Circuit Probate Court

The Probate Division of the Circuit Court has jurisdiction of proceedings relating to the settlement of the estates of decedents and minors, the granting of wills, guardianship, involuntary hospitalization, and the determination of competency. The Probate Division also has jurisdiction over proceedings relating to the Jimmy Ryce Act (sexual predator) and hears all jury trials and hearings regarding these matters.

Guardianship

A guardian is a surrogate decision-maker appointed by the court to make either personal and/or financial decisions for a minor or for an adult with mental or physical disabilities. After adjudication, the subject of the guardianship is termed a "ward."

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Circuit Probate

Judge Don T. Hall

 

Circuit Probate Judge Diana L. Moreland

In Person and Electronic Appearances

Notice

The Manatee County Probate / Guardianship Judge notices all parties that in the exercise of her discretion and in accordance with Fla.R.Gen.Prac. & Jud. Admin. 2.530, beginning 1 October 2022:

  1. All non-evidentiary hearings shall be conducted using audio-video or hybrid audio-video* communication technology (Zoom platform). see: Fla.R.Gen.Prac. & Jud. Admin. 2.530(a) and 2.530(b)(1)
  2. All evidentiary hearings scheduled for 60 minutes or less shall be conducted using audio-video or hybrid audio-video* communication technology (Zoom platform). see: Fla.R.Gen.Prac. & Jud. Admin. 2.530(a) and 2.530(b)
  3. All evidentiary hearings scheduled in excess of 60 minutes, wanting to use audio-video or hybrid audio-video* communication technology, shall require a written motion or stipulation/consent of all parties. see: Fla.R.Gen.Prac. & Jud. Admin. 2.530(a)
  4. All notices of hearings shall include the audio-visiual communication technology information posted by the court and served with sufficient time for the opposing party to file an objection absent a stipulation or consent.
  5. An objection to the use of audio-visual communication technology shall be filed within 10 days of service of motion or notice of hearing, courtesy copies provided to all parties and court, or it shall be deemed waived. see: Fla.R.Gen.Prac. & Jud. Admin. 2.530(b)

*Hybrid audio video technology permits a party to appear remotely or in person and should be communicated to the court for engagement of appropriate technology.

ZOOM hearings Audio-Video Communication Technology

Ex Parte Hearings

Unless otherwise noted on the court’s monthly calendar, Ex Parte Hearings will be held on Monday through Thursday at 8:30 a.m. before the Probate & Guardianship Judge in Courtroom 5D either via audio-video communication technology, zoom platform or in person.

Ex Parte hearings shall be uncontested, non-evidentiary and 5 min. or less in length. These hearings are not scheduled through the Judicial Assistant or through JACS. The attorney desiring an Ex Parte hearing shall email to the Probate Coordinator, the Petition, Notice of Hearing, proposed Order(s) and all other relevant documents. The e-mail subject line shall include the case style, petition and date of hearing. All documents shall be emailed in one .pdf attachment to the Probate Coordinator at probatemanatee@jud12.flcourts.org no later than noon, on the business day immediately preceding the hearing, NO exceptions. No telephone appearances are permitted. Counsel will comply with Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and applicable case law in terms of motions and notices.

Contested Hearings: Non-Evidentiary

When a hearing is scheduled you will use the Zoom Hearing credentials for ALL hearings scheduled that day, regardless of your particular scheduled hearing time daily. Zoom hearing credentials, for the purposes of notices, are posted at ww.jud12.flcourts.org.

ONE Zoom credential will be utilized for the entire day.

Contested Hearings: Evidentiary
  1. When a hearing is scheduled you will use the Zoom Hearing credentials for ALL hearings scheduled during that day, regardless of your particular scheduled hearing time. Zoom hearing credentials, for the purposes of notices, are posted at www.jud12.flcourts.org.
  2. All evidence MUST be submitted and marked at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing. Attorneys and pro se litigants must use the same numbering/lettering system the clerk uses when marking evidence (Petitioners/Plaintiffs uses numbers and Respondents / Defendants uses letters).
  3. The Court will record an exhibit list concerning admitted evidence if no clerk is resent. Everything submitted, whether formally admitted or not, will go to the clerk for filing.

Audio Communication Technology (Telephone)

Audio Communication Technology (Telephone)

Pursuant to Rule 2.530(b)(2)(C), Audio Communication Technology (Telephone) shall never be available for a proceeding in which the mental capacity or competency of a person is at issue, only audio-video communication technology may be used for the presentation of testimony by that person.

Audio Communication Technology (Telephone) Hearings less than thirty (30) minutes

Requests to appear by phone MUST be by written motion, accompanied by an Order, at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing. The motion and Order shall include: the date, time and subject of the hearing. There are multiple hearings scheduled at the same time, and telephone hearings are usually taken last, therefore your hearing may not be at the exact hour.

Please review Fla.R.Jud.Admin 2.530. In cases where the Court grants the use of audio-video technology for non-evidentiary hearings 30 minutes or less in length, the Court will not initiate the call. The attorney or pro se litigant wishing to appear will use the phone number that is part of the Zoom hearing credentials which is posted at www.jud12.flcourts.org at the scheduled hearing time.

Audio Communication Technology (Telephone) Hearings thirty (30) minutes or longer (for legitimate or technological reasons)

Requests to appear by phone MUST be by written motion, accompanied by an Order, at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing. The motion and Order shall include: the date, time and subject of the hearing for the legitimate or technological reasons. There are multiple hearings scheduled at the same time, and telephone hearings are usually taken last, therefore your hearing may not be at the exact hour.

Please review Fla.R.Jud.Admin 2.530. In cases where the Court grants the use of audio-video technology for non-evidentiary hearings 30 minutes or less in length, the Court will not initiate the call. The attorney or pro se litigant wishing to appear will use the phone number that is part of the Zoom hearing credentials which is posted at www.jud12.flcourts.org at the scheduled hearing time.


Judge Diana Moreland

SCHEDULING HEARINGS
 

Sarasota/Venice Probate and Guardianship Requirements Effective January 1, 2022

The Court’s requirements have been updated effective January 1, 2022. Please review the requirements in their entirety.

Unless stipulated to by the parties, the following hearings shall take place in person:

  1. Hearings on Do Not Resuscitate Orders
  2. Hearings for the Appointment of Emergency Temporary Guardian
  3. Final Guardianship hearings
  4. Hearings on Petition for Injunction Against Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult

These hearings can be scheduled on the court’s calendar without court approval, however the telephonic or Zoom credentials must be provided to the court at the time of scheduling on the JACS calendar and shall be additionally provided on the Notice of Hearing.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the Court has temporarily suspended its hybrid In-Person/Virtual Court Schedule. All ex parte hearings and special set hearings shall be conducted virtually/remotely until further notice.


Circuit Probate

Judge Charles E. Williams

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