Criminal motions practice in Florida

April 4, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Good afternoon.

I write today to provide a possible explanation for the cancellation of the April 2nd hearing.

No motion was pending and she was not under any obligation to check with counsel to verify that nothing was in the works before cancelling the hearing.

When a lawyer files a motion in the circuit court clerk’s office asking the court to do something, he also should file a memorandum of legal authorities in support of the motion. In addition, he must file a notice of the date, time and place where a hearing on the motion will take place.

Copies of the three documents must be provided to opposing counsel with sufficient lead time to file a response.

Copies also must be provided to the court.

This formal procedure can be ignored, if the parties agree that something must be done. In that situation, the parties can prepare an agreed order and present it to the judge for signature without a hearing.

At the last hearing, Judge Nelson told counsel that she was going to tentatively schedule the next hearing for April 2nd even though no motions were pending. She also told counsel that she was going to be on vacation that week, but still in town and available to hold a hearing on April 2nd, if needed.

Several weeks went by during which neither side filed a motion.

On Monday, March 25th, with no motion pending, she cancelled the hearing.

Mark O’Mara filed a motion later that afternoon and a second motion the next day. Both motions seek sanctions, costs and attorney’s fees imposed against BDLR.

BDLR filed an epic response denying any wrongdoing.

I believe the defense motions are frivolous and will be denied.

If O’Mara still intends to proceed with his frivolous motions, he will have to note them for hearing on April 30th, which is the next available date for a hearing.

He really should reconsider those motions.

Whether he will do so remains to be seen.

Go here to review the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.

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