Santa Rosa County Courthouse
6865 Caroline Street, Box I
Milton, FL 32570
Contacting Judge David Rimmer’s Office
Division A will be available to answer your telephone calls between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. The office has two telephone lines coming in and one Judicial Assistant to answer all calls (850) 981-5542. Therefore, please leave a message if your call is not answered, and be sure to leave the case number. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you do not receive a call back within 24 hours of leaving your message, please call back.
Please treat Judicial Assistant Shelia Hansen with the same courtesy she will extend to you. Ms. Hansen will do her best to assist everyone as quickly as possible, and to provide everyone with thorough and accurate information. In this endeavor, she may have to call you back, so please be sure to leave a telephone number along with the best time you can be reached at that number.
All matters 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. Merely filing a motion with the Clerk will not bring the matter before the judge. All filings are through the Santa Rosa Clerk of Court’s e-portal.
To schedule a hearing, you may; (1) email the judge’s judicial assistant (copying opposing counsel) and request available times for a hearing (firstname.lastname@example.org); (2) conference the judicial assistant into a call with yourself and opposing parties (850) 981-5542 or (3) obtain dates by phone from the judicial assistant to coordinate with opposing counsel. Please state whether you need a hearing before or after a particular date. Please indicate the length of time you anticipate needing for the hearing. Dates will not be final until the judge’s office is notified that the hearing has been coordinated and confirms the final availability of the date.
Please have all pertinent information ready (i.e., name, case number, type of hearing) when you call to schedule. All hearings are scheduled through this office.
Time allotted for the hearing: The Court will give the parties the time requested, but both parties will be limited to the time requested. If a hearing is scheduled for one hour- each party will receive 30 minutes, and the Court will add an appropriate time for its ruling.
Upon determining a hearing is no longer necessary, please cancel the time set aside with the judge as soon as possible. The ONLY way this office knows of a cancellation is through your notification. If the hearing is cancelled far enough in advance, the time can be made available to others.
Notices of Hearing:
THE PARTY REQUESTING THE HEARING SHALL FILE A WRITTEN NOTICE OF HEARING. THE NOTICE OF HEARING SHALL INCLUDE:
- ADVISING THE COURT AND ALL PARTIES OF THE DATE AND TIME
- ADVISING THE PARTIES OF THE SPECIFIC HEARING- TO INCLUDE THE DATE THE PLEADING THAT PROVIDES THE NEED FOR THE HEARING WAS FILED
- ADVISING THE COURT WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS AN OBJECTION BY ANY PARTY
Notices for Trial:
The Court’s Civil Trial Calendar is designed to accommodate a jury trial within four (4) months of a Notice for Trial. Therefore in an effort to be fully prepared and conserve time, please ensure that the following have been accomplished before filing a Notice for Trial.
- Mediation attempted, report filed and an impasse reached;
- No substantive outstanding motion to be heard; and
- All discovery has been completed.
Once all the above has been accomplished and a Notice for trial has been e-filed, with the Clerk of Court, the file will then be reviewed to ensure that a pretrial conference is in order. If so, a standard pre-trial Order requiring a 15 minute pre-trial conference to be coordinated between all counsel/parties. Please note that all counsel, as well as all parties are required to attend the pre-trial conference in person. Additionally, all counsel/parties are required to bring their personal calendars as a trial date can/will in most cases be scheduled within 3-4 months following the pre-trial conference.
If a Notice of Trial is filed prior to all of the above, you will be asked to withdraw your Notice for Trial.
At any time during the pendency of a civil case, this Court’s calendar can accommodate a case Management Conference immediately upon motion by either party.
Barring truly unforeseen circumstances, any Motion for Continuance should be filed a minimum of 7 days in advance of any hearing or trial that counsel is seeking to continue and should state, with specificity, the reason for the request for continuance and whether or not opposing counsel objects. Absent timely filing and full disclosure, the Court may deny continuance.
Proposed Orders shall be filed through the Santa Rosa Clerk of Court’s e-portal in pdf format --UNLESS-- the Court has specifically requested a Word formatted document such as in Jury Instructions, Verdict Forms or in other specified cases.
Proposed Orders SHALL include all critical information, i.e. Orders Continuing SHALL include the new court date(s). These dates may be obtained from the court calendar and confirmed with the division assistant.
Orders resulting from hearings SHALL include the date the matter came before the court.
If a proposed Order is filed it SHALL ONLY be with the understanding that the matter has already come before the court on stipulation, hearing or as otherwise may be directed by the court.
Submitting Proposed Orders
Following a hearing, the Court may ask the prevailing party to submit a proposed order.
- Please do not submit a proposed order until all parties have reviewed and approved the proposed order. Please do not send proposed orders and request any “hold” for any reason. When the court requests a copy of a proposed order, please provide a copy in Word format to allow editing. Proposed orders are to be sumbitted in the Word format ONLY when specifically requested by the Court in Word format to allow editing.
- When sending a proposed order to the Court, the accompanying cover letter or email should cite the hearing date and state that all counsel have approved the order.
- If the parties disagree, the points of disagreement should be set forth in detail.
- If entered, orders will be filed with the Clerk.
- It is counsel’s responsibility to ensure that all parties receive copies.
Courtesy Copies of Documents:
The Court has delayed access to items electronically filed, and the Court only has access to an electronic record. If you want the Court to review anything before your scheduled hearing, please present copies directly to the Judicial Assistant if you are late filing pleadings.
Memoranda, case law, rules and any other relevant documents must be submitted to the Court and opposing counsel at least three business days prior to the scheduled hearing or in accordance with any alternative Order of the Court to allow the Court sufficient time to review and prepare.
If these materials are not provided in a timely manner, the Court may cancel the hearing. Supporting case law should be highlighted or underlined. Except in rare instances, the Court will not accept excessive materials during a hearing. Documents may be delivered by hand, mail or email.
Courtsmart and the Court Record
During Court (when the Judge is on the bench), it is critical that all talking be minimized to protect the digital record. Conversations in the courtroom ARE NOT PRIVATE and may be picked up on the Courtsmart microphones located strategically throughout the courtroom.
It is counsel’s responsibility to have met with, talked with and have full authority of their client PRIOR TO arriving in the courtroom. It is understood by the court that counsel may, from time to time, need to step outside of the courtroom for a moment, but that is to be an exception, not general practice.
Counsel who represent incarcerated individuals are expected to have made arrangements to have met with their client PRIOR TO the client’s court hearing. This includes docket days and motion hearings.
Having made these preparations will expedite your experience and time before the Court resulting in better efficiencies for all concerned.
Division A has adopted the Customary and Traditional Conduct and Decorum guidelines set forth as an Addendum to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Rules. “These standards are minimal and not all-inclusive. They are intended to emphasize and supplement, not supplant or limit, the ethical obligations of counsel under the Code of Professional Responsibilities or the time honored customs of experienced trial counsel.”
When appearing in Div. A of Santa Rosa County Circuit Court, all counsel and all person(s) attending hearings and trials should conduct themselves in the following customary and traditional manner:
- Stand as court is opened, recessed or adjourned for all matters held in the courtroom.
- Stand when the jury enters or retires from the courtroom.
- Stand when addressing, or being addressed by the court for all matters held in the courtroom.
- Address all remarks to the court, not to opposing counsel.
- Avoid disparaging personal remarks or acrimony toward opposing counsel and remain wholly detached from any ill feeling between the litigants or witnesses.
- Refer to all persons, including witnesses, other counsel and the parties, by their surnames and not by their first or given names.
- Counsel should request permission before approaching the bench.
- Unless opposing counsel has previously been shown exhibits, any exhibit offered in evidence should, at the time of such offer, be handed to opposing counsel.
- In making objections, counsel should state only the legal grounds for the objection and should withhold all further comment or argument unless elaboration is requested by the court.
- Offers of, or requests for, a stipulation should be made privately, not within the hearing of the jury.
- Counsel shall admonish and discourage all persons (parties, witnesses and observers) from making gestures, facial expressions, audible comments, or the like, as manifestations of approval or disapproval during the testimony of witnesses, or at any other time.
- Smoking, eating, food and drink are prohibited in the courtroom or chambers at any time..
See Rules of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.