Circuit Civil Court

Florida Circuit Civil Courts have jurisdiction in all civil actions exceeding $50,000. In total, six circuit judges are assigned to the Circuit Civil Division:

  • 1 circuit judge in DeSoto County
  • 2 circuit judges in Manatee County
  • 2 circuit judges in North Sarasota County
  • 1 circuit judge in South Sarasota County

Case Management Protocols for Circuit Civil Cases Administrative Order 2021-14.1, dated July 19, 2021, outlines the circuit’s protocols for circuit civil cases filed after April 30, 2021.

Download the Circuit Civil Case Management Report

County Civil Court

Florida County Courts have jurisdiction in civil actions which do not exceed $50,000, small claims (i.e., civil actions of $8,000 or under) and most landlord / tenant actions. In total, eight county judges are assigned to the County Civil Division:

  • 1 county judge in DeSoto County
  • 2 county judges in Manatee County*
  • 3 county judges in North Sarasota County**
  • 2 county judge in South Sarasota County**

*In Manatee County, two judges are assigned full time to the County Civil Division.
**In Sarasota County, five judges are assigned part time to two divisions: County Criminal and County Civil.

Case Management Protocols for County Civil Cases Administrative Order 2022-07.1, dated July 8, 2022, supersedes Administrative Order 2021-17.1 which created the requirement for a Standing Order and Case Management Report to be served with the initial complaint/petition for county civil cases, effective October 11, 2021. Additionally, the Court entered AO2021-6b.1 to amend its protocols for county civil case management, also effective October 11.

Download the County Civil Case Management Report
Download the Small Claims PIP Addendum

Changes to County Court Appeals

Appeals of county court decisions pending before circuit courts and subject to the jurisdiction change will be transferred automatically to the appropriate district court of appeal. Effective January 1, 2021, parties appealing certain county court decisions will have their appeal heard in the district courts.

Find full details including informational videos and charts on the Florida Courts website.

Case Management Reports

Mandatory case management is required by the direction of the Supreme Court of Florida. The parties are required to meet and confer when completing a Case Management Report. The Court has downloadable Case Management Reports in both Word and .pdf format, one for General cases and one for Streamlined cases. Please use the correct form for your case. Contact the Civil Case Coordinator in DeSoto CountyManatee County or Sarasota County with any questions.

Submit your mandatory case management reports electronically via the State of Florida eFiling Portal.

If you use the .pdf format, you must first download the form to your computer before you fill it out. If you do not, no changes will be saved or printable.

Register for Document Subscription Service!

Circuit Civil Division

Judge Don T. Hall

Scheduling Hearings

County Civil Division

Judge Guy Flowers

Scheduling Hearings

Zoom Hearings

The Civil division will be handling all matters but jury trials via Zoom until further notice as the circuit progresses through the phases of reopening. For Zoom procedures and guidelines, please see the individual judge’s Zoom page found on the circuit's Public Court Hearings page.  Please also refer to each judge’s preferences/requirements page for specific instructions for setting and conducting a hearing.

Residential Foreclosure Trials

Residential Foreclosure Trials have resumed. The Mortgage Foreclosure trial dates are posted as a courtesy for planning purposes only.  You may submit a cover letter with your preferred trial term and a blank Order Setting Case for Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Nonjury Trial.  The Court will attempt to accommodate your request, but if that trial docket becomes full, may have to assign your case to the next available trial docket.  Trial dates and form Trial Orders can be found under County Specific Foreclosure Information on the Civil / Foreclosures page.

Civil Jury Trials

The Court will be conducting in-person civil jury trials starting in January, 2021. Participants will be required to wear face coverings and follow the social distancing guidelines of the courthouse. There is a backlog of cases set for trial due to the suspension of jury trials in 2020. Additionally, the social distancing requirements hinder the Court’s ability to host large groups of jurors. These factors may prevent the Court from being able to provide a jury trial for every case set on the trial docket. The constitutional right to a jury trial is fundamental and will always be upheld by the Court. However, it is important during this time to consider alternative means of resolution. The Court is currently working on procedures for remote civil jury trials which will be an option for cases where all parties consent. The civil judges encourage parties to set a status conference in your case to discuss how to move forward with as little delay as possible.

Court Alternatives to Jury Trial

Non-jury trial: requires waiver of jury trial by both parties, but the Court will be able to try the case earlier than jury trials. Due to the process of reopening the courthouse for in-person activities in phases with the Civil Division at the tail end of that phase-in schedule, these are likely to be via Zoom until further notice.

***These procedures occur outside the courthouse and may be conducted in person, with the agreement of the participants and as long as not in violation of any order prohibiting gatherings in the local jurisdiction.***

  1. Voluntary trial resolution hearing – Section 44.104, Fla. Stat.: Both sides agree to a member of the bar, who has been a member of the bar for 5 years and meets the training requirements of 44.106, serving as a “voluntary trial judge.” The court will appoint the voluntary trial judge from the list below. Compensation for the voluntary trial judge shared by the parties and determined by their agreement. The voluntary trial judge is bound by the rules of evidence and may render a final decision on any issue the parties bring. A party may enforce the final decision made at this hearing by filing a petition for final judgment in circuit court.
    1. Florida Statute 44.104
    2. Those serving as arbitrators or mediators meet the requirements of §44.106. See arbitrator or mediator lists for qualified candidates.
  2. Voluntary Binding Arbitration – Section 44.104, Fla. Stat.: Both sides agree to binding arbitration. A single arbitrator or panel of arbitrators renders final decision reached by the majority of the panel. This option is generally beneficial in larger, more complex cases. The arbitrators are bound by the rules of evidence. The parties compensate the arbitrators according to their agreement.
    1. Florida Statute 44.104
    2. List of qualified arbitrators for the 12th Judicial Circuit
  3. Non-binding Arbitration – Section 44.103, Fla. Stat.: the Court may refer contested civil cases to nonbinding arbitration, if the case meets the following criteria as required by AO2020-18.1
    1. The jury trial has been delayed due to COVID-19
    2. The case is likely to resolve as a result of non-binding arbitration
    3. The imposition of non-binding arbitration does not result in undue financial hardship on the parties.

    The arbitrators are compensated by the parties, but the arbitrator’s fee may not exceed $1500 per the statute. The hearing is conducted informally and matters are presented to the arbitrators primarily through statements are arguments from counsel. The arbitration decision is then presented to the parties in writing. Any party unsatisfied with the arbitrator’s decision may request a trial de novo, and the judge will not be made aware of the arbitrator’s decision. The statute provides a procedure for recouping attorney’s fees for this process in certain circumstances. If you would like to participate in non-binding arbitration, but the other side will not agree, you are encouraged to file a motion and bring the matter before the Court for determination.

    1. Florida Statute 44.103
    2. List of qualified arbitrators for the 12th Judicial Circuit
    3. Order Referring Case to Court-Ordered Nonbinding Arbitration During COVID-19
    4. Order Appointing Arbitrator in Court-Ordered Nonbinding Arbitration
  4. Mediation: Section 44.102, Fla. Stat.: the Court may order parties to mediate and share the cost of compensating the mediator in certain cases. Mediation is a vital part of the civil system of justice and is routinely ordered in most civil cases set for trial unless there is good cause not to order mediation.
    1. Florida Courts' Alternative Dispute Resolution webpage
    2. "Mediation Myths and Urban Legends," The Florida Bar
    3. Florida Statute 44.102
    4. Florida State Courts Dispute Resolution Center's Mediator Search

The Manatee County Circuit Court Civil Judges notify all parties that in the exercise of their discretion and in accordance with FLA. R. GEN. PRAC. & JUD. ADMIN. 2.530, beginning October 1, 2022:

  1. The following hearings shall be conducted using audiovideo or hybrid audio-video* communication technology (Zoom platform):
    1. All non-evidentiary hearings;
    2. Evidentiary hearings scheduled for 60 minutes or less
  2. For evidentiary hearings scheduled in excess of 60 minutes, a written motion or stipulation/consent of all parties is required for use of audio-video or hybrid audio-video* communication technology
  3. All notices of hearing for any hearing to be conducted using audio-video communication technology shall include the audio-visiual communication technology information posted by the court and shall be served a sufficient time in advance of the hearing to permit the opposing party to file an objection (absent a stipulation or consent.)
  4. Any objection to the use of audio-visual communication technology shall be deemed waived unless it is made in writing, filed and served on all parties within ten (10) days of service of the notice of hearing.

*Hybrid audio-video technology permits any participant to appear either remotely or in person and should be communicated to the court for engagement of appropriate technology.

Circuit Civil Division B

Judge D. Ryan Felix

Scheduling Hearings

Circuit Civil Division D

Judge Edward Nicholas

Scheduling Hearings

Civil Magistrate Divisions B & D

Magistrate David Caskey


As of June 21, 2021, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Charles Canady, removed all requirements of social distancing and mandatory face coverings as well as eliminating the requirement that most hearings be conducted remotely. On July 29, 2021, however, Chief Justice Charles Canady issued Administrative Order No. AOSC21-17, Amendment 1, which provides, among other things, that “[p]articipants who have the capability of participating by electronic means in remote appellate or trial court proceedings must do so.” (Emphasis added). In addition, the Chief Judge of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, the Honorable Charles Roberts, has encouraged all judges and magistrates of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit to limit the number of in-person proceedings and to conduct as many hearings as possible using remote technology as a result of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, and the State of Florida. Accordingly, Magistrate David Caskey’s judicial requirements are hereby amended as follows:


Effective August 31, 2021, all trials and evidentiary hearings will be conducted remotely via Zoom, in accordance with Magistrate Caskey’s procedures and requirements for Zoom hearings which have been posted on the Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s website since May of 2020. All of those rules, procedures, and requirements shall remain in effect until amended by the Magistrate’s office. The log in credentials for all of Magistrate Caskey’s Zoom dockets are also posted on the Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s website for the parties’ convenience. All notices scheduling hearings to be conducted before the Magistrate on or after August 31, 2021, must include the appropriate Zoom log in credentials. If a hearing has already been noticed to take place before the Magistrate in person on or after August 31, 2021, the party who filed the notice scheduling that hearing must immediately amend the notice of hearing to reflect that the hearing will be conducted via Zoom


Case Management Conferences and other non-evidentiary hearings, such as hearings directed at the pleadings and motions to compel discovery, will continue to be conducted exclusively via Zoom, in the interest of making these hearings more convenient and less costly for the parties.

Scheduling Hearings

County Civil Division 1

Judge Renee Inman

Scheduling Hearings

County Civil Division 2

Judge Jacqueline B. Steele

Scheduling Hearings

Circuit Civil Divisions A & C


Circuit Civil Division A

Judge Stephen M. Walker

Scheduling Hearings

Circuit Civil Division C

Judge Hunter Carroll

Please read carefully

These Court events for Judge Carroll will be in-person in the Courthouse: jury trials, nonjury trials, and evidentiary hearings exceeding 61 minutes. The parties by motion may seek an alternate appearance method. These Court events will be held in Courtroom 6C, Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center, 2002 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34237.

All other hearings can be in-person, by Zoom, or both at the discretion of the party. Judge Carroll is using a hybrid Courtroom, meaning that Judge Carroll can conduct Court with parties appearing in-person and remotely via Zoom simultaneously.

When drafting a Notice of Hearing for a hearing 60 minutes or less in length, you must include Judge Carroll’s Zoom credentials (see Judge Carroll’s requirements) and explain that the parties may appear in-person or remotely.

Schedule Hearings

County Civil Division A

Judge Maryann Olson Uzabel

Scheduling Hearings

County Civil Division B

Judge Kennedy Legler

Scheduling Hearings

County Civil Division C

Judge David Denkin

Scheduling Hearings

Civil Magistrate

Magistrate Bradley Ellis


Circuit Civil Division H


Judge Danielle Brewer

  1. Non-Evidentiary Hearings (scheduled for less than 30 minutes) may be held via Zoom.
  2. Case Management Conferences (CMC) will remain on Zoom.
  3. Pre-Trial Conferences (PTC) will remain on Zoom.
  4. If you would like to be in person please schedule your hearing on Wednesdays or Thursdays, and notify the JA.
  5. Pro Se Docket will be held via zoom.
  6. All Notices of Hearing should reflect the manner in which the hearing will be conducted.
  7. Hybrid hearings should be requested through the JA.
Scheduling Hearings

County Civil South County Division E

Judge Erika Quartermaine

Scheduling Hearings

County Civil South County Division F

Judge Shannon Hankin

Scheduling Hearings