There seems to be some confusion behind the scenes as to the recently issued directives to criminal judges regarding Zoom scheduling and hearings.

Some feel they were caught off guard.

It’s a frustrating mess.

In fact, just yesterday morning, before Marty Fein and Andy Siegel sent emails detailing the new procedures, Jack Tuter wrote the email pictured below to criminal judges, indicating there might be a communication breakdown somewhere along the chain of command.

In the meantime, more than 2600 men and women sit in restricted confinement, awaiting court hearings …




*UPDATE* – 10:15 AM – the new procedures seem to have caught some of the judges by surprise. There doesn’t seem to be any consensus or direction from most of the judicial assistants we’ve been emailing as to how to get VFO or Arthur Hearings set. We’ll update when there’s more information available …


The email below seems to indicate in-custody defendants will not be transported to court in June, and will have opportunities to be present in court with their assigned judge only once or twice a month via Zoom. As stated before, there are more than 2600 inmates currently awaiting hearing dates in the Broward County Jail, and FSP, for sentenced individuals, is presently transporting eighteen people a month from Broward …


Email from Andy Siegel, Criminal Administrative Judge, sent at 10:06 PM last night:

With the reduced number of qualifying Covid bond motions, we are expanding the in-custody ZOOM docket to allow each felony division to schedule any additional hearing as needed while continuing to hear routine bond motions.

We anticipate this schedule to stay in place until the courthouse is reopened and in-custody defendants are being transported to the courtrooms.

Starting next Tuesday, May 19, 2020, the in-custody ZOOM docket (1:30 PM to 6:00 PM)  Each of the 16 felony divisions (excluding drug court, mental health court and repeat offender court) have been assigned specific dates.  The Division judge will be scheduling in-custody hearings such as Arthur hearings, VFO hearings and other hearings which did not qualify for the Covid hearing docket because of the nature of the alleged offense. 

For all practical purposes the docket will function the same except it will not consist of only Motions for Release/bond and change of pleas. The new procedure should keep the same hours, so hearings will be scheduled accordingly.

The specific dates assigned to each division are as follows:

FA – May 19th and June 10th

FB – May 20th and June 11th

FC – May 21st and June 12th

FD – May 22nd and June 15th

FE – May 26th and June 16th

FF – May 27th and June 17th

FG – May 28th and June 18th

FH – May 29th and June 19th

FJ – June 1st and June 22nd

FK – June 2nd and June 23rd

FO – June 3rd and June 24th

FP – June 4th and June 25th

FT/FX – June 5th and June 26th

FV – June 8th and June 29th

FY – June 9th and June 30th

The process for defendant appearances will be as previous with BSO bringing Defendants by location. Dockets will be prepared as before. 

This shift was anticipated when we originally created Special hearing docket and I believe I spoke to most of you about the anticipated change over the last two months (yes, its only two months but it seems like eternity) 

If any question please call me or Judge Fein we shall do our best to answer your questions.