Judge Spaight

Edward C. Spaight

County Judge

Judicial Assistant: Claudine Fults
Email:  cfults@circuit5.org 
Fax: 352-341-6791

General Procedures

Scheduling a Hearing

Parties requesting a hearing shall send an e-mail request to Claudine Fults as hearings are not scheduled by telephone.  The e-mail should be copied to all other parties in the action and include the case number, county where the case is pending, the name of the motion to be heard, and the total length of time requested.  You will then receive a list of available dates and times for the hearing.  Only upon each party’s agreement to a specific date and time should you send an e-mail to Claudine Fults confirming the selection of a date and time.  Hearing times are set on a first come, first served basis.  The coordinating party must provide the Court with a courtesy copy of the Notice of Hearing to finalize the hearing selection.

In cases where the parties are unable to obtain agreement as to when a motion should be heard, the moving party shall file a motion, copied to opposing counsel, memorializing the interactions of the parties and the previously relayed dates and times proposed.  The Court will then select a date and time that allows for reasonable preparation while avoiding unnecessary delay for the parties or the case.  See Florida Rule of General Practice and Procedure 2.545.

Each party is responsible for guaranteeing that enough time has been requested to allow all parties to reasonably present their case.

Virtual Hearings

All virtual hearings are held through Zoom utilizing Meeting ID 924 5591 0315.  The Court will not send out individual meeting invites.  All participants to a virtual hearing must join with a functional camera, speaker, and microphone.  The camera must remain active for the entire hearing.  If a participant is unable to have an active camera, the hearing should be held in-person or telephonically to avoid concerns about unobservable communication or behavior amongst other participants.  Virtual hearings are only recorded when required by Florida law, and no party shall record the proceedings except the Court.

Attorneys appearing on behalf of a client at a virtual hearing are expected to dress and conduct themselves in the same manner as if in a traditional courtroom.  The environment from which a participant joins shall be free from noises, distractions, or environmental interference.  Participants shall identify any other individuals present with them to the Court and opposing counsel.  The parties shall comply with Fifth Judicial Circuit Administrative Order A-2021-58(IX).  Where not inconsistent, the parties should also follow The Florida Bar Recommended Best Practice for Remote Court Proceedings. Failure to comply with these provisions may result in the Court’s rescheduling of the hearing to be held in-person.

Evidence for virtual hearings must be physically delivered to the Court, in advance of the hearing, as the Court will not print evidence for the parties.

Cancellation of Hearings, Motions to Continue, and Notice of Conflict

When a movant no longer desires to proceed with a scheduled hearing, the movant shall file a Notice of Cancellation with a courtesy copy to the Court.  However, if the hearing is one set by the Court, it will only be cancelled through a voluntary dismissal with prejudice,

Motions to continue must set forth specific grounds for the request as general statements will be insufficient.  Motions to continue shall also include the position of opposing counsel as to the motion.  The moving party shall send a courtesy copy to the Court with a proposed order.  Each motion to continue will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the Court is able to rule on the face of the pleadings or whether a hearing is required.  The stipulation of opposing counsel does not guarantee the granting of a continuance.

A party having a conflict with a hearing shall comply with Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.550(c).  The Notice of Conflict shall contain at least the following information: the case number creating the conflicts with the county of the case and the name of the judge presiding over the other case.  This notice should be filed immediately upon discovery of the conflict with a courtesy copy to the Court.

Cross-Noticing Hearings

Any party desiring to cross-notice a motion with a previously scheduled hearing may do so only with permission of the Court.  The requesting party shall request permission by contacting Claudine Fults through e-mail with opposing counsel copied.  The e-mail shall include the name of the desired motion to be cross-noticed, the currently scheduled date and time of the existing hearing, and opposing counsel’s position on the request.  After review of the submitted request, the Court will notify the parties through e-mail as to whether the request to cross-notice is approved or denied.

Notice that Cause is at Issue

A courtesy copy of the notice that the cause is at issue should be sent to Claudine Fults through e-mail.

In non-jury cases, the Court will set a pretrial conference where counsel for the parties shall appear to discuss the scheduling of trial; discovery deadlines; a mediation deadline, if it has not already occurred; possible stipulations between the parties; and an exhibit and witness list exchange deadline.  The Court will not hold another pretrial or case management conference prior to trial, unless requested.

In jury cases, the Court shall set a case management conference where counsel for the parties shall be expected to appear to discuss the scheduling of trial; discovery; deadlines, and a mediation deadline, if it has not already occurred; and an exhibit and witness list exchange deadline.  A pretrial conference will be scheduled to occur approximately thirty days prior to the beginning of trial.

Differentiated Active Civil Case Management System DACMS

Standing Order for Differential Active Civil Case Management for Citrus County Court

Administrative Order Establishing and Implementing Differentiated Active Civil Case Management System (“DACMS”):  A-2021-13

Submission of Material to the Court

Case Law and Memoranda

Any party desiring to submit case law and/or a memorandum of law for an upcoming hearing may submit these materials electronically to Claudine Fults.  The Court desires that these materials be submitted at least ten days prior to the scheduled hearing.

Parties submitting binders, case law, and/or memoranda physically should make sure that the material is sent at least one week in advance of the hearing.


Evidence should only be delivered to the Court for virtual hearings.

When pre-marking evidence, it should be marked as follows.

The petitioner’s evidence should be marked for identification using a numerical designation, and if admitted, it will then receive an alphabetical designation.  The respondent’s evidence should be marked for identification using an alphabetical designation, and if admitted, it will then receive a numerical identification.

Submission of Proposed Orders

Proposed Orders

Orders should not be submitted unless ready for immediate entry.  All Orders shall be submitted through the Florida eFiling Portal by selecting Submit Proposed Order(s) to Judiciary (Court) – Citrus, using the format on the Sample Proposed Order located below (Sample – Proposed Order), and MUST be submitted in Word format (.docx) only.

A proposed order should automatically be submitted with the following motions:  Agreed Motion for Extension of Time; Agreed Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint; Motion to Appoint Process Server; Motion for Default Final Judgment, if damages are liquidated; Motions to Withdrawal from Representation, if your client is consenting; Motions to Continue; or any other agreed motion between the parties.

Please note that failure to comply with the above procedures will result in the Proposed Orders being Rejected and a delay in processing.

Sample- Proposed Order

Probate and Guardianship Cases

Probate and Guardianship Cases

All correspondence and submissions to the Court on Probate and Guardianship matters, other than Proposed Orders that are ready for immediate entry (refer to Submission of Proposed Orders), shall be made through the Florida Courts E-filing portal.  Any filings or emails sent directly to the Judge or to the Judicial Assistant – other than requests for Hearing or submissions specifically requested by the Court will be rejected. Click here for information on incapacity forms.


*NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC:* The Code of Judicial Conduct governing behavior by judges forbids the Judges of the Fifth Judicial Circuit to discuss pending cases with the public. Please do not call the Court expecting to speak with a Judge about any case. The Court is only allowed to consider arguments made in the courtroom and in documents properly filed by actual parties in the case as authorized by law and the Rules of Court. The Court cannot ethically read or consider any other opinions or arguments about the case. Communications that do not meet these legal requirements cannot be forwarded to the Judges.