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Do’s and Don’ts List from The Honorable Karen K. Specie, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
The title of all Motions for Continuance must include:
- What you are requesting to be continued (e.g., Motion to Incur).
- The docket entry number of the motion/application being continued (NOT THE DOCKET NUMBER OF THE NOTICE OF HEARING).
The title of all Orders granting continuance must include:
- The title of the specific motion/application being continued (e.g., Mtn. to Incur).
- The docket entry number of the motion/application being continued. (NOT THE DOCKET NUMBERS FOR THE MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE OR THE HEARING NOTICE.)
- Only one person talking at a time.
- Address only the Court – not each other.
- Court call – state name clearly; spell last name.
- Telephonic – it is up to you to initiate the call and to be sure all attorneys wishing to appear can be conferenced in – BE ON TIME! Telephonic hearings are still hearings.
- Speak from the podium – especially in Tallahassee.
- Include the full name and address of the Claimant as per the filed Claim.
- Include the Claim number and amount.
- Show proper service.
- If submitting Orders sustaining claims objections after no response to negative notice, do not include rulings on legal issues – statute of limitations, not proper holder, etc.
- If the Debtor listed a claim (not as disputed), the Court will not sustain objections to claims filed by the claimant listed on the basis of failure to attach documentation to the claim if the amounts are close. Such objections to claims will receive the Court’s scrutiny and in extreme circumstances could lead to sanctions (See, e.g. In re MacFarland, 462 B.R. 857 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2011).
- GOVERNMENT AGENCIES – NEGATIVE NOTICE RULES DO NOT APPLY; BE SURE TO SERVE ALL REQUIRED ADDRESSES.
- Orders must contain the Claim number and the name and address of Claimant.
Objections must clearly indicate the amount of the claim to be disallowed:
- DO: “…claim No. 1 filed by ___________ in the amount of $4,321, is disallowed.”
- DON’T: “…claim is disallowed in its entirety.”
Emergency Hearing Requests:
- Use this option ONLY in event of an emergency. Emergency motions MUST be accompanied by a Statement of Need for Emergency Hearing (L.R. 9073-1(B)(3)) – do not say “the reason this is an emergency is as stated in our motion”.
- Use the electronic submission link through CM/ECF only to submit proposed orders.
- Submitted documents must be in MS WORD, WordPerfect, or other compatible word processing formats. MS WORD is preferred. PDF FILES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
- Documents must be double spaced and contain only basic formatting.
- Use the same font type and size throughout the document (preferably 12 pt. font).
- Ensure that the correct judge’s initials appear after the case number within the header.
- Ensure that the Chapter identification, e.g., Chapter 7, appears above or below the case number within the header.
- Proposed orders which contain references to Proofs of Claim or items on the docket such as responses, amendments, etc., should contain the name(s) and docket or claim number(s) of those items.
- The name of the attorney who prepared the order is to be indicated at the end of the document.
- To save space, position the judge’s signature line approximately one inch below the date line.
- Use the following date and judge signature block format on all proposed orders:
[Indent] DONE AND ORDERED on <insert blank line - court to add date>
[Tab Right] ___________________ [Tab Right] KAREN K. SPECIE [Tab Right] U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
DONE AND ORDERED on November 19, 2012
KAREN K. SPECIE
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
- When using properly spelled Latin terms (e.g. In rem), you must either underline the term or use Italic font.
Ensure that the title includes the name of the motion, name of the movant, relief granted and docket entry number of motion ruled on.
DO: “Order Granting Motion of ABC Corp. for Relief from
Stay (Doc. 35)”
- DON’T: “Order on Motion for Relief From Stay”
- DO: “Order Granting Motion of ABC Corp. for Relief from
- Recite what motion, and the docket number of that motion, is being ruled on within the opening paragraph.
- ONLY ONE MOTION PER ORDER.
Use proper disposition language as follows:
- MOTIONS are granted or denied.
- OBJECTIONS are sustained or overruled.
- APPLICATIONS are approved or disapproved.
- Amended Orders must contain a footnote explaining what in the original order is being amended.
- Other pleadings referenced to in motions and orders should be set forth by exact name and docket entry number.
Utilize plain language as follows:
- DO: “It is Ordered:”
- DON’T: Accordingly; Hereby; Therefore; Adjudged and Decreed; Whereas
- DON’T: “The Court is of the opinion…”
DO: “No party filed an objection within the proscribed time period;
the Court considers the matter unopposed.”
DON’T: “No response having been filed, the Court is of the opinion that the
Motion is due to be granted.”
- Beginning in January, 2013, all parties MUST abide by deadlines in hearing notices and CourtCall requirements for telephonic appearances.
- Hearings will proceed as scheduled unless the court has received a TIMELY proposed order.
- Requests for cancellation should be made via CM/ECF.
- Beginning in January, 2013, deadline to submit settlements or proposed orders is being changed: 3:00 P.M. EASTERN STANDARD TIME THE DAY PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED HEARING.
14-day Stay – GRANTED ONLY IF REQUESTED IN MOTION
DO: “The Movant made sufficient allegations and a request in the
Motion to waive the 14-day stay requirement of Bankruptcy Rule
4001(a)(3). No objection being raised, the automatic stay shall
be lifted immediately upon execution of this order.”
- DON’T: “The 14 day stay requirement under Rule 4001(a)(3) is waived.”
- DO: “The Movant made sufficient allegations and a request in the