Judge Timothy McCourt

Timothy McCourt

Circuit Judge

Judicial Assistant: Debbie Zeak
Office: 352-401-6740
Fax: 352-401-6789

I am the Circuit Judge assigned to one of Marion County’s felony criminal dockets. Below you will find information that will provide you with some general guidance and expectations if you are involved with cases that are on these dockets. If you have suggestions or comments about how the management of dockets can be improved, I welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your ideas.

Communication with the Court

For general information, please send an e-mail to JudgeMcCourtInformation@circuit5.org. To schedule hearings, please send an e-mail to: JudgeMcCourtHearingRequests@circuit5.org. (Please see below for more details about scheduling hearings.)

Your email should include the names of parties and case number. Proposed orders and hearing materials should be directed to the email addresses below.

All other parties to the case (or their attorneys, if they are represented) must be copied on all correspondence. These guidelines apply to all communications with the Court, including scheduling hearings and submitting proposed orders.

Scheduling and Cancelling Hearings

Prior to scheduling a motion for hearing, the motion sought to be heard must be filed.

Scheduling of a hearing shall be done by sending an email to JudgeMcCourtHearingRequests@circuit5.org. All other parties to the case (or their attorneys, if they are represented) shall be copied on the correspondence. Your e-mail should include the style of the case, the name(s) of the motion(s) you wish to have heard, and the amount of time you are requesting. In the event a telephone call is needed to coordinate the hearing, please provide a phone number at which you and the opposing party/attorney can be reached. A courtesy copy of the motion should be attached to the e-mail. This will allow the Court to review the motion in the event that it has not been processed through the e-portal.

The Judicial Assistant will offer hearing dates and times to the parties. Should none of the provided date/times offered work, proof of conflict must be provided to the Court. The party requesting the hearing will be asked to prepare and file a notice of hearing.

Before cross-noticing an additional motion for a previously scheduled hearing, the attorneys and/or pro se party must contact the Judicial Assistant so the Court can determine if sufficient time is available to have the motion(s) heard together.

Noticed hearings may only be cancelled with the approval of the Court. If you wish to cancel a hearing that has been previously scheduled, you must email JudgeMcCourtHearingRequests@circuit5.org and state the reason for the cancellation. If the Court approves the hearing being cancelled, you will be asked to prepare and file a notice of cancellation.


A motion to continue must be predicated upon good cause and must comply with all laws and rules of procedure applicable to the action in which the motion is filed. In criminal matters, a motion for continuance must be predicated upon good cause and must include a certificate of movant’s counsel that the motion is made in good faith. Affidavits in support of, and in opposition to, a motion for continuance may be filed by either party.

If a party is requesting a continuance to prepare for trial, the motion for continuance should set forth what efforts have already been taken to prepare for trial, what remains to be done, and when counsel reasonably believes the case will be ready for trial.

Parties should understand that the Court is bound by Fla. R. Gen. Prac. and Jud. Admin. 2.545(e), which provides: “All judges shall apply a firm continuance policy. Continuances should be few, good cause should be required, and all requests should be heard and resolved by a judge.”

Attorneys occasionally have scheduling conflicts that require them to appear at the same time before two different judges. If that occurs, and the attorney cannot arrange for other counsel to represent the client’s interests, the attorney has an obligation to comply with Fla. R. Gen. Prac. and Jud. Admin. 2.550(c). That rule requires the attorney to give prompt written notice of the conflict to opposing counsel, the clerk of each court, and the presiding judge of each case.

If you are seeking a continuance based upon a scheduling conflict, you must comply with this rule of procedure. This will enable Judge McCourt and the other judge to confer and undertake to avoid the conflict. Failure to comply with this rule may constitute grounds for denial of a motion for continuance.

In lieu of continuing a case, parties may request, and the Court may require, the use of communication technology, as provided in Fla. R. Gen. Prac. and Jud. Admin. 2.530.

If an order of continuance is granted, the party requesting the continuance will be asked to prepare an order granting continuance and submit it to the Court.

Proposed Orders

All proposed orders shall be submitted in Microsoft Word format (.docx) via email JudgeMcCourtProposedOrders@circuit5.orgPlease do not send paper orders, as we endeavor to be a paperless office. Proposed orders should be accompanied by an email or cover letter that indicates whether the order is agreed-upon by all parties and a courtesy copy of the motion to which the order relates. This will allow for more expeditious consideration of the matter. Proposed orders may be submitted in advance of scheduled hearings.

All proposed orders shall include a certificate of service in compliance with Florida Rule of General Practice and Procedure 2.516.  The certificate of service shall contain language substantially similar to the following:

“I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been provided through electronic service and/or regular U.S. mail to the following parties.” The parties shall then be listed.

Failure to provide the required certificate of service may result in the Court’s rejection of the proposed order and request for a new order.

Please double-check your orders to ensure the caption includes the correct circuit (Fifth Judicial Circuit) and county (Marion County).

Zoom and Telephonic Appearances

All evidentiary hearings and trials are held in-person at the Marion County Judicial Center, located at 110 N.W. 1st Avenue, Ocala, Florida 34475. Typically, Judge McCourt will be in Courtroom 4C, but parties and attorneys are encouraged to check the informational boards inside of the courthouse on the day of hearings to confirm the location.

Requests to appear at an evidentiary hearing via audio/video communication platform(s), such as telephone or Zoom, must generally be made by the filing of a motion and will only be allowed by court order.

All virtual hearings held through Zoom utilize Meeting ID 969 9253 9555. 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 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 must be free from noises, distractions, or environmental interference.

Case Law, Memoranda, and Hearing Materials Other Than Evidence

Any party desiring to submit case law, a memorandum of law, or hearing materials other than evidence for an upcoming hearing may submit these materials electronically to JudgeMcCourtHearingMaterials@circuit5.org.  In your email, please include the case number, the date of the hearing, and the motion or matter for which you are submitting materials.

The Court desires that these materials be submitted at least ten days prior to the scheduled hearing to allow for review.

About Judge McCourt

Judge McCourt was appointed to the Circuit Court by Governor Ron DeSantis on December 18, 2023. He assumed office on January 3, 2024.

Prior to Judge McCourt’s appointment to the Circuit Court, he was employed for five years by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, where he served as General Counsel and as a Deputy Sheriff. Before that, he worked as an Assistant State Attorney in the Fifth Judicial Circuit for 10 years, where he was assigned to Marion, Citrus, and Sumter Counties. Judge McCourt also spent two years in private practice at a small law firm in Tavares (Lake County) where his private practice consisted primarily of family law and civil litigation but also included criminal defense and appeals.

Judge McCourt received his law degree, with honors, in 2007, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He received undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Sociology, with honors, in 2003, from the Florida State University. Judge McCourt graduated from the College of Central Florida Law Enforcement Academy (Class #193) where he received the K.C. Alvarez Award for highest academic achievement.

Judge McCourt has been an active member of the legal community in the Fifth Judicial Circuit. He currently serves on the Fifth Judicial Circuit’s Local Professionalism Panel and is a member of the Lake County Bar Association and Marion County Bar Association. Judge McCourt is also a member of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

Judge McCourt is a past-President of the Marion County Bar Association and the D.R. Smith American Inn of Court. He previously served as Chair of the Florida Bar’s Grievance Committee for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, as a member of the Florida Bar’s Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, and as a lawyer member of the Bench-Bar Committee of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Until his appointment to the judiciary, he served on the Board of Directors of Heart of Florida Health Center, Inc., a non-profit health center with locations in Marion and Sumter Counties.  From 2015 to 2021, he was the Volunteer Judge for Marion County’s Juvenile Drug Court Program and from 2008 to 2020, he volunteered with the Fifth Judicial Circuit’s Teen Court programs in Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties.

In 2018, Judge McCourt was awarded the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Doris and Murray Felton Excellence in Law Enforcement Award for his work prosecuting radicalized individuals who sympathized with terrorist organizations and had taken steps towards carrying out acts of violence against Ocala residents, the local Jewish community, and the State of Israel.

*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.