01 Civil Division

Circuit Civil

The Circuit Civil Division judges preside over cases where the alleged damages exceed $15,000 and are filed by an individual, business or government agency. The Circuit Civil Division has jurisdiction over a broad category of cases, including tort cases, contract disputes, products liability and malpractice cases, infringements of intellectual property, enforcement of non-compete contracts, and petitions for injunctive relief. Circuit Civil Division judges also hear county to circuit appeals. Within the Circuit Civil Division is a complex business court, two complex tort divisions and a mortgage foreclosure division. Judges currently presiding in the Circuit Civil Division are:


Judicial Assistant: Amanda Bates
Phone Number: (954) 831-7825
Zoom Meeting ID: 919-2602-8850
Chamber: WW15125
Courtroom: WW15170
Division: 21

Undergraduate School:Brandeis University
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, cum laude
Law School: Boston University School of Law
Prior Positions:  1985-1987-Attorney at Emens, Hurd, Kegler and Ritter.
– Practiced corporate and securities transactional law.
1988-2006 Assistant Public Defender at Dade County Public Defender's Office.
-“A level” trial attorney whose caseload consists primarily of first degree and life felonies. Additional responsibilities include supervision and mentorship of three other lawyers. Practiced in Juvenile, County and Circuit Court.
-Experience as Training Attorney, responsible for supervising and teaching attorneys new to Circuit Court.
-Over 100 trials
-Litigated thousands of motions
-Conducted thousands of depositions
-Identified treatment needs of clients with mental illness
Florida Bar Admission: 12/3/1987
Community Involvement: Florida Supreme Court Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Courts
Board of Governors, United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse
Board Member, Florida Association of Drug Court Professionals
Adjunct Professor of Law at St. Thomas University School of Law
Law school internships and mentorships
Host public and private school courthouse tours
Coordinate the annual Broward County High School Mock Trial Competition
Board Member of Harmony Development, a non-profit organization that works with the court system to keep at-risk juveniles out of the court system

Complex Business and Tort Litigation The Complex Business and Tort Divisions of the 17th Judicial Circuit were created by Administrative Order in 2004. The divisions were created to manage difficult, time consuming and complicated business and tort cases. The divisions were created to promote the efficient case management of cases requiring extensive judicial labor. The tort divisions generally handle cases taking more than (10) days of trial and include Engle tobacco litigation; complex products liability cases; medical malpractice cases and any other tort cases needing extensive judicial management. The complex business court handles complex class action cases, dissolution of certain business entities, assignment for the benefit of creditor cases, and management of large business and construction litigation cases. The complex tort and business divisions manage cases which general civil division judges do not have adequate time to devote the resources necessary to manage and try.

Cases can be filed directly in the complex business division. Tort cases may be transferred into a complex division. All requests to transfer a tort or business case from a general circuit civil division must meet prerequisites of the Administrative Order governing transfer of cases to the complex division.

See,  Establishing Procedures for Direct Filing or Reassignment of Circuit Civil Cases to a Complex Business or Complex Tort Division

If all Counsel are in agreement as to a case being transferred to a complex division, a hearing may not be necessary. Simply submit the motion to transfer to the Court. If the Court finds the matter meets criteria, the case may be reassigned accordingly.

Any party objecting to a transfer of a case to a complex division must be placed on the Division (07) Wednesday Motion Calendar by the Court’s Judicial Assistant. Please e-mail the Court at div07@17th.flcourts.org with the style of the case, a notice of hearing setting forth which date the matter is to be heard and a copy of the motion to transfer. The Court will place the matter on the transfer docket and confirm with all counsel.

New Courthouse Technology – The west Courthouse has new technology for presentation of video and other imaging. To view how to use the equipment please follow link: How to use Equipment 

Practices and Procedures for judges assigned to any complex division maybe seen  here 

These practices and procedures assist the party’s and their counsel information on setting hearings, trial calendars, filing of motions and other procedures set out to promote the efficient case management of complex cases.

Presiding judges over Complex Business and Tort Litigation are:

Hon. Chief Judge Jack Tuter Division (07)

Hon. Judge Patti Englander Henning Division (26)

Mortgage Foreclosure

Foreclosure is the enforcement of a mortgage lien by judicial sale of the property. A mortgage lien is created when there is a loan contract for money borrowed under a note. This loan is secured by the mortgage lien upon real property. When the debt is not paid according to the loan contract terms, or when other contract terms are violated, the lender can pursue its lien on the property. If you represent yourself and are served with a writ of eviction or other notice in a pending Foreclosure case the procedures for scheduling a hearing can be found here: Foreclosure Instructions.

Presiding Judges in the Mortgage Foreclosure Division

Judge Barry Stone

Judge Joel Lazarus

Unit Case Manager Supervisor Jacquline Mullins