Requirements and Information
January 5, 2022
Local Rules for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit are available on the Circuit’s website, from the Manatee County Bar Association and its website, and in the Bar’s Membership Directories. Judge Inman adheres to Local Rules 5a and 5b regarding discovery motions. Non-compliance could result in the cancellation of your hearing. All attorneys must also adhere to the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Standards of Professionalism, adopted by the circuit on October 20, 2010, in Administrative Order 2010-22.2.
Zoom is a platform by which people can appear by telephone or video. More information about the platform is available on the Zoom website. Some proceedings will be by Zoom, and others will be in person. If your hearing is by Zoom, please adhere to the following rules in place for all Manatee County Court Judges:
The Clerk of Court randomly determines the judge assigned to a case. Please consult the Manatee County Clerk of Court website or call their office at 941‑749‑1800 to determine the judge assigned to your case.
All hearings are to be scheduled through the Judicial Automated Calendaring System (JACS). If you need more than 60 minutes of hearing time or cannot find adequate time in JACS to schedule your hearing, please call the Judicial Assistant.
For any civil hearing, any party wishing the Court to consider legal authority shall submit their authority to the Judge’s office (in hand, by mail, or by email at least 3 days prior to the hearing (or at least 24 hours in advance if there is less than 3 days between the motion filing and the hearing) the motion to be heard and any case law or other authority the parties wish the Court to consider.
Twelfth Judicial Circuit Administrative Order 2021-17.1, issued pursuant to Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC20-23 Amendment 12, includes case management requirements in most county civil actions. Please review and comply with the requirements set forth in that order.
Once a motion is scheduled, subsequent motions may not be added or cross-noticed without prior approval of the original scheduling attorney and then the Judge. Please note that if your motion is permitted to be heard, you must comply with the requirements set forth above.
Cancellations should be done as soon as the parties are aware that the need for the hearing time no longer exists. If a party is unable to cancel a hearing through JACS, please contact the Judicial Assistant so that she can make the time available for other cases. If a hearing is cancelled, opposing parties and/or counsel must be notified.
All motions for rehearing, reconsideration and new trial are to be submitted directly to the Judge’s office. The motion shall be detailed and include case law or other legal authority. Judge Inman will first review the motion to determine whether a hearing is required.
There are no set criteria as to emergency or expedited hearings and the Judicial Assistant can only give out emergency or expedited hearing time on the Judge’s direction. All motions requesting emergency or expedited hearing time should be faxed, emailed, or delivered to the Judge’s office with an attached cover letter that includes the amount of hearing time requested. The Judge will then review the motion to determine whether expedited or emergency hearing will be forthcoming.
Judge Inman utilizes the Zoom platform for most civil matters, for which the parties may appear by phone or video. All trials, evidentiary hearings, and eviction/unlawful detainer hearings shall take place live in the courtroom, unless all parties agree that all or a portion of the trial/hearing can be by Zoom or other electronic means. Cases already set that are not in compliance with this rule are grandfathered in; no change is necessary. The Court is reserving different blocks of time for remote and live court appearances. For those types of hearings that will be in person and all parties do not agree to a Zoom appearance, any party requesting a Zoom appearance must comply with the requirements of Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.530, and file a motion explaining why good cause exists for the Zoom appearance over the other party’s objection. The Court will not initiate any call.
The attorney scheduling a hearing is responsible for notifying the bailiff’s office if an inmate needs to be transported from the jail, or needs to appear electronically, for a hearing.
If an interpreter is needed, you must arrange for the interpreter. The Twelfth Judicial Circuit provides interpreters for all court events, if requested properly in advance. Please see the Court Interpreter's webpage for information on scheduling an interpreter.
When a motion to compel that complies with the good faith certification in Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.380(a)(2) (motion “must include a certification that the movant, in good faith, has conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party failing to make the discovery in an effort to secure the information or material without court action”), alleges the absence of a response or objection to discovery, and there has been no request for an extension of time to respond, the Court, without a hearing, may enter an order requiring compliance with the original discovery request within 15 days of the signing of the order, provided no written showing of good cause has been filed by the non-moving party. The movant must submit to the Court a proposed order.
Judge Inman is assigned to cases in which the Defendant’s last name begins with A, B, C, D, and I. She may be assigned other cases by the Chief Judge.
All criminal motion hearings are scheduled either in court or directly through the Judge’s office. Most motions can be set on a plea/motion date and time. However, any matter that will require more than 10 minutes (Motions to Dismiss, Motions to Suppress, Restitution, etc.) must be set at a specially-set time through the Judicial Assistant.
For any criminal hearing in which the parties will be submitting legal authority to the Court, the parties shall submit to the Judge’s office (in hand, by mail, or by email at least 3 days prior to the hearing (or at least 24 hours in advance if there is less than 3 days between the motion filing and the hearing) the motion to be heard and any case law or other authority the parties wish the Court to consider.
The scheduling attorney must provide the Judge’s office with a courtesy copy of all Notices of Hearing and Notices of Cancellation of Hearing.
These motions must first be sent to the Court. The Court will review the motion and determine if hearing time will be forthcoming.
All motions needing emergency hearing time should be emailed, faxed or delivered directly to the Judge’s office. The motion should detail the circumstances of the emergency. The Court will review the motion and determine whether expedited or emergency hearing time will be forthcoming. Any emergency motion filed by an attorney 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.
When there are related traffic infraction and criminal cases, any party moving to consolidate the cases may submit a motion and order to consolidate to the judge’s office for review, with a copy to the State Attorney. The State shall notify the Court immediately if there is any objection to the requested relief.
If you wish to appear by Zoom, you may do so without prior authorization from the Court. However, defendants and witnesses are required to appear in person for jury trials, arraignments, or if ordered to appear in person.
Prior to scheduling any evidentiary hearing or hearing in excess of fifteen minutes on Zoom, the moving party shall ensure the opposing party is agreeable to the Zoom appearance and that the request is otherwise in compliance with Rule 2.530 of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. A filed stipulation is not required on this issue. If the remote appearance is not agreed to, the party seeking to present Zoom testimony shall move for permission to present testimony and set forth good cause as to why the testimony should be allowed in this form no less than two business days prior to the scheduled hearing.
If a Defendant is pleading by Zoom, please submit and e-file the plea form prior to the plea. If the charge to which the Defendant is entering a plea is one that requires fingerprints (such as Battery, Violation of an Injunction, Petit Theft and DUI), and the Defendant is unable to obtain those fingerprints prior to the plea then an additional condition of probation will be for the Defendant to procure fingerprints and file them with the Clerk of Court. If the defendant is not entering a plea to regular probation, the Court will not accept the plea via Zoom or in absentia if fingerprints are required. Should a plea via Zoom occur, the State shall, if applicable, ensure that the victim has notice of the hearing and the ability to participate in the hearing.
The Court will allow appearances at pre-trial conference to be by Zoom or in person.
Criminal Pretrial Conferences can be continued two times without the need for defense counsel to appear, provided that the defense attorney has filed the Pretrial Conference Request Form prior to the scheduled Pretrial Conference (including handing the form to the Clerk at the Pretrial Conference). The forms will be available in the courtroom and on the Twelfth Judicial Circuit website. The form can either be submitted to the Court via email or filed with the Clerk. If you have continued the case twice before, you cannot continue it a third time without the written approval of the assistant state attorney and the defendant.
The Court will accept negotiated pleas at pre-trial conference, but will not hear motions or entertain open pleas.
Defendants must appear at docket sounding. If the case is ready for trial, the attorneys shall be prepared to advise the Court how long the trial is expected to take, the number of witnesses to be called and any witness scheduling conflicts.
The negotiated plea cut-off date for all cases set on a trial docket will be the Friday before the trial period. Thereafter all pleas will be open pleas to the Court unless there has been a significant change with the case.
Stipulations for substitution of counsel must include the signature of the client signifying his/her consent to the substitution of counsel, in accordance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.505(e).
If any documents are to be submitted by email, they shall be submitted to Divison 1. The sole purpose of this email account is for the submission of documents under these requirements, or for the submission of a proposed order. The email account is not to be used to communicate with the Judge’s office in any way. Any emails sent for communication purposes to this email address will not be read, considered, filed, or responded to.
Any proposed order shall be submitted as an email attachment in a format compatible with Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx format) – do not send in PDF format. If a proposed order is submitted by email, you must provide stamped/addressed envelopes for all parties.
Any documents submitted by email shall be copied to the opposing counsel/pro se party, and there shall be an indication in the email that copies have been so provided.
Judge Inman accepts proposed orders through the ePortal. Please refer to Twelfth Circuit Administrative Orders.