The Florida Bar's Family Law Rules Committee has submitted to the Florida Supreme Court an out-of-cycle report proposing amendments to the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. If amended as proposed, the Family Law Rules would become a stand-alone set of rules that no longer incorporates by reference the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. Rather, the Family Law Rules would fully incorporate the language of the applicable Civil Rules with technical and substantive changes, as appropriate. The amendments also would incorporate recent changes to the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration that are rules of general application and would simplify the language of the rules. The court invites all interested persons to comment on the proposed amendments, which are reproduced in full below, as well as online at www. floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/proposed.shtml. All comments must be filed with the court on or before August 15, with a certificate of service verifying that a copy has been served on the committee chair, Judge Laurel Moore Lee, Hillsborough County Courthouse, 800 E. Twiggs Street, Suite 426, Tampa 33602-3541, firstname.lastname@example.org, and on the Bar staff liaison to the committee, Gregory Zhelesnik, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300, email@example.com, as well as a separate request for oral argument if the person filing the comment wishes to participate in oral argument, which may be scheduled in this case. The chair has until September 6 to file a response to any comments filed with the court. If filed by an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar, the comment must be electronically filed via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal in accordance with In re Electronic Filing in the Supreme Court of Florida via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC13-7 (Feb. 18, 2013). If filed by a nonlawyer or a lawyer not licensed to practice in Florida, the comment must be electronically filed via e-mail in accordance with In re Mandatory Submission of Electronic Copies of Documents, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC04-84 (Sept. 13, 2004). Electronically filed documents must be submitted in Microsoft Word 97 or higher. Any person unable to submit a comment electronically must mail or hand-deliver the originally signed comment to the Florida Supreme Court, Office of the Clerk, 500 South Duval Street, Tallahassee 32399-1927; no additional copies are required or will be accepted.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA
IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO FLORIDA FAMILY LAW RULES OF PROCEDURE, CASE NO. SC16-978
RULE 12.005. TRANSITION RULE
These rules [begin strikethrough]shall[end strikethrough] apply to all family law cases [begin strikethrough]effective January 1, 1996[end strikethrough] as of [insert effective date]. Any action taken in a family law case before [begin strikethrough]January 1, 1996[end strikethrough][insert effective date!, that conformed to the then effective rules or statutes governing family law cases, will be regarded as valid during the pendency of the litigation.
1995 Adoption. This rule provides for an effective date of January 1, 1996, for these Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. Under this rule, any action taken in a family law matter before January 1, 1996, will be regarded as valid during the pendency of the litigation so long as that action was taken in accordance with the then-effective rules or statutes governing family law cases. Any action taken after January 1, 1996, in new or pending family law cases will be governed by these rules. RULE 12.010. SCOPE, PURPOSE, AND TITLE
(1) These rules apply to all actions concerning family matters, including injunctions for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, and sexual violence, and stalking, except as otherwise provided by the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure or the Florida Probate Rules. "Family matters," "family law matters," or "family law cases" as used within these rules include, but are not limited to, matters arising from dissolution of marriage, annulment, support unconnected with dissolution of marriage, paternity, child support, an action involving a parenting plan for a minor child or children (except as otherwise provided by the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure), proceedings for temporary or concurrent custody of minor children by extended family, adoption, proceedings for emancipation of a minor, declaratory judgment actions related to premarital, marital, or postmarital agreements (except as otherwise provided, when applicable, by the Florida Probate Rules), injunctions for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, and sexual violence, and stalking, and all proceedings for modification, enforcement, and civil contempt of these actions.
(2) The form, content, procedure, and time for pleading in all [begin strikethrough]special statutory[end strikethrough] proceedings shall be as prescribed by the statutes governing the proceeding unless these rules or the Florida Rules of [begin strikethrough]Civil Procedure[end strikethrough] Judicial Administration, where applicable, specifically provide to the contrary. All actions [begin strikethrough]governed by[end strikethrough] under these rules shall also be governed by the Florida Evidence Code, which [begin strikethrough]shall govern[end strikethrough] applies in cases where a conflict with these rules may occur.
(1) These rules are intended to facilitate access to the court and to provide procedural fairness to all parties, to save time and expense through active case management, setting timetables, and the use of alternatives to litigation, and to enable the court to coordinate related cases and proceedings to avoid multiple appearances by the same parties on the same or similar issues and to avoid inconsistent court orders.
(2) Nothing shall prohibit any intake personnel in family law divisions from assisting in the preparation of documents or forms to be filed in any action under these rules.
(c) Title. These rules shall be known as the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure and abbreviated as Fla. Fam. L. R. P.
RULE 12.015. FAMILY LAW FORMS
(a) Forms Adopted as Rules. The forms listed in this rule shall be adopted by the rulemaking process in [begin strikethrough]Fla. R. Jud. Admin.[end strikethrough]Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.140. The Family Law Rules Committee of The Florida Bar [begin strikethrough]shall[end strikethrough] may propose amendments to these forms and any associated instructions. These forms shall be designated "Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Forms." Forms coming under this provision are:
(1) 12.900(a), Disclosure From Nonlawyer;
(2) 12.900(b), Notice of Limited Appearance;
(3) 12.900(c), Consent to Limited Appearance by Attorney;
(4) 12.900(d), Termination of Limited Appearance;
(5) 12.900(e), Acknowledgment of Assistance by Attorney;
(6) 12.900(f), Signature Block for Attorney Making Limited Appearance;
(7) 12.900(g), Agreement Limiting Representation;
(8) 12.900(h), Notice of Related Cases;
(9) 12.901(a), Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage;
(10) 12.902(b), Family Law Financial Affidavit (Short Form);
(11) 12.902(c), Family Law Financial Affidavit (Long Form);
(12) 12.902(e), Notice of Filing Child Support Guidelines Worksheet;
(13) 12.902(f)(3), Marital Settlement Agreement for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage;
(14) 12.910(a), Summons: Personal Service on an Individual;
(15) 12.911(a), Subpoena for Hearing or Trial (Issued by Clerk);
(16) 12.911(b), Subpoena for Hearing or Trial (Issued by Attorney);
(17) 12.911(c), Subpoena Duces Tecum for Hearing or Trial (Issued by Clerk);
(18) 12.911(d), Subpoena Duces Tecum for Hearing or Trial (Issued by Attorney);
(19) 12.911(e), Subpoena for Deposition (Issued by Clerk);
(20) 12.913(b), Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry;
([begin strikethrough]16[end strikethrough]21) 12.913(c), Affidavit of Diligent Search;
([begin strikethrough]17[end strikethrough]22) 12.920(a), Motion for Referral to General Magistrate;
([begin strikethrough]18[end strikethrough]23) 12.920(b), Order of Referral to General Magistrate;
([begin strikethrough]19[end strikethrough]24) 12.920(c), Notice of Hearing Before General Magistrate;
([begin strikethrough]20[end strikethrough]25) 12.928, Cover Sheet for Family Court Cases;
([begin strikethrough]21[end strikethrough]26) 12.930(a), Notice of Service of Standard Family Law Interrogatories;
([begin strikethrough]22[end strikethrough]27) 12.930(b), Standard Family Law Interrogatories for Original or Enforcement
([begin strikethrough]23[end strikethrough]28) 12.930(c), Standard Family Law Interrogatories for Modification Proceedings;
(29) 12.930(d), Notice of Service of Answers to Standard Family Law Interrogatories;
([begin strikethrough]24[end strikethrough]30) 12.932, Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure;
(31) 12.975, Notice of Compliance When Constitutional Challenge is Brought;
([begin strikethrough]25[end strikethrough]32) 12.984(a), Order of Referral to Parenting Coordinator;
(33) 12.984(b), Response by Parenting Coordinator;
(34) 12.984(c), Parenting Coordinator Report of an Emergency;
(35) 12.984(d), Parenting Coordinator Request for Status Conference;
([begin strikethrough]26[end strikethrough]36) 12.990(a), Final Judgment of Simplified Dissolution of Marriage;
([begin strikethrough]27[end strikethrough]37) 12.996(a), Income Deduction Order (Non-Title IV-D);
([begin strikethrough]28[end strikethrough]38) 12.996(b), Notice to Payor;
([begin strikethrough]29[end strikethrough]39) 12.996(c), Notice of Filing Return Receipt;-and
([begin strikethrough]30[end strikethrough]40) 12.996(d), Florida Addendum to Income Withholding Order; and
(31) 12.998, Order of Referral to Parenting Coordinator.
(41) 12.999, Final Disposition Form.
(b) Other Family Law Forms. All additional Supreme Court approved forms shall be adopted by opinion of the Supreme Court...