For information about meeting times and participation please contact the Judicial Assistant.
Phone: (941) 861-7967
Email: Judicial Assistant
Judge Quartermaine's Zoom Video Conference Access Information
Temporary COVID-19 Procedures for Sarasota County Civil and Criminal Division A
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 and the amendments thereto (the “Mission Essential Order”), County Division A remains open and functional. This office is 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. Check on the Court's COVID page to get updates about when the Court progresses to the next Phase.
During the COVID-19 outbreak (effective immediately through the end of Phase 2 as set forth in the Mission Essential Order), the only hearings that will take place live and in the courthouse are arraignments and hearings involving inmates (with the inmates appearing by video). All other hearings will take place using Zoom. Evidentiary hearings will be heard at the discretion of Judge Quartermaine and upon request by one or both of the parties. Trials will be postponed until the soonest possible date.
There is hearing time available on JACS, 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, Lana (contact information below). Until the conclusion of Phase 2, notice all hearings as Zoom hearings (even if the hearing is several weeks away, notice it as a Zoom hearing and the notice can be amended in the event in-person hearings are permitted at the time of the hearing). The notice of hearing shall include the Zoom access credentials. Also, all Court hearings are public. Therefore, until the conclusion of Phase 2, attorneys and parties must reference this webpage on the notice of hearing. Scroll to the bottom of this page for suggested language to include in your notice of hearing. The failure to include the required information on a notice of hearing will likely result in the cancellation of the hearing. If you have already filed a notice of hearing and it does not include this required information, you may amend it to do so.
Judge Quartermaine will be the host of the Zoom videoconference. There are no fees to the parties to utilize this service and Zoom will allow individuals to appear via telephone if they do not have an available computer. All hearings in the morning or the afternoon on a designated day will use the same meeting credentials and they are available below. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for hearing dates, Zoom credentials and tips. Please understand that each session’s sign in credentials are different and cannot be transferred.
Pleas in criminal cases will be accepted by Zoom with certain conditions including the submission of a notarized plea form and testimony from the defense attorney attesting to the identity of the Defendant. If the charge to which the defendant is entering a plea is one that requires fingerprints (charges that are enhanceable which include, but are not limited to, DWLS, battery, violation of an injunction, and petit theft) and the defendant is unable to obtain those fingerprints prior to the plea then an additional condition of probation will be for the defendant to procure fingerprints and file them with the Clerk of Court. If the defendant is not entering a plea to regular probation, the Court will require administrative probation for the sole purpose of procuring fingerprints and filing them with the Clerk of Court within six months of the date of the plea; there will be no other monetary or reporting condition. Should a plea via Zoom occur, the State shall, if applicable, ensure that the victim has notice of the hearing and the ability to participate in the hearing. Judge Quartermaine will also accept Pleas in Absentia (with fingerprints, if required) as long as it would not be a violation of Marsy’s Law. A defendant may roll his or her own fingerprints in the presence of a notary provided this form is used and submitted to the Court: Acknowledgement and Waiver of Rights in Absentia
Please also note the following:
- Questions may be directed to Judge Quartermaine's assistant via email or by phone at 941-861-7967.
- See Zoom tips below.
- 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 and explain that difficulty. A copy of the motion should be emailed to the judicial assistant with copy to all parties.
- Please also refer to Judge Quartermaine’s regular requirements and procedures available at Judge Quartermaine's Bio page.
- Suggested language for notices of hearing:
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.
Please review the following tips
- Do let the court know if you don’t have a phone or access to the internet. The court may be able to help you find a way to participate or may postpone the hearing.
- Do visit the video call website (www.Zoom.us) or a video sharing website (YouTube) for guides, helpful videos, and additional information about Zoom.
- Do prepare for your virtual hearing. If you plan to participate in your hearing by video, download the video application before your scheduled hearing. Be sure to test your speaker, microphone, and camera before the hearing. Video call software websites often provide a test link to try your equipment before the actual event (Zoom test example here).
- Do dress appropriately as if you were actually going to Court. Business casual attire is acceptable for attorneys.
- Do limit distractions during your hearing. Put all pets and other things that may be a distraction in a different room. Find a quiet place to participate in the hearing.
- Do keep your device on mute when not speaking. Keeping your phone, mobile device, or computer on mute unless speaking reduces feedback and limits background noise.
- Do call the court in advance if you want to present evidence. If you have documents or witnesses you want available for your hearing, check the judge’s website or call the court for more information.
- Do make sure others using your Wi-Fi network minimize their usage during your hearing so you have the best possible connection.
- Don’t ignore the virtual hearing. If you cannot make the hearing or have a conflict, notify the court.
- Don’t talk over others, it makes it hard for the judge and others to hear. Wait to speak until asked to by the judge.
- Don’t do other things while on the call. Just like in an actual courtroom, you must pay attention to make sure you don’t miss something important that is said or something the judge asks you to do.
Standing Meetings do not have a start or end date. Contact the Judge's Judicial Assistant or JACS for hearing times.
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