NOTE – PLEASE REVIEW ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER L-2022-30 THAT REQUIRES DISMISSAL OF ANY CASE IN WHICH THE DEFENDANTS HAVE NOT BEEN SERVED AFTER THREE ATTEMPTS!
Click here for New Small Claims Pre-Trial Conference/Mediation Policies for Lake County EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 10, 2022
SOME PROCEDURES HAVE CHANGED DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC!
MOST HEARINGS WILL BE CONDUCTED VIA ZOOM TECHNOLOGY. CERTAIN HEARINGS MAY NOW BE CONDUCTED IN PERSON AT THE DISCRETION OF THE COURT.
PLEASE CONTACT THE JUDICIAL ASSISTANT AT 352-742-4127 OR email@example.com IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.
1. Please call the Judicial Assistant (JA) at 352-742-4127 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule hearings.
2. If you file a motion or request asking the Judge to take action on your case, it is YOUR responsibility to contact the Judicial Assistant to set a hearing. We schedule hearings generally no further out than 60 days of your request.
3. All hearings require a minimum of 5 business days notice, unless all parties agree otherwise. Self-represented parties must file the Notice of Hearing with the Clerk of Courts and furnish a copy to all parties involved in the case at least 10 days prior to the hearing by U.S.P.S. Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested or some other means with proof of service. It is not necessary to send a copy to the Judge’s office.
4. Claim of Exemption hearings are usually scheduled within 10 to 15 business days, if there is time available on the Judge’s calendar.
5. Landlord Tenant Eviction hearings for non-payment of rent and Motions to Determine Rent hearings are usually scheduled within 10 business days of the request, if there is time available on the Judge’s calendar.
6. Please do not submit proposed Final Judgment packages or Orders prior to a hearing. They can be submitted afterwards.
7. All documents must be filed with the Clerk’s office not the Judge’s office.
8. Please do not submit any checks to the Judge’s office or your entire package will be returned to you.
9. You are encouraged to become familiar with Zoom prior to your hearing date. LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH ZOOM WILL NOT BE A REASON TO POSTPONE YOUR HEARING.
10. If there is a problem logging in on time, please call our office at 352-742-4127 or email to email@example.com and advise the Judicial Assistant. Please understand, however, there is no guarantee the Judge will be able to accommodate you.
11. Please be sure to provide an email address, otherwise you may not receive notice of what is happening in your case.
1. Please call the Judicial Assistant (JA) at 352-742-4127 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set your hearing.
2. Please provide the following information when scheduling:
a. The Case Number.
b. The Style (names of both parties) of the case.
c. What the hearing is for (the motion being heard).
d. The amount of time needed for the hearing.
e. If there are any time restrictions or deadlines for the hearing, please inform the JA.
3. If dates are needed to coordinate with the other side, the JA will provide you with dates and times. Please keep in mind that these dates and times are NOT held for you, so you must contact the JA to actually have it put onto the Judge’s calendar.
1. You cannot automatically cross notice a hearing.
2. Please notify the JA of your request to cross-notice a hearing. The JA will determine if there is time allowed for the cross-notice.
3. If the Court is not contacted regarding your request to cross-notice, your motion will not be heard, unless all parties agree that there is sufficient time.
All small claims cases shall proceed as follows:
PLEASE NOTE: The Pretrial/Mediation can only be waived if both parties and their clients stipulate to that in writing and must file it into the Court file, followed by submission of the appropriate proposed Order.
A.) Print out the Zoom invitation that was provided to you by the Judicial Assistant.
B.) Fill out and print the Notice of Hearing by Zoom. This form must be filled out completely and signed and dated by you.
C.) Make as many copies of the Notice of Hearing and the Zoom invitation that you will need to provide one to each party and one to file with the Clerk’s office. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.
D.) Attach a Zoom invitation to each copy of the Notice of Hearing.
E.) Mail the Notice of Hearing with the Zoom invitation attached at least 10 days prior to the hearing date to each party involved in the case. Be sure to mail it by some means that you get a receipt, for example, U.S.P.S. Certified Mail.
F.) Within one (1) day of mailing, take the Notice of Hearing, Zoom invitation and receipt for mailing to the Clerk’s office and file it into your Court case file.
FINAL EVIDENTIARY HEARING FOR TENANT EVICTION
IMPORTANT! All attorneys, parties, and witnesses at the trial shall have the capability to appear by video, not merely audio. It is the responsibility of each party to ensure that their witnesses have that capability. The Court will not hear testimony by any witness, including a party, who is not present by video, so that the Court can assure that the witness is properly sworn, as well as to allow the Court to adequately assess the witness’s demeanor.
NOTICE OF FINAL EVIDENTIARY HEARING FOR TENANT EVICTION BY ZOOM
SUBMITTING EVIDENCE FOR THE FINAL EVIDENTIARY HEARING
SUBMITTING PROPOSED ORDERS BY EMAIL:
YOU MUST COMPLY WITH ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
It is further ORDERED and ADJUDGED that within 5 days from the date of e-service of this Order/Judgment, the attorney submitting this Order/Judgment shall:
Furnish a copy of this Order/Judgment to each self-represented party by U.S. Mail, first class, postage paid or via the E-Portal and,
File a certificate signed by that attorney that delivery of this Order/Judgment has been made as set forth herein.
SUBMITTING PROPOSED ORDERS BY MAIL:
1. Order to Compel must have already been issued.
2. Please call the JA at 352-742-4127 or email email@example.com and she will provide you with a date for your hearing, usually approximately 6 weeks out.
3. CLICK HERE for Court approved form.
4. Order must be personally served on the party. No substitute service is allowed.
1. When you file documents, the Judge’s office does not receive notification or copies of the documents, so if you are requesting or expecting any Court action on the motion or request, you must contact the Judge’s office.
2. If you file a motion or request that requires a hearing, you must call the JA or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule the hearing, as the Judge will not know your motion has been filed.
TO CANCEL A HEARING OR TRIAL:
1. You must call the JA at 352-742-4127 or email email@example.com to notify the Court of the cancellation and state the reason for cancellation.
2. If a Notice of Hearing has been filed, you must prepare a Notice of Cancellation and file it with the Clerk’s office and notify the other parties.
3. You must also send a copy of the Notice of Cancellation to the Judge’s office, to one of the following:
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax – 352-742-4323
1. You must call the JA at 352-742-4127 or email email@example.com to notify the court of the request to continue.
2. The proper motion must be filed with the Clerk’s office.
3. You must schedule a hearing on your motion or have consent from all parties to continue. There is no guarantee the Court will continue the hearing or trial.
4. The JA will provide you with alternative dates and times to coordinate with the other party or parties, if appropriate.
5. Once the date is coordinated, you must contact the JA to actually put it on the calendar.
6. You must prepare an Amended Notice of Hearing or Trial.
*NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC:* The Code of Judicial Conduct governing behavior by judges forbids the Judges of the Fifth Judicial Circuit from discussing 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.