M. C. Blanchard Judicial Building
190 Governmental Center - Fifth Floor
Pensacola, Florida 32502
I. COMMUNICATING WITH JUDGE OR JUDICIAL ASSISTANT ABOUT DIVISION F MATTERS
Neither Judge Burns nor his Judicial Assistant Patty Barber will discuss any case with any party outside of a hearing. Therefore, the JA cannot take a message related to any pending Division F matter from a party or other person intended for Judge Burns. Taking a message includes receiving and forwarding email communications.
Non-scheduling communications to Judge Burns about Division F matters are to be made solely by motion or petition filed with the Clerk of Court (“Clerk”) with copies provided to all parties of record.
JAs cannot provide legal advice to anyone. “Legal advice” means suggesting things that might be filed, evaluating the sufficiency of information on a form, interpretation of any document, assessing the conduct of an opposing party or lawyer, or giving an opinion about the likelihood of success in an action.
JAs may only assist with scheduling of hearings on motions or petitions filed with the Clerk only.If somebody contacts the JA about a Division F matter, and raises any issue other than a scheduling related inquiry, then the JA shall respond by stating: “I am sorry, I cannot discuss anything about this matter with you, other than scheduling related inquiries.”
II. SCHEDULING PROCEDURE FOR CIVIL MATTERS:
To schedule a non-emergency hearing, then the filing must be filed/served via the e-portal, and then the following procedure is to be followed:
First Preference: Email
1. Send an email, with the subject line “REQUEST FOR HEARING”, to esc.divf.eserve@FLCourts1.gov to request your hearing.
2. Include the case number, name of the filing(s), and the amount oftime requested.
3. Please ensure the opposing party is included on the email.
4. Unless the JA is out of the office, then by 5:00 p.m. the next business day,four hearing times shall be provided via responsive email. The hearing times provided shall only be reserved/guaranteed until 5:00p.m., the next business day.
5. If the parties cannot agree to any of the four hearing times provided in step 4, then the process shall be repeatedonce. If the parties cannot agree to a hearing time after the second set of times are provided, then the Court will select a date and time for the hearing, and an Order Setting the Hearing will be entered.
6. The Court knows parties, or counsel, may not respond to steps 4 or 5, due to circumstances beyond their control, or if they are out-of-pocket due to long-planned family events, surgeries, etc. The Court will be very flexible in rescheduling a hearing set by Order under step 5 if a party can provide a plausible reason for failing to select a hearing date.
Second Preference: Phone
The Court knows not all attorneys and parties rely upon email, and to accommodate everybody, the following telephone procedures can be used:
1. Before calling, please confer with the opposing party or parties, so everyone is on the phone at the same time.
2. Please have ready the name of the pleading(s) and the amount oftime requested.
3. If a party cannot get all parties on the phone due to lack of cooperation, then file a “Motion to Set Hearing” through the e-portal, and then provide the motion to the JA. The Court will then set a telephonic hearing, to be conducted on the Division F conference call line, within several days of filing the motion.