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AVAILABILITY OF BANKRUPTCY JUDGESHIP POSITIONS IN THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA AT ORLANDO AND JACKSONVILLE (Posted: Friday, December 4, 2020)


The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit seeks applications from highly qualified candidates to fill two positions as United States Bankruptcy Judges in the Middle District of Florida in Jacksonville and Orlando. The Jacksonville position will become available upon the retirement of Judge Jerry Funk in November 2021. The Orlando position will fill a new "temporary judgeship" as authorized by Congress in 2017. Both positions are for fourteen-year appointments.

Click HERE to view full notice.

Click HERE to access the application.


EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 2020 - REVISION TO BANKRUPTCY COURT MISCELLANEOUS FEE SCHEDULE; AMENDMENTS TO FEDERAL RULE OF BANKRUPTCY PROCEDURE 2002(H) AND LOCAL RULE 2002-1; AND FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 30(B)(6) (Posted: Tuesday, December 1, 2020)

The Judicial Conference of the United States has approved inflationary adjustments to the fees on the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule (28 U.S.C. § 1930), effective December 1, 2020. Click HERE for the updated Fee Schedule.

An amendment to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2002(h), effective December 1, 2020, authorizes bankruptcy courts to limit the mailing of notices required to be sent to creditors in voluntary Chapter 7 cases, Chapter 12 cases, and Chapter 13 cases, after 70 days following the order for relief or the date of the order converting the case to Chapter 12 or 13, to those creditors who have filed proofs of claim. In involuntary Chapter 7 cases, the court may limit the mailing of notices after 90 days following the order for relief to those creditors who have filed proofs of claims. These deadlines are consistent with the times for filing proof of claim under Fed. R. Bankr, P. 3002(c).

The Bankruptcy Judges of the Middle District of Florida have approved an amendment to Local Rule 2002-1 Notice to Creditors and Other Interested Parties, effective December 1, 2020, that is consistent with the amendment to Rule 2002(h).

Click HERE to access amended Local Rule 2002-1


EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 2020 - AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE (Posted: Tuesday, December 1, 2020)

Congress has taken no action on the proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, and Civil Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Evidence, adopted by the Supreme Court and transmitted to Congress on April 27, 2020. Under the Rules Enabling Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2071-75, rules take effect today, December 1, 2020.

Click HERE to view the Current Rules of Practice and Procedure.


IN MEMORY OF DENISE MARTIN, COURTROOM DEPUTY TO THE HONORABLE CATHERINE PEEK MCEWEN (APRIL 30, 1956 - NOVEMBER 21, 2020) (Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2020)

Click HERE to view the Memorial Tribute page.


PORTRAIT CEREMONY FOR FR. C. TIMOTHY CORCORAN, III, RETIRED UNITED STATE BANKRUPTCY JUDGE (Posted: Monday, November 9, 2020)

On November 4, 2020, a portrait presentation ceremony was held for Fr. C. Timothy Corcoran, III, Retired United States Bankruptcy Judge.

Click HERE to view the video ceremony.


THE COURT'S LATEST COURT CONNECTION NEWSLETTER IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE (Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2020)


Click HERE to view the October 2020 edition.


JUDGE MCEWEN'S MENTORING PROGRAM FOR NEW BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS (Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2020)

The next session of Judge McEwen's mentoring program for lawyers new to the practice of bankruptcy law is scheduled virtually for Wednesday, November 18, 2020, from Noon to 1:30 pm by Zoom. Login Information will be provided to the first 100 who RSVP. Judge McEwen's special guests for this program are: Chief Judge Caryl E. Delano; Dawn Carapella, Chapter 7 Trustee; Douglas Menchise, Chapter 7 Trustee; Kelly Remick, Chapter 13 Trustee; Jon Waage, Chapter 13 Trustee; Guy Van Baalen, Assistant United States Trustee; and Denise Barnett, Trial Attorney, U.S. Trustee Program.

Program Title: THE 4TH QUARTER IN FOUR QUARTERS

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


U.S. DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA POSTS AMENDMENTS TO ITS LOCAL RULES FOR PUBLIC COMMENT - COMMENTS DUE BY OCTOBER 9, 2020 (Posted: Friday, September 18, 2020)

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida has posted proposed amendments to its Local Rules for public comment. The public comment period ends on October 9, 2020.

Click HERE to view the proposed amendments.

The District Court's announcement and the link to submit a public comment may be found on the District Court's website, www.flmd.uscourts.gov in the Announcements section.


JUDGE MCEWEN'S MENTORING PROGRAM FOR NEW BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS (Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2020)

The next session of Judge McEwen's mentoring program for lawyers new to the practice of bankruptcy law is scheduled virtually for Wednesday, September 30, 2020, from Noon to 1:30 pm by Zoom. Login Information will be provided to the first 100 who RSVP. Judge McEwen's special guests for this program are: Richard Ellis, Esquire; Mary A. Joyner, Esquire; and Charles Moore, Esquire.

Program Title: Hey Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime? [What Is Your License Worth?] (Best Practices in Due Diligence and Exercising Reasonable Care When Presenting Sworn Statements on the Contents of Public Records to Federal Courts)

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


U.S. TRUSTEE PROGRAM EXTENDS TELEPHONIC SECTION 341 MEETINGS (Posted: Monday, August 31, 2020)

The U.S. Trustee Program has extended its requirement that section 341 meetings be conducted by telephone to the date that is 60 days after the expiration of the President's March 13, 2020 "Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak."

Click HERE
to view the full announcement.


LOCAL RULES LAWYERS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE SOLICITS PROPOSALS FOR NEW OR REVISED LOCAL RULES (Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2020)

The Local Rules Lawyers' Advisory Committee invites interested parties, including members of the Bar and Court employees, to submit their suggestions, comments, and proposals for proposed new Local Rules or revisions to our current Local Rules.
Suggestions should be submitted no later than October 15, 2020.

You may click the link below to submit recommendations to the committee.
http://pacer.flmb.uscourts.gov/localrules/comments-with-form.asp


CM/ECF FEE PAYMENT PROCESS PLANNED OUTAGE - MAINTENANCE SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 22, 2020 (Posted: Friday, August 21, 2020)

Due to scheduled system maintenance, the fee payment process in CM/ECF will be unavailable from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 20, 2020. Please be aware that although the system maintenance is expected to last four hours it is possible it may be longer. During this time, users may file documents in CM/ECF but will be unable to pay filing fees.


THE COURT'S LATEST COURT CONNECTION NEWSLETTER IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE (Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2020)


Click HERE to view the July 2020 edition.


**REMINDER** CM/ECF PLANNED OUTAGE - MAINTENANCE SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 1, 2020 (Posted: Friday, July 17, 2020)

Due to scheduled maintenance, the CM/ECF application will be offline and unavailable from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2020.


AMENDMENTS TO LOCAL RULES EFFECTIVE - AUGUST 1, 2020 (Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2020)

The Bankruptcy Judges of the Middle District of Florida have approved new and amended Local Rules, effective August 1, 2020.

Click HERE to view a memorandum from Chief Judge Caryl E. Delano summarizing the changes.

Click HERE to access the new and amended Local Rules.


SECTION 341 MEETINGS TO BE CONDUCTED BY TELEPHONE FOR CASES FILED THROUGH OCTOBER 10, 2020 (Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2020)

The U.S. Trustee Program has announced that section 341 meetings will be conducted by telephone in all cases filed through October 10, 2020. However, if the U.S. Trustee or case trustee determines that an in-person examination of the debtor is appropriate, the U.S. Trustee may approve the continuation of the section 341 meeting to an in-person meeting in a manner that complies with local public health guidance.


ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 2020-7 PRESCRIBING PROCEDURES FOR CHAPTER 13 CASES FILED ON OR AFTER AUGUST 1, 2020, AND REVISED MODEL CHAPTER 13 PLAN, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2020 (Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2020)

The Court has entered Administrative Order FLMB-2020-7 to clarify and revise several procedures in Chapter 13 cases filed on or after August 1, 2020. The Court has also revised the Model Chapter 13 Plan, effective August 1, 2020.

Click HERE for Chief Judge Delano's July 9, 2020 memorandum outlining the revisions to the Administrative Order and Model Chapter 13 Plan.

Click HERE for the Administrative Order with revisions highlighted.

Click HERE for the Model Plan (PDF) with revisions highlighted.

Click HERE for the Model Plan (Word) with revisions highlighted.


DECLARATIONS UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY MAY BE FILED IN LIEU OF NOTARIZED AFFIDAVITS (Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2020)

A message from Chief Judge Caryl E. Delano:

For many years, the practice in the Middle District of Florida has been for counsel and parties to file notarized affidavits when a matter is required to be supported by a sworn declaration. However, a person's declaration under penalty of perjury, as authorized by 28 U.S.C. § 1746, is equally acceptable. In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the State of Florida, the need for social distancing, and to avoid unnecessary involvement by notaries public, the judges of the Middle District of Florida encourage parties and attorneys to file declarations under penalty of perjury instead of notarized affidavits.

28 U.S.C. § 1746 provides that whenever a matter if required or permitted to be supported by a sworn declaration or affidavit, the matter may be supported by a unsworn declaration or verification that is made under penalty of perjury, signed, and dated, in substantially the following form:

I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury [if executed
outside the U.S., include under the laws of the United States of America]
that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date).


(Signature)


NEW PACER WEBSITE (Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020)

Check out PACER's newly redesigned, informational and resource website, https://pacer.uscourts.gov.

The website provides information about how the public can access federal court records electronically and have easy access to PACER and PACER-related applications.

New features include:
  • Mobile friendly design;
  • New tool to search for court-specific information; Interactive format to search frequently asked questions;
  • Search engine has been optimized to improve content findability;
  • JSON and XML feeds of court-specific information; and
  • New accessibility tools.

In addition, two PACER applications - Manage My Account and Registration - have new designs to create an improved user experience.

Email any feedback to the PACER Service Center.


JUDGE MCEWEN'S MENTORING PROGRAM FOR NEW BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS (Posted: Friday, June 19, 2020)

The next session of Judge McEwen's mentoring program for lawyers new to the practice of bankruptcy law is scheduled virtually for Wednesday, July 1, 2020, from Noon to 1:30 p.m. by Cisco Meeting App [see attached CMA Quick Guide]. The link will be provided on the day of the program to all who RSVP [for instructions see Page 2 of Flyer]. Judge McEwen's special guests for this program are: Guy Van Baalen, Assistant United States Trustee; Denise Barnett, United States Trustee Trial Attorney; and Steve Pralle, United States Trustee Bankruptcy Auditor.

Program Title - CAUTION: PITFALLS IN CHAPTER 11 CASES (Subchapter V Cases; More on MORS (and QORS); and Best Confirmation Order Practices)

Click HERE to view the full announcement.

Click HERE to view the CMA Quick Guide.


AMENDMENTS TO LOCAL RULES AND COMMENT FORM (Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2020)

The judges of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida are considering proposed amendments to the Local Rules. The proposals are posted below for public comment commencing on June 16, 2020. The public comment period ends on June 30, 2020.

Attorneys and parties who appear before the Court are encouraged to review the proposed amendments. The Court appreciates all comments and will consider them prior to the promulgation of the amended rules.

Click HERE to review the proposed amended rules.

Click HERE to provide comments regarding the proposed amendments.


PUBLIC NOTICE - MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA BAR LAWYER MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL FEE PAYMENT DUE BY SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 (Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2020)

The periodic renewal period for members of the Middle District of Florida Bar began on June 1, 2020. The renewal fee is $15.00 and must be paid by September 1, 2020 for members to remain in good standing for the September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2025 period.

Click HERE to view the full notice.
Click HERE to view the FLMD Bar Membership Renewal Guide.


CLERK'S OFFICE INTAKE WINDOWS REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH JUNE 30, 2020 (Posted: Monday, May 18, 2020)

Clerk's Office Intake Windows in all Divisions will remain closed until at least June 30, 2020, and until further notice. As directed in Administrative Order FLMB-2020-3, parties who are not represented by an attorney may continue to file bankruptcy petitions and other papers by email, fax, and U.S. Mail or other delivery.

Click HERE to view the Administrative Order.


BANKRUPTCY COURT HEARING PROCEDURES EFFECTIVE MAY 18, 2020 (Posted: Monday, May 18, 2020)

The bankruptcy judges of the Middle District of Florida continue to monitor reports regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC's recommendations. Until at least June 30, 2020, and until further notice, judges will conduct all non-evidentiary hearings by telephone or by video. On a case-by-case basis, with the input of counsel for the parties, individual judges will determine whether a scheduled evidentiary hearing or trial will be continued, or whether the Court will conduct the hearing or trial in person or by video.

Any party who has a valid basis for requesting the continuance of an evidentiary or non-evidentiary hearing may file a motion to continue. Motions to continue shall include a statement that the movant has conferred with counsel for opposing parties concerning the requested continuance, and the position of the other parties concerning the request.


Additions to the Accompanying Orders List (Posted: Friday, May 1, 2020)

Effective May 1, 2020, the Accompanying Orders List includes two additions: Motions for Extension of Time to File Tax Return and Motions for Approval of Forbearance Agreement. Filers of a Motion for Approval of Forbearance Agreement should use the new CM/ECF docket event "Motion for Approval of Forbearance Agreement." If the debtor enters into a forbearance agreement during a pending Chapter 11, 12, or 13 case, an amendment or modification to the plan may be required. In confirmed Chapter 12 and 13 cases, debtors and their attorneys should consult with the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee regarding whether the debtor must file a motion to modify the confirmed plan.

Click HERE to view the updated Accompanying Orders List.


ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER REGARDING ADOPTION OF INTERIM RULE 1020 (Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2020)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") signed into law on March 27, 2020, includes temporary amendments to the definitions of "small business debtor" in 11 U.S.C. § 101(51D) and "debtor" in § 1182 (applicable to cases under Subchapter V of Chapter 11), including the increase of the debt limit to $7,500,000. The amendment to § 1182 requires a revision to Interim Rule 1020. The Court has entered Administrative Order FLMB-2020-6 to adopt revised Interim Rule 1020.

Click HERE to view Administrative Order FLMB-2020-6.


ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER REGARDING MODIFICATION OF THE AUTOMATIC STAY IN CONNECTION WITH FORBEARANCE AGREEMENTS (Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in financial hardship for many debtors in pending bankruptcy cases. In order to facilitate communications between debtors and creditors regarding possible forbearance agreements, the Court has entered Administrative Order FLMB-2020-5. The Administrative Order modifies the automatic stay to permit creditors to communicate with pro se debtors if the debtor has initiated a request for a forbearance agreements and to communicate with debtors' counsel if the debtor is represented by an attorney.

Click HERE to view Administrative Order FLMB-2020-5.


PUBLIC NOTICE REGARDING THE CARES ACT AND AMENDMENTS TO OFFICIAL FORMS (Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2020)

On March 27, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act"). Section 1113 of that legislation made several changes to the Bankruptcy Code, most of them temporary, to provide financial assistance during the coronavirus crisis.

The enactment of the CARES Act requires one-year amendments to five official forms to account for a new definition of "debtor" applicable to subchapter V of chapter 11 and a new exclusion from the definitions of "current monthly income" and "disposable income" Because the Act took effect immediately upon enactment and its bankruptcy provisions are of limited duration, the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules has exercised the authority delegated to it by the Judicial Conference to make conforming technical changes to five bankruptcy forms (Official Forms 101, 122A-1, 122B, 122C-1, and 201).

The amended forms are available for immediate use and the link has been added to the Forms section of The Source.

Click HERE to view the full notice and for links to the amended official forms.

Click HERE to the Procedure Manual and Forms section of The Source.


OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE ANNOUNCES TELEPHONIC SECTION 341 MEETINGS IN ALL BANKRUPTCY CASES AND TELEPHONIC CHAPTER 11 INITIAL DEBTOR INTERVIEWS (Posted: Friday, April 3, 2020)

In light of the recommendations of the CDC regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus, effectively immediately and until further notice, the United States Trustee for Region 21 has directed that all Meetings of Creditors under 11 U.S.C. § 341 in all bankruptcy cases, and all Initial Debtor Interviews in Chapter 11 and Subchapter V cases, be conducted by telephone conference.

For cases in which the initial § 341 meeting was postponed (generally, cases in which the initial § 341 meeting was scheduled between March 17, 2020 and April 10, 2020) and until further notice in all newly filed cases, the Court will issue Notices of Case Filing that include information regarding the telephonic § 341 Meeting. The Notices of Case Filing will include the "dial in" telephone number for the appointed trustee or the U.S. Trustee's Office, a participant passcode, and the time of the telephonic meeting. This information will also be provided in notices of the Initial Debtor Interview in Chapter 11 and Subchapter V cases.

The U.S. Trustee's Office requests that all attorneys and their clients cooperate in making this process work as smoothly as possible under these difficult and unprecedented circumstances.

Click HERE for instructions for accessing the telephonic § 341 Meetings and Initial Debtor Interviews.


UPDATED DISTRICT-WIDE TELEPHONIC APPEARANCES PROCEDURE (Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2020)

Effective March 31, 2020, the Middle District of Florida has updated its Telephonic Appearances Procedure, applicable in all Divisions. Parties appearing before the Court are urged to review the updated procedure. The following are important highlights:
  • If possible, parties appearing telephonically should use a landline rather than a cell phone. Parties shall not use cell phones while in public spaces or while driving or riding in an automobile. If a cell phone is used, parties shall ensure that they have a strong cellular phone system or use the Wi-Fi calling option on their phones.
  • Counsel shall not connect their clients to the telephonic hearing by "conference call." If the client wishes to listen in, the client must separately call into the hearing.
  • When not addressing the Court, parties shall place their calls on "mute".
  • When addressing the Court, parties shall not use the speaker phone or the "hands-free" feature of their phones.
  • If the Court cannot understand an attorney attending a hearing by telephone, the Court may, in its discretion, continue the hearing, request the attorney to file a written argument, or rule on the matter before it without consideration of the attorney's statements.
Click HERE to review the Updated Telephonic Appearances Procedure.


Temporary Suspension of Attorneys' Obligation to Obtain Original Client Signatures Prior to Filing Signed Papers (Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020)

The Bankruptcy Court has entered Administrative Order FLMB-2020-4. Effective March 23, 2020, attorneys may, under certain circumstances, file papers, including bankruptcy petitions and schedules, that are signed by their clients without first having obtained possession of the client’s original signature.

Click HERE to view the Administrative Order.


CLERK'S OFFICE INTAKE WINDOWS CLOSED EFFECTIVE MARCH 23, 2020; FILING PROCEDURES FOR PRO SE PARTIES (Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020)

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on our local communities, effective March 23, 2020, the Bankruptcy Court has closed the Intake Windows in all Divisions. The Court has entered Administrative Order FLMB-2020-3 to authorize pro se filers to file bankruptcy petitions and other papers by email, fax, and U.S. Mail or other delivery.

Click HERE to view the Administrative Order.


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