Judge Gary L. Sweet

Circuit Judge Sweet
Position
Circuit Judge
Division(s)
Civil
Office Address
100 East Ocean Blvd. Suite A353. Stuart, FL 34994
Judicial Assistant
Susanne Butler
Assignment

Martin: All Civil Jury Trial Cases and Mortgage Foreclosure Cases; Assist with Civil Non-Jury Cases.

Biography

Education

  • University of Texas at Austin (B.A. in Journalism, with honors, 1973)
  • Nova University (J.D., magna cum laude, 1978); Associate Editor, 1976-1977 and Editor-in-Chief, 1977-1978, Nova University Law Journal.

Judicial Experience

  • Circuit Court Judge - January 1, 2005 - present

Legal Experience

  • Civil Commercial Litigation, including Business Disputes, Contracts, Construction, Lien and Mortgage Foreclosures, Collections; Employment Disputes; Non-Compete Litigation; Civil Mediation; Arbitrations. Current practice includes trials in all levels of Florida State Courts and Federal District Court. Additionally, experienced in appellate matters in Florida State Courts. Qualifications include extensive experience as mediator in commercial disputes.

Professional Experience

  • Law Clerk to Honorable Norman C. Roettger, Jr., U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1978-1980 Trial Bar, U.S. District, Southern District of Florida
  • Martin County Bar Association: former Chairman Professionalism Committee, Mediator and Host for Professionalism Seminar
  • The Florida Bar
  • Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers
  • Certified Circuit Court Civil Mediator
  • Member 19th Judicial Circuit Bar Grievance Committee 1994-1997, Chairman 1997.
  • Federal District Court Ad Hoc Committee on Attorney Admission, Peer Review and Attorney Grievance, Southern District of Florida
  • Federal Magistrate Merit Selection Panel for Selection of Part-time and Full-time Magistrate for Fort Pierce Division, 2002, 1993, 1992

Associations

  • Education Foundation of Martin County, Board of Directors 1994-1997, Chairman 1998, Treasurer 1999 Treasure Coast Builders Association, former chairman, Education Committee, Lecturer at Construction Lien Enforcement Seminars
  • Deaf Service Center of the Treasure Coast, Board of Directors 1990-1993, Chairman, 1994
  • Junior Achievement, regular lecturer at high school Economics Classes
  • Martin County Literacy Council, volunteer tutor
  • Martin County High School Baseball Booster Club, former President
  • Martin County Fair Association
Additional Information

Due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases, jury trials before Judge Sweet are canceled indefinitely. Continue to check back regularly for updates.

Notice Regarding Hearings/Procedures Before Judge Sweet

During Disruption of Court Proceedings Due to COVID-19

 

The Martin County courthouse has been closed until further notice and all hearings will be conducted remotely as follows:

 

1)    All Civil and Foreclosure non-evidentiary proceedings will be via CourtCall.  All parties must participate remotely at any non-evidentiary proceeding before Judge Sweet and should contact CourtCall directly at least two business days before the hearing date. The party who sets the hearing must confirm that all persons who plan to participate will attend by CourtCall.  Please specify this information on the notice of hearing.  CourtCall offers its service at no charge to non-lawyer participants.  You may set up your CourtCall appearance by calling (888) 882-6878 or by going to www.courtcall.com. Please direct all questions to Susanne Butler at butlers@circuit19.org.

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2)    All Civil evidentiary proceedings will be held remotely via Zoom.  Counsel who is scheduling the evidentiary hearing should request the Zoom flyer from Judge Sweet’s judicial assistant at butlers@circuit19.org.  Please remember to provide a copy of the notice of hearing, with Zoom instructions to all hearing participants, including attorneys, parties, court reporter and witnesses, will have the information.   Please specify this information on the notice of hearing.

 

3)    All Foreclosure evidentiary hearings, including non-jury trials, will be held remotely via Zoom. Should any lawyer or party wish to participate remotely, you must file a motion requesting such relief and mail it to Judge Sweet’s office with a cover letter and proposed order.  Any motion to attend an evidentiary hearing/trial remotely must be filed and sent to Judge Sweet for ruling at least 10 business days prior to the hearing/trial.  Please direct all residential foreclosure questions to Susanne Butler at butlers@circuit19.org and foreclosure@circuit19.org.

Please wait patiently for the court to join/begin the call or reach your case remotely via Zoom as many cases are being handled via the remote platform.

 

If applicable, the court will place witnesses under oath by telephone.  Unless all counsel agree to the identity of the witness, a copy of the witness’ photo identification must be emailed to the court two business days prior to the hearing.

 

If applicable, submit any documentary evidence to the court and all parties by email in .pdf format no later than five business days prior to the hearing/trial.  Non-documentary evidence may be scanned and emailed to the court and all parties at least five business days prior to the hearing/trial. 

 

Please note that hearings are scheduled using the online scheduler: https://slccjis.stlucieco.gov/ATTORNEY_CALENDAR/.   If you cancel a hearing, you must also cancel the hearing on the scheduler in addition to filing a notice of cancellation.

 

MOTIONS HEARD / NOT RULED ON

 After twenty-one (21) days from any motion hearing, if the Court has not ruled on the Motion(s) heard, counsel are requested to contact the Judge’s office (at mcjudge3@circuit19.org) to inquire as to the status of the Court’s ruling.  In the subject line of your email, please be sure to include the case number, short style, and the date and time of the hearing.

Notice to the Public

The Code of Judicial Conduct governing behavior by judges forbids Judge Sweet to discuss pending cases with the public.  Please do not call the Court expecting to speak with Judge Sweet about any case. The Court is only allowed to consider arguments made in the courtroom and in documents properly filed by actual parties in the case as authorized by law and the Rules of Court. The Court cannot ethically read or consider any other opinions or arguments about the case. Communications that do not meet these legal requirements cannot be forwarded to the Judges.

If you choose to e-mail our office, please note that our office does not accept ex-parte e-mails.  Copies of all e-mails sent to this office also must be sent to all opposing counsel/parties in the case.  Please visit the Florida Bar website should you wish to obtain the e-mail address of an attorney qualified to practice law in the State of Florida.

Administrative Orders

94-10 | 2007-06 | 2010-08 | 2009-15 | 2011-01 | 2011-06 | 2020-07

Motions for Rehearing, Reconsideration, or New Trial

Upon filing said motion the moving party shall send a copy to the Judge for review.  The copy of the motion sent to the Judge shall be accompanied by generic order granting/denying the motion, with at least five lines for additional provisions, a transmittal letter showing copies to all counsel and pro se parties.  Envelopes are no longer required.  Instead, the Order will be e-filed and Movant’s counsel shall be responsible for serving any party who has not provided an e-mail address with a copy of the Court’s Order.  If the moving party fails to comply, any party may furnish a copy of the motion and the required documents to the Court.  If the Court determines that a hearing is necessary, the movant will be advised to schedule a hearing and file appropriate notices.  Please do not set a Motion for Rehearing or Motion for Reconsideration for hearing without first receiving permission from the Court via a court order.

Settlement of Cases

If your case settles, immediately notify the Judicial Assistant via e-mail, transmittal confirmation to all parties, ATTACHING AN ALREADY E-FILED NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT, DISMISSAL DOCUMENTS AND FINAL DISPOSITION FORM.

Docket Call and Trial Calendars

Telephonic appearance is NOT permitted at docket call.  The lawyers must appear in person at docket call.
Please refer to the posted docket under “docket call” for important information, updated procedures, and the most recent copy of the Court’s jury and non-jury docket.

UMC Hearings

5-10 minutes at any Civil UMC date and time.  If a Motion is scheduled without coordinating with opposing counsel, it will be stricken from the docket.  All UMC hearings MUST be added to the online scheduling calendar.  Failure to do so may result in cancellation of your hearing.

Withdrawal of Counsel

All Motions to Withdraw must be set for a UMC hearing, with proper notice to the client and all parties/attorneys.  All UMC hearings MUST be added to the online scheduling calendar.  Failure to do so may result in cancellation of your hearing.

Civil Motions Up To One Hour

(Evidentiary and Non-evidentiary) at any time indicated as “Civil Special Set” or “Special Set”.  If a Motion is scheduled without coordinating with opposing counsel, it will be stricken from the docket.

Civil Motions Over One Hour - Set With Judicial Assistant

Any hearing requiring more than one hour must be scheduled by contacting the Judicial Assistant in writing (MCJudge3@circuit19.org).   You must know the amount of time both parties will require for the hearing before contacting the judicial assistant.  Once counsel has received potential hearing dates, do not copy the Judicial Assistant with attempts to coordinate your hearing.  Only send a confirmation once a date is chosen and confirm the date is still available.

Motion To Dismiss And/Or Motion For More Definite Statement

The Court will initially consider all Motions to Dismiss filed pursuant to Rule 1.140(b) and Motions for More Definite Statement filed pursuant to Rule 1.140(e), without a hearing. The moving party shall furnish a copy of the motion to the Court’s Judicial Assistant by U.S. mail. The copy shall be accompanied by a generic order on the motion which grants / denies or requires hearing - with at least five lines for additional provision to be added by the Court; and a cover letter showing copies to all counsel of record and pro se parties. See procedures for further information.

Telephonic Appearance

You must first refer to Judge Sweet’s procedures (see link to the right) as to whether telephonic appearance is allowed.  IF allowed, telephonic appearances must be arranged by contacting CourtCall by phone at (888) 882-6878 or online at www.courtcall.com no later than 3:00 p.m. (EST) no later than 5 court days preceding a hearing date CourtCall will provide participants.

Notice of Hearing

Every hearing scheduled by counsel requires a Notice of Hearing being filed.  Your notice of hearing must contain a Certificate that states the matter has been coordinated with the opposing party/counsel and that you have contacted opposing counsel in an effort to resolve the issue(s), however, the matter cannot be resolved and a hearing is necessary. (Note: the special certification requirements for discovery disputes).  If counsel is uncooperative in scheduling a hearing please see procedures.

Proposed Orders

Please submit proposed Orders, with a cover letter via U.S. Mail, copying all parties.  All Orders will be e-filed and the movant’s counsel will be responsible for serving the parties who have not provided an e-mail address for e-service.  (See page 5 of Judge Sweet’s procedures).

Dockets/Calendars

These will be updated when possible and necessary.  Please note changes to Docket Call procedures.  Please be sure to check the calendars frequently – remembering to refresh your browser page.   We ask that you DO NOT contact the Judicial Assistant to inquire when a calendar will be posted.

Notice for Trial

When filing a notice for trial, you must send a copy of the notice and submit stamped return envelopes (only for those parties who have not provided an e-mail address for e-filing).  If you do not provide the required envelopes with sufficient postage, your case will not be placed on the trial docket.  In addition, beginning 1/6/20, once the notice for trial has been e-filed, you must also provide the judicial assistant with the notice of trial via e-mail in WORD format to MCJudge3@circuit19.org.  In the subject line of the e-mail, please include:  NOTICE FOR TRIAL attached; the case number; and, a brief case style.  NOTE:  Your case will not be set for docket call unless you follow these requirements.  (See page 4 and 5 of Judge Sweet’s procedures).

Jury Duty | Reporting Information

Martin County

Communication

Due to the diversity and volume of cases in this assignment, email is the preferred method of contacting the judicial assistant.  Please do not contact the judicial assistant by telephone unless absolutely necessary.  This office can best respond to communications via e-mail to: MCJudge3@circuit19.org.  E-mails must contain a short case style, case number, subject matter and relevant hearing date(s), if applicable.  Please ensure that all e-mails are also copied to all opposing counsel and/or pro se parties and indicate same in the body of your e-mail to prevent ex-parte communication to the Court.