7/14/2020 COVID-19 Video Update #4

6/8/2020 COVID-19 Video Update #3

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5/18/2020 COVID-19 Video Update #2

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5/6/2020 COVID-19 Supreme Court of Florida Update

The Supreme Court of Florida has extended the delays on Jury Trials until July 2, 2020.   In this order, the Court encourages all courts to maintain their dockets in the best way possible using technology and to “consider the constitutional rights of crime victims and criminal defendants and the public’s constitutional right of access to the courts.”‚Äč You can view the order here.

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There is a lot a confusion about what is open and what is not open as a result of Covid 19. As a result, there is confusion if the courts are open. In the State of Florida, the Supreme Court has essentially closed any non-essential court hearings, review the Order here. In addition they have tolled speedy trial issues during this time the courts are closed.

What are essential court hearings?

Per the order these are essential hearings: first appearance; criminal arraignments as necessary; hearings on motions to set or modify monetary bail for individuals who are in custody; juvenile dependency shelter hearings; juvenile delinquency detention hearings; hearings on petitions for temporary injunctions relating to - 3 - safety of an individual (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INJUNCTIONS); hearings on petitions for risk protection orders; hearings on petitions for the appointment of an emergency temporary guardian; hearings to determine whether an individual should be involuntarily committed under the Baker Act or the Marchman Act; and hearings on petitions for extraordinary writs as necessary to protect constitutional rights.

In the latest updates from the Florida Supreme Court and the Palm Beach Circuit court. The court will continue to function the way it has until at least June 1, 2020. The Florida Supreme court is urging the lower courts to utilize technology to keep the cases moving.

Essential court hearings remain the same, however, per the Palm Beach order 12.510-4/2020.8* this changes what essential court hearings. Per the order, out of custody misdemeanor arraignments and traffic court arraignment do not constitute essential court proceedings. These hearings will be reset 60 days out.

Also from the Palm Beach Court:

Circuit Criminal Events

Pending Further Notice, Divisions “S”, “U”, “W”, and “Z” essential court hearings will be held in courtroom 11H, Monday- Thursday; and Divisions “R”, “V”, and “X” will be held in courtroom 11A, Monday- Thursday. The use of the ceremonial courtroom is to minimize the court staff needed and to exercise social distancing effectively. Therefore, the dockets will be staggered as follows:

Courtroom 11A

  • Division “R” at 8:30
  • Division “V” at 9:00
  • Division “X” at 9:30

Courtroom 11H

  • Division “S” at 8:30
  • Division “U” at 9:00
  • Division “W” at 9:30
  • Division “Z” at 10:00

Per the April 17, 2020 order, certain misdemeanor please are allowed when it is pre-negotiated and when the paperwork is submitted to the judge.  Additionally, some misdemeanor judges are now using Zoom to conduct hearings. 

Call today if you are unsure whether you have court or not.

Important Links / Orders

15 th Judicial Circuit- for Updates directly from the Chief Judge

FIRST APPEARANCE INFORMATION PALM BEACH COUNTY

US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

The White House Press Page

Palm Beach Post (local news)

https://www.15thcircuit.com/sites/default/files/administrative-orders/12.510.pdf