M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building
190 Governmental Center, 5th Floor
Pensacola, FL 32502
Division "C" is a family law division.
The Code of Judicial Conduct precludes judicial assistants from making substantive inquiries of the judge on behalf of any attorney or litigant involved in any action. The Code prohibits all judges from considering ex parte (one side only) communications.
Judicial assistants cannot provide legal advice to anyone. However, they are more than happy to assist with procedural questions.
Any issue to be considered by a judge should be in the form of a motion filed with the Clerk of Court with copies provided to all parties of record. It is the responsibility of the moving party to set the motion for hearing and to coordinate that hearing with the judge’s office and all counsel of record.
E-mail sent to the judicial assistant is the preferred method of communication for setting a hearing, confirming the date of a hearing, cancelling a hearing, checking on the status of an order, responding to the judge’s request for position on a motion, etc. Please be sure your e-mail includes all parties involved in the case who have designated e-mail addresses. When you are replying to an e-mail, use “Reply All” so that all parties are included in your response.
Pro Se Coordinator
If neither party in a family law case is represented by an attorney, please contact the Division "C" Pro Se Coordinator's office for assistance in submitting documents and setting hearings in the case. The Pro Se Coordinator's office number is 850-595-0341.
To schedule a hearing, send an e-mail to the judicial assistant, copying all counsel of record. Hearing requests are processed in the order in which they are received. Please include in the email the case number, the title of the motion to be heard, and the amount of time needed for the hearing. Attach a courtesy copy of the filed, date-stamped motion to be heard. The judicial assistant will then reply to all, providing available dates and times. These dates and times are not protected or exclusive, so the moving party should ensure that all parties agree on a date as soon as possible and notify the judicial assistant. If the opposing counsel (or pro se party) does not respond to the offered dates within 48 hours, the hearing will be set without their input. Once all parties have agreed upon a date and time, the party seeking the hearing is asked to prepare and file a Notice of Hearing. A courtesy copy of the Notice of Hearing should be e-mailed to the judge’s office.
In the alternative, if ALL parties to the case are on the line, the hearing may be set by telephone. Have the case number, title of the motion(s) to be heard, and the amount of time needed for the hearing ready when you call.
Additional motions should not be added to an existing hearing time without coordinating this request with the judicial assistant and other counsel/parties.
Upon determining a hearing is no longer necessary, let the judge’s office know as soon as possible, preferably by e-mail, so that time will be available for other litigants. File a Notice of Cancellation with the clerk and send a courtesy copy to the judge’s office.
Submitting Documents Prior to Hearings
Any memoranda, case law, or other documents that parties wish the judge to consider prior to a hearing should be e-mailed or otherwise delivered at least 48 hours before the hearing. Copies should be provided to all parties in the matter. If a party is submitting a memorandum that cites case law, all cases cited should be provided to the judge. Extensive amounts of case law should be delivered in hard copy rather than e-mailed.
Submitting Proposed Orders
The clerk’s office does not accept proposed orders. Please e-mail all proposed orders in Microsoft Word to , copying all parties. If a case involves pro se parties without designated e-mail addresses, please include a cover letter with the proposed order that shows service by mail on those parties.
Procedures for Motions to Withdraw/Substitution of Counsel
In accordance with Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, Rule 2.505, written consent of the client must be filed with the Clerk of Court, and opposing counsel (if any) must have no objection to the withdrawal/substitution. If the client has not signed a consent and/or opposing counsel has an objection to the withdrawal, a hearing is required.
Hearings start on time, regardless of whether all parties and/or counsel are present. If an emergency situation arises causing a delay in getting to the hearing, please call the judge’s office as soon as possible.
Appearing Other Than in Person
The Court is not unmindful of the convenience and economical method of appearance by telephone. Parties and/or their counsel should make their request to appear by telephone at the time the hearing is being coordinated by e-mail. Please comply with Florida Rules of Judicial Administration Rule 2.530. The party appearing by telephone must call the judge’s office number listed above at the time appointed for the hearing. If more than one party wishes to appear by telephone, those parties must conference in together before calling the judge’s office.
Upon receipt of a notice that a case is at issue or ready for trial, the clerk sends the file to the judge’s office. If the case is determined to be at issue and if no objection is received, the judicial assistant will then e-mail all the parties with available dates and times for setting the final hearing. Generally, mediation is required for all trials requiring two or more hours.
If a case that has been set for trial settles, let the judicial assistant know immediately.
Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage by Special Affidavit
If parties wish to use this process, they must strictly follow the procedures laid out in Escambia County Administrative Directive 2016-05. If the submitted paperwork does not follow these procedures, a final hearing will be required.
Domestic Violence Injunction Hearings
Please contact the Domestic Violence Coordinators at 850-595-4492 for any and all matters involving court hearings on domestic violence injunctions.