Manatee County Family Division 4
& Circuit Civil Divisions B, D

Requirements and Information

May 21, 2022

David Caskey, Circuit Court Magistrate

Jessica Carrasco, Magistrate Assistant

Requirements & Information

Local Rules & Standards of Professionalism

All attorneys must follow the Local Rules and the Twelfth Circuit Standards of Professionalism. Magistrate Caskey strictly adheres to Local Rules 5a and 5b regarding discovery motions. Non-compliance could result in the cancellation of your hearing.

Transition from COVID-19 Protocols Family division cases only

Effective February 1, 2022, all trials, evidentiary hearings, and non-evidentiary hearings lasting longer than 15 minutes shall be presumed to be in-person hearings in Hearing Room 2 of the Manatee County Judicial Center. Hearings already scheduled as in-person hearings prior to February 1, 2022, shall remain as in-person hearings. If one or more of the parties seek an exception to the presumption that a trial, evidentiary hearing, or non-evidentiary hearing lasting longer than 15 minutes shall be in person, the party seeking an exception must do so by filing a motion requesting same, unless all parties agree to have the hearing conducted via Zoom. If any party objects to a request to have a hearing conducted via Zoom rather than in person, they must file a written objection setting forth the basis for the objection. The Magistrate’s office will address all requests for an exception to the presumption that all such hearings will be in person on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Administrative Orders presently in effect.

All non-evidentiary hearings lasting 15 minutes or less may be conducted via Zoom upon the agreement of all parties and proper notice given at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing, including notice to the Magistrate’s office.

At this time, the Court has a limited ability to conduct hybrid hearings, where some parties may appear in person while others appear via Zoom. Hybrid hearings are intended to be the exception to the general rule, and will only be allowed upon a showing of good cause. Should any party wish to request a hybrid hearing, they must do so at least five (5) days in advance of the hearing, to allow the Magistrate’s office sufficient time to consider the request, and reserve the requisite technological resources for the hearing if the request is granted. Hybrid hearings may not be requested at the time the hearing is scheduled to begin.

Orders of Referral

Magistrate Caskey is assigned to hear all Family Division 4 cases, as well as certain civil issues referred by the presiding Circuit Judges in Civil Divisions B and D. Please be sure an Order of Referral has been entered prior to your hearing. Orders of referral are not required for hearings related solely to child support issues.

In instances where a Judge has been recused from a case assigned to their division, it shall remain with the original General Magistrate. However, all subsequent reviews of the Magistrate’s Reports and Recommendations will be completed by the newly assigned Judge.

Scheduling Hearings, Trials

All hearings are to be scheduled through the 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 Magistrate’s assistant. If you intend on calling more than two witnesses or require a larger courtroom for any other reason, you must call the Magistrate’s office at least one week prior to the scheduled hearing so that a courtroom may be reserved.

All parties shall reserve sufficient time for their matters to be heard by the Magistrate. If sufficient time is not reserved, and the parties have not presented all of their evidence and arguments to Magistrate for consideration when the scheduled hearing time expires, Magistrate Caskey may, at his discretion:

  1. continue the matter to another date and time to allow the parties the opportunity to present additional evidence and argument, or
  2. conclude the hearing and render his recommendation to the Court based on the evidence and argument presented by the parties. The Magistrate strictly adheres to this provision.

Mediation

Before mediation can be ordered, both parties shall have filed their financial affidavits with the clerk of court. Failure to provide financial information 5 days prior to mediation may result in sanctions.

Parenting Course

Attendance at the parenting course is required by statute. It is the responsibility of counsel to ensure their client has completed this course and a Certificate of Completion is on file. If one party has not complied at the time of the final hearing by filing a Certificate of Completion, the sanctions may be ordered against the non-complying party. If both parties have not complied, the hearing will be cancelled.

Pretrial Memoranda

Parties shall submit a joint pretrial memorandum, found on the circuit’s Family Information & Forms webpage, no later than 3 days prior to a final hearing in a dissolution case.

Case Management Scheduling

If you need case management hearing time, call the Magistrate’s assistant, or schedule a case management hearing on JACS on an appropriate docket.

Requirements for All Hearings

For any hearing scheduled before the Magistrate, the moving party shall submit to the Magistrate’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 following:

  1. The motion to be heard and any relevant court filing to which the parties may refer during the hearing,
  2. the order of referral for the particular motion/issue to be heard,
  3. the notice of related cases,
  4. the notice of hearing for the particular motion to be heard, and
  5. copies of any and all relevant documents from cases in other jurisdictions. The parties may choose to provide this information in one of two ways:
    • a list of the documents, along with the date(s) the document(s) was filed with the court (preferred) or
    • hard copies of these documents.

Please note that if this is not done 10 days prior to the hearing, the hearing will be cancelled by the Magistrate’s office without further notice.

Cross-Noticing

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 Magistrate. Please note that if your motion is permitted to be heard, you must comply with the requirements set forth in the previous paragraph.

Cancellations

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 Magistrate’s 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. If a matter is scheduled in JACS for a hearing before the Magistrate but a notice of hearing is not docketed in the court file at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing, the hearing will be cancelled by the Magistrate’s office without further notice, unless fewer than ten (10) days exist between the date the motion was filed and the date the motion is scheduled to be heard because the motion is being heard on an expedited basis.

Motions for Rehearings, Reconsideration & New Trials

All motions for rehearing, reconsideration and new trial are to be submitted directly to the Magistrate’s office. The motion shall be detailed and include case law. Magistrate Caskey will first review the motion to determine whether a hearing is required.

Emergency & Expedited Hearings

There are no set criteria as to emergency or expedited hearings and the Magistrate’s assistant can only give out emergency or expedited hearing time on the Magistrate’s directions. All motions requesting emergency or expedited hearing time should be faxed or delivered to the Magistrate’s office with an attached cover letter that includes the amount of hearing time requested. The Magistrate will then review the motion to determine whether an expedited or emergency hearing is warranted.

Telephonic Hearings

Magistrate Caskey allows telephonic appearances upon prior written request, and only on hearings 15 minutes or less in length that are non-evidentiary in nature, unless stipulated by the parties or good cause is shown. For evidentiary hearings, the requesting party must comply with the requirements of Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.530(d). The party appearing by phone should call 941-749-3650 at the time of the hearing, and must fax a copy of the party’s identification and the notary’s identification. The Court will not initiate the call.

If a party appearing telephonically fails to secure the presence of a notary to identify them at the time of the hearing, the party will be permitted to listen to the hearing, but will not be permitted to testify.

In-Custody Appearances

The attorney scheduling a hearing is responsible for notifying the bailiff’s office if an inmate needs to be transported from the jail for a hearing.

Interpreters

If an interpreter is needed, you must provide one at your own expense, or arrange to have one provided by the Twelfth Judicial Circuit.

The Twelfth Judicial Circuit provides spoken language court interpreters to limited-English-proficient persons in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, section 90.606, Florida Statutes, and Rule 2.560, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. If you require the assistance of an interpreter, please submit your request using the Interpreter Request Form or please call 941-749-3659. Please submit your request as early as possible, requests made with less than 5 business days’ notice may not be accommodated.

El Duodécimo Circuito Judicial provee intérpretes judiciales de la lengua hablada a personas con dominio limitado del inglés de acuerdo con el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, la sección 90.606, los Estatutos de la Florida y la Regla 2.560 de las Reglas de Administración Judicial de la Florida. Si requiere la ayuda de un intérprete, por favor utilice la Solicitud de Interprete o llame al 941-749-3659. Por favor, envíe su solicitud lo antes posible, las solicitudes hechas con menos de 5 días hábiles no pueden ser garantizadas.

Civil Division Hearings

The Magistrate’s office has a separate calendar in JACS which shall be used when scheduling hearings in civil actions before the Magistrate. All civil matters scheduled for hearing before the Magistrate must first be referred to the Magistrate by the presiding Circuit Judge via an Order of Referral. Once the Order of Referral has been entered, the parties may schedule their hearing before the Magistrate using the Magistrate’s civil calendar on JACS.

Any civil hearings scheduled on the Magistrate’s family calendar on JACS will be cancelled. Unless otherwise indicated by the Magistrate’s office, all hearings in civil actions will continue to take place before the Magistrate via Zoom. Visit Magistrate Caskey's Zoom page

If a party seeks an exception to the general rule that all civil hearings will be conducted via Zoom, that party must file a written motion requesting same, setting forth the specific reasons why it is believed that the hearing should be conducted in person. When noticing the hearing via Zoom before the Magistrate, the Notice of Hearing shall contain the following information: Meeting ID; Password; and telephone number for audio access only. The parties must submit all hearing materials to the Magistrate’s office at least five (5) days prior to the scheduled hearing.

Email Submissions & Exceptions

Submitting documents Via Email

If any documents are to be submitted by email, they shall be submitted to the Magistrate's Division email. The sole purpose of this email account is for the submission of documents under these requirements, or for the submission of a proposed report and recommendation. The email account is not to be used to communicate with the Magistrate’s office in any way. Any emails sent for communication purposes to this email address will not be read, considered, responded to, or filed.

Any proposed report/recommendation shall be submitted as an email attachment in a format compatible with Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx format) – do not send in PDF format. Pursuant to the rules of family procedure, if a proposed report/recommendation is submitted by email, you must provide stamped/addressed envelopes for all parties for both the report/recommendation and the final judgment order approving the report and recommendation. Please make sure to provide additional postage if there are attachments, such as parenting plans.

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.

Exceptions/Motions to Vacate

The original exception/motion to vacate must be filed with the Clerk and copies furnished directly to the Judge and the Magistrate. An Order for Transcript, which will set forth deadlines to submit a transcript, will then be issued with a hearing date.

Contact Information