zoom appearance) unless Judge Carroll specifically allows otherwise: jury trials; nonjury trials; foreclosure trials; and evidentiary hearings 61 minutes or longer. In all other proceedings the parties have the discretion to choose whether to appear in person or by Zoom regardless of how the other parties choose to appear.

Even if you appear by Zoom, you are in Court. Your camera must be on, and you must dress and conduct yourself just like you are in-person in the courtroom.

If a witness appears by Zoom, the party calling the witness must ensure the witness has a camera and has tested the connection before the hearing. The witness must have recognized government-issued identification. Any witness outside of the State of Florida must consent to Judge Carroll administering the oath or have a person authorized in that jurisdiction to administer the oath present.

Judge Carroll's Zoom Credentials

  • Launch Zoom
  • Click “Join A Meeting”
  • Meeting ID: 353 234 4884
    Password: 756433
  • Note: You must appear with a working camera; no telephone appearances.
If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact the Sarasota County Jury Office, P.O. Box 3079, Sarasota, Florida 34230-3079, (941) 861–8000, at least seven (7) days before your scheduled court appearance, or immediately upon receiving this notification if the time before the scheduled appearance is less than seven (7) days; if you are hearing or voice impaired, call 711.

B. Hearing Procedures

Scheduling and cancelling hearings: You must schedule and cancel hearings 60 minutes in duration or less through the JACS. Please do not combine timeslots. Please contact Judge Carroll’s Judicial Assistant to schedule or cancel hearings requiring more than one hour. When Judge Carroll’s Judicial Assistant has finalized the docket — approximately five days in advance of the hearing — JACS will not permit you to cancel the hearing. In that situation, please call the Judicial Assistant to cancel the hearing. You must immediately send notice of cancellation to all parties. If you cannot find hearing time on JACS, please contact Judge Carroll’s Judicial Assistant.

Noticing hearings: When drafting a notice of hearing, you must include Judge Carroll’s Zoom credentials and explain that the parties may appear in-person or remotely. Judge Carroll will host all Zoom events. If the hearing is a mandatory in-person hearing, the notice of hearing must reflect that fact. Additionally, please include the DIN on the hearing notice and when referencing any filing.

Mandatory use of camera on Zoom: If you are authorized to appear by Zoom, you must appear with a working camera. You may not appear by telephone. This includes Court Reporters.

Use of Magistrate: The following matters must be scheduled before Magistrate Ellis, unless either side files a written objection: all motions directed to the pleadings, discovery, service of process, jurisdiction, and arbitration. These motions may be scheduled through the JACS system. In addition to the traditional matters heard by Magistrate Ellis, the parties may utilize Magistrate Ellis for any other matter to which the parties consent, including injunction hearings and summary judgment motions. Injunctions and summary judgment motions must be specially set by stipulation by contacting Magistrate Ellis’ assistant. If a scheduling party has any question regarding whether a certain motion should be scheduled before the Magistrate, the scheduling party should call or email Magistrate Ellis’ assistant.

Withdrawing/Substituting as Attorney: If you are withdrawing/substituting as attorney, please use the appropriate downloadable Order Granting Substitution/Withdrawal of Attorney. No hearing is needed if (1) there is no pending trial; and (2) you file and submit client consent to the Court with the motion and proposed order. Otherwise, you must notice the motion for hearing and include the client on the certificate of service.

Note: you must separately remove yourself from the Portal.

Summary Judgment motions: Administrative Order AO 2021-19.1 contains specific requirements that must be included for both the moving and nonmoving parties. Compliance with this Administrative Order is required.

Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC hearings): The Division A and C judges conduct UMC hearings most Wednesday mornings at 8:30 a.m. UMC motions must be non-evidentiary, unopposed, and 5 minutes or less in length. You must schedule these UMC hearings through the Court’s Judicial Assistant. You are responsible for filing and serving the notice of hearing. You must include the DIN of the motion to be heard on the notice of hearing.

Reconsideration, rehearing, and new trial motions: Please do not set these motions for hearing. Please send a copy of these filed motions to Judge Carroll’s Judicial Assistant with a cover letter. Judge Carroll will determine whether to grant a hearing.

Motions for attorney fees and costs: Judge Carroll allows a Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Costs to proceed on the issue of entitlement only. If entitlement is found, Judge Carroll may require mediation as to the issue of amount. If mediation is unsuccessful and counsel are unable to stipulate and submit an agreed Order to the Court, the Movant may proceed to schedule an evidentiary hearing as to amount of fees/costs to be awarded. Please refer to the guidelines for conducting an evidentiary hearing.

Residential foreclosure matters: All residential foreclosure cases must be set on the foreclosure docket and not the civil motion docket. If it is incorrectly set on a civil motion docket, the hearing will be cancelled.

C. Communications with the Court

Self-Represented Litigants (pro se): Judge Carroll must apply the same rules to all parties, regardless of whether you have an attorney. Your opportunity to speak with Judge Carroll about your case is when you are in the courtroom as well as in written motions and responses. The Judge may not talk to you about your case outside of the courtroom, so please do not call to speak with the Judge. Judge Carroll’s Judicial Assistant can help you schedule a hearing. The Judicial Assistant may not help you with your case or send information to the other party or attorney for you. Please do not ask the Judicial Assistant for the outcome of a hearing or verify that an order has been signed; you may review the Sarasota County Clerk’s website for details about your case. Please remember that whenever you file something with the Clerk or provide the Judge a copy, you must send a copy to all the attorneys or parties at the same time.

Emails are not motions: The Court will not consider an email to be a motion. If any party wants Judge Carroll to take action, the party must file a motion.

Mandatory use of the Portal: The Florida Courts E-Filing Authority maintains a single, statewide access point to file court documents known as the E-Filing Portal. Most self-represented litigants (pro se litigants) as well as attorneys must register with the Portal to send and receive court documents as required by Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.516. The Portal maintains many “how-to” videos.

D. Submission of Orders

Downloadable proposed orders: The Court uses several standard order forms, which you may download and use. If a downloadable form is available, the Court prefers you use it because it generally contains specific directions that helps the Clerk of Court maintain data quality in the Clerk’s Case Maintenance System. Please check this site often as the Court frequently adds new or modifies existing proposed orders. You can access these standard order forms here on the Civil Division page.

Proposed orders must be submitted through the Portal: All proposed orders must be submitted through the Portal and submitted in Word format only. For readability purposes, Judge Carroll encourages Bookman Old Style, 12-point font with one-inch margins when drafting proposed Orders. If the document is to be recorded (e.g., judgment), there must be a blank space measuring 3 inches by 3 inches at the top right for Clerk’s recording stamp.

All proposed orders must be accompanied by a cover letter in PDF/A format. The submitting attorney must ensure all parties/attorneys receive a courtesy copy of both the proposed Order and cover letter. Further, any proposed attachment to a proposed order must simultaneously be submitted through the Portal in PDF/A format. To recap:

  • Proposed orders: Word format only
  • Cover letters: PDF/A format only
  • Attachments to orders: PDF/A format only

The Portal maintains a number of “how-to” videos, including how to submit a proposed order.

Judge Carroll expects that you will only submit a proposed order when all attorneys or parties agree on its form. If there is a disagreement on the form, or an attorney does not respond within a reasonable time, you may then send the proposed order with a concise statement identifying the disagreement and the specific steps you took. The opposing attorney may submit at the same time an alternate proposed order through the Portal. Please do not include a directive such as “hold this proposed order for x days for an objection to be lodged.” The Court will reject proposed orders seeking to put this burden on the Court or the Court's staff.

E. Courtesy Copies

The Court requests the parties to submit an electronic copy of the notice of hearing that contains the DIN of each motion and response as well as any case law. The Court reviews motions and responses directly from the Court file, and for that reason, the Court routinely does not need a courtesy copy. For hearings involving a high number of pages or documents, the Court encourages text searchable electronic copies of the notice of hearing, motion(s), supporting material, and any directly relevant cases, which must be delivered no later than three days prior to the hearing. Please give opposing counsel—and the Court—the opportunity to be prepared to address your motion.

Please do not send paper copies of anything to the Court. The only exception is for evidence for evidentiary hearings and nonjury trials, then the Court would like a paper version of the evidence. Please see Section G, for details.

F. Emergency & Other Urgent Matters

True emergencies are rare. Any motion requesting emergency treatment or hearing time must explain the emergency, the anticipated time needed, and, where appropriate, good faith efforts to resolve the matter without Court intervention. The attorney or party filing the motion must (1) phone Judge Carroll’s Judicial Assistant about the motion, and (2) email or hand deliver a copy to the Judge Carroll’s Judicial Assistant. Judge Carroll will determine how to handle the request. Emergency hearings may occur during nontraditional work hours. Motions improperly designated as emergency motions may result in sanctions.

G. Exhibits for Evidentiary Proceedings

The Clerk’s office requires evidence admitted during an evidentiary hearing to be in paper format without leave of court. Unless the Court instructs you otherwise, please provide the Court’s Judicial Assistant three paper sets of all evidence at least two business days before the hearing/trial. One set will become the official exhibits Judge Carroll delivers to the Clerk. One set will be placed on the witness stand. The third set will be for Judge Carroll’s personal use.

Please, no 3-ring binders unless there are many exhibits and use of a 3-ring binder would be helpful to maintain organization. If use of a 3-ring binder occurs, the Court requests the parties use “D-ring” binders. No 3-ring “D-ring” binder should exceed 2 inches.

Exhibits should be marked as follows:

  • Joint Exhibits, please use the series: Exhibit 1-99
  • Plaintiff Exhibits, please use the series: Exhibit 101-199
  • Defendant Exhibits, please use the series: Exhibit 201-299

If there are multiple parties, the parties should discuss amongst themselves which party will receive which series. Each party should have a unique series.

If an exhibit contains multiple pages, please ensure there is a unique page number on each page. Use of bates labels is fine.

H. Pretrial Procedures & Conferences

Case management conferences: Judge Carroll is a strong proponent of using Case Management Conferences. These conferences can be set by any party or Judge Carroll and typically address scheduling matters and address any perceived problems in cases. You may use a Case Management Conference to address the situation where a party/attorney refuses to clear dates. Judge Carroll also uses these conferences as part of the Circuit’s differentiated case management protocols established by Administrative Order AO 2021-14.1.

Compelling discovery: The Circuit’s Standards of Professionalism discuss motions to compel discovery. The Court draws particular attention to Administrative Order 2010-22.2 § E(1)(d), which provides: “Motions to compel discovery shall quote in full each interrogatory, question on deposition, request for admission, or request for production to which the motion is addressed and the objection and grounds given by the opposing parties.”

Failure to respond to discovery: If after good faith efforts a party still has not responded at all to a pending, and overdue, discovery request, the requesting party may submit a proposed Order through the Portal that provides within 10 days that the specific discovery occur and a response be filed, waives all objections as untimely except those based on privacy, legal privilege, or work-product protections, and warns the failure to abide by the Order may result in further sanctions, including, without limitation, dismissing the case, striking pleadings, or other appropriate sanctions.

Pretrial Conference: The Court will set a Pretrial Conference date for jury trials. The parties must complete a proposed Pretrial Conference Order found on the Civil Division page and submit to Judge Carroll via the Portal at least three (3) business days prior to the Pretrial Conference. The parties must attend the Pretrial Conference unless excused by the Court. The Court typically does not conduct Pretrial Conferences in nonjury cases.

Daubert, Summary Judgment, and In Limine Motions: All motions, including Daubert, Summary Judgment, and In Limine motions, must be resolved before Docket Sounding. Unless Judge Carroll allows otherwise, any pending motion will be deemed denied if not addressed by Docket Sounding. Please plan accordingly.

Docket Sounding: Lead trial counsel and unrepresented parties must attend Docket Sounding. The Order Setting Case for Jury/Nonjury Trial identifies the documents to tender to the Court. After Docket Sounding, the Court will publish a trial lineup.

I. Setting Case for Trial

Differentiated case management: The Court follows the differentiated case management protocol as set forth in Administrative Order AO 2021-14.1. Judge Carroll follows this protocol.

Within 30 days of the last Defendant being served with process, the parties are directed to meet-and-confer and complete the appropriate Case Management Report. The parties must file the Case Management Report within 5 days of the parties’ initial meet-and-confer. The parties in that Case Management Report can agree to waive the “at issue” rule and have the Court enter a trial order setting a trial period at that time. If the parties do not waive the “at issue” rule, the Court will enter an order setting a proposed trial period as well as setting a separate Case Management Conference to set the trial period.

Once a trial period is set, all requests for a trial continuance or changes to the trial period must be set for hearing. You cannot simply file a new Case Management Report.

J. Preferred Division Forms

The Court uses several standard orders, which are found on the Civil Division page. Please check this page often as the Court adds new orders and modifies existing orders. If a downloadable form is available, the Court prefers you use it because it generally contains specific directions that helps the Clerk of Court maintain data quality in the Clerk’s Case Maintenance System.

K. Other Division Procedures

Backup judges: Civil Division A and C judges backup each other to increase availability for trials. Please notify the Court no later than Docket Sounding if a recusal issue would exist with the Division A judge.

Continuances: All continuance motions must be in writing and signed by the client/party. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.460; Fla. R. Gen. Prac. & Jud. Admin. 2.525(e). You must set all motions for trial continuance for hearing.

Electronic evidence: There are two basic considerations you should keep in mind when planning on using electronic evidence. First, whether the Court has the electronic capability to review the electronic evidence in the Courtroom. Second, how the Clerk will “receive” the electronic evidence. The Clerk prefers paper at this time (in the future, this may change). Wherever possible, please convert your electronic evidence into paper format and introduce the paper copy. For instance, electronic pictures, text messages, and the like can be printed out and introduced into evidence. If you have electronic evidence that cannot be converted into paper format — e.g., video files — please place all such files onto a single thumb drive when possible. You are still responsible to broadcasting the electronic evidence within the Courtroom.

Technology services: All technology service requests must be made prior to trial. If presentation equipment or assistance is needed, please review the Technology Services page for more information. It is the attorney/party’s responsibility to obtain all requests or equipment needed for trial.

Settlements occurring after Docket Sounding: If the parties settle after Docket Sounding, not only must the parties immediately notify Judge Carroll’s Judicial Assistant, the parties must also immediately contact the attorneys next in order on the trial lineup (even over the weekend). Please be considerate so that court time is not lost due to settlements when others are needing that same hearing time.

Orders under advisement: Judge Carroll attempts to rule from the bench where appropriate. If Judge Carroll takes a matter under advisement, Judge Carroll tries to rule as quickly as possible under the then current circumstances. Please do not call to ask about the status of the order. If 30 days have elapsed without a ruling, the movant may call the Judicial Assistant to advise that the matter has been under advisement for 30 days. The 30 days begins upon the Court’s receipt of the last post-hearing submission (e.g., transcripts, supplemental briefs, or legal authority).

Required service on the Court: Petitions and motions that by law must be served upon the Judge (e.g., writs, appeals, disqualification motions), must be either emailed to the Court’s Judicial Assistant or hand delivered to the Court Deputy on the 8th floor security office in the Silvertooth Judicial Center. Additionally, please call the Judicial Assistant to advise her of the service.

ADA Notice: If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact the Sarasota County Jury Office, P.O. Box 3079, Sarasota, Florida 34230-3079, (941) 861–8000, at least seven (7) days before your scheduled court appearance, or immediately upon receiving this notification if the time before the scheduled appearance is less than seven (7) days; if you are hearing or voice impaired, call 711.