Alachua, Baker, Bradford – Probate and Guardianship Procedures

Please do not contact the Circuit Judge’s office for any Probate or Guardianship matters assigned to the General Magistrate. Please direct your inquiry as follows:

For all Guardianship Matters: guardianship-orders@circuit8.org

For all Probate Matters: probate-orders@circuit8.org

Please include the full case number in the subject line

UNREPRESENTED OR PRO-SE PARTIES:

Parties not represented by counsel can elect to receive orders from the Court by electronic mail. To elect this you must fill out this form and file it with the Clerk of the Court.

PROPOSED ORDERS:

  • Prior to submitting your proposed order, and to make sure there are no unnecessary delays, please consult the checklists at the following link: https://circuit8.org/self-help/forms-and-checklists/
  • All proposed orders should be submitted in Word format to the address above or through the e-portal. All motions, along with supporting documentation, should be e-filed or, for pro se parties, delivered to the Clerk’s office. Except for emergency pleadings, please do not provide the Court with a copy of the motion or any supporting documentation, this should all be filed with the clerk.  The Court will review the case filing system and review any supporting documentation electronically. Please do not submit your proposed order until all applicable time and notice periods have run. All orders shall include a certificate of service at the bottom of the order indicating the name of the party who is to receive the order, as well as that party’s e-service address OR mailing address, if a hard copy is required.
  • Orders will not be entered until the motion and all supporting documentation has been docketed and imaged by the Clerk.  Please note in some counties this can take 7-10 days after your filing. Please allow at least 14 days after submitting your proposed orders for review before following up with the Staff Attorney or General Magistrate’s office.

STATUS CONFERENCE/CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE:

Counsel and unrepresented parties must attend all status and Case Management Conferences unless excused by the court.

To request a continuance or excusal the party or their attorney may file a status report along with a motion for continuance not less 10 days prior to the Case Management Conference requesting the status conference be continued. Continuances are at the discretion of the court and parties must appear unless a continuance is granted or personal appearance is excused. Sanctions may be imposed for failure to appear.

The parties may use the Status Report form available on the Circuit’s website (https://circuit8.org/forms-checklists).

TELEPHONIC/REMOTE APPEARANCES:

  • In light of the current public health emergency, all guardianship proceedings are being conducted remotely, with no in-person appearances. Please do not come to the courthouse for a guardianship hearing. Your court notice will contain the information you need to connect to the hearing by Zoom.
  • Please review and comply with the Zoom procedures found at: https://circuit8.org/zoom-guidelines

EMERGENCY MOTIONS:

  • If you believe the matter you have submitted for review is eligible for emergency relief or must be reviewed on an expedited basis, please state that it is an “Emergency” in the subject line of your email and include a courtesy copy of your motion and all attachments.

SCHEDULING A HEARING:

    • Hearing requests should be made by email and should include the county name, full case number, style of the case, type of motion(s) being heard, the attorneys and/or pro se parties involved, and the amount of time requested.
    • Hearings should not be requested until all required documents have been filed, and notice has been effected in accordance with the Rules, or waivers filed by all parties entitled to notice.
    • Petitions for approval of settlement must comply with Eighth Circuit Administrative Order 7.02. A hearing will not be set until all documentation required by that order has been filed.

CONTINUANCES:

Continuances are not routinely granted and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All requests must be made with specificity and show good cause. All requests must comply with Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.460. All Motions to Continue Trial shall be filed with a client consent form signed by the client. A hearing will not be set on any Motion to Continue Trial if the Client Consent form has not been filed with the Clerk of Court.

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE AND COVERAGE COUNSEL:

Pursuant to Eighth Judicial circuit Administrative Order No. 1.30, with the permission of the client, an attorney may arrange for another attorney to appear at a proceeding to represent a party. Such “coverage” attorneys must file a notice of appearance as co-counsel before the court will recognize the attorney as representing that party. All notices must be filed in compliance with Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.505(e). A notice of appearance must be filed prior to the start of the proceedings and counsel must be familiar with the case and fully prepared to address all issues pending before the court.

Failure to timely file a proper Notice of Appearance is the same as a non-appearance and may result in the striking of pleadings, dismissal of claims, or the imposition of other permissible sanctions deemed proper, and shall constitute a waiver of Exceptions to the Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation pursuant to Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.490(h).

EX PARTE EMAILS OR CORRESPONDENCE:

The Magistrate is not allowed to discuss pending cases with the public. Please do not call or email the Court expecting to speak with the Magistrate about any case. The Court is only allowed to consider arguments made in court and documents filed by parties to the case.

Copies of all e-mails and correspondence sent to the Magistrate’s office must also be sent to all opposing counsel/parties in the case. Ex-parte e-mails or correspondence will be returned to the sending party without having been reviewed or may be filed in the court file, as appropriate.

GENERAL MAGISTRATE – EXCEPTIONS:

ALL PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE MAGISTRATE WILL BE RECORDED ELECTRONICALLY. AN ELECTRONIC COPY OF THE PROCEEDINGS MAY BE REQUESTED IN WRITING FROM COURT REPORTING.

    • Request an electronic copy by emailing Karen Wable at WableK@circuit8.org;
    • Or by mailing your request to: Court Reporting, Alachua County Family and Civil Justice Center, 201 East University Avenue, ROOM 411, Gainesville, Florida 32601.

ALL COSTS FOR ANY ELECTRONIC COPIES WILL BE PAID BY THE REQUESTING PARTY. 

AFTER OBTAINING AN ELECTRONIC COPY, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PERSON FILING EXCEPTIONS AND SEEKING REVIEW OF THE MAGISTRATE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO HAVE A WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT PREPARED BY A CERTIFIED COURT REPORTER FOR DELIVERY TO THE COURT. THE REQUESTING PARTY MUST PAY THE EXPENSE OF THE TRANSCRIPTION.