Judge Profile

Nelson E. Bailey

Judicial Experience:

  • Judge, 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Biographical Data:

  • County Court Judge Nelson Bailey presides at the little branch courthouse located on the south end of Lake Okeechobee, in Belle Glade, Florida. His is the only courtroom in the rural western half of Palm Beach County. When he entered private law practice in 1973, he and attorney Rendell Brown formed the first 50/50 Black-White law partnership in the entire history of the state of Florida.


  • J.D., FSU College of Law, 1969
  • B.A., Florida State University, 1966

Professional Civic Activities/Honors/Awards:

  • Founding Member, Florida Association of Drug Court Professionals
  • Honorary Board Member, Board of Directors of the Loxahatchee River Historical Society

Part Rule:

  • Criminal

    1. Do your require suppression hearings in advance of trial or may they be heard at beginning of trial? No preference 2. Do you accept a plea at docket call or require specially set hearings? I will accept at docket call 3. Which motions can be heard at 8:45 a.m. hearings? Bond Hearings? yes Sworn Motion to Dismiss? no Evidentiary Hearings? no 4. What is your policy on work release and house arrest?Court makes use of both 5. Do you require judgment and sentence forms to be filled out by the attorney in advance of pleas conference? yes 6. Special requests or docket call. Will you give more than one-hour notice for trial on special request? yes 7.If a case is settled, what procedure should be followed to advise your office? Call the Judicial Assistant 8. Do you require Defendant to be personally present at calendar call or may the attorney appear alone? The defendant's presence is required unless there is prior court approval 9. (Circuit Court) What is the policy for allowing felonies to be pled to misdemeanor? Pleas agreements with the State can be pled to misde meanors 10.(County Court) Do you defer sentences on DUI pleas until completion of AIDE school? Yes, by agreement with the State

  • Discovery

    1. Do you require counsel to certify that a good faith effort has been made to resolve discovery disputes before motions are brought before you? yes 2. Do you consider motions to compel responses to written discovery where no response or objections whatsoever has been received or filed without the necessity of a hearing? yes 3. Do you have any standard limitations or procedures reguarding discovery matters not addressed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure? no

  • Domestic

    1. What is the procedure for temporary relief hearings?Attorney calls to obtain hearing time. Mediation unless deemed emergency or prior to mediation if deemed necessary 2. What is the procedure for emergency hearings on custody/support? Motion filed, reviewed by Judge to determine if a true emergency exists. If yes, hearing time given. 3. What is the procedure for emergency hearings on restraining orders? Have not had any in Belle Glade. 4. When is your uncontested divorce calendar? Every Monday morning 5. Do you require the respondent to testify in an uncontested divorce? No. Usually MSA filed. If respondent is present, he/she does testify.

  • Motion Practice

    1. Do you allow hearings by conference call? It depends on the circumstances If so, what is the procedure? Call the Judicial Assistant 2. Do you have a standard order for scheduling and conducting specially set hearings? no 3. Do you allow specially set hearings to be canceled by agreement of counsel? no 4. What is the maximum amount of time you allow for a specially set hearing without requiring the hearing to be placed on a non-jury docket? This should be understood when set 5. What is the procedure for allowing matters to be set?Through notice to clerk's office on appropriate date and time 6. Do you prefer to receive memoranda in support/opposition to motions in advance of a hearing or at the hearing? yes How far in advance? One week With a courtesy copy of the Notice/Order Setting Hearing? yes 7. Do you have any preference regarding the presentation of proposed orders for specially set hearings? no 8. What is the procedure for scheduling emergency motions?Contact Judicial Assistant, prefer both counsel 9. What is the procedure for scheduling hearings on motions for temporary injunctions? Through the clerk's office 10.What is the procedure for scheduling hearings on motions for rehearing or new trials? Contact Judicial Assistant

  • Trial-Related Matters

    1. Continuance of trials When should motions for continuance be heard? In advance, if trials or evidenciary Which of the following factors are important to determining whether to continue a trial? a. Parties Stipulate? yes b. Counsel's conflict with other trials? yes c. Unavailability of a party? yes d. Unavailability of key expert witness? yes e. Unavailability of key fact witness? yes f. Incomplete discovery? yes, if timely raised g. Discovery violation by party opposing continuance? yes h. Vacations of counsel? yes i. Others? 2. When a case on the calendar is not reached: What is the procedure to get back on calendar? Reset for Date Certain at that Point 3. How much notice do you give to counsel to begin trial after docket has commenced? Notice agreed to in court. 4. Do you specially set cases for trial and if so, under what circumstances? Yes, when requested by parties with need for it. 5. Do you generally try the oldest case first? no 6.Do you use the uniform "Order Setting Trial" and pretrial instructions? yes 7. What witnesses must be disclosed pursuant to you Pretrial Orders? Court tends to favor full and complete discovery. 10. Under what circumstances do you transfer cases over to the Trial Division? Upon demand for Trial by Jury. Only non-jury trials are handled at Belle Glade


  • Maryann Yarosz, Judicial Assistant