Stephen A. Pitre

Circuit Judge
Escambia County
Circuit Criminal, Circuit Civil
Judicial Assistant: 
Laurie Jenkins

M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building
190 Governmental Center, Fifth Floor
Pensacola, FL 32502

Fax : 
850-595-4437 (Faxes limited to 15 pages)


Effective January 1, 2015, the Escambia County Clerk of Court will no longer accept proposed orders through the Florida Court E-Filing Portal.  All proposed orders must be submitted directly to the presiding judge, either by U.S. mail or e-mail (in MS Word format) at .

Judicial assistants are neither qualified nor able to provide legal advice to anyone.



To confirm entry of an order, always check with the Clerk’s office before contacting the Court. The clerk’s website is Failing that, call the Clerk’s office directly; failing that, contact the judge’s office.  The judge’s assistant does not keep a log of pleadings received or signed.


Submitting Pleadings

Please submit a copy of any notices of hearing, motions and proposed orders to the judge’s office in hard copy form or via e-mail at .

When submitting an order for entry, always provide sufficient copies and self-addressed stamped envelopes for use in distributing copies. Neither the Court nor the Clerk will provide copies, postage or envelopes for you.

Proposed orders should be forwarded to the judge’s office with a cover letter indicating opposing counsel/party has no objection.  If no such cover letter is included, the proposed order will be held for a period of at least five (5) working days to allow opposing counsel time to respond.

Requests for “emergency” hearings will be reviewed by the judge to determine the merits of the “emergency” claim.  A copy of the proposed motion must be provided to the judge’s office for review.


Pro Se Pleadings/Correspondence

Any pro se pleadings or correspondence sent to the judge must be provided to all parties involved in the case.  Please list the case number and parties’ names in the pleading; failure to do so will delay consideration of the pleading.

If a defendant is represented by counsel, all pleadings must be filed by that counsel.

No defendant or relative, friend, etc. is permitted to have a private telephone conference with the judge reference any case, whether open or closed.

The judge’s assistant may not give out the names of local attorneys as referrals to handle any case.  The Lawyer Referral Service for Escambia County may be reached at (850) 434-6009.


Setting Hearings

Always consult the Judge’s office (either by e-mail or telephone) if you wish to add a case to a docket. Do not ask the Clerk’s office to add a case that has not been cleared by this office. 

If possible, have all parties on the line when you call; if not, you will be provided with dates/times for your coordination with opposing parties. If we miss your call, please leave a voice mail message to include the case number, the style of the case, the subject of the hearing, how much time is needed to address the issue, and a toll-free phone number so we may call you back. Long distance calls will not be returned.  Once a hearing has been set, no additional motions may be “piggy-backed” unless additional time is available on the judge’s and opposing counsel’s calendars.

A copy of the notice of hearing must be sent to the Court by e-mail or U.S. mail.  The notice of hearing must clearly state the date, time and subject matter of the hearing. If counsel are located outside the Central Time zone, please indicate both times on the notice of hearing.

If you prefer, you may send an e-mail which includes the case information, the type of hearing you are requesting, and the length of time requested for the hearing to  Please attach a copy of the motion(s) in question and include all counsel and/or pro se litigants in the e-mail.  This will allow the judicial assistant to offer hearing dates/times to everyone without necessitating multiple telephone calls to coordinate hearings.

Cancelling Hearings

A hearing may be cancelled only by the party setting it or by the judge. 

Please file a notice of cancellation and provide a copy to the judge’s office via e-mail.

When a case is settled, please immediately notify the Judge’s office by phone, email or fax so we can remove the case from the hearing/trial docket.  The clerk’s office does not notify the Court when matters are settled or notices of cancellation are filed.


Telephonic Appearance at Hearings

When setting a telephonic hearing in a civil case, the call-in phone number for the hearing is our main office number listed above. Calls must be placed at the exact time of the hearing - not early.

Local counsel are required to appear in person for hearings. The Court will consider allowing telephonic appearance by local counsel on an as-needed basis.

It is the responsibility of the attorney setting the hearing to arrange for the telephonic appearance of out-of-town counsel by arranging a conference call. We cannot conference multiple calls to our office.


Motions for Withdrawal/Substitution of Counsel

A signed, stipulated motion for withdrawal or substitution of counsel must accompany the proposed order.  Absent a signed stipulation, a hearing is required.



When filing a notice for trial, please send a copy to the Court via e-mail.

Once the notice for trial is filed, counsel may request a Case Management Conference be scheduled to determine readiness for trial and to agree on a trial date. Any objections to the notice for trial will be heard at the Case Management Conference. 

All parties must have their calendars at the Case Management Conference so that the trial date may be coordinated. 

Once a trial date has been set, the Court will enter an Order Setting Jury Trial, Case Management Conference, and Pretrial Hearing.

Mediation must be attempted before trial will commence. Counsel are encouraged to attempt mediation without waiting for a Court order. After mediation has occurred, please have a copy of the mediation results sent to the Court. 




If a defendant is represented by counsel, counsel may submit a written plea of not guilty and a notice of waiver of appearance – counsel and defendant will then be excused from appearance at the arraignment hearing.  It will be counsel’s responsibility to consult the Clerk of Court’s website to determine the defendant’s next court date.


Bond Hearings

Defense counsel and assistant state attorneys must discuss and attempt to agree on a reasonable bond before a bond motion will be set for hearing. If counsel can agree on a reasonable bond, a signed stipulated order should be sent to the Judge for review; this may eliminate the need for a hearing.

Motions for bond will not be considered on a case until any outstanding warrant is served.

Motions for bond will not be considered until after the arraignment is held.


Requests for Continuance

 Requests for continuance will not be considered if received less than seven (7) days prior to docket day. Late motions for continuance will be dealt with at Docket Day.


Motions to Suppress, Motions to Dismiss, Early Pleas, etc.

These motions, once coordinated between counsel and this office, will be set on a criminal motion day.  Please forward a copy of the motion and proposed order to this office, along with a copy of the notice of hearing.


VOP Hearings

These hearings are held one day each month.

No other types of hearings will be held during the time reserved for VOP hearings unless set by the judge.



Probate and guardianship cases are now assigned to Division “T” of the Court.  Please contact the Honorable Jennie Kinsey at concerning these cases.