CIRCUIT CIVIL COURT

Florida Circuit Civil Courts have jurisdiction in all civil actions exceeding $30,000 and also hear appeals from the County Courts. The 12th Circuit Civil Division has four Circuit Judges in Sarasota County, two Circuit Judges in Manatee County, and two Circuit Judges in DeSoto County. 

COUNTY CIVIL COURT

Florida County Courts have jurisdiction in civil actions which do not exceed $30,000, small claims (i.e., civil actions under $8,000) and most landlord / tenant actions. The County Civil Division has five County Judges in Sarasota County, four County Judges in Manatee County, and one County Judge in DeSoto County.

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Circuit Civil Division

Judge Don T. Hall

 

County Civil Division

Judge Danielle Brewer

 

Temporary New Procedures for Manatee County Circuit Civil Divisions B & D

Temporary procedures for Manatee County Circuit Civil, effective immediately through Friday, May 29, 2020 (unless extended) due to the COVID-19 state of emergency:

  1. NONEVIDENTIARY MOTION HEARINGS. The court will continue to hear non-evidentiary motions via telephone. No specific order permitting telephone appearance is required, however notices of hearing must include the conference call number and any additional information necessary to connect to the call. The party or attorney setting the hearing must arrange a conference call to which all attendees can connect. If a court reporter will participate, the court reporter must appear remotely and not in the courtroom. Telephonic hearings remain open to the public.
  2. SCHEDULING HEARINGS. Hearings may still be booked through the JACS automated calendaring system. If hearing time is unavailable on certain date(s) or for longer hearings, please continue to contact the assigned judge’s judicial assistant. The judicial assistants have received a much higher volume of telephone calls. Email contact with the judicial assistant with copy to all parties generally is the quicker and more efficient means of communication.
  3. JURY TRIALS. All jury trials during this time are cancelled.
  4. NONJURY TRIALS AND EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS. The court has the ability to conduct certain nonjury trials and evidentiary hearings during the COVID-19 state of emergency via Zoom videoconferencing at the discretion of the assigned judge. If a zoom hearing is requested, the requesting party must file a motion and obtain an order from the court authorizing the zoom hearing. The parties should discuss the logistics of conducting any nonjury trial or evidentiary hearing and to notify the assigned judge in advance for final determination as to whether the proceeding will go forward.
  5. EMERGENCY MATTERS. Normal procedures for handling emergency matters outlined in Local Rule 4b are still followed. Emergency matters must first be presented to the assigned judge who, in most instances, will resolve the matter.
  6. RESIDENTIAL FORECLOSURE. Until further notice all foreclosure trials will be cancelled and may be reset for a future date no sooner than June 1, 2020. Parties and attorneys are advised that pursuant to Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC-2023, “The requirement in Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.580(a) for the clerk to issue a writ of possession “forthwith” remains suspended.” Further, pursuant to 12th Circuit Administrative Order 2020-11.1, the entry of default judgments and issuance of writs of possession has been suspended through May 17, 2020 (which date shall automatically extend if the timeframes currently set forth in Governor Desantis’ Executive Order 20-94 are amended, changed or altered).
  7. UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR. Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC) is cancelled through the end of May.
  8. COURT PROCEEDINGS ARE PUBLIC; HOW TO ACCESS A COURT HEARING. As a reminder, Court hearings remain public proceedings despite the existence of COVID-19. If a zoom hearing is authorized by the court, the log-in credentials must be included in the notice of hearing, and the public may use the log-in credentials to attend. If any member of the public wishes to attend a remote hearing via telephone or zoom and cannot locate the conference call or zoom information, please contact the judicial assistant a sufficient time in advance of the hearing. .
  9. SUGGESTED NOTIFICATION TO ADD TO THE NOTICE OF HEARING. A suggested notification to include on the notice of hearing is as follows: During the COVID-19 outbreak, no person will be permitted inside the courtroom for a circuit-civil hearing, including the court reporter. All individuals, including the court reporter, must attend telephonically or by using the Zoom platform.
  10. DO NOT ASSUME CANCELLATIONS OF HEARINGS OR TRIALS. The Court will enter an order cancelling a hearing or trial. Please do not assume that a hearing or trial is cancelled. If in doubt, please email the Court’s judicial assistant with copy to all other attorneys.

Procedures revised April 12, 2020.

Circuit Civil Division B

Judge Charles Sniffen

 

Circuit Civil Division D

Judge Edward Nicholas

Schedule Hearings
 

County Civil Division 1

Judge Renee Inman

 

County Civil Division 3

Judge Heather Doyle

 

County Civil Division 4

Judge Mark Singer

 

Updated Temporary New Procedures for Sarasota County Circuit Civil Divisions A, C, E & H

Even during the Court’s emergency operations, the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 (“Safer at Home Order”), and the Chief Justice of Florida’s Administrative Order 20-23, along with any extensions of those orders, the circuit civil divisions remain open and functional. Certain nonemergency hearings within the civil divisions may continue. We are trying to have simple, uniform procedures that assist practitioners and litigants. Please keep monitoring this site, as we try to communicate updated procedures as quickly as possible.

In Circuit Civil Sarasota County, effective immediately through Friday, May 29, 2020 (unless extended):

  1. NONEVIDENTIARY MOTION HEARINGS.
    Nonevidentiary motion hearings may occur at the discretion of the assigned judge. All nonevidentiary hearings, regardless of length, must be conducted via Zoom videoconferencing or telephonically. If there is a court reporter, the court reporter must be remote and not in the courtroom. Should the scheduled hearing present a difficulty for any party, please file a motion to continue and explain that difficulty. A copy of the motion should be emailed to the judicial assistant with copy to all parties.
  2. SCHEDULING HEARINGS.
    There is hearing time available on JACS over the next few weeks, and nothing about scheduling hearings has changed. If hearing time is not available in the timeframe you need, or for longer hearings, please continue to contact the assigned judge’s judicial assistant. The judicial assistants have received a much higher volume of telephone calls. Email contact with the judicial assistant with copy to all parties generally is the quicker and more efficient means of communication.
  3. JURY TRIALS.
    All jury trials during this time are cancelled.
  4. NONJURY TRIALS AND EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS.
    Currently, it is possible to conduct certain nonjury trials and evidentiary hearings during the COVID-19 state of emergency via Zoom videoconferencing at the discretion of the assigned judge. The parties should discuss the logistics of conducting any nonjury trial or evidentiary hearing and to notify the assigned judge in advance for final determination as to whether the proceeding may occur. If a party has an objection to proceeding, please explain the reason or difficulty in a motion to continue.
  5. EMERGENCY MATTERS.
    Normal procedures for handling emergency matters outlined in Local Rule 4b are still followed. Emergency matters must first be presented to the assigned judge who, in most instances, will resolve the matter.
  6. RESIDENTIAL FORECLOSURE.
    All foreclosure trials for April 2, 2020, April 23, 2020, and May 28 have been (or will be) cancelled and they have been (or will be) rescheduled for July 9, 2020. The April foreclosure motion days have also been cancelled and reset for May. No decision has been made yet on the May foreclosure motion date. Foreclosure sales have been continued until June. The Chief Justice of Florida has directed that all clerks suspend the issuance of writs of possession through at least May 29, 2020.
  7. UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR.
    Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC) are cancelled through the end of May.
  8. USE OF VIDEO CONFERENCES FOR COURT HEARINGS.
    The Sarasota circuit civil judges are using the Zoom video conferencing platform to conduct court hearings, although traditional telephonic hearings remain a viable option. Information about Zoom may be found at its website. There are no fees for attending a court hearing via Zoom. This platform will allow individuals to appear via telephone if they do not have an available camera.
  9. COURT PROCEEDINGS ARE PUBLIC; HOW TO ACCESS A COURT HEARING.
    As a reminder, Court hearings remain public proceedings despite the existence of COVID-19. The Court has created a Zoom video conference page where attorneys and the public may obtain the log-in credentials for court hearings. Until the conclusion of the COVID-19, attorneys and parties must reference this webpage and, if then available, the log-in credentials for the Zoom videoconference.
  10. SUGGESTED NOTIFICATION TO ADD TO THE NOTICE OF HEARING.
    A suggested notification to include on the notice of hearing is as follows:

    During the COVID-19 outbreak, no person will be permitted inside the courtroom for a circuit-civil hearing, including the court reporter. All individuals, including the court reporter, must attend using the Zoom platform. Please select the “Join A Meeting” link and then enter the Meeting ID to access the hearing. There are no fees for attending this court hearing via the Zoom platform. No camera? No problem! The Zoom platform allows individuals to appear via telephone if they do not have an available camera. The log-in credentials are:

    Meeting ID:    [fill in]

    Password:       [fill in]
    Telephone:      (253) 215-8782 and use the same Meeting ID

    If the credentials to access the Court hearing are not listed in this notice of hearing, please visit the Court’s central Zoom access page at http://www.jud12.flcourts.org/Public-Information/Public-Court-Hearings. The judges will attempt to place the credential information on this website a few days prior to the hearing.
  11. DO NOT ASSUME CANCELLATIONS OF HEARINGS OR TRIALS.
    The Court will enter an order cancelling a hearing or trial. Please do not assume that a hearing or trial is cancelled. If in doubt, please email the Court’s judicial assistant with copy to all other attorneys.

Procedures revised April 4, 2020.


Circuit Civil Divisions A, C & E

 

Circuit Civil Division A

Judge Stephen M. Walker

Schedule Hearings
 

Circuit Civil Division C

Judge Andrea McHugh

Schedule Hearings
 

Circuit Civil Division E

Judge Hunter Carroll

Schedule Hearings
 

County Civil Division A

Judge Erika Quartermaine

 

County Civil Division B

Judge Maryann Boehm

 

Notice of Continuances for Judge Boehm - Division B

The Clerk of Court will send out notices of the new court dates. Judge Boehm will continue conducting some criminal and civil non-evidentiary matters that both parties agree can be resolved without appearing in person by phone conference or zoom.

Week of 5/4/20
  • Criminal Arraignments set for 5/4 continued to 6/29/20.
  • Criminal Arraignments set for 5/5 continued to 6/30/20.
  • Criminal Arraignments set for 5/6 continued to 7/1/20.
  • Criminal Arraignments set for 5/7 continued to 7/2/20.
Week of 5/11/20
  • County Civil Small Claims Pretrials set for 5/12 continued to 6/12/20.
  • Civil Traffic cases set for 5/14 continued to 6/11/20.

County Civil Division C

Judge David Denkin

 

County Civil Division D

Judge Phyllis Galen

 

Civil Magistrate

Magistrate Deborah Bailey

Schedule Hearings
 

Updated Temporary New Procedures for All South County (Venice) Circuit Matters

Effective immediately through Friday, May 29, 2020:

  1. INJUNCTIONS FOR PROTECTION WILL PROCEED AS NORMAL
    but can be heard remotely.  Any party wanting to attend the hearing via video conferencing must email the judicial assistant within 24 hours of the hearing to obtain the video conferencing link. 
  2. Case Managements, Pre-Trials, Docket Soundings and all nonevidentiary hearings
    regardless of length must be conducted via video conferencing.  If there is a court reporter, the court reporter must be remote and not in the courtroom. Should the scheduled hearing present a difficulty for any party, please file a motion to continue and explain that difficulty. A copy of the motion should be emailed to the judicial assistant with copy to all parties.
  3. Scheduling Hearings:
    There is hearing time available on JACS over the next few weeks, and nothing about scheduling hearings has changed. If hearing time is not available in the timeframe you need, or for longer hearings, please continue to contact the assigned judge’s judicial assistant. The judicial assistants have received a much higher volume of telephone calls. Email contact with the judicial assistant with copy to all parties generally is the quicker and more efficient means of communication.
  4. Jury Trials:
    All jury trials during this time are cancelled.
  5. Nonjury Trials and Evidentiary Hearings:
    Currently, nonjury trials and evidentiary hearings may not occur during the COVID-19 state of emergency unless ordered by the assigned judge (usually with the consent of all parties).  The parties should discuss the logistics of conducting any nonjury trial or evidentiary hearing via video conferencing and to notify the assigned judge in advance for final determination as to whether the proceeding may occur.
  6. Emergency Matters: 
    Normal procedures for handling emergency matters outlined in Local Rule 4b are still followed. Emergency matters must first be presented to the assigned judge who, in most instances, will resolve the matter.
  7. Uniform Motion Calendar:
    Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC) are cancelled through the end of April.
  8. Emergency Temporary Guardianship hearings/Final Guardianship hearings/Hearings on DNR Orders:
    shall be conducted via video conferencing.  If the matter necessitates an in person hearing, a motion requesting an in person hearing must be filed indicating the reasons why the matter cannot be heard remotely. 
  9. Use of Video Conference for Court Hearings:
    The Zoom video conferencing platform will be used to conduct virtual court hearings, although traditional telephonic hearings remain a viable option. Information about Zoom may be found at its website. There are no fees for attending a court hearing via Zoom—the Court is obtaining the necessary licenses to permit judges to host the court hearings on the Zoom platform. This platform will allow individuals to appear via telephone if they do not have an available camera.
  10. Court proceedings are public; how to access a court hearing:
    As a reminder, Court hearings remain public proceedings despite the existence of COVID-19.  Until the Zoom platform is fully implemented, contact the judicial assistant via email to obtain the video conference link and call-in information for your hearing.  The party scheduling the hearing must include the video conference link and call-in information on the notice of hearing.
  11. During the COVID-19 outbreak, no person will be permitted inside the courtroom for a circuit-civil hearing, including the court reporter. All individuals, including the court reporter, must attend using the Zoom platform. Please select the “Join A Meeting” link and then enter the Meeting ID to access the hearing. There are no fees for attending this court hearing via the Zoom platform. No camera? No problem! The Zoom platform allows individuals to appear via telephone if they do not have an available camera. The log-in credentials are:

    Meeting ID:    [fill in]

    Password:       [fill in]
    Telephone:      (253) 215-8782 

    If the credentials to access the Court hearing are not listed in this notice of hearing, please visit the Court’s central Zoom access page at http://www.jud12.flcourts.org/Public-Information/Public-Court-Hearings. The judges will attempt to place the credential information on this website a few days prior to the hearing.

Last updated April 13, 2020


Circuit Civil Division H

 

Circuit Civil Division H

Judge Maria Ruhl

 

County Civil Division H

Judge Dana Moss

 

Important COVID-19 Updates

The Florida Supreme Court has suspended all in-person court appearances in county courts throughout Florida until May 29, 2020, per Administrative Order AOSC20-23.  The Florida Supreme Court will issue additional orders extending or modifying this date as warranted by the changing circumstances of this public health emergency.

If a party has a case that had been set for an in-person hearing during this emergency stay, the Clerk or Judge’s office will send notice to the party advising whether a new future date is been assigned or otherwise directing the party to contact the court for a new date when in-person hearings resume.  Parties are responsible for ensuring that the Sarasota County Clerk of Court has the correct mailing address for the party.

Therefore, during the COVID-19 outbreak Judge Moss will conduct hearings either by telephone or videoconferencing using ZOOM.  If you have a matter that needs immediate attention or that you would like reviewed during this emergency, please contact Kelly Berney at (941) 861-3050 or kberney@jud12.flcourts.org to determine if the matter is appropriate for a telephonic hearing/ videoconferencing.

All Zoom hearings scheduled for a particular day will use the same credentials.  Please understand that each session's credentials are unique and nontransferable.  All notices for hearing shall include the credentials for attendance by telephone or videoconferencing.  Kelly Berney will provide the credentials upon scheduling the matter through her.  As a courtesy, please keep all microphones muted while your case is not being addressed. Business casual attire is appropriate for Zoom hearings during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have any difficulties, please immediately contact Kelly Berney.

Notice of Continuances for South County Venice Cases

The Clerk of Court will send out notices of the new court dates. As an aside, Judge Moss is willing to set up a video/audio conference call to handle any non-evidentiary matters that both parties agree can be resolved without appearing in person. Please contact Kelly Berney directly by email, or telephone, (941) 861-3050, to schedule such matters. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.

Week of 05/04/2020
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Monday, May 4, 2020 in Venice are continued to Friday, June 5, 2020. Specific time provided by Judicial Assistant.
  • County Criminal Pretrial Conferences set for Tuesday, May 5, 2020 in Venice are continued to Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
  • County Civil Small Claims Pretrial Conferences set for Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in Venice are continued to Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 1:30pm.
  • County Civil Lack of Prosecution Hearings set for Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in Venice are continued to Friday, May 22, 2020 at 10:30am. All parties to contact the Court for instructions for telephonic appearance.
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Thursday, May 4, 2020 in Venice are continued to Friday, June 5, 2020. Specific time provided by Judicial Assistant.
  • County Civil Traffic set for Thursday, May 7, 2020 in Venice are continued to Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Week of 05/11/2020
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Monday, May 11, 2020 in Venice are continued to Friday, June 5, 2020. Specific time provided by Judicial Assistant.
  • County Civil Small Claims Pretrial Conferences set for Wednesday, May 13, 2020 in Venice are continued to Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 1:30pm.
  • County Civil Animal & Tobacco Hearings set for Wednesday, May 13, 2020 in Venice are continued to Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Thursday, May 14, 2020 in Venice are continued to Friday, June 5, 2020. Specific time provided by Judicial Assistant.
  • County Criminal VOPs set for Friday, May 15, 2020 in Venice are continued to Friday, June 12, 2020.

Week of 05/18/2020
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Monday, May 18, 2020 in Venice are continued to Friday, June 5, 2020. Specific time provided by Judicial Assistant.
  • County Criminal Pretrial Conferences set for Tuesday, May 19, 2020 in Venice are continued to Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
  • County Civil Small Claims Pretrial Conferences set for Wednesday, May 20, 2020 in Venice are continued to Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
  • County Criminal Arraignments set for Thursday, May 21, 2020 in Venice are continued to Friday, June 5, 2020. Specific time provided by Judicial Assistant.
  • County Civil Traffic set for Thursday, May 21, 2020 in Venice are continued to Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Week of 05/25/2020
  • No County Criminal Jury Trials.