Honorable Teresa Dees Kaklis

Circuit Court Judge

Contact Information

Judge Teresa Dees

Judicial Service

  • Circuit Court Bench, September 2015


  • JD, University of Florida College of Law, 1996
  • BS, University of Florida, 1992
Judicial Assistant
Office Hours
8 am - 4:30 pm EST; closed for lunch Noon-1 pm
(941) 749–3623
(941) 749-3682; Emergencies only (please call the JA ahead if the fax will be more than 10 pages); Do not fax courtesy copies. Any motion faxed to the Judge must be faxed to all parties.
CirCrimDiv5@jud12.flcourts.org; Emails to the Court must be copied to all parties.
Manatee County Judicial Center
Physical Address
1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 3000, Bradenton, FL 34205
Courtroom 4A
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 Teresa Kaklis Dees 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.

A. Remote Appearance

Zoom Appearances

All proceeding in front of Judge Dees are held in person in courtroom 4-A. Zoom appearances are only permitted pursuant to the Administrative Rules of Court, upon order of the Court, and are generally limited to expert witness testimony upon agreement of the parties. See the Technology Services page to request an IT Zoom presentation cart.

B. Hearing Procedures

All motions shall be filed prior to reserving hearing time.


Hearings are limited to the time reserved. The party opposing the motion is entitled to equal time; therefore, the party reserving and scheduling the hearing should determine how much hearing time he/she needs and then double the estimate. In the alternative, the scheduling party should confer with opposing counsel and agree regarding the total time required.

Cross Notices

Once a motion is scheduled via JACS or the Judicial Assistant, subsequent motions shall not be "cross noticed," absent prior approval of the Court and opposing counsel.

Substitute Motions

Once a particular motion is scheduled via JACS or the Judicial Assistant, another motion shall not be "substituted" in the event the original motion is cancelled absent prior approval by the Court or opposing counsel.

Add-On Cases/Hearings

Any party wishing to add a case or hearing to the docket after JACS has closed must contact the JA no later than 11:00 a.m. the day prior to the scheduled hearings. Cases may not be added on without the express consent of opposing counsel and the Court. For example, to place an additional case on the Tuesday docket the requesting party shall contact the Judicial Assistant no later than 11:00 a.m. on Monday. The requesting party must have the approval of opposing counsel prior to contacting the Judicial Assistant. Do not contact the Clerk's office to add-on cases. If approved, the Court will contact the Clerk.


Please cancel hearing time thru JACS as soon as you are aware the need for the time no longer exists. If unable to cancel the hearing through JACS, please contact the Judicial Assistant so she can make the time available for other cases.

The attorney cancelling the hearing is responsible for notifying judicial security that an inmate will not be needed. If a hearing is cancelled, a defendant should not be transported.


  • All pleas and hearings, thirty (30) minutes or less in length shall be set by using the Judicial Automated Calendaring System (JACS). It is recommended that 10-minute slots be used for negotiated pleas, Motions to Compel and any other simple motions that will take 10 minutes or less to be heard.
  • Hearings of sixty (60) minutes or more must be scheduled through the Judicial Assistant.
  • All paperwork from the ASA (Assistant State Attorney), PD (Public Defender), or DOC (Department of Corrections) office must be sent via regular rounds except in emergency situations.

Pleas and Motions

  • All pleas and motions shall be set on those days designated for pleas and motions.
  • Pleas and motions dates are assigned to a specific Assistant State Attorney. The scheduling party must determine which Assistant State Attorney is assigned to a case and schedule his/her pleas or motion accordingly. Please consult the online calendar before setting a case for hearing. Any hearing set on a day not assigned to the specific Assistant State Attorney will be cancelled.
  • The Court is aware it may be necessary to set pleas and motions for dates other than those designated to a specific Assistant State Attorney. However, on such rare occasions, the scheduling party must:
    • Contact the Judicial Assistant with: the case number; the name of the assigned Assistant State Attorney; the reason it cannot be placed on a designated date; and, the time needed. The Judicial Assistant will then provide several potential alternate dates and times,
    • Contact the assigned Assistant State Attorney to clear the date and time,
    • Re-contact the Judicial Assistant to confirm the date and time utilized. (NOTE: The Judicial Assistant will only hold the potential dates and times for twenty-four (24) hours. If no confirmation is made the potential dates and times will be re-opened).
  • Plea Cut-off Date: The plea cut-off date for all cases set on a trial docket will be 5:00 p.m. the Friday before trial week.

Bond Hearings

  • Jail Bond Hearings: Jail bond hearings are those requiring less than fifteen (15) minutes and will be held weekly on Thursdays at 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. Please review the calendar for details. Any other hearing set in this time slot will be cancelled. However, Motions to Release Uncharged Defendants may be scheduled during this time.
  • Bond Hearings in Excess of Fifteen (15) Minutes: Bond hearings requiring time in excess of fifteen (15) minutes shall be scheduled in accordance with the procedures established under the Scheduling section.

Motions for Rehearing, Reconsideration, Arrest of Judgment and/or New Trial

All Motions for Rehearing, Reconsideration, Arrest of Judgment and/or New Trial must be submitted directly to the judge, along with a cover letter. After review, the judge will determine if a hearing is required.

Motions/Orders for Release of Uncharged Defendants

Motions for Release of Uncharged Defendants shall be filed with the clerk and a clerk’s date/time stamp copy delivered to the judge’s chambers and to the ASA. Defense shall obtain hearing time from the judicial assistant for the next scheduled video bond hearing or at any motion time cleared with the ASA. Should the ASA file charges before the hearing, the ASA shall deliver a clerk’s date/time stamped copy of the Information to the Defense and the judge’s chambers, in order to cancel the hearing. These hearings may be set during the Video Bond time.

Pro Se Motions to Modify of Terminate Probation

Upon receipt of a pro se Motion to Modify or Terminate Probation, the Court will take the following action:

  • Assign a Motion Hearing Date: Scheduled at least 4 weeks from date of motion. These hearings will be held on a scheduled VOP Conference date.
  • Send a Notice of Hearing to the Defendant: Copies will be sent to both the State Attorney’s office and the Department of Corrections for review. The SAO is responsible for notifying any victims. SAO and DOC are required to attend these hearings.

C. Communications with the Court

Paper courtesy copies of motions, hearing documents, case law and proposed orders must be hand-delivered or mailed to the judge’s office in a timely manner; for hearings, submit items at least three days prior to the court proceeding. Email the Judicial Assistant for communication purposes only. The high volume of emails received by the JA during and outside of working hours may result in a delay in response.

D. Submission of Orders

Our office utilizes a division email for standard Stipulations to Continue Case Management (received a minimum of three days prior to the scheduled date), fully executed Stipulations for Substitution of Counsel, and extended hearing time requests.

Following a hearing counsel may submit proposed orders via email only if instructed by Judge Dees to do so. Submission of orders and other documents shall be done by regular mail, overnight services, or hand-delivery absent an emergency or unless given permission by Judge Dees. This office does not provide electronic copies of Orders. Attorneys who fail to provide conforming copies and envelopes must retrieve their orders via Attorney/Subscriber Access (Manatee County) or ClerkNet (Sarasota.) The offices of the Public Defender and the State Attorney should deliver and retrieve documents via Daily Rounds on the 9th floor.

ePortal Submission of Proposed Orders

Pursuant to Administrative Order 2022-1.2, judges in the Twelfth Circuit must accept submission of proposed Orders through the Florida ePortal. However, the submission of Orders through the ePortal will not result in counsel receiving orders any faster in this division. Judge Dees does not have access to the SmartBench queue, and all orders must be reviewed and processed by the judicial assistant before providing to the Judge.

All ePortal submissions must include a cover letter and are limited to uncontested/stipulated Orders. All other orders will be rejected by the judicial assistant.

E. Courtesy Copies

Counsel must provide via regular mail, overnight services, or hand-delivery courtesy paper copies of all hearing documents (notices of hearing, motions, case law, and other supporting documents) at least three days prior to the hearing to allow sufficient time for judicial review.

F. Emergency & Other Urgent Matters

The judicial assistant is not authorized to offer or schedule emergency or expedited hearing time. The moving attorney is required to confer with opposing counsel in a good faith effort to resolve the issue prior to filing an emergency motion. Any emergency motion must include a certificate of good faith that states the movant has contacted opposing counsel and his/her position on the relief sought. Requests for emergency or expedited hearing time must be made by contacting the JA by phone or email and providing a copy of the contested motion. The Judge will review the motion to determine whether an expedited or emergency hearing is warranted.

G. Exhibits for Evidentiary Proceedings

In document intensive cases the Court requires the parties to confer with the Clerk of Court prior to trial and present the Clerk with an exhibit list as well as the exhibits. Additionally, the Court requires the parties to provide courtesy paper copies of the exhibit list and marked exhibits to opposing counsel, as well as the Court.

If either side is going to use an exhibit that is in a different form/format than has been prepared and submitted with discovery the Court requires an exact copy of the exhibit to be delivered to opposing counsel no less than five (5) business days before trial. Counsel shall disclose to opposing counsel where in the discovery the information contained in the newly formatted exhibit can be found.

Pre-marked exhibits

The State is requested to use numbers and Defense is requested to use letters.

Redaction of Exhibits

If any party requests that any portion of an exhibit, i.e., recordings, cell phone records, text messages, email messages, transcripts, etc., be redacted, the request for redaction shall be made to opposing counsel no less than five (5) business days before trial. If the parties cannot stipulate to the redaction a motion must be filed and scheduled for hearing prior to trial.

H. Pretrial Procedures & Conferences

Case Management hearings are held at 8:30 or 9:00 a.m., on Tuesdays and 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays (check monthly calendars for judicial conference/vacation schedule). Attorneys and defendants are expected to appear “in person” in the courtroom. The presence of defendants at Case Management is mandatory unless excused by the Court.

The Court considers CMCs to be significant, meaningful proceedings. The Court expects the State to have provided the Defense with a Discovery Response, the Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet and plea offer with sufficient time for review prior to the CMC so that Defense counsel may review the Discovery, confer with the client, and convey the plea offer.

If the parties stipulate to a trial date, they must use the approved Stipulation for Trial Date (see Preferred Division Forms). Stipulation forms are also available in the courtroom. The stipulation must be completely filled out and contain the defendant’s signature. If the parties cannot agree on a trial date, the Court will select one. Stipulations for trial may be completed and submitted to the Court in advance of Case Management; however, they must be received by the Court three days prior to Case Management to allow time for the court’s review. If the stipulation is approved prior to Case Management neither the attorney nor the defendant need to appear.

Once a trial date is stipulated to and/or set by the Court, continuances will be considered for good cause only. The Court expects attorneys to comply with all deadlines contained on the Trial Stipulation and Order.

At the Case Management hearing defendants may enter pleas and are encouraged to do so. If the plea/sentencing is lengthy (greater than 10 minutes) or involves an interpreter, the Court prefers the matter be set on the assigned assistant attorney’s regular motion hearing day.

The Court will consider setting cases for Major Trial Case Management that are likely to involve complicated legal or case management issues, that may require extensive judicial management to expedite the case, keep costs reasonable, or promote judicial efficiency. Attorneys are encouraged to suggest cases for consideration. The Court will set these conferences in cases it deems appropriate.

I. Setting Case for Trial

Docket Sounding

Docket Sounding is held two weeks before the trial period. Defendants’ in person appearance at docket sounding is mandatory unless excused by the Court. Motions should be set on a date and time in advance of Docket Sounding. If a case is ready for trial, the attorneys shall be prepared to advise the Court as to how many days the trial will last (including jury selection), whether speedy trial is an issue, and any potential calendar conflicts. Counsel must comply with trial deadlines and have motions heard prior to trial. Contact the JA if hearing time is unavailable on JACS.


Attorneys are encouraged to discuss and agree on pleas that may be entered by a Defendant. However, ultimate responsibility for sentence determination rests with the trial judge. Negotiated pleas are subject to the court’s approval.

Plea Cut-Off Date

The negotiated plea cut-off date for all cases on a trial docket is the Friday before the trial week – usually at the trial scheduling date and time – unless otherwise stated.

Score Sheets

Score sheets shall be prepared and completed in advance for presentation to the Court.

Pleas to and/or Requests for Community Control

In all cases in which the Defendant has negotiated a Community Control sentence or will be seeking Community Control as a sanction from the Court, the Defendant and his/her attorney shall read, review, and sign the Community Control Disclosure Form (see Preferred Division Forms) and file it with the Clerk along with the Acknowledgment and Waiver of Rights form.

Trial Scheduling

As a general practice, mandatory trial scheduling for all cases remaining on the trial docket will take place on the last Friday before the first day of the first week of trial, at a time designated by the judge. Defendants are required to attend trial scheduling, with counsel. The purpose of trial scheduling is to set the trial schedule for the two-week trial period. No motions of any kind (oral or written), including motions to continue, will be heard at trial scheduling.

Trial periods are set for two (2) weeks. Although a trial order will be published counsel shall be prepared to go to trial the first day of the trial period and remain available for the entire two-week trial term. The final trial docket will be distributed via email as soon as practicable following trial scheduling. If you do not receive a copy by 4:00 p.m. Please contact my Judicial Assistant.

Two judges are generally available for each trial week of each trial period. At 8:30 a.m. on the first day of the trial period all cases remaining on the trial docket are directed to report in front of Judge Dees. Unless a case is given a specific date and time certain for commencement of trial, all cases must be ready for trial on the first day of the trial period.

Jury Instructions

Counsel shall confer with one another, and proposed jury instructions shall be submitted to the Court via email to the Judicial Assistant by 12:00 noon on the first day of trial.

In-Custody Defendants Set for Trial: Defense Counsel must contact the Port Manatee Jail prior to the start of trial and provide clothes for inmates at the jail. Judicial Security will not accept clothes and dress defendants at the Judicial Center the morning of trial.

J. Preferred Division Forms

To access forms, visit the Criminal Division page.

K. Other Division Procedures

Sentencing Hearings

If a PSI has been ordered the Court will address the State and Defense first to inquire if there are any disputes as to the factual accuracy of the report. Defense counsel shall provide their client with a copy of the report before the hearing. If there are objections the Court will resolve them; otherwise, the Court will conclude that everything in the report is accurate.

The Court will request the score sheet and inquire if there are any objections. Once again, Defense counsel shall have reviewed the score sheet with their client before the sentencing hearing. If there is an objection the Court will resolve it. If no objection, the Court will ask the State the sentence they are seeking, then the defense will be asked the same question. After that inquiry, the State will present any testimony or evidence they want the Court to consider. The Defense will then present any testimony or evidence they want the Court to consider, including the defendant’s allocution, if they so desire. The State will be allowed a brief rebuttal argument.

Departure Requests

Requests for a downward departure from the criminal punishment code scoresheet presumptive sentence shall be in writing stating the legal authority for the proposed departure, i.e. the rule or statute, as well as supporting case authority and a brief factual basis to support the departure request. Departure requests shall be noticed five days before the hearing. It is, however, acceptable to file at the time of sentencing if the State is previously aware of the request and eliminates the need to file a motion to continue to secure witnesses to rebut any facts necessary to support the departure.

The State is free to file a written response to the Defense submission but is not required to. They are, however, required to submit case law to the Court and opposing counsel at least three (3) days before the hearing in conformance with the court’s general requirements.

The purpose of the Departure requirement is to ensure all parties have notice and an opportunity to prepare for the hearing. If the request is a run of the mill departure, such as a request for drug offender probation pursuant to Florida Statute 948.20, the Court will not require strict compliance with this rule.