Effective Monday, Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida courts will suspend assorted proceedings and hearings for an unspecified time, addressing only "mission critical" cases. These include first appearances, detention hearings, terminations of parental rights, issuance of warrants/authorization of wiretaps, and other emergency matters as determined by each judge.
The Administrative Order (below) was issued by Chief Judge Anthony Rondolino Tuesday afternoon, responding to "concerns regarding the spread and treatment of the #Coronavirus" and in the interest of providing for continuing essential circuit-level operations.
View the Florida Supreme Court Administrative Orders cited by Judge Rondolino in formulating his declaration here and here.
In support of the Sixth Circuit and our other government partners, all locations of the Office of Clerk & Comptroller remain open for regular business hours, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Judge Rondolino’s order in its entirety:
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR
PASCO AND PINELLAS COUNTIES, FLORIDA
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 2020-008 PA/PI-CIR
RE: CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC (COVID-19)
Due to concerns regarding the spread and treatment of the Coronavirus, known as
COVID-19, on March 1, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed executive order 20-51, declaring a
public health emergency in the State of Florida. On March 13, 2020, the Florida Supreme Court
issued AOSC20-346 amending the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. Additionally, the Florida
Supreme Court has issued Administrative Orders Nos. AOSC20-12 and AOSC20-13 regarding mitigating
the impact of the Coronavirus on courts. The Sixth Judicial Circuit has activated its Continuity of
Operation Plan (COOP), which contemplates both short term objectives (up to 90 days) and long term
objectives (90 days and longer).
In order to provide for continued operations of the Court during an emergency, and in accordance
with Article V, section 7, Florida Constitution, Rule of Judicial Administration 2.215, and section
43.26, Florida Statutes,
IT IS ORDERED:
1. Mission critical cases will continue to be handled by the Court. Mission critical cases include:
a. First appearance hearings pursuant to Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.130.
b. Detention hearings pursuant to section 985.255, Fla. Stat.
c. Shelter and arraignment hearings pursuant to sections 39.402 and 39.506, Fla. Stat.
d. Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) advisory hearings pursuant to section 39.808, Fla.
e. Petitions for Judicial Waiver of Notice under section 390.01114(4), Fla. Stat.
f. Ex parte injunctions for dating violence, domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence,
or stalking pursuant to sections 26.20, 741.30, 784.046, and 784.0485, Fla. Stat.
g. Ex parte petitions for Risk Protection Orders (RPO) under Chapter 790, Fla. Stat.
h. Issuance of warrants or authorization for wiretaps.
i. Any other emergency matter such as involuntary examination orders pursuant to section 394.463,
Fla. Stat., emergency medical treatment pursuant to Florida Probate Rule 5.900, or other
emergencies requiring immediate action by the Court to prevent harm to persons or property.
Emergency matters are not subject to easy definition. As such, the judge must determine if the law
or totality of the circumstances require immediate action. In the event the judge decides the
matter is not an emergency, he or she will require the matter to be set before the assigned section
judge on the regular calendar after regular court operations resume.
j. Other time sensitive matters as determined by the judge.
2. Where possible, proceedings in mission critical matters shall be accomplished using
electronic means for some or all of the participants, and/or by using social distancing methods.
Mission critical matters that require one or of more participants to appear in person shall be
conducted in a courtroom.
3. All grand jury proceedings, jury selection proceedings, and criminal and civil jury trials were
suspended beginning March 16, 2020 until further order of this Court.
4. All other civil, family, and probate hearings may proceed as long as the hearings may be
accomplished via electronic means with the exception of the mass calendars and mediations in small
claims pre-trial cases; mass calendars for simplified and uncontested dissolution cases; and all
Title IV-D child support cases, which are suspended beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 until further
order of this Court.
5. All violence protection return hearings will be suspended beginning Monday, March 23, 2020,
until further order of this Court.
6. All delinquency proceedings under Chapter 985, Fla. Stat., and Children In Need of Services/
Families in Need of Services (CINS/FINS) proceedings under Chapter 984, Fla. Stat., except
detention hearings, will be suspended beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, until further order of this
7. All Dependency proceedings under chapter 39, Fla. Stat., except shelter, arraignment, and
advisory hearings, will be suspended beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, until further order of this
8. Problem solving court cases (including but not limited to Drug Court, Veteran’s Court, Early
Childhood Court, and other specialized calendars) will be suspended beginning Monday, March 23,
2020, until further order of this Court.
9. Juvenile Diversion and Teen Court programs have been suspended and will resume upon further
10. Civil and criminal traffic cases will be suspended beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, until
further order of this Court.
11. All ordinance violation cases will be suspended beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, until further
notice of this Court.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, this
_______ day of March 2020.
ORIGINAL SIGNED ON MARCH 17, 2020
BY ANTHONY RONDOLINO, CHIEF JUDGE