We have taken steps to ensure your case does not stop amid the COVID-19 😷 pandemic.
At Jarbath Pena Law Group, we have been monitoring the news about COVID-19 and we want to let you know that we care about your health during this global pandemic. We also care about your case and will continue to work diligently to resolve your legal matter.
We have taken steps to continue to ensure that we keep you in mind.
During this uncertain time, we have committed to keep our office open and diligently work on your matter, however we are taking the necessary steps to work remotely if so required.
As you know, we pride ourselves on being tech savvy, so we already have a few steps in place to ensure that we are able to operate remotely.
1. We currently provide remote access to your case file. We utilize MyCase as our case management software. This means you always have access to your case file, without ever having to step outside of your home. All of our clients should have access to this tool. If you do not have access, please give us a call so we can walk you through the steps. If you have not done so already, please download MyCase the App Store or Google Play today.
2. We do not use landlines at JP Law Group. We have VOIP phone, which means that we can answer your calls even if we have to physically close the office or if we are forced to work remotely. Our entire staff has been given access to the remote phone lines.
3. Video Conferencing. Because we have international clients, we are already conducting video conference meetings. If you would like to have a video conference with any of us or our staff, we can do so utilizing ZOOM, RingCentral or Skype for video calls.
4. Employees who are sick or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 have been instructed to stay home and seek medical guidance.
5. All non-essential in-office appointments have been suspended. At this time, we are limiting in office appointment to drop off ORIGINAL documents and if you need to a execute an original document and/or get it notarized. Please call the office if you have an in-office appointment to confirm if it will take place at the office, or remotely.
Here are some of the useful things that you can do with MyCase
We can upload documents related to your case, so you have access to the document remotely.
You can upload documents to us, so you can eliminate a trip to the office.
We can schedule, confirm and appointments.
We can provide up-to date case updates, such as updates on whether a hearing in Court is going forward or if it has been cancelled or rescheduled.
You can view your invoice and make payments remotely, with a debit card, credit card and now via check.
COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Some of you may wonder if we can still file documents on your behalf. Presently, almost all of the documents that are filed in Family Court can be filed electronically.
Many of you may be wondering what happens now if you have an upcoming Family Court hearing. The news is constantly evolving around COVID-19, so the Court’s reaction is also constantly changing. We will continue to monitor the situation and let you know individually how this may affect your case.
Another common question is whether a new case can be filed despite the closings of the courthouse. As of right now, new filings will continue to be accepted and processed.
Please be patient with us, as we may call you in the morning to tell you that a hearing is going forward, then in the afternoon receive word that the hearing was cancelled. Despite this, we are diligently working to stay up to date with the constantly evolving changes.
Here is what we do know so far for Family Law cases . . .
MIAMI DADE COUNTY: (also known as the Eleventh Judicial Circuit)
As of March 16, 2020, all family mediations conducted at the Miami Dade Courthouse located at 73 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33128 will be conducted telephonically until further notice. As of March 17, 2020, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit has closed public access to the courtrooms for family cases except for access required for emergency or mission-critical court matters.
The closure will be in effect from Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, March 27.
Mission-critical court matters include:
First Appearances (Bond Hearings)
Arraignment hearings for in-custody defendants will be heard, but the defendant's presence is not needed. If there is a written plea, the case will be set for trial. If there is no written plea, the arraignment hearing will be reset.
Baker Act & Marchman Act (substance abuse) Hearings
Juvenile Shelter and Detention Hearings
Filing of Emergency Petitions for Temporary Injunctions (domestic violence, dating, stalking, repeat and sexual violence and risk protection orders)
Note: All hearings on final injunctions pursuant to F.S. 741, 784 and 790 will be canceled and re-scheduled to a future date. All temporary injunctions will be extended and will remain in full force and effect until the next hearing date.
Emergency Hearings set by presiding Judge
All previously-scheduled court proceedings other than those mentioned above will be reset to a future date.
Trials that were underway before the Florida Supreme Court issued Administrative Order 20-13 on March 13 will continue.
The two-week closure may be extended based on guidance from health and government authorities and in coordination with the Florida Supreme Court. Future updates will be provided as needed. For additional information please visit; https://www.jud11.flcourts.org/Court-Announcements
BROWARD COUNTY: (Also known as the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit)
The Seventeenth Judicial Circuit has implemented its Continuity of Operations Plan, and accordingly, no public access will be allowed at any of Broward County’s four courthouses beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, for a period of two weeks.
The only exceptions at the Main Central Courthouse are for the following:
Persons seeking domestic violence injunctions (2nd floor, West building)
Jurors currently empaneled in trial in certain criminal cases
Persons permitted, by advance notice, by the Chief Judge and/or presiding judge
Essential due process proceedings will still be held in the Main Central Courthouse (First Appearances, a.m. and p.m.; Juvenile Detentions p.m.; Juvenile Shelters, p.m).
Until further notice, no proceedings will be held at any satellite courthouse (North Regional in Deerfield Beach; West Regional in Plantation; South Regional in Hollywood).
Courthouse staff will report to work as normal.
For additional updates, please visit www.17th.flcourts.org/coronavirus-covid-19-updates for updates on Court Operations