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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.


EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY - ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT FOR ALL NOTICES OF HEARING (Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020)

Effective immediately, all attorney prepared notices of hearing must include telephonic access information and the following language: Telephonic Appearance Requirement. Effective March 16, 2020, and continuing until further notice, Judges in all Divisions will conduct all preliminary and non-evidentiary hearings by telephone. For Judges Colton and Williamson, parties should arrange a telephonic appearance through Court Solutions (www.court-solutions.com). For Judges Delano, Funk, Jackson, Jennemann, McEwen, and Vaughan, parties should arrange a telephonic appearance through Court Call (866-582-6878).

Sample notices of hearing are located in the Attorney Notices of Hearing procedure located in the Procedure Manual and Forms section of The Source.

Click HERE for the sample Notice of Hearing - Bankruptcy.
Click HERE for the sample Notice of Hearing - Adversary.


EXTENSIONS OF CERTAIN DEADLINES (Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2020)

In light of the Office of the United States Trustee's having postponed all Sec. 341 meetings of creditors scheduled through April 10, 2020, the Court has entered Administrative Order FLMB-2020-2 to extend certain deadlines that relate to the date first set for the Sec. 341 meeting.

Click HERE to view the Administrative Order.


OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE ANNOUNCES CONTINUANCE OF ALL SECTION 341 MEETINGS (Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020)

Effective immediately, all in-person chapter 7, 12, and 13 section 341 meetings scheduled through April 10, 2020, in the Middle District of Florida are hereby continued until a later date to be determined. Absent special circumstances, section 341 meetings may not proceed during this period except through telephonic or other alternative means not requiring personal appearance by debtors. Appropriate notice will be provided to parties in accordance with bankruptcy law and rules.

Meetings already noticed as telephonic meetings may proceed as scheduled.

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


BANKRUPTCY COURT HEARING PROCEDURES EFFECTIVE MARCH 16, 2020 (Posted: Friday, March 13, 2020)

A message from Chief Judge Caryl E. Delano:

The bankruptcy judges of the Middle District of Florida are monitoring reports regarding the Coronavirus Disease known as COVID-19. In light of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's recommendation that everyone avoid crowds and exercise "social distancing," effective Monday, March 16, 2020, and continuing until further notice, the Court has implemented the following policies:

  1. Judges in all Divisions will conduct all non-evidentiary hearings by telephone. Attorneys should arrange to appear via CourtCall or CourtSolutions as indicated on each judge's webpage (www.flmb.uscourts.gov). Both CourtCall and CourtSolutions have agreed to waive their charges for pro se parties. A party who is not represented by counsel and is unable to coordinate with CourtCall or CourtSolutions should contact the judge's courtroom deputy. Contact information is listed on each judge's webpage.


  2. Individual judges may determine to continue evidentiary hearings and trials that are not time-sensitive. In that event, Court staff will contact counsel for the parties and an order continuing the hearing or trial will be entered.


  3. 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 other parties concerning the request.


Notice from the Orlando Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court (Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2020)

To limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus while maintaining our mission to the keep the U.S. Bankruptcy Court up and running, please follow all guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including staying home if you are ill. The Orlando Division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will immediately implement two changes: (1) All 341 Meetings will occur on the 6th floor in Courtrooms B and D; and (2) Attorneys appearing in the Orlando Division are encouraged to appear by telephone when appropriate, even if you are resident in the Orlando Division.

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


JUDGE LORI V. VAUGHAN SWORN IN AS MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA BANKRUPTCY JUDGE (Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2020)

ORLANDO, FL - On February 25, 2020, the Honorable Lori V. Vaughan was sworn in as the newest bankruptcy judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. Prior to her appointment, Judge Vaughan was a partner at Trenam Law in Tampa, Florida. Judge Vaughan will preside in the Orlando Division and conduct hearings in Courtroom 6C of the George C. Young United States Courthouse.

Click HERE to view the press release.


**AMENDED DATE** CM/ECF Planned Outage: Maintenance Scheduled for February 17, 2020 (Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2020)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 17, 2020.


CM/ECF Planned Outage: Maintenance Scheduled for February 22, 2020 (Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2020)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, 2020.


The Court's latest Court Connection Newsletter is currently available (Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020)

Click HERE to view the January 2020 edition.


Judge McEwen's Mentoring Program for New Bankruptcy Lawyers (Posted: Monday, January 27, 2020)

The next session of Judge McEwen's mentoring program for lawyers new to the practice of bankruptcy law is scheduled for Wednesday, February 12, 2020, from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in the bankruptcy court's training room on the 5th floor, Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse in Tampa. The program is open to all new and experienced lawyers. Judge McEwen's special guest for this program is: Betsy C. Cox, Esquire.

Program Description: The Do's and Don'ts of Discovery

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


**AMENDED CM/ECF OUTAGE TIME** CM/ECF Planned Outage: Maintenance Scheduled for January 18 - 20, 2020 (Posted: Friday, January 17, 2020)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 1:00 a.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020, through 9:00 p.m. Monday, January 20, 2020.


CM/ECF Application unavailable - Reminder (Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020, through 9:00 p.m. Monday, January 20, 2020.


Office Closures - Holidays (Posted: Friday, December 20, 2019)

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida clerk's office in Jacksonville and Orlando will close on Tuesday, December 24, 2019. The clerk's office in Tampa will be open on Tuesday, December 24. Any person in need of court services (in any of the divisions) on Tuesday, December 24, can contact the Tampa Division clerk's office:

San M. Gibbons United States Courthouse
801 North Florida Avenue, Suite 555
Tampa, FL 33602

Tampa division phone numbers:
(813) 301-5046 or (813) 301-5070


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