Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 NW 1st Avenue
Miami FL 33128
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GENERAL PUBLIC  |  ATTORNEYS  |  EDUCATORS  |  MEDIA  |  JURORS
PROBATE ATTORNEYS' CORNER


TEMPORARY PROBATE LOCATION: beginning May 29, 2014

            Probate Division, 8th Floor
            Overtown Transit Village North
            701 NW 1st Court, Miami, FL   33136
See at the very bottom, information regarding PARKING/METRORAIL/ACCESS etc.

NEW:
There are many approved Estate and Guardianship forms at the following link. These forms are fillable and should be used whenever possible, when submitting proposed orders. Click here.

NEW: Probate eCourtesy click here.

PROBATE PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES FOR ATTORNEYS

TO CHECK STATUS OF PLEADINGS FILED
The General Public should utilize the following website to check the status of pleadings filed: https://www2.miami-dadeclerk.com/Civil/ 

Beginning April 28, 2014, Probate attorneys of record will be able to view imaged documents using Public Access. Please complete the application at the following link to register. http://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/library/family/965-Odyssey-User-ID.pdf 

The Clerk will email or place on the Public Access website, instructions for Public Access, once you have completed the application and been approved by the Clerk.

EX PARTE HEARING OVERVIEW
WHO: Attorneys only

WHAT: Unopposed matters needing three (3) minutes or less of the Judge’s time, per case.
There is no need to send out a Notice of Hearing as the matter to be brought before the Court is uncontested.

If your motion/petition is not on the docket sheet, it will not be heard.

Ex-Parte Calendar will not address new cases (no Appointments of PR/Curator/Guardian, no Letters). No Discharges. No Summary Orders. No Review of case files and No instructions on how to proceed. Please bring those issues to non- Ex-Parte Calendar hours.

Until additional case managers are trained, there is a maximum of three (3) FILES per attorney. Also, a maximum of six (6) orders per file.

WHEN: Tuesday & Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. or a little later as necessary.  Until additional case managers are trained there will be a maximum of sixty (60) names allowed on the sign in sheet.

HOW: Attorney electronically files Motions and then brings proposed orders, printed docket
page, etc. to the court.

BEFORE ODYSSEY: Court files were entirely paper.
BEGINNING April 28th: Court file may be both paper and image.

Any document that was not electronically filed or recorded before April 28, 2014, will be in the paper file (no back scanning at this time).

Any document that was recorded or electronically filed prior to April 28th will be imaged and in Odyssey. It will also be in Public Access (PA) for the attorney of record, unless it is a Mental Health case or confidential pleading.

If there are paper documents needed for the hearing, you must ORDER the paper case file from the clerk on the 2nd floor (room 238). Remember to send a fax request for the file to fax #305-349-7499 by 2:00 pm the day before the hearing.  With the Probate Division Judges and Case Managers being temporarily located at Overtown Transit Village North (OTV), the Clerk Courier will transport the paper case file to OTV.

Also print and bring with you a docket sheet for each case to be heard. Either print from your office, Law Library, or Clerk’s Office for a small fee.

EX-PARTE HEARING STEP 1: PROCEDURES TO MEET WITH CASE MANAGER:
Once you have all paper files, including docket sheets and proposed orders, sign in with the Case Manager unit at the 8th floor of Overtown Transit Village North.  Remember, at this time, a maximum of three (3) files.

The case manager will call your name. You must be present. If you are not present, you will be skipped to the next person waiting to be called..

The case manager will request the docket sheet. The case manager will then create a hearing event for the Judiciary to receive credit for the hearing with Tallahassee. All incomplete pleadings, including missing docket sheets will not be heard or reviewed. The attorney will be directed to follow the posted procedures and return another ex-parte day with the required documentation.

The case manager will review the documents and create a non-docketable event for each motion. This non-docketable event will allow the Judge to review on Odyssey any notes for the Judge pertaining to the case. This non-docketable event will also bundle any pertinent imaged documents for the Judge to review using Odyssey.

The attorney will then proceed to the appropriate Judge for each hearing.

EX-PARTE HEARING STEP 2: HEARING BEFORE THE JUDGE
Sign in with the bailiff.

The hearing before the Judge is on a first come, first served basis.

The attorney will give any paper files and docket sheets with the proposed orders to the Court Room Clerk in the room.

The Clerk shall bring up, on the computer, each file one-by-one, for the Judge, who will hear them all.

If, and when, the Judge signs an order, the Judge will return to the Clerk a signed order for scanning. Simultaneously while scanning, the clerk will return the docket sheet to the attorney to make notes and a retrieval/request for certified copies in room 238. The clerk will then scan the order and continue with the next case (Maximum of three files per Judge as previously posted).

EXCEPTIONS TO SEEING THE PROBATE CASE MANAGER DURING EX PARTE CALENDAR:
As before, there are certain Motions/Pleadings that do NOT require review of the Case Manager.
The following procedures apply to the below list:
You must print and bring a docket sheet that shows the Motion/Pleading.
You must obtain the paper court file if required.
See the Bailiff, for the bailiff to create a hearing event as required by Tallahassee, for reporting of workload.
As long as the court paper file is tabbed and labeled and the docket sheet is provided, an attorney may go directly to the Judge’s bailiff, without visiting the Case Manager on the following types of motions: 

        • extensions of time; 
        • order on previously heard hearings; 
        • motions and orders waiving annual accounting pursuant to statute (social security only benefit); 
        • payment of real estate or income taxes; 
        • accountant fees under $3,500.00; 
        • payment of insurance; 
        • petition to appear for hearing via telephone; 
        • petition for pro bono fees; 
        • petition to extend time to file independent action; 
        • petition for pre-paid funeral; 
        • petition for pre-paid college; 
        • petition to retain appraiser; 
        • written petitions for instructions that can be handled in less than five minutes. 

NEW PROCEDURE TO SEE THE PROBATE CASE MANAGER THE DAY BEFORE EX PARTE CALENDAR IN PREPARATION FOR EX PARTE CALENDAR:

The following procedure has been implemented to shorten the wait of attorneys on Ex-Parte Calendar days:

In order to help alleviate delays, the case managers will be available to attorneys on a walk-in basis on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9:00a.m. until 11:30a.m. to pre-screen files for the following day’s Ex-Parte Calendar. This new procedure is only for attorneys.  A maximum of three (3) files will be reviewed with a maximum of six (6) orders per file.

If there are paper court file documents needed for the hearing, you must ORDER the paper case file from the clerk on the 2nd floor (room 238). Remember to send a fax request for the file to fax #305-349-7499 by 9:00 am the day before the hearing.  With the Probate Division Judges and Case Managers being temporarily located at Overtown Transit Village North (OTV), the Clerk Courier will transport the paper case file to OTV.

After your file is approved for processing by the Judge, it will be held in the Case Manager’s Office for your pick-up the following morning at which time you will proceed directly to the Judge’s office without having to sign in with the Case Managers.  When you arrive on Tuesday or Thursday morning, you need only notify the Case Manager that your file is waiting for you. Once handed the file, go directly to the judge.

MENTAL HEALTH HEARINGS BEFORE A PROBATE JUDGE
WHEN
: normally Tuesday & Thursday after Ex Parte. If full, may include other days and times

HOW: Calendar is created when the MH clerk inputs docket entries.
BEFORE ODYSSEY: Court File was paper
BEGINNING April 28th, 2014 any document filed electronically will be imaged into Odyssey.
The Court and MH Clerk can view the images through Odyssey.
The Attorney of Record will need to go to MH Clerk’s Office to view any Mental Health case. It will NOT be seen in PUBLIC ACCESS (PA).

At the hearing, the Judge will be able to see electronic documents through Odyssey.

The Mental Health Clerk will be at all mental health hearings when the Judge requires a Clerk in the Courtroom for these confidential matters.

SPECIAL SET HEARINGS / APPOINTMENTS BEFORE A PROBATE JUDGE 
(PR’s, Guardians, Curators, Evidentiary hearings, etc.)

After the Motion/Petition is e-filed and is visually available on Public Access (ODYSSEY PA) for the attorney and Odyssey for the Judge, the petitioning attorney or their office may call the Judges’ office to speak to the Judicial Assistant to schedule a hearing on the matter. The Judicial Assistants are unavailable to schedule hearings during Ex-parte Hours. Should your filed petition not appear in the docket in a timely manner, please contact the Clerk’s Office Probate Division Docketing Supervisor Dade County Courthouse, 73 West Flagler Street, Room 238, Miami Florida 33130 or call 305-349-7504.

Prior to filing any motions, counsel for the moving party shall confer with counsel representing the opposing party(ies) and attach to the motion a statement certifying that he/she has conferred with counsel for the opposing party(ies) in a good faith effort to resolve by agreement the issues raised, and that counsel have been unable to agree.

Please mail proposed orders a minimum of one week before the hearing, to insure its receipt. It is also suggested that you bring a copy of the proposed orders to the hearing.

If the attorney will be introducing evidence into the record, you may provide it in advance of the hearing, to allow the Clerk to mark for identification purposes and to maximize efficiency.

Admission of Wills, Codicils, and large voluminous documents shall not be scanned by the Clerk in chambers. They will be scanned later, after the conclusion of the days’ hearings, after the clerk returns to their office in room 238.

EXPEDITED AND EMERGENCY HEARING REQUEST:
Emergency Hearings are Special sets. Therefore refer to the above instructions, except they will be heard on the merits of the Petition/Motion on an expedited and/or emergency basis by the assigned Judge. If the Assigned Judge is not available, the Emergency Judge shall render a decision on the matter.

Expedited and emergency hearing requests must be reduced to writing and must be efiled. Copies of your petition must be sent to all counsel/parties of record. You may mail or bring your Emergency Petition to the Probate Clerk’s Office, Dade County Courthouse, 73 West Flagler Street, Room 307, Miami, Florida 33l30. A courtesy copy may be mailed or brought to the Judge’s Office assigned to the case. In the absence of the assigned Judge, a copy may be brought to the Office of the Alternate Judge or to the Office of the Probate Emergency Judge.

ACCESS TO CASE MANAGERS OTHER THAN EX-PARTE HOURS – Access to case managers, other than during Ex-Parte hours, is limited to Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m..  At this time, Case Managers will not be available on Fridays.  Visits to the Case Managers in the afternoons may only be directed by a Judge, as the Case Managers are performing other duties.   Case Manager assistance is only provided to attorneys. Case Managers will not assist attorney’s staff to include paralegals, legal assistants or secretaries. Case Managers cannot act as attorneys.  Therefore, they cannot assist self-represented litigants.  Florida Statutes require attorney representation in all cases.  A maximum of three (3) files may be reviewed per visit.

OVERTOWN CLERK IN BOX
A newly implemented method for certain issues to be addressed by the Probate Division will be through the use of the OVERTOWN CLERK IN BOX.  This box will only be for Motions, with Proposed Orders, on certain issues.
  WHERE:  The box is located by the 8th floor Overtown clerk window
  WHAT:
        All types of Motions EXCEPT:
            No Closeouts
            No Summaries
            No Distributions
            No Petitions for Homestead
        As always, a hearing is required for Trust Modifications, for Opening a
        Minor Guardianship,  for Approval of Settlement and any matter that
        requires notice.  These Items shall not be placed in the OVERTOWN
        CLERK IN BOX.
  HOW:
        The following documents MUST be placed in the OVERTOWN CLERK
        IN BOX:
        Docket Sheet showing the matter to be addressed (highlight the
        matter on the docket sheet)
        Proposed Order
        Stamped Envelopes
        Check if you want Certified Copies
        
        Clerk will order the Paper Court file if needed. Once the paper court
        file arrives, the clerk will organize the paper work and court files by
        Section, for the Case Managers

        Case Managers will review the documents and court file (paper and
        electronic):

        The case manager will either make the necessary hearing for credit
        with Tallahassee; bundle any documents in Odyssey; tab paper court
        files; place notes in Odyssey as necessary and take paperwork and
        file to the judge for hearing
        OR
        The CM will mail a memo to the attorney if outstanding issues must
        first be addressed before review of the judge

The Judge will rule on the motion, clerk will scan order and clerk will mail certified copies, if a check was included.
__________________________________________________________
PETITION FOR REHEARING AND/OR RECONSIDERATION –
 Please file the original petition with the Probate Clerk’s Office, Room 238 and deliver a courtesy copy of the petition to the Judge’s Office.

REQUESTS FOR HEARING SCHEDULED FOR 30 MINUTES OR MORE – Requests for a hearing that will last for 30 minutes or more must be made in writing. You may mail your request to the Clerk’s Office, or bring it to Ex parte Calendar.

NOTICES OF NON-JURY TRIAL - Send the original Notice of Non-Jury Trial with service list and attached self-addressed stamped envelopes to the Judge’s Office. Indicate how many days it will take to try the case. After the Judge’s review of the notice of Non-Jury Trial, an Order Setting Status Conference may be sent by the Judge at his or her discretion. Afterwards, the Judicial Assistant will send out a Uniform Order Setting Cause for Non-Jury Trial and a Uniform Order of Referral to Mediation to all counsel/parties of record. The Court’s assigned date and time will be listed on the order.

MOTION TO TRANSFER CASE TO ANOTHER DIVISION – The Motion to transfer the case to another Division should be sent to the Clerk’s Office Probate Division, to the attention of the New Suits & Court Operations Supervisor, Ms. Nilda Diaz, Dade County Courthouse, 73 West Flagler Street, Room 238, Miami, Florida 33l30.

PROPOSED ORDERS – All proposed orders must be either mailed or delivered to the Clerk’s Office, Dade County Courthouse, 73 West Flagler Street, Room 238, Miami, Florida 33l30. If unopposed, you may choose to bring the proposed order to Ex- Parte Calendar.

REQUEST FOR TRANSCRIPTION OF COURT RECORDED CDs - Please submit a written Petition to Transcribe CD indicating the date of the hearing and a proposed order granting the transcription of the CD. Mail or hand deliver the original petition and proposed order, along with a copy of the original petition, with a stamped self-addressed envelope, to the Dade County Courthouse, Probate Clerk’s Office 73 West Flagler Street, Room 310, Miami, Florida 33130. The proposed order must contain the name, address, and telephone number of the Court Reporting Service or Court Reporter designated to receive and transcribe the CD. The Court Reporting Service or Court Reporter will report to the Probate Clerk’s Office, Dade County Courthouse, 73 West Flagler Street, Room 238, Miami, Florida 33130, with a copy of the signed order in order to receive the CD.

EMERGENCY JUDGE ASSIGNMENT – The Emergency Judge is listed in the Daily Business Review and is also listed on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court website at the following link Emergency Judges

NOTICES OF VACATION – are posted in the Daily Business Review and Bulletin Board by the Probate Judges Office.

APS & GUARDIANSHIP MATTERS REGISTRY (WHEEL) - Information on applying to be placed on the Guardianship Attorney Registry (wheel) can be found in the section on Probate Operations at the following Eleventh Judicial Circuit website link. http://www.jud11.flcourts.org/SCSingle.aspx?pid=332

____________________________________________________________________
e-Filing by Attorneys:

UPDATE on PROBATE DIVISION eFILING in the ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

Attorneys may register at the statewide portal for e-filing athttps://www.myflcourtaccess.com/

An instructional manual can be viewed on the statewide portal athttps://www.myflcourtaccess.com/Docs/Filer_072012.pdf

In addition, a Florida Courts e-Filing Portal promotional video can be viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ypj5PA1uS4.


______________________________________________________________
ELECTRONIC ACCESS to IMAGED ESTATE and GUARDIANSHIP FILES BY THE ATTORNEY OF RECORD
The attorney of record on Estate and Guardianship cases may register at the Clerk of Court website to use Odyssey Public Access. Main Link: http://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/home.asp 
Choose “Online Services” to obtain the application and manual. Useful link:http://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/families_probate.asp  
______________________________________________________________
Helpful Information Regarding Probate Division Move to Overtown Village North

• Address:

            Probate Division, 8th Floor

            Overtown Transit Village North

            701 NW 1st Court, Miami, FL 33136

 

• Parking/Access:

             Direct access by Metrorail - Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Station

             Parking in building & across street (Pay By Phone)

 

• Attorney Access: Temporarily, while The Probate Division is located at Overtown

Transit Village

Bypass first floor security by presenting Bar card & Picture ID to Front Desk and then

entering through nearest turnstile to the Front Desk.

 

Bypass eighth floor security by presenting Bar card* to security.

 

Use of Break Room on eighth floor by having Bar card*.

 

• Client Access: Clients must check-in on the 1st floor and must pass through security on the 8th floor

 

• Case Managers will be moving

 

• Clerk & Mental Health will not be moving

 

• Ex Parte Calendar

 Order court file by 2:00PM the day before for paper files (fax # 305-349-7499)

 If a paper file is not requested by the above deadline, attorneys cannot appear

on that case except in an emergency on a case by case basis.

 

 Attorneys can appear without a paper file in those cases where all contents can

be viewed electronically

 

 The following matters can proceed directly to the Judge without a file:

• extensions of time;

• order on previously heard hearings;

• motions and orders waiving annual accounting pursuant to statute

(social security only benefit);

• payment of real estate or income taxes;

• accountant fees under $3,500.00;

• payment of insurance;

• petition to appear for hearing via telephone;

• petition for pro bono fees;

• petition to extend time to file independent action;

• petition for pre-paid funeral;

• petition for pre-paid college;

• petition to retain appraiser;

• written petitions for instructions that can be handled in less than five minutes

• Attorneys will not be permitted to transport files themselves to the new temporary

courthouse. Paper files for Case Manager review on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday

must be requested, for transit by the Clerk, 24 hours in advance.

 

• Certified copies can be obtained during ex parte calendar, on the 8th floor, with

payment by check

 

Revised 10-03-2014

 

 
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EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS icon
Emergency Information
Hotline (305) 349-7777
TDD (305) 349-7174

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Americans with Disabilities Act
Voice Mail (305) 349-7175
E-Mail ADA@jud11.flcourts.org