Family Law Cases – Judge Collins
Motion to Set for Trial
Motions to set are scheduled by email pursuant to Administrative Order entered 3/17/20. Mediation is NOT required prior to filing a Motion to Set, but must be completed prior to the Pretrial Conference which will be approximately ten (10) days prior to Trial.
File a Trial Set Memo with the Clerk and send a courtesy copy to the Judicial Assistant (JA). Trial Set Memo (Family) – Judge Collins
Generally, cases involving pro se parties may be referred to the General Magistrate. These cases may not require a Motion to Set, but an order of referral. If you are uncertain, please email the Judicial Assistant.
All temporary needs motions are referred to the General Magistrate for hearing. Contact the General Magistrate’s office to schedule; refer to the Magistrate’s website page for further information and new orders of referral.
Please file your pleadings, including checklist and notice of hearing, in advance so they may be viewed on the docket at the time of hearing. Judge Collins is electronically signing all documents (see order section below). Please submit your proposed order one day prior to your final hearing.
A checklist must be filed prior to your hearing and a form is available on the Court’s website. Parenting course certificates of completion (in addition to all required financial affidavits and mandatory disclosure) must also be filed by both parties in all dissolution of marriage and paternity cases.
As provided for by § 61.21, Fla. Stat., all parties in dissolution and paternity cases must complete a parenting courses: “A Positive Divorce Resolution” offered through Positive Divorce Resolution, Inc., (1-888-747-5362), www.divorce-resolution.com, “Two Parents, Two Homes,” offered through Hope Haven, (904-346-5141), www.hope-haven.org. Contact the course provider for online course information during the state of emergency. Certificates evidencing completion shall be filed prior to any final hearing or trial.
Standing Family Law Order
All parties shall review and comply with the Standing Family Law Court Order. The Petitioner/filing party shall file the required certificate of service and/or proof of service reflecting service of the order upon the opposing party.
Pretrial Stipulations are required. It must be filled out completely prior to the Pretrial Conference.
Courtesy copies. Filing through the e-portal does not transmit a motion to the Court. Courtesy copies of motions or notices of hearing available for review on the docket should not be sent to the Court. Other case related documents or case law should be provided to the Court no later than 48 hours prior to the hearing.
Motions to Compel
Pursuant to Administrative Order 1998-10, motions to compel will not be cancelled once set on the Court’s calendar. Motions should comply with the rule of procedure, including certificates.
Unless otherwise indicated, all proposed orders shall be submitted within 10 days of the Court’s ruling. Judge Collins signs all orders electronically. The preferred format is Word. Consents with signatures of the parties/counsel may be submitted in PDF. Proposed orders may be emailed the day prior to your hearing and will be held in queue. Orders post hearing should be emailed in Word only.
The proposed order shall include: 1) title with subject matter of the pleading or motion; 2) the date of the hearing, if any; 2) the name of the motion heard and date in which it was filed/docket number; and 3) page numbers. Consent or agreed motions shall state such in the motion. The Court’s signature page shall contain substantive language, not just a signature page and allow sufficient space for an electronic signature. All parties due to receive a copy of the order shall be so listed on the last page of the order with either their designated email address or mailing address.
Pro Se Parties/Mailing Orders
The address and/or email of the Pro Se party is to be listed in the copies to section so the Court can mail and/or email a copy to the party.
Counsel must request permission of the Court to cancel a hearing. Once cancellation is confirmed, Counsel must immediately file a Notice of Cancellation of the hearing. Merely e-filing a notice of cancellation or settlement does not remove the matter from the Court’s calendar. Motions to Compel may not be cancelled.
Emergency motions may be emailed to the Judicial Assistant for the Court’s review. The Judicial Assistant will notify the moving party whether the Motion/Petition will be heard on an emergency basis. There shall be no Ex Parte communication concerning emergency motions/petitions.
Pro Se Litigants
The Court is not permitted to communicate with parties outside of a hearing. The Court is unable to consider Ex Parte communication. Requests for relief must be in the form of a motion or pleading and filed with the Clerk. Also, parties must copy opposing counsel on any emails, correspondence and pleadings filed with the Court, without which the inquiry may not be considered. The Court is prohibited from providing any party to a case with advice as to how to proceed or the rules of evidence or procedure. Pro Se parties may wish to contact an attorney, a low cost Low Bono Program attorney, Legal Aid or Family Court Services to discuss any questions or concerns.