WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Friday, March 20, 2020

FABER CLAIRIFIES COUNTY COURT SCHEDULE AND FIRST DV UPDATE

FRIDAY HEADLINES- DV RETURNS TO REGJB SEE JUDGE KELLY UPDATE BELOW

If you didn't read to the bottom of our post Thursday, we praised Judge Faber. He has been in court every day handling calendars, fixing problems, keeping people calm. Much like Judges Soto and Sayfie have also done (who we acknowledge we strongly criticized for not shutting courts down quicker)  , we imagine his work has been 24-7 and the pressure has been intense. Much like one of our heroes- Major General Norm "Dutch" Cota, he has led from the front lines. 

A THANK YOU TO OUR JUDGES
The chief and administrative judges have pressures we do not know about. They have concerns beyond what we have considered. We acknowledge they have been under unprecedented pressures making choices no other judges have ever been confronted with. We have not agreed with a lot of what they have done based on when they did it. But all of us should be thankful for their tireless work on behalf of our community. Judges Soto, Sayfie, Faber and others went into the courthouses  at personal jeopardy to themselves and their families, and handled the problems as they arose. Take a moment and thank every judge, every JA, every court officer, every police officer when you see them. 

And as to us, well, no judge should have to deal with Covid19 AND Rumpole nipping at their heels.  

FIRST - THE DV UPDATE FROM JUDGE KELLY- BIGGEST TAKE- ALL DV RETURNS TO REGJB

Hello everyone,

To add to Judge Sayfie’s and Judge Faber’s messages:
I want to thank Judge Sayfie, Judge Faber and all of our justice partners for your collaboration and cooperation during this difficult time.  I hope that all of our citizens remain safe.  I am cognizant of the stress this pandemic has caused and wish you health and peace.

The Domestic Violence Division has already scheduled and heard all the  emergency motions for modifications of pretrial release and all other emergency motions  that have been filed to date.  This was completed yesterday.
Pursuant to the agreement between the Chief Judge, the Public Defender and the State Attorney, the following procedures will be implemented for domestic violence criminal cases until April 3, 2020.   (This time may be extended if the Supreme Court extends the tolling period for criminal cases.)
1. No domestic violence (DV) criminal calendars will be heard at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center.

2.  Arraignments calendars for all DV criminal cases will be cancelled.

3. Bond calendar for all DV cases  will be heard daily at the Richard E. Gerstein building (REG) at 11:00 am in courtroom 5-3.

4. Critical emergency  motions will be heard either immediately before or directly after the 11:00 am DV bond calendar scheduled at REG at 11:00 am in courtroom 5-3.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime with any questions or concerns. 

AND FROM JUDGE FABER - a clarification which has been approved for all audiences by the motion picture association. 


I have been advised that some are confused about our schedule.  Going forward and starting on Monday 3/23:


  1. All County Criminal Division calendars, including the jail divisions at REG, are cancelled for the weeks of 3/23 and 3/30.  No decision yet has officially been made as to 4/7.
  2. Bond Hearings during the weekdays will continue to be heard for new misdemeanor arrestees at REG in Ctrm 5-3.  They will continue to be heard at 9 AM and 1 PM.  These are video feeds from the jail and we will need 1 ASA and 1 APD to attend.
  3. Any emergency hearings that arise from any of the branch or REG misdemeanor divisions will be held at noon in Ctrm 5-3.  Any orders from those emergency matters will be signed and submitted to the Clerk at that time for filing (See procedure below).
  4. Any emergency hearings require 3-days* e-mail notice to the parties (atty/pro se and SAO), the Clerk’s (all 5 names, see procedures below), the Judge presiding (see list below), and Carmen Bravo/Marcelo Ancheta at AOC (to ensure access is allowed IF a party does not want to appear telephonically).  Any telephone number to contact the atty/pro se litigant must be included in the e-mailed notice if they wish to appear telephonically.
*3-day notice means that if an emergency hearing is granted on Monday the hearing can be set no sooner than the following Thursday.  The Clerk’s office needs time to get a file, particularly from branch courthouses, and Ctrm 5-3 does not have SPIRIT access (in that event the Clerk will create a hard copy of the SPIRIT entries for the Court to review).

Our schedule of judges to preside over these calendars are as follows:

Monday 3/23 –Judge Martinez
Tuesday 3/24 - Judge Alvarez-Zane
Wednesday 3/25 – Judge Harris-Nelson
Thursday 3/26 – Judge Alvarez-Zane
Friday 3/27 – Judge Martinez

Monday 3/30 - Judge Mansfield
Tuesday 3/31 - Judge Leifman
Wednesday 4/1 - Judge Cuervo
Thursday 4/2 - Judge Silver
Friday 4/3 - Judge Faber

I hope this clarifies any confusion.  Please contact me if you have any questions in this regard.

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