Palm Beach Post
Palm Beach County’s backlog of cases is at about 53,500, which is fewer cases than earlier this year

Guess it has gotten to the point where it it has become difficult for Palm Beach County Judge Meenu Sasser to schedule hearings during the Court’s normal business hours… Where is the funding to get this Judge some help?


“Defendants, PATRICIA TROTMAN and IAN TROTMAN (the “TROTMANS”), move this Court to provide dates and times for an upcoming hearing which coincide with the Court’s normal business hours. “ “When the TROTMANS’ counsel was provided with prospective dates and times for the evidentiary hearing, all would have the hearing begin 5:00 p.m. The Court’s Judicial Assistant refused to provide dates for which the hearing could be held during the Court’s normal business hours.”

“The Court hours, as posted on the 15th Judicial Circuit’s website are 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m.”

“the Court responded that the time period between 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. was not after hours:”

THE COURT: “Let’s do that. Tuesday the 2nd, Michele, 5:00 to 5:30?”

MR. ZACKS: … “I’d rather not do it after office hours, to be honest.”

THE COURT: “It’s not after office hours, 5:00 to 5:30. I work every night till midnight at home. I’m here till 6:00, 7:00 at night. 5:00 to 5:30 is not after office hours.”

“The Court hours, as posted on the 15th Judicial Circuit’s website are 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m.”

The Judge’s comment that the Foreclosure Division requires the judge to work until 7:00 p.m. and until midnight every night is a reflection of an extraordinary large case load that –despite a prediction to the contrary in an October 14th letter from the Foreclosure Division judges to the Florida Supreme Court – has continued to grow from 47,000 to 55,000 cases. That the Court is overworked has been a theme during many of the hearings attended by undersigned counsel:

THE COURT:   I shouldn’t have to read memos of law at 7:30 in the morning for hearings today. I have 20 hearings today. It’s very stressful for me to have

THE COURT: … As you gentlemen know, I start at quarter to 8:00 o’clock in the morning. Last Friday I was here until 7:00 o’clock at night. I’m the only judge who was running court until 7:00 o’clock at night. So I’m hearing these cases. I am working night and day. I am working seven days a week. I am getting these cases heard.

THE COURT: … I apologize for reading this late. I have 50,000 cases and I try to read everything I can.

THE COURT: … I have all 54,000 foreclosure cases.

THE COURT: … I was up until midnight, Mr. Immel, midnight, after being on the bench all day. I read everything.

THE COURT: And I was up until midnight, everyone.

THE COURT: I have 54,000 cases.

THE COURT: And I’m setting hearings, as a courtesy, at 5:00 o’clock, because I do have 54,000 cases and I don’t want you guys to have to wait till May for hearings.

THE COURT: I read all my motions. I stay up to midnight every single night reading everything. THE COURT: …I’m here until 6:00 every single night, Mr. Immel. I start court at 8:00 in the morning. I work very hard.

THE COURT: …So that opens up some time in my calendar, even though I have 54,000 cases

THE COURT: …So I have 54,000 cases, I have to manage my docket as efficiently as possible.

THE COURT: … Even though I have 54,000 cases, I treat every single one of these cases just like a circuit civil case.

THE COURT: I have 54,000 cases. Whatever you can do to make my job easier, Mr. Nieves, is greatly appreciated.

THE COURT: I’m up till midnight every night. I work really, really hard, and I’m going to work really, really hard up to midnight every single night while I’m in this division

THE COURT: These Motions to Quash can be done at Uniform Motion Calendar. We don’t need to have special set matters. I want you to understand, Mr. Immel — … I have 55,000 cases.

THE COURT: … You need to have your discovery done at the time, because I have my cases, I’m up till midnight, as I indicated, every night.

THE COURT: … I work every night till midnight at home. I’m here till 6:00, 7:00 at night.

While the TROTMANS sympathize with the Court’s predicament in attempting to single-handedly manage a case load of 55,000 foreclosure actions, that predicament is caused by the Fifteenth Circuit’s decision to funnel all foreclosure cases to a single division supervised by a single judge. That the judge is excessively burdened and must work after hours is not the fault of the homeowners being sued or the attorneys defending them. While it may be reason for the Fifteenth Circuit to revisit its Local Rule creating the Foreclosure Division (Local Rule No. 1 and related administrative order), it is not the sort of exigent circumstance that would call for making unusual, problematical demands on counsel’s schedule.