In the Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit
in and for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto Counties, Florida
Administrative Order 2021–14.1
(supersedes AO 2021–06.1 for circuit civil cases only)
Civil Case Management Protocols
for Circuit Civil Cases Filed After April 30, 2021
Whereas, on March 9, 2021, the Florida Supreme Court entered Administrative Order AOSC20-23, Amendment 10, which required each circuit to enter an Administrative Order that to take effect on April 30, 2021, that requires the presiding judge for each civil case to actively manage civil cases; and
Whereas, on April 13, 2021, the Florida Supreme Court entered Amendment 12 to AOSC2-23, which amended the civil case management requirements; and
Whereas, on April 29, 2021, this court entered Administrative Order 2021-6.1 which established civil case management protocols for both county and circuit civil cases filed after April 30, 2021, however, upon discussion and agreement with the local bar, the court has agreed to modify those protocols for cases filed in circuit court, which are incorporated into this new administrative order; and
Whereas, all judges are required to comply with Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.545(a), (b), and (e), which respectively require judges to conclude litigation as soon as it is reasonably and justly possible to do so, to take charge of all cases at an early stage and to control the progress of the case thereafter until it is determined, and to apply a firm continuance policy allowing continuances only for good cause shown; and
Whereas, the case management procedures below apply to all circuit civil cases in which the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure apply. The procedures below do not apply to summary actions filed under section 51.011, Florida Statutes, post-judgment proceedings, and writs to which Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.630 applies; and
Whereas, each circuit civil case shall be designated as general, streamlined or complex, and shall follow the case management protocols set forth below; and
Now Therefore, pursuant to the authority vested in me as Chief Judge of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit of Florida, under Rule 2.215 of the Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration, it is hereby ordered:
- The Twelfth Judicial Circuit hereby adopts a case management protocol for all applicable circuit civil cases filed after April 30, 2021.
- Designations – all cases shall be designated as general, streamlined or complex. Parties may motion the court for a particular designation, but if no motion is filed, the following designation guidelines apply:
- All circuit civil cases are “general”, unless otherwise specifically designated as streamlined or complex.
- “Streamlined” circuit civil cases, unless otherwise determined by the presiding judge, are uncontested cases, cases not entitled to jury trial, or cases where a jury trial is not demanded, and an anticipated trial length is less than two days. Judges have the authority and discretion to designate other case types as streamlined, but for purposes of this order, circuit civil cases designated as streamlined are:
- Accounts Payable
- Commercial Foreclosure
- Condominium Lien
- Declaratory Action
- Delinquent Taxpayer
- Delinquent Tenant
- Residential Foreclosure
- “Complex” civil cases are actions that have been or may be designated by court order as complex under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.201. Upon such designation, the action shall proceed as provided in the rule.
- Case Management Report Required - The attached Case Management Reports (General and Streamlined), shall be used in all circuit civil cases. These Case Management Reports are also available on the 12th Circuit Website www.jud12.flcourts.org Within 30 days of service of the complaint on the last of all named defendants, Plaintiffs shall initiate a consultation with all defendants to either agree to a Case Management Report or set the matter for an initial case management conference with the presiding judge.
- The burden is on the plaintiff(s) to ensure compliance with this Administrative Order, Case Management Order and the Case Management Report.
- The burden is on the plaintiff(s), in consultation with all defendants, to submit the completed Case Management Report to the presiding judge within 5 days after the initial consultation. If parties do not agree to the case management report, plaintiff must set the matter before the presiding judge for an initial case management conference within 45 days of the initial consultation, if not already scheduled by the Court.
- The Court’s expectation is that the parties in most cases will agree to various deadlines and will not have to appear at the initial case management conference. If, however, there is disagreement and a case management conference is not already set by the Court, plaintiff must schedule the case management conference and all parties must appear.
- Failure by plaintiff to submit the Case Management Report to the presiding judge or schedule the initial case management conference may be grounds for defendant(s) to file a motion to dismiss or order to show cause against plaintiff.
- The presiding judge may, on his/her own directive, enter a case management order in any case at least 30 days after service of the complaint on the last of all named defendants as long as said case management order contains at minimum, the same information as required by this order. Judges may utilize more detailed case management orders if desired.
- Exception for Stays or Moratorium - If the streamlined or general civil case is subject to a statutory stay or a moratorium preventing the prosecution of the case, then a case management order shall be issued within 45 days after the stay or the moratorium ends, or within 30 days after service of the complaint on the last of all named defendants, whichever date is later.
- Maximum Deadline Periods – unless otherwise ordered based upon good cause, the maximum deadline periods in the Case Management Report and Order shall be as follows:
|Deadlines for service of complaints, service under extensions and adding new parties
||Within 120 days of filing complaint, unless the Court grants an extension which shall not exceed 240 days from the date of filing the complaint
||Within 120 days of filing the complaint, unless Court grants an extension, which shall not exceed 240 days from the date of filing the complaint
|Deadlines to complete fact and expert discovery
||Within 450 days after complaint is filed
||Within 270 days after complaint is filed
|Deadline for all objections to pleadings and pretrial motions to be resolved
||Within 45 days after filing and prior to the pretrial conference
||Within 45 days after filing and prior to the pretrial conference
|Deadline for mediation to have occurred
||Within 450 days after the complaint is filed
||Within 270 days after the complaint is filed
|Projected trial date
||Within 18 months of filing complaint
||Within 12 months of filing complaint
- Lawyers must strictly comply with Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.45(a), which requires lawyers to conclude litigation as soon as it is reasonably and justly possible to do so. The pandemic alone is not a basis for a lawyer’s failure to prepare a case for trial or otherwise actively manage a case.
- A separate but similar case management protocol for all applicable pending circuit civil cases filed prior to April 30, 2021, will be entered at a later date.
- This Administrative Order supersedes the protocol established in Administrative Order 2021-06.1 for circuit civil cases, is effective immediately, and shall remain in full force and effect until further order of this court.
Done and ordered in chambers, Sarasota County, Florida, this 19th day of July, 2021.
Charles E. Roberts
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