South Sarasota County Family Division

Requirements and Information

February 9, 2024

Natalya S. Evans, General Magistrate

Isabel, Magistrate Assistant

Standards of Professionalism

Standards of Professionalism for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit are available from the Sarasota County Bar Association's website (941- ⁢861‑⁢8180) and are printed in the bar’s Membership Directory.

Self-Represented Litigants Please read if you do not have an attorney

  • The Court must apply the same rules to all parties, regardless of whether you have an attorney.
  • The Magistrate may not talk to you about your case outside of the courtroom, so please do not call to speak with the Magistrate.
  • The Magistrate’s Assistant may not help you with your case or send information to the other party or attorney for you. The Magistrate’s Assistant may not “give the Magistrate a message.” Please do not ask the Magistrate’s Assistant for the outcome of a hearing or verify that an order has been signed; you may review the Clerk’s website for details about your case.
  • Whenever you file something with the Clerk or provide the Court a copy, you must send a copy to all the attorneys or parties at the same time.
  • You may also contact the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Self-Help Center for guidance or call (942) 861-8191.
  • Pro Se Parties must always file a Form A when filing a document or seeking hearing time.

Courtroom Conduct

All attorneys are expected to adhere to the Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s Standards of Professionalism, located on the Circuit’s website. All parties are expected to adhere to the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Family Division Rules of Courtroom Etiquette and the Rules for Parties in Child Support Cases, posted both inside and outside the courtroom. Children are never permitted to be in the courtroom without a prior Court Order.

Orders of Referral to the Magistrate

Please refer to the Judges’ Requirements for a detailed explanation of appropriate issues that may be referred to the Magistrate. Their Requirements also specify exclusions. Please become familiar with this list.

If a referral order is needed, it is the responsibility of the attorney to submit An “Order of Referral to General Magistrate” that identifies the General Magistrate by name and sets forth the issue(s) to be resolved, the date of filing of the pleading(s) and the DIN. You may refer to Family Law Form 12.920(b), Order of Referral to General Magistrate (04/22).

Child Support Issues

No order of referral is required for child support hearings pursuant to local Admin. Order and Rule 12.491, unless additional relief such as attorney’s fees is being requested. Child support issues include items in the nature of health insurance for the parties’ children, health care expense payment/reimbursement and childcare as well as life insurance to secure same.

Remote or Zoom Hearings

Magistrate Evans’ Zoom Credentials
Meeting ID: 967 7691 4472
Password: 781831
Magistrate Evans’ Zoom Hearings page

Until further notice, hearings before Magistrate Evans that are 30 minutes in length or less may be conducted remotely via Zoom without any special request with agreement of the parties. No agreement is necessary for non-evidentiary hearings.

Zoom Hearings: One Hour or More, No Agreement

For hearings one hour or more, the hearings will be held in person, unless a party requests a Zoom Hearing. If the attorneys are unable to stipulate to a Zoom hearing, the party requesting a Zoom hearing must file a proper motion showing good cause per Fla. Gen. P & Jud. Admin. R. 2.530. This motion, along with the Notice of Hearing, as well as the original motion scheduled to be heard shall be served on all entitled to notice of the proceeding. A party may file a written objection to the use of communication technology within 10 days after service of the motion or within such other period as may be directed by the court.

To provide sufficient notice to all parties, the Magistrate requires that all responses and objections be filed no less than three (3) business days prior to any hearing.

A party waives objections by failing to timely object to the motion unless, before the date of the proceeding, the party establishes good cause for failure to timely object. The decision to authorize the use of communication technology over objection shall be in the discretion of the court.

Zoom Hearing by Stipulation

If the attorneys agree to the use of Zoom for a hearing of one hour or more, they may advise the Magistrate’s Assistant of their stipulation and request hearing time. The Magistrate will consider the request by stipulation. Do not schedule a Zoom hearing of one hour or more without prior approval.

Remote Testimony

The Court may allow testimony to be provided by Audio-Video Communication Technology (Zoom) if all parties consent and approved by the Court. If the parties do not stipulate, then, there shall be compliance with the requirements of Fla. R. Gen. Prac. & Jud. Admin., 2.530(b)(2). A stipulation between the attorneys and/or pro se litigants does not automatically grant the relief requested. If approved, the court will enter an order.

When drafting a Zoom Notice of Hearing you must include Magistrate Evans’s Zoom credentials, which are available within these Requirements, the appropriate ADA notice, and the appropriate DIN# for each motion to be heard.

General Information

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, (942) 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.

In-Person Hearings, Hearing Exceeding One Hour

Special Set, Exceeding One Day: Effective immediately, no hearings or trials over one day shall be scheduled with Magistrate Evans. Any non-child support related hearings or trials requiring more than one day must be scheduled with the assigned Family Division Judge.

Special Set Hearings, Exceeding One Hour, But Less Than One Day: To schedule a special set hearing or trial (exceeding one hour but less than one day), one of the following must be on file prior to contacting the Magistrate’s Assistant for hearing time:

  • An Order of Referral to Magistrate on the issue to be heard, and the time period for filing an objection to the Magistrate has expired with no objection having been filed; or
  • An Order of Referral to Magistrate on the issue to be heard with a signed stipulation waiving the ten-day period for objections to the Magistrate hearing the case

Notices of Hearing

Notices setting a cause for hearing must be in substantial conformity with Florida Family Law Rules of Procedures 12.920 (b) and (c) and must contain the following language in bold type:

Should you wish to seek review of the recommended Order made by the General Magistrate, you must file a Motion to Vacate in accordance with Rule 12.490(e), Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. You will be required to provide the Court with a record sufficient to support your Motion to Vacate or your motion will be denied. A record ordinarily includes a written transcript of all relevant proceedings unless waived by Order of the Court prior to any hearing on the Motion to Vacate. The person seeking review must have the transcript prepared for the Court’s review.

Rule 12.490(b)(2), Fla. Fam. L. P. (Effective Date, April 1, 2022)

Scheduling Hearings

Hearing time may only be reserved through JACS after the motion that is being scheduled is filed; a Notice of Hearing shall be filed as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after the hearing time is reserved.

You must schedule hearings one hour in duration or less through the JACS. Please do not combine timeslots. Fifteen-minute hearing time slots are reserved for discovery related motions and motions directed to the pleadings. The Court will cancel any non-discovery related matter scheduled in a 15-minute hearing time slot.

Please email the Magistate’s Office to schedule special set hearings requiring more than one hour but less than one day. You must copy the other side with your request. You must include the matter(s) to be set, the DIN (docket identification number) and the date the motion/pleading was filed, and the amount of hearing time requested. Before submitting the request, the requesting attorney must first consult with opposing counsel concerning the amount of time necessary for the hearing. If counsel is unable to agree, please submit the hearing time request with each attorney’s good faith time estimates. The Magistrate will then review the request.

Prior to contacting the Magistrate’s Assistant for dates/times for special set hearing time exceeding one hour, one of the following must be on file:

  • An Order of Referral to Magistrate on the issue(s) to be heard, and the time for objections must have expired (with no objections having been filed); or
  • An Order of Referral to Magistrate AND a signed Stipulation waiving the right to object to the Magistrate hearing the case (if the time period for objecting to the Magistrate has not already expired).

All parties shall reserve sufficient time for their matters to be heard by the Magistrate.

Expedited or Emergency Hearings

Follow the appropriate Judge’s Requirements for requesting an expedited or emergency hearing. Your request shall first be presented to the Judge’s Office for review and consideration. If the Judge orders an expedited or emergency hearing before the Magistrate, an appropriate order and/or referral will be generated, and hearing time will be made available.


Once a motion is scheduled, subsequent motions may not be added or cross-noticed without prior approval of the original scheduling attorney and the Magistrate. This provision is strictly followed.

Cancellation of Hearings

When the Magistrate’s 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 Magistrate’s Assistant to cancel a hearing, as well as sending an email to the Magistrate’s Assistant (with a copy to the opposing side). You must immediately send a Notice of Cancellation to all parties. Only the party setting the matter for hearing may file a Notice of Cancellation. The opposing party cannot cancel the hearing.

If the hearing is canceled with less than 24 hour notice to the Court, except in case of an emergency, the parties/ attorneys must appear at the scheduled time to put on the record the parties’ stipulated agreement or explanation for cancellation without adequate notice.


  • Counsel requesting a continuance must make a good faith effort to contact opposing counsel to determine if an agreement can be made to continue the hearing/trial.
  • If the other side opposes the continuance, include that information in your motion.
  • If an agreement cannot be reached, the moving party must file a Motion for Continuance that includes efforts made to reach an agreement to continue the matter. The motion must be in writing and signed by the party requesting the continuance.

Submission of Proposed Exhibits

For Zoom Hearings

  1. No later than five (5) days prior to the hearing, each party must provide to the Magistrate via email and to the opposing side, copies of any documents or case law to be used or referred to during the hearing or offered into evidence. No additional documents or exhibits may be emailed to the Magistrate during the hearing. Documentary evidence includes any relevant papers, photographs, or other items that can be reasonably shared electronically.
  2. Any exhibits shall be pre-marked. Petitioner should use numbers. Respondent should use letters.
  3. All documents shall be submitted as a PDF file via email.
  4. In the email each exhibit shall be attached as a separate PDF document.
  5. Your submission of the documents to the General Magistrate’s Office does not guarantee the admissibility of the documents. Each party is required to lay an appropriate foundation for the documents at the hearing or at trial.
  6. If your exhibits exceed 30 pages, then you must submit, pre-marked, hard copies of the documents to the General Magistrate’s Office at least 5 days prior to the hearing or Non-Jury Trial. The exhibits shall be pre-marked and contain an index. Please email the Magistrate’s Assistant in advance to make arrangements to deliver the notebook.
  7. Any and all confidential information shall be redacted by the individual submitting the proposed exhibit (including but not limited to account numbers, Social Security numbers and dates of birth.

Parenting Class

Attendance at the parenting class is required by statute and proof of completion shall be filed in the court file. If one party has not filed proof of competition at the time of the final hearing, then sanctions, including restrictions on the non-complying party’s timesharing may be entered. If both parties have failed to file proof of completion prior to the final hearing, the Magistrate’s Office will cancel the hearing.

For course providers, please visit the Parenting Education Course Providers page

Proposed Recommended Orders & Orders Approving

Recommended Orders

In compliance with a directive from the Chief Justice of Florida, this Circuit is moving to acceptance of proposed Recommended Orders and Orders Approving Recommended Orders through the e-Portal, not through email. Please see Administrative Order 22-1.2, entered January 14, 2022, for details and specific requirements.

Effective immediately, all Recommended Orders submitted by attorneys to Magistrate Evans must be submitted in compliance with Administrative Order 22-1.2 through the e-Portal directly to Magistrate Evans, and not filed on the Progress Docket. All Recommended Orders must be in Word format only. All Recommended Orders must be accompanied by a cover letter that is also submitted through the e-Portal in PDF/A format. The submitting attorney must ensure all parties/attorneys receive a courtesy copy of both the proposed Recommended Order and the cover letter. Do not send more than one proposed Recommended Order in a transmission.

Magistrate Evans expects that you will only submit a proposed Recommended Order when all attorneys or parties agree on the 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 Recommended Order with a concise statement identifying the disagreement and the steps you took. The opposing attorney may submit at the same time, an alternate proposed Recommended Order through the e-Portal. Please do not include a directive such as “hold this proposed order for x days for an objection to be lodged.”

For readability purposes, Magistrate Evans encourages Times New Roman Style, at least 12-point font with one-inch margins when drafting proposed Orders.

Recommended Orders Under Advisement

Magistrate Evans attempts to make recommendations from the bench where appropriate. If Magistrate Evans takes a matter under advisement, she tries to enter Recommend Orders as quickly as possible under the current circumstances. Do not call to ask about the status of the Recommended Order. If four weeks have elapsed without a ruling, the movant may email the Magistrate’s Assistant (and copy opposing side) to advise that the matter has been under advisement for four weeks. The four weeks begins upon the Court’s receipt of the last post-hearing submission (e.g., transcripts, supplemental briefs, or legal authority). Pro Se parties should file a Form A.

Motions to Vacate

After the Circuit Judge enters the Order Approving the Recommended Order, a party has ten days within which to file a Motion to Vacate the Order. A Motion to Vacate must be scheduled and heard within thirty (30) days of the date the motion is filed unless the time is extended by court order.

Contact Information