judge-welke

Brian Welke

Circuit Judge

Judicial Assistant: Sherry Turner
Office: 352-742-4206
Fax: 352-742-4230

*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.

COVID-19 Procedures

PROCEDURES FOR SCHEDULING HEARINGS

You will need to call the Judge’s office to schedule a hearing. When
calling to obtain available hearing time, please have the case number, case style, type of motion
to be scheduled, the date the motion was filed, the amount of hearing time requested, and names of
all counsel of record. The Motion must be filed prior to obtaining hearing time. Once hearing time
is coordinated with all counsel, confirm the date with this office prior to preparing your Notice
of Hearing, to assure that time is still available, as hearing dates are first come first serve. We
do not hold a hearing date/time.

It is not necessary for you to send a courtesy copy of the Notice of Hearing to this office. The
electronic filing of the Notice is sufficient.

The Court requires that all hearings be coordinated. If you are unable to coordinate a hearing,
please call our office.

SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE:

All evidence being submitted during a hearing MUST be submitted in hard copy format at least
five (5) days in advance of the hearing. Please send TWO copies of your evidence, one for the
Judge and one for the Clerk. You must include an index of the evidence, and it must be clearly
marked and tabbed, so the judge and clerk may readily locate it during the hearing. Evidence may
be submitted via mail or hand delivered to the Courthouse. If mailed, it should be sent to Post
Office Box 7800, Tavares, Florida 32778. If hand delivered, please go to 313 South Bloxham Avenue,
Tavares, Florida 32778, to deliver to
the mail receiving center.

TO SUBMIT PROPOSED ORDERS:

All agreed orders may be submitted through email. The email address for submission of
proposed orders is sturner@circuit5.org . Do NOT send orders via email AND U.S. Mail. This creates
double work. Please submit orders in one format only.

All proposed Orders submitted via email, must be submitted in WORD format, accompanied by
a proper cover letter, in PDF format. The case number must be included in the name of the
proposed Order and cover letter (ie. 2015 DR 000001.Order and 2015 DR 00001.letter.)
Multiple proposed orders should be differentiated (ie. 2015 DR 000001.Order to Withdraw and 2015 DR
000001.Order of Contempt). The cover letter must contain the following information:

1. The case name and case number must be included in the cover letter.

2. The party on whose behalf you are submitting the proposed order.

3. Whether the proposed order has been submitted to all other counsel/parties in the action
for their review and approval.

4. If a counsel/party objects to the proposed order, please submit it via regular U.S. Mail or hand
delivery.

5. If the form of the order has been approved by all other counsel/parties (a hearing is
likely not necessary), and email submission is accepted.

6. If the Order is being submitted pursuant to a hearing, include the date the hearing was held, or
what other basis the Order is being sent (stipulation, etc.)

If any of the parties are self-represented, and/or do not receive service via the
E-Filing Portal, the proposed Orders must contain the following statement:

It is further ORDERED that within 5 days from the date of e-service
of this Order, the attorney submitting this Order shall furnish a copy of this Order to each
self-represented party by U.S. Mail, first class, postage paid; and, file a certificate
signed by that attorney that delivery of this Order has been made as set forth herein.

The Certificate of Service should read as follows:

I HEREBY CERTIFY that on this day of , 20 , I electronically filed
the foregoing document with the Clerk of Court using the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal. I
also certify that the foregoing document is being served this day on all counsel of record and
interested parties, via transmission generated by the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal.

We DO NOT ACCEPT Orders via email that are not ready for immediate entry (allow 5 days
to object, etc.). You should obtain approval of opposing counsel or party of the proposed Order
prior to your submission to the Judge for entry.

Should you have any questions, you are welcome to contact the
Judicial Assistant for further information.

General Procedures

GENERAL INFORMATION
We do not communicate with parties regarding a pending case via
email. Please call the office to schedule hearings or inquire about a specific case.

All hearings require a minimum of five business days’ notice, unless
all parties agree otherwise.

All documents must be filed with the Clerk’s office, not the Judge’s
office.

Appropriate dress is required for attorneys and all parties. No ripped or torn jeans, shorts, tank
tops, etc. will be permitted.

Please be sure to arrive on time and appropriately dressed for your hearing as hearings start
promptly at the time designated on your Notice of Hearing. If you are inappropriately dressed,
your hearing may be cancelled.

If you are running late for court, please call the judge’s office to inform of your
tardiness. There is no guarantee the judge will be able to accommodate you.

PROCEDURES FOR SCHEDULING HEARINGS

You will need to call the Judge’s office to schedule a hearing. When calling to obtain available
hearing time, please have the case number, case style, type of motion to be scheduled, the date the
motion was filed, the amount of hearing time requested, and names of all counsel of record. The
Motion must be filed prior to obtaining hearing time. Once hearing time is coordinated with all
counsel, confirm the date with this office prior to preparing your Notice of Hearing, to assure
that time is still available, as hearing dates are first come first serve.
We do not hold a hearing date/time.

It is not necessary for you to send a courtesy copy of the Notice of Hearing to this office. The
electronic filing of the Notice is sufficient.

The Court requires that all hearings be coordinated. If you are unable to coordinate a hearing,
please call our office.

PROCEDURES FOR CANCELLING HEARINGS/TRIALS

In addition to filing your notice of cancellation, immediately notify the judge’s office by
telephone when a hearing is to be cancelled. If a case has settled and should be removed from
the trial docket, please contact the Court to indicate the same. Only the party that scheduled
the hearing, or the Court, has the authority to cancel the hearing.

CROSS-NOTICE HEARINGS

Cross-noticing a hearing without the Court’s approval is not permitted. Before
requesting the setting of an additional motion(s) at a previously scheduled hearing, the attorneys
must contact our office so the Court can determine if sufficient time is available to have the
additional motion(s) heard. Your motion will not be heard if the hearing is not
coordinated through the judge’s office.

TELEPHONIC APPEARANCES

Requests for telephonic or conference call appearances are governed by Rule 2.530 of the Florida
Judicial Administration Rules.

Testimony may be taken through communication equipment only if a notary public or other person
authorized to administer oaths in the witness’s jurisdiction is present with the witness and
administers the oath consistent with the laws of the jurisdiction.

The cost for use of the communication equipment is the responsibility of the requesting party
unless otherwise directed by the Court.

Telephonic appearances are allowed for MOST hearings, provided that the opposing
party/counsel does not object to telephonic appearance. A Motion or Order is not
required to appear telephonically.

All telephonic appearances are through the use of CourtCall. For CourtCall appearances,
contact CourtCall directly at 888.882.6878, or make your reservation online at www.CourtCall.com,
at least three
(3) business day prior to the hearing date, to schedule your telephonic appearance.
CourtCall will notify the Judge’s office of your reservation.

NOTICES FOR TRIAL

Notices for Trial must include an estimate of trial time needed. Within 60 to 90 days after receipt
of the Notice for Trial, an Order Setting Case Management Conference will be issued by this Office.
Please bring your calendars to the Case Management Conference. At the Case Management
Conference, your case will be set for trial, and discovery deadlines will be established.
You will also receive the date of the Pretrial Conference hearing. All trial counsel, along with
the parties, are required to attend the Pretrial Conference in person.

PROPOSED ORDERS

Proposed Orders must be submitted with a cover letter setting forth the purpose of the Order,
i.e. pursuant to hearing/settlement agreement/etc., as well as a statement informing the Court
as to any objections to the contents of the proposed Order.

All agreed orders may be submitted through email. The email address for submission of
proposed orders is sturner@circuit5.org. Do NOT send orders via email AND U.S. Mail. This creates
double work. Please submit orders in one format only.

All proposed Orders submitted via email, must be submitted in WORD format, accompanied by
a proper cover letter, in PDF format. The case number must be included in the name of the
proposed Order and cover letter (ie. 2015 DR 000001.Order and 2015 DR 00001.letter.)
Multiple proposed orders should be differentiated (ie. 2015 DR 000001.Order to Withdraw and 2015 DR
000001.Order of Contempt). The cover letter must contain the following information:

1. The case name and case number must be included in the cover letter.

2. The party on whose behalf you are submitting the proposed order.

3. Whether the proposed order has been submitted to all other counsel/parties in the action
for their review and approval.

4. If a counsel/party objects to the proposed order, please submit it via regular U.S. Mail or hand
delivery.

5. If the form of the order has been approved by all other counsel/parties (a hearing is
likely not necessary), and email submission is accepted.

6. If the Order is being submitted pursuant to a hearing, include the date the hearing was held, or
what other basis the Order is being sent (stipulation, etc.)

Conformed/hard copies of Orders will no longer be provided. If any of the parties are
self-represented, and/or do not receive service via the E-Filing Portal, the proposed Orders must
contain the following statement:

It is further ORDERED that within 5 days from the date of e-service of this Order, the attorney
submitting this Order shall furnish a copy of this Order to each self-represented party by U.S.
Mail, first class, postage paid; and, file a certificate signed by that attorney that
delivery of this Order has been made as set forth herein.

The Certificate of Service should read as follows:

I HEREBY CERTIFY that on this day of , 20 , I electronically filed
the foregoing document with the Clerk of Court using the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal. I
also certify that the foregoing document is being served this day on all counsel of record and
interested parties, via transmission generated by the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal.

We DO NOT ACCEPT Orders via email that are not ready for immediate entry (allow 5 days
to object, etc.). You should obtain approval of opposing counsel or party of the proposed Order
prior to your submission to the Judge for entry.

PROCEDURES FOR DISCOVERY MOTIONS

Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.280 – 1.390 are the rules governing discovery. Prior to filing a
motion regarding a discovery dispute, the court expects the attorneys to attempt to resolve the
issue(s) without the court’s intervention.

Upon the filing of a discovery motion, you will need to call the Court to obtain a Referral to
the General Magistrate for disposition of discovery matters. You will contact the
office of the General Magistrate to schedule your hearing.

PROCEDURES FOR EMERGENCY FILINGS

Emergency motions must be filed with the clerk and a hard copy must be sent via U.S. Mail or
hand delivery to the judge’s office. If the Judge determines it is not appropriate to enter an
ex-parte Order on the Emergency Motion, a fifteen (15) minute case management conference will be
scheduled. If all issues are not able to be addressed/resolved within fifteen (15)
minutes, a hearing on the Judge’s normal calendar will be scheduled. Attorneys need to have
their calendars available for scheduling at any Case Management Conference. Attorneys and
Clients are required to appear in person

for the hearing. Telephonic appearances are not permitted. Parties
shall be prepared to discuss all matters at issue.

PROCEDURES FOR TEMPORARY RELIEF
The parties must attend mediation on the temporary relief issues
BEFORE a hearing shall be scheduled on the temporary matters. If the issues are not resolved
at mediation, call the judge’s office to obtain a Referral to the General Magistrate
for disposition of temporary matters. You will contact the office of the General
Magistrate to schedule your hearing.

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