Judge Gary L. Sweet
Martin: All Civil Jury Trial Cases and Mortgage Foreclosure Cases; Assist with Civil Non-Jury Cases.
- 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.
- Circuit Court Judge - January 1, 2005 - present
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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.
Do not ask for relief for any matter by email to the judge - file the appropriate motion. Do not involve the judge by copy of your email in your disputes. Instead, file a motion and argue in court not by email to the court. Either violation will subject the violator to Fla. Stat. §57.105(1) Sanctions.
Remote Telephonic Appearance
Allowed for all UMC and Non-Evidentiary hearings. Telephonic appearance must be arranged by each participant. *Each participant must contact CourtCall by phone at (888) 882-6878 or online at www.courtcall.com no later than 2-business days preceding a hearing date. Failure to register within the 2-business day deadline will be construed as nonappearance. Please include this *information on all notice of telephonic hearings. Please do not contact the Judicial Assistant for last minute approval for late registration. Instead, cancel the online calendar entry, reschedule the hearing and file a Re-Notice of Hearing.
For all Evidentiary Hearings. Review Judge Sweet's current COVID19 procedures.
Civil Case Management and Resolution
Please see Administrative Order 2021-15 which is available on our website; compliance is required. Judge Sweet's Case Management Plan and Order form (CMP&O) can be accessed here: CMP&O Form. Please note it is different from that attached to AO 2021-05. Plaintiff’s counsel should send the completed, fully executed form in .pdf format via e-mail, to firstname.lastname@example.org., with cc: to all counsel/pro se parties. When the Case Management Plan and Order are submitted to the Court, a cover letter and hard copies are not required. In the subject line of the e-mail please include: case number, short style, and ATTACHED: COMPLETED CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN AND ORDER.
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. Failure to file a notice of hearing immediately after adding the case to the Court’s online calendar will result in forfeiture of that hearing time.
See ‘Procedures – Martin County’ for further, detailed information. Hearings at UMC are limited to no more than ten (10) minutes per case (not per motion). Additional motions may not be “piggy-backed” by cross-notice unless counsel first confirms with opposing counsel and the Judge’s Judicial Assistant that sufficient additional time can be reserved to hear them. If the judge runs out of time, any remaining hearings will need to be rescheduled.
Civil Motions Up To One Hour
See full ‘Procedures – Martin County’ for further, detailed information. Hearings must be scheduled using the online scheduling calendar (5 business days in advance, no exceptions). Please refer to Judge Sweet’s online calendar to confirm and/or obtain available dates. ‘Special Set’ or ‘Civil Special Set’ are for any hearing that requires 5 – 60 minutes – both non-evidentiary and evidentiary. UMC is strictly for non-evidentiary Motions that require only 5-10 minutes. Additional motions may not be “piggy-backed” by cross-notice unless counsel first confirms with opposing counsel and the Judge’s Judicial Assistant that sufficient additional time can be reserved to hear them. If a Motion hearing requires over 60 minutes, you must contact the Judicial Assistant via email to obtain potential date. Please include the Motion, the time needed/agreed by all parties, and copy all interested parties.
Civil Motions Over One Hour - Set With Judicial Assistant
See full ‘Procedures – Martin County’ for further, detailed information. Any motion 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. Do not request more than one hour of hearing time for multiple Motions. 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.
Docket Call and Trial Calendars
Telephonic appearance is NOT permitted at docket call, unless you are notified otherwise by the Court. 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.
Motions for Rehearing, Reconsideration, or New Trial
See full ‘Procedures – Martin County’ for further, detailed information. 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.
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 email@example.com) 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.
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.
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.
See full ‘Procedures – Martin County’ for further, detailed information. Please submit proposed Orders, with a cover letter, via U.S. Mail, copying all parties. Once an Order has been entered, it will be e-filed by the Court, the Movant’s counsel shall be responsible for serving the order on any party who has not provided an e-mail address. Please do not put “cc: all counsel of record” at the bottom of the order. Each party shall be individually named.
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
See full ‘Procedures – Martin County’ for further, detailed information. 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 5 of Judge Sweet’s procedures).
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.
Wireless Internet Access
Wireless internet access is available in Indian River, Martin, Saint Lucie, and Okeechobee County Courthouses. Internet access is provided free to the legal community and to the public. However, no technical assistance or protection against virus infection, spyware, or other malicious content is provided when utilizing these access points. It is the sole responsibility of the user to adequately protect against malicious attacks.
Jury Duty | Reporting Information
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.