News Flash Home
The original item was published from 3/26/2020 11:47:00 AM to 3/26/2020 3:24:54 PM.

News Flash

Home - Featured Stories

Posted on: March 17, 2020

[ARCHIVED] 'MISSION CRITICAL' CASES ONLY FOR SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

Portrait of Chief Judge Rondolino, smiling, in robe.

Florida’s Sixth Judicial Circuit Court (overseeing Pasco Cunty) has suspended 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 March 17, responding to "concerns regarding the spread and treatment of the #Coronavirus" and in the interest of providing for continuing essential circuit-level operations. The Florida Supreme Court followed with a similar order affecting courts statewide. Tuesday, Chief Justice Charles Canady extended the state of emergency through April 17, shutting down all jury trials and grand jury proceedings. 

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. 

Stat.


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 

court.


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 

Court.


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 

order of this Court.


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


Facebook Twitter Email