In The Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit and for
Sarasota County, Florida
Administrative Order No. 2023-16.2
(amends and supersedes Administrative Order 2018-6.2)
In Re :
Amended Modification of South County
Judicial District of Sarasota County
and Division H Case Assignments
Florida law permits the establishment of geographic divisions of the Court by administrative order. The "South County Judicial District" was created as a special judicial district in Sarasota County pursuant to Administrative Order 88-54-2, effective January 1, 1989.
Pursuant to Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.215, it is necessary for the proper administration of justice to maintain this judicial division in Sarasota County and to re-establish circuit civil, probate and guardianship hearings being heard therein.
To minimize docket congestion at the Sarasota location, the efficient administration of justice requires that the case load of the circuit court be re-distributed to the South County Judicial District.
This Court entered Administrative Order No. 2018-6.2 on May 15, 2018; it has become necessary to update that Order.
By the power vested in the chief judge under Article V, section 2(d) of the Florida Constitution, section 43.26, Florida Statutes, and Rule 2.215(b), Florida Rules of General Practice and Judicial Administration, it is, accordingly, ordered and adjudged as follows:
- The geographic division of the Court in Sarasota County, known as the "South County Judicial District," shall be defined as that land lying south of a line running east and west along Blackburn Point Road.
- The geographic division shall continue to be known as the "South County Judicial District of Sarasota County." The physical location of the courthouse is the South County Courthouse, 4004 South Tamiami Trail, Venice, Florida 34293.
- Division H, the circuit civil division created by the Court pursuant to Administrative Order 88-54-2, was re-established as the South County Judicial District of Sarasota County, pursuant to prior Administrative Orders 2003-11-02, 2006-2.2, 2007-8.2, and 2008-13.2. Prior Administrative Order 2018-6.2 expanded new filings in Division H to include family, circuit civil, probate, guardianship, and mental health cases. The following specific exceptions to the new filings remain in effect:
- Nomortgage foreclosure cases, residential or commercial, shall be filed in the South County Judicial District. All mortgage foreclosure cases must be filed in Sarasota.
- All mental health cases that are initiated by a licensed mental health facility shall be filed in Sarasota.
- In accordance with the geographic division establishing the South County Judicial District of Sarasota County, the Clerk is directed to the following procedures for filing and docketing of cases:
- County Court Civil (South County Division) and Circuit Court Civil, Probate, Guardianship, Mental Health, Family (Division H), and Injunction for Protection Actions: Parties shall file any county court civil actions, general circuit civil actions (excluding mortgage foreclosures), probate, guardianship, mental health (excluding cases initiated by a licensed mental health facility in north county), family division, and injunction for protection actions at the South County Courthouse when:
- The Defendant/Respondent resides within or south of the South County Judicial District of Sarasota County; or
- The cause of action arose within the South County Judicial District of Sarasota County; or
- The property in litigation is within the South County Judicial District of Sarasota County.
- In addition, venue for filing of any other county civil and circuit civil, probate, guardianship, mental health, and family division actions shall be controlled and determined, at the option of the Plaintiff, by Sections 47.021, 47.041, 47.051 and 47.061, F1orida Statutes, and any other applicable statutory and common law venue limitations. If a party files an action in Sarasota and the action properly belongs in the South County Judicial District, the Clerk may transfer the filings to the South County Courthouse.
- Traffic and Misdemeanor Cases: The Clerk shall continue to docket all traffic and misdemeanor cases arising within the South County Judicial District of Sarasota County at the South County Courthouse.
- Mortgage Foreclosures, Mental Health cases initiated by a licensed mental health facility in Sarasota, Felony and Juvenile Cases: All of these cases shall continue to be docketed, filed, and heard in North Sarasota County
- Circuit Judges or Acting Circuit Judges shall be appointed to preside over all family, circuit civil, probate, guardianship and mental health cases filed in Division H.
- Except as otherwise provided in this Order, circuit civil, probate, guardianship and mental health cases filed in Sarasota County that meet the criteria of being a South County Judicial District case shall be filed in South County.
- Upon good cause shown, the Chief Judge or the presiding Circuit Judge in Division H, may order that Circuit Civil, Probate, Guardianship or Family Division matters assigned to Division H, be transferred or re-assigned to another division of the Circuit Court.
- The judge(s) assigned to the "South County Division(s)" of county court shall continue to hear all matters within the jurisdiction of county court filed in that judicial district, and civil traffic infraction hearings may be heard by a Civil Traffic Infraction Hearing Officer at the South County Courthouse.
- Administrative Order 2018-6.2 is hereby amended and superseded.
- This Administrative Order is effective immediately.
Done and ordered in Chambers in Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida this 6 day of September 2023
Diana L. Moreland
Return to Administrative Order List