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Pecking Order? Curious to know how foreclosure hearings are scheduled? Is it by representation? If some defendants have

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

counsel, and others are Pro Se, and a goodly number either have no counsel or don't respond to the Complaints, do these circumstances have anything to do with how the scheduling is arranged? Thanks

Attorney Answers 2


With the large number of foreclosure cases currently pending in Florida, many of the circuits have hired retired judges to hear foreclosure cases freeing up the other civil judges to hear other types of cases. If you have hired an attorney to defend you, or if you have otherwise filed some type of pleading in the case, your case is scheduled for the foreclosure "Contested Case Docket." If you have not hired an attorney and have not otherwise filed some type of pleading in your case, your case will be scheduled on the foreclosure "Unconstested Case Docket." Cases on the Uncontested Docket are definitely completed much faster than those on the Contested Docket, sometimes in just a few months. However, I know of many, many cases that are 4-5 years old that are pending on the Contested Docket.

In our circuit, cases with attorneys representing homeowners are not given scheduling preference. However, there are typically several cases scheduled for each individual hearing slot. Therefore, if you are scheduled for a 5 minute hearing, you should plan on being at the courthouse for a while.

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The hearings typically get scheduled by the attorneys, who request hearing dates and times from the judge (either through their legal assistants or through an automated system in some FL Counties).

Once hearings are scheduled, most judges hear the cases in order of age, oldest first. Of course, each judge and each county may be different. For example, some judges may take all 2010 cases and hear them alphabetically by defendant's last name; some might group them by plaintiff's attorney; some might group them by pro se versus represented defendants.

If you have a hearing scheduled, you may be able to call the Judge's assistant a few days in advance to see when your hearing will be in the judge's order. Keep in mind, however, that some cases before yours may be settled, and some cases after yours may be moved earlier in the hearing docket. The best advice is to show up 10 - 15 minutes early so make sure the bailiff knows you are present and wait for the judge to call your case. If you have some emergency situation that requires your hearing to be earlier in the day, you can tell the bailiff or the judicial assistant and they move it early or later for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a licensed attorney in your state of residence. For more information on our services, please visit our website at

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