judge-hatcher-updated

Mary P. Hatcher

Circuit Judge

Judicial Assistant: Susan Shaw
Office: 352-569-6937
Fax: 352-569-6935

*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.

GENERAL INFORMATION

The information on this webpage is for Judge Hatcher’s Sumter County Felony Docket only.

Our office DOES NOT accept documents by e-service; therefore, any filing requiring the Court’s attention (i.e., motions, emergency motions, etc.) must be brought to the Court’s attention by email to sshaw@circuit5.org, after they have been e-filed, processed and docketed to the court file.  Please DO NOT add the Court/Judicial Assistant to e-service lists in the E-Portal.

PLEASE NOTE:  The Clerk’s Office has 3 business days to process E-filings from the Portal (either to accept and docket to the court file or reject for correction).

If an Interpreter will be needed for any hearing, a request must be submitted by counsel through the Fifth Circuit website at www.circuit5.org, using the online form provided, at least 7 business days prior to the hearing.

APPEARANCES - IN-PERSON

All hearings are being held IN-PERSON.

Defendants in-custody in the Sumter County Detention Center will appear by ZOOM for routine hearings

COURT SCHEDULE

Motion and Change of Plea docket dates are designated by * on the attached calendar for reference only.  Availability on a specific date must be confirmed with our office prior to filing a Notice of Hearing. (see “Hearing Requests” section below).

Click here for court schedule 

PLEASE NOTE:  a CHANGE OF PLEA can be taken at any already set hearing for that Defendant, as long as there is a fully executed plea agreement.  Open Pleas will be special set.

HEARING REQUESTS

Motions must be e-filed, processed, and docketed to the court file, with opposing counsel having time to receive and review, before a hearing request is sent.  Hearing requests should be sent to sshaw@circuit5.org and include the case name and number, the type of hearing/motion to be heard, and the amount of time requested. Available dates and times will be provided to the party requesting the hearing, and that party shall coordinate with opposing counsel.

Once a date and time is confirmed with our office, the Notice of Hearing should be filed as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks prior to the hearing date, for it to be placed on that docket.

MOTIONS FOR CONTINUANCES

Continuances are granted at the discretion of the Court. Either party may file a Motion to continue a hearing set by the Court for good cause.  All Motions to continue must be e-filed at least 5 business days prior to a hearing.  The motion must contain the specific reason for the continuance and must state whether the opposing party agrees or objects to the continuance.  The moving party must also provide a proposed Order of continuance to the Court once their motion has been processed from the e-portal and has been docketed to the court file. (Continuances for trial priority are addressed under “Court Procedures” below.)

COURT PROCEDURES - Felony Cases/Trial

ARRAIGNMENT:  An attorney may file a notice of appearance and waive the presence of the Defendant at arraignment.  If an attorney waives a Defendant’s presence at arraignment, the attorney is responsible for informing the Defendant of all future court dates.

TRIAL PRIORITY:  The purpose of the trial priority is to determine which cases will be set on the one-week trial calendar.  Trial priority starts at 9:00 a.m. on the designated day.  The Court will hear change of pleas at trial priority.

The Defendant must be personally present for the trial priority.  An attorney seeking to waive the appearance of a Defendant at trial priority for extreme good cause must seek permission of the Court at least 3 business days prior to trial priority.

CONTINUANCES OF TRIAL PRIORITY AND TRIAL:  Continuances are granted at the discretion of the Court.  Either party may file a Motion to continue a case on the trial calendar for good cause.  All Motions to continue must be e-filed at least 5 business days prior to trial priority.  The Motion must contain the reason for the continuance, a statement concerning when the case will likely be resolved and must state whether the opposing party agrees or objects to the continuance.  Because the case is already set for trial, any Defendant moving to continue a case off of the trial calendar, for a reason not chargeable to the State, must also include a waiver of speedy trial or a statement that speedy trial has been waived.

The moving party must also provide a proposed Order of continuance to the Court once their motion has been processed from the e-portal and has been docketed to the court file.

If both parties agree to the continuance, the Court will likely continue the case without a hearing.  If the Court continues the case, the parties are excused from trial priority.  The attorneys for the defense are responsible for informing their clients of any future court dates and/or the new trial priority and trial dates.

All cases not continued prior to trial priority shall remain on the trial docket and will not be continued from the trial docket without a showing of exceptional cause.

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