Circuit Court Family

The Family Division of the Circuit Court hears civil cases involving dissolution of marriage, name changes and injunctions for domestic and repeat violence. Please visit the Family Information & Forms Page for more information related to the family division.

Juvenile Dependency

The Family Division also hears all matters relating to juveniles who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected, surrendered for the purpose of adoption, or who are persistent runaways, habitually truant or ungovernable.

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Circuit Family

Judge Don T. Hall

 

If you wish to observe or attend by remote means please contact the Judge’s office for further instructions.

Circuit Family Forms

 

Circuit Family Division 3

Judge Kevin Bruning

OVERVIEW

As of June 21, 2021, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Charles Canady, has removed all requirements of social distancing and mandatory face coverings as well as eliminating the requirement that most hearings be conducted remotely. Many court events have been scheduled over the next several months, and were scheduled as “Zoom” proceedings. To provide maximum flexibility and consistency as Manatee County, Family Division 3, transitions back to “in-person” proceedings, the following procedures will be followed:

TRIALS

All cases set for trial on or after Monday, July 26, 2021, will be held in person, in courtroom 3D of the Manatee County Judicial Center. Any requests for Zoom trial proceedings must be made, in writing, and set for hearing.

EVIDENTIARY MOTION HEARINGS

Effective, Monday, July 26, 2021, all hearings noticed as evidentiary hearings will be held in person. If you have already scheduled and noticed your hearing as a Zoom proceeding, you must immediately file an Amended Notice of Hearing reflecting the location of the hearing as: Courtroom 3D, Manatee County Judicial Center. Any requests for Zoom hearing must be made, in writing, and set for hearing.

NON-EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS

Case Management Conferences and Trial Scheduling Conferences will continue to be conducted exclusively via Zoom for the remainder of 2021. Effective Monday, July 26, 2021, all non-evidentiary motion hearings will be held in person. If you have already scheduled and noticed your hearing as a Zoom proceeding, you must immediately file an Amended Notice of Hearing, reflecting the location of the hearing as: Courtroom 3D, Manatee County Judicial Center. Any requests for Zoom hearing must be made, in writing, and set for hearing.

PRO SE HEARINGS

The court will be working with the pro se coordinator to make Zoom hearings available for uncontested and simplified dissolution cases, pending further updates.

HYBRID HEARINGS

At this time, the court does not have the available technology to conduct hybrid hearings in which some parties appear remotely and some in person. If, and when, this becomes available, these instructions will be updated accordingly.

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Magistrate Paul Hudson

OVERVIEW

As of June 21, 2021, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Charles Canady, has removed all requirements of social distancing and mandatory face coverings as well as eliminating the requirement that most hearings be conducted remotely. Many court events have been scheduled over the next several months, and were scheduled as “Zoom” proceedings. To provide maximum flexibility and consistency as Manatee County, Family Division 4, transitions back to “in-person” proceedings, the following procedures will be followed:

TRIALS

The Circuit Judge in Family Division 3 has issued new judicial requirements which state that amended trial orders will be issued for all cases set for trial on or after Tuesday, July 6, 2021, via Zoom, specifying that the trials will be held in person, in the Manatee County Judicial Center. Any requests for Zoom trial proceedings after that date must be made, in writing, and set for hearing.

EVIDENTIARY MOTION HEARINGS

Effective Monday, July 26, 2021, all hearings noticed as evidentiary hearings will be held in person. If you have already scheduled and noticed your hearing as a Zoom proceeding, you must immediately file an Amended Notice of Hearing reflecting the location of the hearing as: Hearing Room #1, Manatee County Judicial Center. Any requests for Zoom hearings after that date must be made, in writing, and set for hearing.

NON-EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS

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. Time for these hearings will be reserved on the Magistrate’s dockets and designated as “Zoom dockets,” and the parties will have the ability to reserve hearing time on those dockets on JACS at their convenience. These “Zoom dockets” are to be utilized strictly for non-evidentiary hearings, and hearing time will be limited to fifteen (15) minutes. Any evidentiary hearings scheduled on these Zoom dockets will be cancelled by the Magistrate’s office. Should any party object to having a hearing conducted via Zoom following Monday, July 26, 2021, they must file a written objection in the Court file within ten (10) days, and immediately notify the opposing party and the Magistrate’s assistant of the objection. Any objections not raised within ten (10) days will be deemed waived, and the subject hearing will proceed via Zoom.

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Circuit Family Division 4

Judge Teresa Dees

OVERVIEW

As of June 21, 2021, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Charles Canady, has removed all requirements of social distancing and mandatory face coverings as well as eliminating the requirement that most hearings be conducted remotely. Many court events have been scheduled over the next several months, and were scheduled as “Zoom” proceedings. To provide maximum flexibility and consistency as Manatee County, Family Division 4, transitions back to “in-person” proceedings, the following procedures will be followed:

TRIALS

The court will issue amended trial orders for all cases set for trial on or after Monday, July 26, 2021, via zoom, specifying that the trials will be held in person, in courtroom 3E of the Manatee County Judicial Center. Any requests for Zoom trial proceedings must be made, in writing, and set for hearing.

EVIDENTIARY MOTION HEARINGS

Effective, Monday, July 26, 2021, all hearings noticed as evidentiary hearings will be held in person. If you have already scheduled and noticed your hearing as a Zoom proceeding, you must immediately file an Amended Notice of Hearing reflecting the location of the hearing as: Courtroom 3E, Manatee County Judicial Center. Any requests for Zoom hearing must be made, in writing via Motion, and set for hearing.

NON-EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS

Case Management Conferences and Trial Scheduling Conferences will continue to be conducted exclusively via Zoom for the remainder of 2021. Effective Monday, July 26, 2021, all non-evidentiary motion hearings, scheduled for sixty (60) minutes or longer, will be held in person.

PRO SE HEARINGS

The court will be working with the pro se coordinator to make Zoom hearings available for uncontested and simplified dissolution cases, pending further updates.

HYBRID HEARINGS

At this time, the court does not have the available technology to conduct hybrid hearings in which some parties appear remotely and some in person. If, and when, this becomes available, these instructions will be updated accordingly.

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Magistrate David Caskey

OVERVIEW

As of June 21, 2021, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Charles Canady, has removed all requirements of social distancing and mandatory face coverings as well as eliminating the requirement that most hearings be conducted remotely. Many court events have been scheduled over the next several months, and were scheduled as “Zoom” proceedings. To provide maximum flexibility and consistency as Manatee County, Family Division 4, transitions back to “in-person” proceedings, the following procedures will be followed:

TRIALS

The Circuit Judge in Family Division 4 has issued new judicial requirements which state that amended trial orders will be issued for all cases set for trial on or after Monday, July 26, 2021, via Zoom, specifying that the trials will be held in person, in the Manatee County Judicial Center. Any requests for Zoom trial proceedings after that date must be made, in writing, and set for hearing.

EVIDENTIARY MOTION HEARINGS

Effective Monday, July 26, 2021, all hearings noticed as evidentiary hearings will be held in person. If you have already scheduled and noticed your hearing as a Zoom proceeding, you must immediately file an Amended Notice of Hearing reflecting the location of the hearing as: Hearing Room #2, Manatee County Judicial Center. Any requests for Zoom hearings after that date must be made, in writing, and set for hearing.

NON-EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS

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. Time for these hearings will be reserved on the Magistrate’s dockets and designated as “Zoom dockets,” and the parties will have the ability to reserve hearing time on those dockets on JACS at their convenience. These “Zoom dockets” are to be utilized strictly for non-evidentiary hearings, and hearing time will be limited to fifteen (15) minutes. Any evidentiary hearings scheduled on these Zoom dockets will be cancelled by the Magistrate’s office. Should any party object to having a hearing conducted via Zoom following Monday, July 26, 2021, they must file a written objection in the Court file within five (5) days, and immediately notify the opposing party and the Magistrate’s assistant of the objection. Any objections not raised within five (5) days will be deemed waived, and the subject hearing will proceed via Zoom.

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Magistrate / Hearing Officer Mary Ann Floyd

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

If you wish to observe or attend by remote means please contact the Judge’s office for further instructions.

Circuit Family Division 1

Judge Kimberly Bonner

As of June 21, 2021, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Charles Canady, has removed all requirements of social distancing and mandatory face coverings as well as eliminating the requirement that most hearings be conducted remotely. Many court events have been scheduled over the next several months, and were scheduled as “Zoom” events. To provide maximum flexibility and consistency as Family Division 1 transitions back to in person proceedings, the following procedures will be followed:

The court will issue amended trial orders for all cases set for trial in 2021 via zoom, specifying that the trials will be held in person, in courtroom 5A of the Silvertooth Judicial Center. However, if all parties agree in writing to conduct the trial via zoom, they may do so and the appropriate zoom link will be provided by the court.

Case Management Conferences, Uniform Motion Calendar, and Pretrial Conferences will continue to be conducted exclusively via zoom for the remainder of 2021.

The court will be working with the pro se coordinator to make zoom hearings available for parties who wish to use the platform for uncontested and simplified dissolution cases.

As of July 12, 2021, all hearings noticed as evidentiary hearings will be held in person unless all parties stipulate in writing to a zoom hearing. All other hearings will proceed as scheduled on zoom unless the parties notify the court in advance that they wish to appear in person.

For notices of hearing sent after June 21, 2021, any non-evidentiary hearing less than 30 minutes may be set as a zoom hearing without prior leave of court or agreement of the opposing party.

At this time, the court does not have the available technology to conduct hybrid hearings in which some parties appear remotely and some in person. If and when this becomes available, these instructions will be updated accordingly.

SCHEDULING HEARINGS USING JACS
 

Circuit Family Division 2

Judge Maria Ruhl

As of June 21, 2021, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Charles Canady, has removed all requirements of social distancing and mandatory face coverings as well as eliminating the requirement that most hearings be conducted remotely. Many court events have been scheduled over the next several months, and were scheduled as “Zoom” events. To provide maximum flexibility and consistency as Family Division 2 transitions back to in person proceedings, the following procedures will be followed:

The court will issue amended trial orders for all cases set for trial in 2021 via zoom, specifying that the trials will be held in person, in courtroom 6A of the Silvertooth Judicial Center. However, if all parties agree in writing to conduct the trial via zoom, they may do so and the appropriate zoom link will be provided by the court.

Case Management Conferences and Pre-Trial Conferences will continue to be conducted exclusively via zoom for the remainder of 2021.

The court will be working with the pro se coordinator to make zoom hearings available for parties who wish to use the platform for uncontested and simplified dissolution cases.

As of July 12, 2021, all hearings noticed as evidentiary hearings will be held in person unless all parties stipulate in writing to a zoom hearing. All other hearings will proceed as scheduled on zoom unless the parties notify the court in advance that they wish to appear in person.

For notices of hearing sent after June 21, 2021, any non evidentiary hearing less than 30 minutes may be set as a zoom hearing without prior leave of court or agreement of the opposing party.

All Zoom hearings MUST be scheduled through the J.A. by email with all parties copied. All available J.A.C.S hearing time will be for in-person hearings only. Please utilize the same hearing request protocols as provided in the requirements.

At this time, the court does not have the available technology to conduct hybrid hearings in which some parties appear remotely and some in person. If and when this becomes available, these instructions will be updated accordingly.

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Circuit Family Division H

Judge Hunter Carroll

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

Effective June 21, 2021, these Court events will be in-person in the Courthouse: jury trials, nonjury trials, evidentiary hearings exceeding 1 hour, and interpersonal violence injunction hearings (e.g., Domestic Violence, Stalking, etc.). The parties by motion may seek an alternate appearance method. These Court events will be held in Courtroom H, R.L. Anderson Administration Building, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, Florida 34293.

All other hearings can be in-person, by Zoom, or both at the discretion of the party.

Judge Carroll is testing a hybrid Courtroom, meaning that Judge Carroll can conduct Court with parties appearing in-person and remotely via Zoom simultaneously. This is not (yet) a circuit wide set-up, and most Judges in the Twelfth Circuit do not have access to a hybrid courtroom at this time.

For any hearing before Judge Carroll that is 1 hour in length or less the parties may appear in-person in Courtroom H or remotely via Zoom without any special request and without notification to the Court. The parties by motion may seek an alternate appearance method. Please do not contact the Court’s Judicial Assistant to notify the Court whether parties intend to appear remotely via Zoom or in-person as each party has the discretion to choose which appearance method that party prefers.

When drafting a Notice of Hearing for a hearing less than 1 hour 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.

Without exception, exhibits for evidentiary hearings as well as indexes/exhibit lists must be delivered to the Courthouse in two hard-copy sets (one for the Judge and one for the Clerk) at least two days prior to the evidentiary hearing. Plaintiff/Petitioner’s exhibits are to be numbered, i.e. “1, 2, 3…” and Defendant/Respondent’s exhibits are to be lettered, “A, B, C…” This is, of course, the same procedure to be followed for trial exhibits.

UMC hearings will continue to be set through contacting the Court’s Judicial Assistant.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Judge Carroll was lenient did not enforce normal Court attire. Effective June 21, 2021, normal Court attire will be requested whether appearing in-person or remotely via Zoom before Judge Carroll.

SCHEDULE HEARINGS
 

Magistrate Matthew Peters

SCHEDULING HEARINGS USING JACS