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PROCEDURE TO WAIVE DOCKET SOUNDING


WAIVER OF APPEARANCE AT DOCKET SOUNDING

This information sets forth the procedure for private counsel to waive their appearance and the appearance of their clients at the first docket sounding.

  • GENERAL
    • Persons arrested for felony offenses are scheduled for arraignment on the fourth Tuesday after the date of arrest. Docket sounding is scheduled between eight and eleven weeks after arraignment. Twelve to fifteen weeks is generally enough time to prepare routine felony cases for trial. However, scheduling discovery sometimes causes delay and additional time is needed. Accordingly, the judges of the criminal division have agreed to allow private counsel to obtain a four week continuance without appearing at the first docket sounding date following arraignment.
  • APPLICABILITY
    • Waiver of appearance of private counsel and the defendant at docket sounding is limited to cases that can be ready for trial four weeks after the first docket sounding date following arraignment. Counsel must appear for the first docket sounding in cases that involve issues or discovery that cannot be resolved within four weeks after the first docket sounding date. In those cases, Counsel should be prepared to estimate a trial date so a realistic new docket sounding date can be set.
  • PROCEDURE
    • In order for defense counsel to waive appearance at docket sounding, an original waiver form must be signed by defense counsel and the defendant and filed with the Clerk. The defendant must waive speedy trial.
    • A copy of the waiver must be received by the State Attorney and the Court no later than the day before docket sounding.

The waiver form can be mailed to:

Court Administration
101 Eslinger Way
Sanford, FL 32773
or sent by fax to 407-665-4932

  • A copy must be furnished to The Office of the State Attorney. The fax number for the Office of the State Attorney is 407-665-6004.
  • By filing the waiver, defense counsel certifies that discovery will be completed and pretrial motions heard by the next docket sounding date.
  • Further continuances will be granted only for emergencies and for the unavailability of witnesses who have been served with a subpoena.
  • The waiver form can be located on the Court’s website at www.flcourts18.org in the Attorney Resource/Local Procedures Manual section.