TBD | Fla. R. Jud. Admin. (All-in-One)
Home About Contact |
Icon-UpArrow Fla. R. Jud. Admin. (All-in-One)
Fla. R. Jud. Admin. Download

Florida Rules of Judicial Administration

RULE 2.110 | SCOPE AND PURPOSE

These rules, cited as “Florida Rules of Judicial Administration” and abbreviated as “Fla. R. Jud. Admin.,” shall take effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 1979. They shall apply to administrative matters in all courts to which the rules are applicable by their terms. The rules shall be construed to secure the speedy and inexpensive determination of every proceeding to which they are applicable. These rules shall supersede all conflicting rules and statutes.

RULE 2.120 | DEFINITIONS

The following terms have the meanings shown as used in these rules:

(a) Court Rule:A rule of practice or procedure adopted to facilitate the uniform conduct of litigation applicable to all proceedings, all parties, and all attorneys.

(b) Local Court Rule:
(1) A rule of practice or procedure for circuit or county application only that, because of local conditions, supplies an omission in or facilitates application of a rule of statewide application and does not conflict therewith.
(2) A rule that addresses other matters that are required by the Florida Constitution, general law, rules of court, or a supreme court opinion to be adopted by or in a local rule.
(c) Administrative Order:A directive necessary to administer properly the court’s affairs but not inconsistent with the constitution or with court rules and administrative orders entered by the supreme court.

RULE 2.130 | PRIORITY OF FLORIDA RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE

The Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure shall control all proceedings in the supreme court and the district courts, and all proceedings in which the circuit courts exercise their appellate jurisdiction, notwithstanding any conflicting rules of procedure.

RULE 2.140 | AMENDING RULE OF COURT

(a) Amendments Generally. The following procedure shall be followed for consideration of rule amendments generally other than those adopted under subdivisions (d), (e), (f), and (g):

(1) Proposals for court rules, amendments to them, or abrogation of them may be made by any person.
(2) Proposals shall be submitted to the clerk of the supreme court, the committee chair(s) of a Florida Bar committee listed in subdivision (a)(3), or the Bar staff liaison of The Florida Bar in writing and shall include a general description of the proposed rule change or a specified proposed change in content. The clerk of the supreme court shall refer proposals to the appropriate committee under subdivision (a)(3).
(3) The Florida Bar shall appoint the following committees to consider rule proposals: Civil Procedure Rules Committee, Criminal Procedure Rules Committee, Small Claims Rules Committee, Traffic Court Rules Committee, Appellate Court Rules Committee, Juvenile Court Rules Committee, Code and Rules of Evidence Committee, Rules of Judicial Administration Committee, Probate Rules Committee, and Family Law Rules Committee.
(4) Each committee shall be composed of attorneys and judges with extensive experience and training in the committee’s area of concentration. Members of the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee shall also have previous rules committee experience or substantial experience in the administration of the Florida court system. The chair of each rules committee shall appoint one of its members to the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee to serve as a regular member of the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee to facilitate and implement routine periodic reporting by and to the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee on the development and progress of rule proposals under consideration and their potential impact on other existing or proposed rules. The members of each rules committee shall serve for 3-year staggered terms, except members appointed by a rules committee chair to the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee who shall serve at the pleasure of the respective rules committee chairs. The president-elect of The Florida Bar shall appoint sitting members of each rules committee to serve as chair(s) and vice chair(s) for each successive year.
(5) The rules committees may originate proposals and shall regularly review and reevaluate the rules to advance orderly and inexpensive procedures for the administration of justice. The committees shall consider and vote on each proposal. The rules committees may accept or reject proposed amendments or may amend proposals. The rules committees shall prepare meeting agendas and minutes reflecting the status of rules proposals under consideration and actions taken. Copies of the minutes shall be furnished to the clerk of the supreme court, to the board of governors of The Florida Bar, and to the proponent of any proposal considered at the meeting. Each rules committee shall furnish promptly and timely to every other rules committee all meeting agendas and all minutes or other record of action taken.
(6) The Rules of Judicial Administration Committee shall serve as the central rules coordinating committee. All committees shall provide a copy of any proposed rules changes to the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee within 30 days of a committee’s affirmative vote to recommend the proposed change to the supreme court. The Rules of Judicial Administration Committee shall then refer all proposed rules changes to those rules committees that might be affected by the proposed change.
(7) Whenever the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee receives a request to coordinate the submission of a single comprehensive report of proposed rule amendments on behalf of multiple rules committees, the general procedure shall be as follows:
(A) The subcommittee chairs handling the matter for each committee will constitute an ad hoc committee to discuss the various committees’ recommendations and to formulate time frames for the joint response. The chair of the ad hoc committee will be the assigned Rules of Judicial Administration Committee subcommittee chair.
(B) At the conclusion of the work of the ad hoc committee, a proposed joint response will be prepared by the ad hoc committee and distributed to the committee chairs for each committee’s review and final comments.
(C) The Rules of Judicial Administration Committee shall be responsible for filing the comprehensive final report.

(b) Schedule for Regular-Cycle Rules Proposals.
(1) Each committee shall report all proposed rule changes on a staggered basis (with the first cycle starting in 2006). Reports shall be made by the Criminal Procedure Rules Committee, the Traffic Court Rules Committee, and the Juvenile Court Rules Committee in 2006; by the Civil Procedure Rules Committee, the Probate Rules Committee, the Small Claims Rules Committee, and the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee in 2007; and by the Family Law Rules Committee, the Appellate Court Rules Committee, and the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee in 2008. Thereafter, the cycle shall repeat.
(2) No later than June 15 of the year prior to each reporting year or such other date as the board of governors of The Florida Bar may set, each reporting committee shall submit all proposed rule changes to the board of governors with the committee’s final numerical voting record on each proposal. Contemporaneously with reporting proposed rule changes to the board of governors, each committee report shall be furnished to the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the President of the Florida Senate, and the chairs of the House and Senate committees as designated by the Speaker and the President, and published on the website of The Florida Bar and in The Florida Bar News. Any person desiring to comment upon proposed rule changes shall submit written comments to the appropriate committee chair(s) no later than August 1 of the year prior to each reporting year. Each committee shall consider any comments submitted and thereafter report to the board of governors, no later than October 31 of the year prior to each reporting year, any revisions to the proposed rule changes. Contemporaneously with reporting any revisions to the board of governors, each committee’s revised proposed rule changes shall be furnished to the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the President of the Florida Senate, and the chairs of the House and Senate committees as designated by the Speaker and the President, and published on the website of The Florida Bar and in The Florida Bar News. Any person desiring to comment thereafter shall submit written comments to the supreme court in accordance with subdivision (b)(6).
(3) No later than December 15 of the year prior to each reporting year, the board of governors shall consider the proposals and shall vote on each proposal to recommend acceptance, rejection, or amendment.
(4) No later than February 1 of each reporting year, each committee and the executive director of The Florida Bar shall file a report of its proposed rule changes with the supreme court. Each committee may amend its recommendations to coincide with the recommendations of the board of governors or may decline to do so or may amend its recommendations in another manner. Any such amendments shall also be reported to the supreme court. The report and proposed rule changes must conform to the Guidelines for Rules Submissions approved by administrative order and posted on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar. Consistent with the requirements that are fully set forth in the Guidelines, the report shall include:
(A) a list of the proposed changes, together with a detailed explanation of each proposal that includes a narrative description of how each amendment changes the language of the rule and a thorough discussion of the reason for each change;
(B) the final numerical voting record of the proposals in the committee;
(C) the name and address of the proponent of each change, if other than a member of the rules committee;
(D) a report of the action taken by the committee on comments submitted in accordance with subdivision (b)(2);
(E) a report of the action and voting record of the board of governors;
(F) any dissenting views of the committee and, if available, of the board; and
(G) an appendix containing all comments submitted to the committee, all relevant background documents, the proposed amendments in legislative format, and a two-column chart setting forth the proposed changes in legislative format in the left column and a brief summary of the explanation of each change given in the report in the right column.
The report and the proposed rule changes shall be filed with the supreme court in an electronic format approved by the supreme court.

(5) If oral argument is deemed necessary, the supreme court shall establish a date in the month of June of each reporting year for oral argument on the proposals. Notice of the oral argument on the proposals and a copy of the proposals shall be furnished to the affected committee chair(s) and vice chair(s), the executive director and staff liaison of The Florida Bar, all members of the Judicial Management Council, the clerk and chief judge of each district court of appeal, the clerk and chief judge of each judicial circuit, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the President of the Florida Senate, the chairs of the House and Senate committees as designated by the Speaker and the President, and any person who has asked in writing filed with the clerk of the supreme court for a copy of the notice. The clerk may provide the notice electronically. The recommendations or a resume of them shall be published on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar and in The Florida Bar News before the oral argument or consideration of the proposals without oral argument. Notice of the oral argument, if scheduled, shall also be published on the website of the supreme court.
(6) Within the time allowed for comments set by the supreme court, any person may file comments concerning the proposals. All comments and other submissions by interested persons shall be filed with the clerk of the supreme court and served on the chair(s) of the appropriate rules committee, the Bar staff liaison, and on the proponent of the rule change if other than a member of the rules committee. The chair(s) of the rules committee and the executive director of The Florida Bar shall file a response to all comments within the time period set by the court. All comments and other submissions regarding the rule change proposals shall be filed in an approved electronic format with the supreme court. As soon as practicable after the date of filing, the clerk of the supreme court shall publish on the website of the supreme court all comments and the responses of the chair(s) of the rules committee that have been filed concerning the rule change proposals. All requests or submissions by a rules committee made in connection with a pending rule change proposal shall be filed with the clerk of the supreme court and thereafter published by the clerk of the supreme court on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar.
(7) Opinions adopting the proposals should be issued in sufficient time for the rule changes to take effect on January 1 of the year following the reporting year. The supreme court may permit motions for rehearing to be filed on behalf of any person who filed a comment, The Florida Bar, any bar association, and the affected committee.

(c) Rejected Proposals. If a committee rejects a proposal, the proponent may submit the proposed rule to the board of governors and shall notify the chair(s) and vice chair(s) of the affected committee of the submission of the proposed rule to the board of governors. Minority reports of committees are allowed and may be submitted to both the board of governors and the supreme court.

(d) Emergency Amendments by Court. The supreme court, with or without notice, may change court rules at any time if an emergency exists that does not permit reference to the appropriate committee of The Florida Bar for recommendations. The rule changes must conform to the Guidelines for Rules Submissions approved by administrative order and posted on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar. The change may become effective immediately or at a future time. In either event, the court shall give notice of and fix a date for further consideration of the change. Any person may file comments concerning the change, seeking its abrogation or a delay in the effective date, in accordance with the procedures set forth in subdivision (b)(6). The court may allow oral argument in support of such comments by The Florida Bar, by its sections and committees, and by other bar associations. Notice of the oral argument, if scheduled, on the change and a copy of the change shall be furnished to the affected committee chair(s) and vice chair(s), the executive director and staff liaison of The Florida Bar, all members of the Judicial Management Council, the clerk and chief judge of each district court of appeal, the clerk and chief judge of each judicial circuit, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the President of the Florida Senate, the chairs of the House and Senate committees as designated by the Speaker and the President, and any person who has asked in writing filed with the clerk of the supreme court for a copy of the notice. The clerk may provide the notice electronically. Notice of the change shall be published on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar, and in The Florida Bar News either before or after the change is adopted. Notice of the oral argument, if scheduled, shall also be published on the website of the supreme court.

(e) Out-of-Cycle Committee Proposals.
(1) Emergency Proposals and Proposals in Response to Legislative Changes. If, in the opinion of a committee, a proposal is of an emergency nature or a rule amendment is necessary due to changes in legislation, and the board of governors concurs, proposals may be made at any time to the supreme court. The report and proposed rule changes may be filed without prior publication for comment and must conform to the Guidelines for Rules Submissions approved by administrative order and posted on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar. The rules committees’ fast-track procedures shall be used to address legislative changes to ensure that any resulting proposed rule amendments are filed with and can be adopted by the court before or soon after the effective date of the legislation. If the court agrees that an emergency exists or a rule change is necessary due to a legislative change, the court may publish the rule amendment for comment after adopting it or may set a time for oral argument or for consideration of the proposal without oral argument. Notice of the oral argument on the proposals, if scheduled before or after adoption, and a copy of the proposals shall be furnished to the affected committee chair(s) and vice chair(s), the executive director and the staff liaison of The Florida Bar, all members of the Judicial Management Council, the clerk and chief judge of each district court of appeal, the clerk and chief judge of each judicial circuit, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the President of the Florida Senate, the chairs of the House and Senate committees as designated by the Speaker and the President, and any person who has asked in writing filed with the clerk of the supreme court for a copy of the notice. The clerk may provide the notice electronically. Prior to or after their adoption, the recommendations or a resume of them shall be published on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar, and in The Florida Bar News. Any person may file comments concerning the changes, in accordance with the procedures set forth in subdivision (b)(6). Notice of the oral argument, if scheduled, shall also be published on the website of the supreme court.
(2) Non-Emergency Out-of-Cycle Proposals. If, in the opinion of a committee, a proposal is not of an emergency nature, but is sufficiently necessary to the administration of justice that it should not wait until the next regular-cycle submission, and the board of governors concurs, proposals may be made out-of-cycle at any time to the supreme court. The report and proposed rule changes must conform to the Guidelines for Rules Submissions approved by administrative order and posted on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar. Such out-of-cycle submissions must be published in The Florida Bar News and posted on the website of The Florida Bar for comment, and such comment must be reviewed and addressed by the committee prior to the out-of-cycle rule submission to the board of governors to recommend acceptance, rejection, or amendment. If the supreme court agrees that a proposal should be addressed before the next regular-cycle report, the supreme court may set a time for oral argument or for consideration of the proposal without oral argument. Notice of the oral argument on the proposals, if scheduled, and a copy of the proposals shall be furnished to the affected committee chair(s) and vice chair(s), the executive director and the staff liaison of The Florida Bar, all members of the Judicial Management Council, the clerk and chief judge of each district court of appeal, the clerk and chief judge of each judicial circuit, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the President of the Florida Senate, the chairs of the House and Senate committees as designated by the Speaker and the President, the person who initially proposed the matter to the committee, and any person who has asked in writing filed with the clerk of the supreme court for a copy of the notice. The clerk may provide the notice electronically. The recommendations or a resume of them shall be published on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar, and in The Florida Bar News for comment before the oral argument or consideration of the proposals without oral argument. Any person may file comments concerning the proposals, in accordance with the procedures set forth in subdivision (b)(6). Notice of the oral argument, if scheduled, shall also be published on the website of the supreme court.
(f) Request by Court. The supreme court may direct special consideration of a proposal at times other than those specified in this rule and may require a committee to report its recommendation with the recommendations of the board of governors. All requests or submissions by a rules committee made in connection with a request under this subdivision shall be filed with or submitted to the clerk of the supreme court as provided in this subdivision.
(1) Recommended Rule Changes. A rule change recommended in response to a request under this subdivision shall be included in the rules committee’s next regular-cycle report filed under subdivision (b), unless the court directs or the committee determines and the board of governors agrees that the rule change should be submitted out of cycle. If the committee submits a recommended change out of cycle, the procedures for out-of-cycle rule proposals under subdivision (e) shall apply, except the report shall state that it is filed in response to a request by the court under this subdivision.
(2) No Action Recommendations. If the court refers a matter to a rules committee for consideration only and does not direct the committee to propose a rule change, and after considering the matter referred the committee determines that no rule change is warranted, the committee shall submit a “no action report” to the court explaining its recommendation that no rule change is needed. A no action recommendation should not be included in a report proposing rule changes filed under any other subdivision of this rule. After the court considers the recommendation, the clerk shall notify the rules committee chair(s) and the executive director and the staff liaison of The Florida Bar whether any further action is required of the committee.

(g) Amendments to the Rules of Judicial Administration.

(1) Amendments Without Referral to Rules Committee. Changes to the Rules of Judicial Administration contained in Part II, State Court Administration, of these rules, and rules 2.310, and 2.320, contained in Part III, Judicial Officers, generally will be considered and adopted by the supreme court without reference to or proposal from the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee. The supreme court may amend rules under this subdivision at any time, with or without notice. If a change is made without notice, the court shall fix a date for future consideration of the change and the change shall be published on the websites of the supreme court and The Florida Bar, and in The Florida Bar News. Any person may file comments concerning the change, in accordance with the procedures set forth in subdivision (b)(6). The court may hear oral argument on the change. Notice of the oral argument on the change, if scheduled, and a copy of the change shall be provided in accordance with subdivision (d).
(2) Other Amendments. Amendments to all other Rules of Judicial Administration shall be referred to or proposed by the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee and adopted by the supreme court as provided in subdivisions (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f).
(h) Local Rules Proposed by Trial Courts. The foregoing procedure shall not apply to local rules proposed by a majority of circuit and county judges in the circuit. The chief justice of the supreme court may appoint a Local Rule Advisory Committee to consider and make recommendations to the court concerning local rules and administrative orders submitted pursuant to rule 2.215(e).

Committee Notes

1980 Amendment. Rule 2.130 [renumbered as 2.140 in 2006] is entirely rewritten to codify the procedures for changes to all Florida rules of procedure as set forth by this court in In re Rules of Court: Procedure for Consideration of Proposals Concerning Practice and Procedure, 276 So.2d 467 (Fla.1972), and to update those procedures based on current practice. The Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee has been abolished, and the Local Rules Advisory Committee has been established.

RULE 2.205 | THE SUPREME COURT

(a) Internal Government.
(1) Exercise of Powers and Jurisdiction.
(A) The supreme court shall exercise its powers, including establishing policy for the judicial branch, and jurisdiction en banc. Five justices shall constitute a quorum and the concurrence of 4 shall be necessary to a decision. In cases requiring only a panel of 5, if 4 of the 5 justices who consider the case do not concur, it shall be submitted to the other 2 justices.
(B) Consistent with the authority of the supreme court to establish policy, including recommending state budget and compensation priorities for the judicial branch, no judge, supreme court created committee, commission, task force, or similar group, and no conference (Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges, Conference of Circuit Court Judges, Conference of County Court Judges) is permitted to recommend state budget priorities, including compensation and benefits, to the legislative or executive branch that have not been approved by the supreme court. This subdivision is not intended to apply to judges expressing their personal views who affirmatively state that they are not speaking on behalf of the judicial branch.
(C) Newly created judicial branch commissions, committees, task forces, work groups, and similar study or advisory groups must be established by the supreme court, not solely by the chief justice. Such study or advisory groups may be created and charged by rule adopted by the court, or by administrative order issued by the chief justice in accordance with court action. Members of such groups shall be appointed by administrative order of the chief justice, after consultation with the court. When practicable, ad hoc committees and other ad hoc study or advisory groups, which should be used to address specific problems, shall be established under the umbrella of an existing committee or commission, which should be used to address long-term problems.

(2) Chief Justice.
(A) The chief justice shall be chosen by majority vote of the justices for a term of 2 years commencing on July 1, 2012. The selection of the chief justice should be based on managerial, administrative, and leadership abilities, without regard to seniority only. A chief justice may serve successive terms limited to a total of 8 years. The chief justice may be removed by a vote of 4 justices. If a vacancy occurs, a successor shall be chosen promptly to serve the balance of the unexpired term.
(B) The chief justice shall be the administrative officer of the judicial branch and of the supreme court and shall be responsible for the dispatch of the business of the branch and of the court and direct the implementation of policies and priorities as determined by the supreme court for the operation of the branch and of the court. The administrative powers and duties of the chief justice shall include, but not be limited to: (i) the responsibility to serve as the primary spokesperson for the judicial branch regarding policies and practices that have statewide impact including, but not limited to, the judicial branch’s management, operation, strategic plan, legislative agenda and budget priorities;
(ii) the power to act on requests for stays during the pendency of proceedings, to order the consolidation of cases, to determine all procedural motions and petitions relating to the time for filing and size of briefs and other papers provided for under the rules of this court, to advance or continue cases, and to rule on other procedural matters relating to any proceeding or process in the court;
(iii) the power to assign active or retired county, circuit, or appellate judges or justices to judicial service in this state, in accordance with subdivisions (a)(3) and (a)(4) of this rule;
(iv) the power, upon request of the chief judge of any circuit or district, or sua sponte, in the event of natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation requiring the closure of courts or other circumstances inhibiting the ability of litigants to comply with deadlines imposed by rules of procedure applicable in the courts of this state, to enter such order or orders as may be appropriate to suspend, toll, or otherwise grant relief from time deadlines imposed by otherwise applicable statutes and rules of procedure for such period as may be appropriate, including, without limitation, those affecting speedy trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings, all civil process and proceedings, and all appellate time limitations;
(v) the authority to directly inform all judges on a regular basis by any means, including, but not limited to, email on the state of the judiciary, the state of the budget, issues of importance, priorities and other matters of stateside interest; furthermore, the chief justice shall routinely communicate with the chief judges and leaders of the district courts, circuit and county court conferences by the appropriate means;
(vi) the responsibility to exercise reasonable efforts to promote and encourage diversity in the administration of justice; and
(vii) the power to perform such other administrative duties as may be required and which are not otherwise provided for by law or rule.

(C) The chief justice shall be notified by all justices of any contemplated absences from the court and the reasons therefor. When the chief justice is to be temporarily absent, the chief justice shall select the justice longest in continuous service as acting chief justice.
(D) If the chief justice dies, retires, or is unable to perform the duties of the office, the justice longest in continuous service shall perform the duties during the period of incapacity or until a successor chief justice is elected.
(E) The chief justice shall meet on a regular basis with the chief judges of the district courts and the chief judges of the circuit courts to discuss and provide feedback for implementation of policies and practices that have statewide impact including, but not limited to, the judicial branch’s management, operation, strategic plan, legislative agenda and budget priorities. Such meetings shall, if practicable, occur at least quarterly and be conducted in-person. At the discretion of the chief justice, any of these meetings may be combined with other judicial branch and leadership meetings and, where practicable include the justices of the supreme court.

(3) Administration.
(A) The chief justice may, either upon request or when otherwise necessary for the prompt dispatch of business in the courts of this state, temporarily assign justices of the supreme court, judges of district courts of appeal, circuit judges, and judges of county courts to any court for which they are qualified to serve. Any consenting retired justice or judge may be assigned to judicial service and receive compensation as provided by law.
(B) For the purpose of judicial administration, a “retired judge” is defined as a judge not engaged in the practice of law who has been a judicial officer of this state. A retired judge shall comply with all requirements that the supreme court deems necessary relating to the recall of retired judges.
(C) When a judge who is eligible to draw retirement compensation has entered the private practice of law, the judge may be eligible for recall to judicial service upon cessation of the private practice of law and approval of the judge’s application to the court. The application shall state the period of time the judge has not engaged in the practice of law, and must be approved by the court before the judge shall be eligible for recall to judicial service.
(D) A “senior judge” is a retired judge who is eligible to serve on assignment to temporary judicial duty.

(4) Assignments of Justices and Judges.
(A) When a justice of the supreme court is unable to perform the duties of office, or when necessary for the prompt dispatch of the business of the court, the chief justice may assign to the court any judge who is qualified to serve, for such time as the chief justice may direct. However, no retired justice who is eligible to serve on assignment to temporary judicial duty or other judge who is qualified to serve may be assigned to the supreme court, or continue in such assignment, after 7 sitting duly sworn justices are available and able to perform the duties of office.
(B) When a judge of any district court of appeal is unable to perform the duties of office, or when necessary for the prompt dispatch of the business of the court, the chief judge shall advise the chief justice and the chief justice may assign to the court any judge who is qualified to serve, for such time or such proceedings as the chief justice may direct.
(C) When any circuit or county judge is unable to perform the duties of office, or when necessary for the prompt dispatch of the business of the court, the chief judge of the circuit may assign any judge in the circuit to temporary service for which the judge is qualified, in accordance with rule 2.215. If the chief judge deems it necessary, the chief judge may request the chief justice to assign a judge to the court for such time or such proceedings as the chief justice may direct.


(b) Clerk.
(1) Appointment. The supreme court shall appoint a clerk who shall hold office at the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court directs. The clerk’s compensation shall be fixed by law. The clerk’s office shall be in the supreme court building. The clerk shall devote full time to the duties of the office and shall not engage in the practice of law while in office.
(2) Custody of Records, Files, and Seal. All court records and the seal of the court shall be kept in the office and the custody of the clerk. The clerk shall not allow any court record to be taken from the clerk’s office or the courtroom, except by a justice of the court or upon the order of the court.
(3) Records of Proceedings. The clerk shall keep such records as the court may from time to time order or direct. The clerk shall keep a docket or equivalent electronic record of all cases that are brought for review to, or that originate in, the court. Each case shall be numbered in the order in which the notice, petition, or other initial pleading originating the cause is filed in the court.
(4) Filing Fee. In all cases filed in the court, the clerk shall require the payment of a fee as provided by law when the notice, petition, or other initial pleading is filed. The payment shall not be exacted in advance in appeals in which a party has been adjudicated insolvent for the purpose of an appeal or in appeals in which the state is the real party in interest as the moving party. The payment of the fee shall not be required in habeas corpus proceedings, or appeals therefrom, arising out of or in connection with criminal actions.
(5) Issuance and Recall of Mandate; Recordation and Notification. The clerk shall issue such mandates or process as may be directed by the court. If, within 120 days after a mandate has been issued, the court directs that a mandate be recalled, then the clerk shall recall the mandate. Upon the issuance or recall of any mandate, the clerk shall record the issuance or recall in a book or equivalent electronic record kept for that purpose, in which the date of issuance or date of recall and the manner of transmittal of the process shall be noted. In proceedings in which no mandate is issued, upon final adjudication of the pending cause the clerk shall transmit to the party affected thereby a copy of the court’s order or judgment. The clerk shall notify the attorneys of record of the issuance of any mandate, the recall of any mandate, or the rendition of any final judgment. The clerk shall furnish without charge to all attorneys of record in any cause a copy of any order or written opinion rendered in such action.
(6) Return of Original Papers. Upon the conclusion of any proceeding in the supreme court, the clerk shall return to the clerk of the lower court the original papers or files transmitted to the court for use in the cause.

(c) Librarian.
(1) Appointment. The supreme court shall appoint a librarian of the supreme court and such assistants as may be necessary. The supreme court library shall be in the custody of the librarian, but under the exclusive control of the court. The library shall be open to members of the bar of the supreme court, to members of the legislature, to law officers of the executive or other departments of the state, and to such other persons as may be allowed to use the library by special permission of the court.
(2) Library Hours. The library shall be open during such times as the reasonable needs of the bar require and shall be governed by regulations made by the librarian with the approval of the court.
(3) Books. Books shall not be removed from the library except for use by, or upon order of, any justice.

(d) Marshal.
(1) Appointment. The supreme court shall appoint a marshal who shall hold office at the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court directs. The marshal’s compensation shall be fixed by law.
(2) Duties. The marshal shall have power to execute process of the court throughout the state and such other powers as may be conferred by law. The marshal may deputize the sheriff or a deputy sheriff in any county to execute process of the court and shall perform such clerical or ministerial duties as the court may direct or as required by law. Subject to the direction of the court, the marshal shall be custodian of the supreme court building and grounds.

(e) State Courts Administrator.
(1) Appointment. The supreme court shall appoint a state courts administrator who shall serve at the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court directs. The state courts administrator’s compensation shall be fixed by law.
(2) Duties. The state courts administrator shall supervise the administrative office of the Florida courts, which shall be maintained at such place as directed by the supreme court; shall employ such other personnel as the court deems necessary to aid in the administration of the state courts system; shall represent the state courts system before the legislature and other bodies with respect to matters affecting the state courts system and functions related to and serving the system; shall supervise the preparation and submission to the supreme court, for review and approval, of a tentative budget request for the state courts system and shall appear before the legislature in accordance with the court’s directions in support of the final budget request on behalf of the system; shall inform the judiciary of the state courts system’s final budget request and any proposed substantive law changes approved by the supreme court; shall assist in the preparation of educational and training materials for the state courts system and related personnel, and shall coordinate or assist in the conduct of educational and training sessions for such personnel; shall assist all courts in the development of improvements in the system, and submit to the chief justice and the court appropriate recommendations to improve the state courts system; and shall collect and compile uniform financial and other statistical data or information reflective of the cost, workloads, business, and other functions related to the state courts system. The state courts administrator is the custodian of all records in the administrator’s office.

(f) Open Sessions. All sessions of the court shall be open to the public, except proceedings designated as confidential by the court and conference sessions held for the discussion and consideration of pending cases, for the formulation of opinions by the court, and for the discussion or resolution of other matters related to the administration of the state courts system.

(g) Designation of Assigned Judges. When any judge of another court is assigned for temporary service on the supreme court, that judge shall be designated, as author or participant, by name and initials followed by the words “Associate Justice.”

RULE 2.210 | DISTRICT COURTS OF APPEAL

(a) Internal Government.
(1) Exercise of Powers and Jurisdiction. Three judges shall constitute a panel for and shall consider each case, and the concurrence of a majority of the panel shall be necessary to a decision.
(2) Chief Judge.
(A) The selection of a chief judge should be based on managerial, administrative, and leadership abilities, without regard to seniority only.
(B) The chief judge shall be the administrative officer of the court, and shall, consistent with branch-wide policies, direct the formation and implementation of policies and priorities for the operation of the court. The chief judge shall exercise administrative supervision over all judges and court personnel. The chief judge shall be responsible to the chief justice of the supreme court. The chief judge may enter and sign administrative orders. The administrative powers and duties of the chief judge include, but are not limited to, the power to order consolidation of cases, and to assign cases to the judges for the preparation of opinions, orders, or judgments. The chief judge shall have the authority to require all judges of the court, court officers and court personnel, to comply with all court and judicial branch policies, administrative orders, procedures, and administrative plans.
(C) The chief judge shall maintain liaison in all judicial administrative matters with the chief justice of the supreme court, and shall, considering available resources, ensure the efficient and proper administration of the court. The chief judge shall develop an administrative plan that shall include an administrative organization capable of effecting the prompt disposition of cases, the assignment of judges, other court officers, and court personnel, and the control of dockets. The administrative plan shall include a consideration of the statistical data developed by the case reporting system.
(D) All judges shall inform the chief judge of any contemplated absences that will affect the progress of the court’s business. If a judge is temporarily absent, is disqualified in an action, or is unable to perform the duties of the office, the chief judge or the chief judge’s designee may assign a matter pending before the judge to any other judge or any additional assigned judge of the same court. If it appears to the chief judge that the speedy, efficient, and proper administration of justice so requires, the chief judge shall request the chief justice of the supreme court to assign temporarily an additional judge or judges from outside the court to duty in the court requiring assistance, and shall advise the chief justice whether or not the approval of the chief judge of the court from which the assignment is to be made has been obtained. The assigned judges shall be subject to administrative supervision of the chief judge for all purposes of this rule. Nothing in this rule shall restrict the constitutional powers of the chief justice of the supreme court to make such assignments as the chief justice shall deem appropriate.
(E) The chief judge shall regulate the use of all court facilities, regularly examine the dockets of the courts under the chief judge’s administrative supervision, and require a report on the status of the matters on the docket. The chief judge may take such action as may be necessary to cause the docket to be made current.
(F) The chief judge shall be chosen by a majority of the active judges of the court for a term commencing on July 1 of each odd-numbered year, and shall serve for a term of 2 years. A chief judge may serve for successive terms but in no event shall the total term as chief judge exceed 8 years. In the event of a vacancy, a successor shall be chosen promptly to serve the balance of the unexpired term. If the chief judge is unable to discharge these duties, the judge longest in continuous service or, as between judges with equal continuous service, the one having the longest unexpired term and able to do so, shall perform the duties of chief judge pending the chief judge’s return to duty. Judges shall notify the chief judge of any contemplated absence from the court and the reasons therefor. A chief judge may be removed as chief judge by the supreme court, acting as the administrative supervisory body of all courts, or by a two-thirds vote of the active judges.
(G) The failure of any judge to comply with an order or directive of the chief judge shall be considered neglect of duty and may be reported by the chief judge to the chief justice of the supreme court who shall have the authority to take such corrective action as may be appropriate. The chief judge may report the neglect of duty by a judge to the Judicial Qualifications Commission or other appropriate person or body, or take such other corrective action as may be appropriate.
(H) At the call of the chief justice, the chief judges of the circuit court and district courts of appeal shall meet on a regular basis and with each other and with the chief justice to discuss and provide feedback for implementation of policies and practices that have statewide impact including, but not limited to, the judicial branch’s management, operation, strategic plan, legislative agenda and budget priorities. Such meetings shall, if practicable, occur at least quarterly and be conducted in person. At the discretion of the chief justice, any of these meetings may be combined with other judicial branch and leadership meetings.
(I) The chief judge shall have the responsibility to exercise reasonable efforts to promote and encourage diversity in the administration of justice.


(b) Clerk.
(1) Appointment. The court shall appoint a clerk who shall hold office at the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court directs. The clerk’s compensation shall be fixed by law. The clerk’s office shall be in the headquarters of the court. The clerk’s time shall be devoted to the duties of the office and the clerk shall not engage in the private practice of law while serving as clerk. All court records and the seal of the court shall be kept in the office and the custody of the clerk. The clerk shall not allow any court record to be taken from the clerk’s office or the courtroom, except by a judge of the court or upon order of the court.
(2) Records of Proceedings. The clerk shall keep such records as the court may from time to time order or direct. The clerk shall keep a docket or equivalent electronic record of all cases that are brought for review to, or that originate in, the court. Each case shall be numbered in the order that the notice, petition, or other initial pleading originating the proceeding is filed in the court.
(3) Filing Fee. In all cases filed in the court, the clerk shall require the payment of a fee as provided by law at the time the notice, petition, or other initial pleading is filed. The payment shall not be exacted in advance in appeals in which a party has been adjudicated insolvent for the purpose of an appeal or in appeals in which the state is the real party in interest as the moving party. The payment of the fee shall not be required in habeas corpus proceedings or appeals therefrom.
(4) Issuance and Recall of Mandate; Recordation and Notification. The clerk shall issue such mandates or process as may be directed by the court. If, within 120 days after a mandate has been issued, the court directs that a mandate be recalled, then the clerk shall recall the mandate. If the court directs that a mandate record shall be maintained, then upon the issuance or recall of any mandate the clerk shall record the issuance or recall in a book or equivalent electronic record kept for that purpose, in which shall be noted the date of issuance or the date of recall and the manner of transmittal of the process. In proceedings in which no mandate is issued, upon final adjudication of the pending cause the clerk shall transmit to the party affected thereby a copy of the court’s order or judgment. The clerk shall notify the attorneys of record of the issuance of any mandate, the recall of any mandate, or the rendition of any final judgment. The clerk shall furnish without charge to all attorneys of record in any cause a copy of any order or written opinion rendered in such action.
(5) Return of Original Papers. The clerk shall retain all original papers, files, and exhibits transmitted to the court for a period of not less than 30 days after rendition of the opinion or order denying any motion pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.330, whichever is later. If no discretionary review proceeding or appeal has been timely commenced in the supreme court to review the court’s decision within 30 days, the clerk shall transmit to the clerk of the trial court the original papers, files, and exhibits. If a discretionary review proceeding or appeal has been timely commenced in the supreme court to review the court’s decision, the original papers, files, and exhibits shall be retained by the clerk until transmitted to the supreme court or, if not so transmitted, until final disposition by the supreme court and final disposition by the court pursuant to the mandate issued by the supreme court.

(c) Marshal.
(1) Appointment. The court shall appoint a marshal who shall hold office at the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court directs. The marshal’s compensation shall be fixed by law.
(2) Duties. The marshal shall have power to execute process of the court throughout the district, and in any county therein may deputize the sheriff or a deputy sheriff for such purpose. The marshal shall perform such clerical or ministerial duties as the court may direct or as are required by law. The marshal shall be custodian of the headquarters occupied by the court, whether the headquarters is an entire building or a part of a building.

(d) Open Sessions. All sessions of the court shall be open to the public, except conference sessions held for the discussion and consideration of pending cases, for the formulation of opinions by the court, and for the discussion or resolution of other matters related to the administration of the court.

(e) Designation of Assigned Judges. When any justice or judge of another court is assigned for temporary service on a district court of appeal, that justice or judge shall be designated, as author or participant, by name and initials followed by the words “Associate Judge.”

RULE 2.215 | TRIAL COURT ADMINISTRATION

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to fix administrative responsibility in the chief judges of the circuit courts and the other judges that the chief judges may designate. When these rules refer to the court, they shall be construed to apply to a judge of the court when the context requires or permits.

(b) Chief Judge.
(1) The chief judge shall be a circuit judge who possesses managerial, administrative, and leadership abilities, and shall be selected without regard to seniority only.
(2) The chief judge shall be the administrative officer of the courts within the circuit and shall, consistent with branch-wide policies, direct the formation and implementation of policies, and priorities for the operation of all courts and officers within the circuit. The chief judge shall exercise administrative supervision over all judges and court personnel within the judicial circuit. The chief judge shall be responsible to the chief justice of the supreme court. The chief judge may enter and sign administrative orders, except as otherwise provided by this rule. The chief judge shall have the authority to require that all judges of the court, other court officers, and court personnel comply with all court and judicial branch policies, administrative orders, procedures and administrative plans.
(3) The chief judge shall maintain liaison in all judicial administrative matters with the chief justice of the supreme court, and shall, considering available resources, ensure the efficient and proper administration of all courts within that circuit. The chief judge shall develop an administrative plan that shall be filed with the supreme court and shall include an administrative organization capable of effecting the prompt disposition of cases; assignment of judges, other court officers, and all other court personnel; control of dockets; regulation and use of courtrooms; and mandatory periodic review of the status of the inmates of the county jail. The plan shall be compatible with the development of the capabilities of the judges in such a manner that each judge will be qualified to serve in any division, thereby creating a judicial pool from which judges may be assigned to various courts throughout the state. The administrative plan shall include a consideration of the statistical data developed by the case reporting system. Questions concerning the administration or management of the courts of the circuit shall be directed to the chief justice of the supreme court through the state courts administrator.
(4) The chief judge shall assign judges to the courts and divisions, and shall determine the length of each assignment. The chief judge is authorized to order consolidation of cases, and to assign cases to a judge or judges for the preparation of opinions, orders, or judgments. All judges shall inform the chief judge of any contemplated absences that will affect the progress of the court’s business. If a judge is temporarily absent, is disqualified in an action, or is unable to perform the duties of the office, the chief judge or the chief judge’s designee may assign a proceeding pending before the judge to any other judge or any additional assigned judge of the same court. The chief judge may assign any judge to temporary service for which the judge is qualified in any court in the same circuit. If it appears to the chief judge that the speedy, efficient, and proper administration of justice so requires, the chief judge shall request the chief justice of the supreme court to assign temporarily an additional judge or judges from outside the circuit to duty in the court requiring assistance, and shall advise the chief justice whether or not the approval of the chief judge of the circuit from which the assignment is to be made has been obtained. The assigned judges shall be subject to administrative supervision of the chief judge for all purposes of this rule. When assigning a judge to hear any type of postconviction or collateral relief proceeding brought by a defendant who has been sentenced to death, the chief judge shall assign to such cases a judge qualified to conduct such proceedings under subdivision (b)(10) of this rule. Nothing in this rule shall restrict the constitutional powers of the chief justice of the supreme court to make such assignments as the chief justice shall deem appropriate.
(5) The chief judge may designate a judge in any court or court division of circuit or county courts as “administrative judge” of any court or division to assist with the administrative supervision of the court or division. To the extent practical, the chief judge shall assign only one administrative judge to supervise the family court. The designee shall be responsible to the chief judge, shall have the power and duty to carry out the responsibilities assigned by the chief judge, and shall serve at the pleasure of the chief judge.
(6) The chief judge may require the attendance of prosecutors, public defenders, clerks, bailiffs, and other officers of the courts, and may require from the clerks of the courts, sheriffs, or other officers of the courts periodic reports that the chief judge deems necessary.
(7) The chief judge shall regulate the use of all court facilities, regularly examine the dockets of the courts under the chief judge’s administrative supervision, and require a report on the status of the matters on the dockets. The chief judge may take such action as may be necessary to cause the dockets to be made current. The chief judge shall monitor the status of all postconviction or collateral relief proceedings for defendants who have been sentenced to death from the time that the mandate affirming the death sentence has been issued by the supreme court and shall take the necessary actions to assure that such cases proceed without undue delay. On the first day of every January, April, July, and October, the chief judge shall inform the chief justice of the supreme court of the status of all such cases.
(8) The chief judge or the chief judge’s designee shall regularly examine the status of every inmate of the county jail.
(9) The chief judge may authorize the clerks of courts to maintain branch county court facilities. When so authorized, clerks of court shall be permitted to retain in such branch court facilities all county court permanent records of pending cases, and may retain and destroy these records in the manner provided by law.
(10) (A) The chief judge shall not assign a judge to preside over a capital case in which the state is seeking the death penalty, or collateral proceedings brought by a death row inmate, until that judge has become qualified to do so by:
(i) presiding a minimum of 6 months in a felony criminal division or in a division that includes felony criminal cases, and
(ii) successfully attending the “Handling Capital Cases” course offered through the Florida Court Education Council. A judge whose caseload includes felony criminal cases must attend the “Handling Capital Cases” course as soon as practicable, or upon the direction of the chief judge.

(B) The chief justice may waive these requirements in exceptional circumstances at the request of the chief judge.
(C) Following attendance at the “Handling Capital Cases” course, a judge shall remain qualified to preside over a capital case by attending a “Capital Case Refresher” course once during each of the subsequent continuing judicial education (CJE) reporting periods. A judge who has attended the “Handling Capital Cases” course and who has not taken the “Capital Case Refresher” course within any subsequent continuing judicial education reporting period must requalify to preside over a capital case by attending the refresher course.
(D) The refresher course shall be at least a 6-hour course and must be approved by the Florida Court Education Council. The course must contain instruction on the following topics: penalty phase, jury selection, and proceedings brought pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851.

(11) The failure of any judge to comply with an order or directive of the chief judge shall be considered neglect of duty and may be reported by the chief judge to the chief justice of the supreme court who shall have the authority to take any corrective action as may be appropriate. The chief judge may report the neglect of duty by a judge to the Judicial Qualifications Commission or other appropriate person or body, or take such other corrective action as may be appropriate.
(12) At the call of the chief justice, the chief judges of the circuit court and district courts of appeal shall meet on a regular basis and with each other and with the chief justice to discuss and provide feedback for implementation of policies and practices that have statewide impact including, but not limited to, the judicial branch’s management, operation, strategic plan, legislative agenda and budget priorities. Such meetings shall, if practicable, occur at least quarterly and be conducted in person. At the discretion of the chief justice, any of these meetings may be combined with other judicial branch and leadership meetings.
(13) The chief judge shall have the responsibility to exercise reasonable efforts to promote and encourage diversity in the administration of justice.

(c) Selection. The chief judge shall be chosen by a majority of the active circuit and county court judges within the circuit for a term of 2 years commencing on July 1 of each odd-numbered year, or if there is no majority, by the chief justice, for a term of 2 years. The election for chief judge shall be held no sooner than February 1 of the year during which the chief judge’s term commences beginning July 1. All elections for chief judge shall be conducted as follows:
(1) All ballots shall be secret.
(2) Any circuit or county judge may nominate a candidate for chief judge.
(3) Proxy voting shall not be permitted.
(4) Any judge who will be absent from the election may vote by secret absentee ballot obtained from and returned to the Trial Court Administrator. A chief judge may be removed as chief judge by the supreme court, acting as the administrative supervisory body of all courts, or may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the active judges. The purpose of this rule is to fix a 2-year cycle for the selection of the chief judge in each circuit. A chief judge may serve for successive terms but in no event shall the total term as chief judge exceed 8 years. A chief judge who is to be temporarily absent shall select an acting chief judge from among the circuit judges. If a chief judge dies, retires, fails to appoint an acting chief judge during an absence, or is unable to perform the duties of the office, the chief justice of the supreme court shall appoint a circuit judge to act as chief judge during the absence or disability, or until a successor chief judge is elected to serve the unexpired term. When the office of chief judge is temporarily vacant pending action within the scope of this paragraph, the duties of court administration shall be performed by the circuit judge having the longest continuous service as a judge or by another circuit judge designated by that judge.

(d) Circuit Court Administrator. Each circuit court administrator shall be selected or terminated by the chief judge subject to concurrence by a majority vote of the circuit and county judges of the respective circuits.

(e) Local Rules and Administrative Orders.
(1) Local court rules as defined in rule 2.120 may be proposed by a majority of the circuit and county judges in the circuit. The judges shall notify the local bar within the circuit of the proposal, after which they shall permit a representative of the local bar, and may permit any other interested person, to be heard orally or in writing on the proposal before submitting it to the supreme court for approval. When a proposed local rule is submitted to the supreme court for approval, the following procedure shall apply:
(A) Local court rule proposals shall be submitted to the supreme court in January of each year. The supreme court may accept emergency proposals submitted at other times.
(B) Not later than February 15 of each year, the clerk of the supreme court shall submit all local court rule proposals to the Supreme Court Local Rules Advisory Committee created by rule 2.140. At the same time, the clerk of the supreme court shall send copies of the proposed rules to the appropriate committees of The Florida Bar. The Florida Bar committees, any interested local bar associations, and any other interested person shall submit any comments or responses that they wish to make to the Supreme Court Local Rules Advisory Committee on or before March 15 of the year.
(C) The Supreme Court Local Rules Advisory Committee shall meet on or before April 15 to consider the proposals and any comments submitted by interested parties. The committee shall transmit its recommendations to the supreme court concerning each proposal, with the reasons for its recommendations, within 15 days after its meeting.
(D) The supreme court shall consider the recommendations of the committee and may resubmit the proposals with modifications to the committee for editorial comment only. The supreme court may set a hearing on any proposals, or consider them on the recommendations and comments as submitted. If a hearing is set, notice shall be given to the chief judge of the circuit from which the proposals originated, the executive director of The Florida Bar, the chair of the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee of The Florida Bar, any local bar associations, and any interested persons who made comments on the specific proposals to be considered. The supreme court shall act on the proposals promptly after the recommendations are received or heard.
(E) If a local court rule is approved by the supreme court, it shall become effective on the date set by that court.
(F) A copy of all local court rules approved by the supreme court shall be indexed and recorded by the clerk of the circuit court in each county of the circuit where the rules are effective. A set of the recorded copies shall be readily available for inspection as a public record, and copies shall be provided to any requesting party for the cost of duplication. The chief judge of the circuit may provide for the publication of the rules. The clerk of the supreme court shall furnish copies of each approved local court rule to the executive director of The Florida Bar.

(2) Any judge or member of The Florida Bar who believes that an administrative order promulgated under subdivision (b)(2) of this rule is a court rule or a local rule as defined in rule 2.120, rather than an administrative order, may apply to the Supreme Court Local Rules Advisory Committee for a decision on the question. The decisions of the committee concerning the determination of the question shall be reported to the supreme court, and the court shall follow the procedure set forth in subdivision (D) above in considering the recommendation of the committee.
(3) All administrative orders of a general and continuing nature, and all others designated by the chief judge, shall be indexed and recorded by the clerk of the circuit court in each county where the orders are effective. A set of the recorded copies shall be readily available for inspection as a public record, and copies shall be provided to any requesting party for the cost of duplication. The chief judge shall, on an annual basis, direct a review of all local administrative orders to ensure that the set of copies maintained by the clerk remains current and does not conflict with supreme court or local rules.
(4) All local court rules entered pursuant to this section shall be numbered sequentially for each respective judicial circuit.

(f) Duty to Rule within a Reasonable Time. Every judge has a duty to rule upon and announce an order or judgment on every matter submitted to that judge within a reasonable time. Each judge shall maintain a log of cases under advisement and inform the chief judge of the circuit at the end of each calendar month of each case that has been held under advisement for more than 60 days.

(g) Duty to Expedite Priority Cases. Every judge has a duty to expedite priority cases to the extent reasonably possible. Priority cases are those cases that have been assigned a priority status or assigned an expedited disposition schedule by statute, rule of procedure, case law, or otherwise. Particular attention shall be given to all juvenile dependency and termination of parental rights cases, cases involving families and children in need of services, challenges involving elections and proposed constitutional amendments, and capital postconviction cases. As part of an effort to make capital postconviction cases a priority, the chief judge shall have the discretion to create a postconviction division to handle capital postconviction, as well as non-capital postconviction cases, and may assign one or more judges to that division.

(h) Neglect of Duty. The failure of any judge, clerk, prosecutor, public defender, attorney, court reporter, or other officer of the court to comply with an order or directive of the chief judge shall be considered neglect of duty and shall be reported by the chief judge to the chief justice of the supreme court. The chief justice may report the neglect of duty by a judge to the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and neglect of duty by other officials to the governor of Florida or other appropriate person or body.

(i) Status Conference after Compilation of Record in Death Case. In any proceeding in which a defendant has been sentenced to death, the circuit judge assigned to the case shall take such action as may be necessary to ensure that a complete record on appeal has been properly prepared. To that end, the judge shall convene a status conference with all counsel of record as soon as possible after the record has been prepared pursuant to rule of appellate procedure 9.200(d) but before the record has been transmitted. The purpose of the status conference shall be to ensure that the record is complete.

Committee Notes

2008 Amendment. The provisions in subdivision (g) of this rule should be read in conjunction with the provisions of rule 2.545(c) governing priority cases.

Court Commentary

1996 Court Commentary. Rule 2.050(h) [renumbered as 2.215(h) in 2006] should be read in conjunction with Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140(b)(4)(A).
1997 Court Commentary. [Rule 2.050(b)(10), renumbered as 2.215(b)(10) in 2006]. The refresher course may be a six-hour block during any Florida Court Education Council approved course offering sponsored by any approved Florida judicial education provider, including the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies or the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges. The block must contain instruction on the following topics: penalty phase, jury selection, and rule 3.850 proceedings.
Failure to complete the refresher course during the three-year judicial education reporting period will necessitate completion of the original “Handling Capital Cases” course.
2002 Court Commentary. Recognizing the inherent differences in trial and appellate court dockets, the last sentence of subdivision (g) is intended to conform to the extent practicable with appellate rule 9.146(g), which requires appellate courts to give priority to appeals in juvenile dependency and termination of parental rights cases, and in cases involving families and children in need of services.

Criminal Court Steering Committee Note

2014 Amendment. Capital postconviction cases were added to the list of priority cases.

RULE 2.220 | CONFERENCES OF JUDGES

(a) Conference of County Court Judges.
(1) Creation. There shall be a “Conference of County Court Judges of Florida,” consisting of the active and senior county court judges of the State of Florida.
(2) Purpose. The purpose of the conference shall be:
(A) the betterment of the judicial system of the state;
(B) the improvement of procedure and practice in the several courts;
(C) to conduct conferences and institutes for continuing judicial education and to provide forums in which the county court judges of Florida may meet and discuss mutual problems and solutions; and
(D) to provide input to the Unified Committee on Judicial Compensation on judicial compensation and benefit issues, and to assist the judicial branch in soliciting support and resources on these issues.

(3) Officers. Management of the conference shall be vested in the officers of the conference, an executive committee, and a board of directors.
(A) The officers of the conference shall be:
(i) the president, president-elect, immediate past president, secretary, and treasurer, who shall be elected at large; and
(ii) one vice-president elected from each appellate court district.

(B) The executive committee shall consist of the officers of the conference and an executive secretary.
(C) The board of directors shall consist of the executive committee and a member elected from each judicial circuit.
(D) There shall be an annual meeting of the conference.
(E) Between annual meetings of the conference, the affairs of the conference shall be managed by the executive committee.

(4) Authority. The conference may adopt governance documents, the provisions of which shall not be inconsistent with this rule.

(b) Conference of Circuit Court Judges.
(1) Organization. There shall be a “Conference of Circuit Court Judges of Florida,” consisting of the active and retired circuit judges of the several judicial circuits of the state, excluding retired judges practicing law.
(2) Purpose. The purpose of the conference shall be:
(A) the betterment of the judicial system of the state;
(B) the improvement of procedure and practice in the several courts;
(C) to conduct conferences and institutes for continuing judicial education and to provide forums in which the circuit court judges of Florida may meet and discuss mutual problems and solutions;
(D) to provide input to the Unified Committee on Judicial Compensation on judicial compensation and benefit issues, and to assist the judicial branch in soliciting support and resources on these issues;
(E) to report to the Florida Supreme Court recommendations as the conference may have concerning the improvement of procedure and practice in the several courts;
(F) to confer with the Florida Supreme Court regarding concerns the conference may have concerning the laws of this state affecting the administration of justice; and
(G) to provide to the Florida Legislature recommendations as the conference may have concerning laws of this state affecting the administration of justice.

(3) Officers. Management of the conference shall be vested in the officers of the conference, an executive committee, and a board of directors.
(A) The officers of the conference shall be the chair, chair-elect, secretary, and treasurer.
(B) The executive committee shall consist of the officers of the conference and such other members as the conference shall determine.
(C) The board of directors shall consist of the executive committee and membership in one shall be identical to membership of the other.
(D) There shall be an annual meeting of the conference.
(E) Between annual meetings of the conference, the affairs of the conference shall be managed by the executive committee.

(4) Authority. The conference may adopt governance documents, the provisions of which shall not be inconsistent with this rule.

(c) Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges.
(1) Creation. There shall be a “Florida Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges,” consisting of the active and senior district court of appeal judges of the State of Florida.
(2) Purpose. The purpose of the conference shall be:
(A) the betterment of the judicial system of the state;
(B) the improvement of procedure and practice in the several courts;
(C) to conduct conferences and institutes for continuing judicial education and to provide forums in which the district court of appeal judges of Florida may meet and discuss mutual problems and solutions; and
(D) to provide input to the Unified Committee on Judicial Compensation on judicial compensation and benefit issues, and to assist the judicial branch in soliciting support and resources on these issues.

(3) Officers. Management of the conference shall be vested in the officers of the conference and an executive committee.
(A) The officers of the conference shall be the president, president-elect, and secretary-treasurer.
(B) The executive committee shall consist of the president and president-elect of the conference and the chief judge of each district court of appeal.
(C) There shall be an annual meeting of the conference.
(D) Between annual meetings of the conference, the affairs of the conference shall be managed by the executive committee.

(4) Authority.The conference may adopt governance documents, the provisions of which shall not be inconsistent with this rule.

RULE 2.225 | JUDICIAL MANAGEMENT COUNCIL

(a) Creation and Responsibilities. There is hereby created the Judicial Management Council of Florida, which shall meet at least quarterly, and be charged with the following responsibilities:
(1) identifying potential crisis situations affecting the judicial branch and developing strategy to timely and effectively address them;
(2) identifying and evaluating information that would assist in improving the performance and effectiveness of the judicial branch (for example, information including, but not limited to, internal operations for cash flow and budget performance, and statistical information by court and type of cases for (i) number of cases filed, (ii) aged inventory of cases —the number and age of cases pending, (iii) time to disposition —the percentage of cases disposed or otherwise resolved within established time frames, and (iv) clearance rates — the number of outgoing cases as a percentage of the number of incoming cases);
(3) developing and monitoring progress relating to long-range planning for the judicial branch;
(4) reviewing the charges of the various court and Florida Bar commissions and committees, recommending consolidation or revision of the commissions and committees, and recommending a method for the coordination of the work of those bodies based on the proposed revisions; and
(5) addressing issues brought to the council by the supreme court.

(b) Referrals. The chief justice and the supreme court shall consider referring significant new issues or problems with implications for judicial branch policy to the Judicial Management Council prior to the creation of any new committees.
(1) adopt the recommendation of the council in whole or in part, with or without conditions, including but not limited to:
(A) directing that action be taken to influence or change administrative policy, management practices, rules, or programs that are the subject of the recommendations;
(B) including the recommendation in the judicial branch’s legislative agenda or budget requests;

(2) refer specific issues or questions back to the council for further study or alternative recommendations;
(3) reject the recommendation or decision in whole or in part;
4) refer the recommendation to other entities, such as the Florida Legislature, the governor, the cabinet, executive branch agencies, or The Florida Bar, as the supreme court deems appropriate; or
(5) take alternative action.

(c) Supreme Court Action on Recommendations by the Judicial Management Council. The supreme court may take any or all of the following actions on recommendations made by the Judicial Management Council:

(d) Membership.
(1) The council shall consist of 15 voting members, including the chief justice, who shall chair the council, an additional justice of the supreme court, representatives from each level of court, and public members.
(2) All voting members shall be appointed by the supreme court. Each member, other than the chief justice, will initially be appointed for a 2- or 4- year term, with the terms staggered to ensure continuity and experience on the council and for 4-year terms thereafter.
(3) The state courts administrator shall be a nonvoting member. The council may request other nonvoting persons to participate on an as-needed temporary basis to gain expertise and experience in certain issues on review.

(e) Staff Support and Funding. The Office of the State Courts Administrator shall provide primary staff support to the Judicial Management Council. Adequate staffing and other resources shall be made available to the Office of the State Courts Administrator to ensure the effective and efficient completion of tasks assigned to the Judicial Management Council. Sufficient resources shall also be provided for meetings of the Judicial Management Council and its committees or subcommittees, and other expenses necessary to the satisfactory completion of its work.

RULE 2.230 | TRIAL COURT BUDGET COMMISSION

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to establish a Trial Court Budget Commission that will have the responsibility for developing and overseeing the administration of trial court budgets in a manner which ensures equity and fairness in state funding among the 20 judicial circuits.

(b) Responsibilities. The Trial Court Budget Commission is charged with specific responsibility to:
(1) establish budgeting and funding policies and procedures consistent with judicial branch plans and policies, directions from the supreme court, and in consideration of input from the Commission on Trial Court Performance and Accountability and other supreme court committees and from the Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges and the Florida Conference of County Court Judges;
(2) make recommendations to the supreme court on the trial court component of the annual judicial branch budget request;
(3) advocate for the trial court component of the annual judicial branch budget request and associated statutory changes;
(4) make recommendations to the supreme court on funding allocation formulas and budget implementation and criteria as well as associated accountability mechanisms based on actual legislative appropriations;
(5) monitor trial court expenditure trends and revenue collections to identify unanticipated budget problems and to ensure the efficient use of resources;
(6) recommend statutory and rule changes related to trial court budgets;
(7) develop recommended responses to findings on financial audits and reports from the Supreme Court Inspector General, Auditor General, Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, and other governmental entities charged with auditing responsibilities regarding trial court budgeting when appropriate;
(8) recommend to the supreme court trial court budget reductions required by the legislature;
(9) identify potential additional sources of revenue for the trial courts;
(10) recommend to the supreme court legislative pay plan issues for trial court personnel, except the commission shall not make recommendations as to pay or benefits for judges; and
(11) request input from the Commission on Trial Court Performance and Accountability on recommendations from that commission that may impact the trial court budget or require funding.

(c) Operational Procedures. The Trial Court Budget Commission will establish operating procedures necessary to carry out its responsibilities as outlined in subdivision (b), subject to final approval by the supreme court. These procedures shall include:
(1) a method for ensuring input from interested constituencies, including the chief judges and trial court administrators of the trial courts, other members of the trial court judiciary, the Judicial Management Council, the Commission on Trial Court Performance and Accountability, and other judicial branch committees and commissions; and
(2) a method for appeal of the decisions of the Trial Court Budget Commission. Appeals may be made only by a chief judge on behalf of a circuit. Appeals may be heard only by the Trial Court Budget Commission unless the appeal is based on the failure of the commission to adhere to its operating procedures, in which case the appeal may be made to the supreme court.

(d) Action by Supreme Court or Chief Justice on Recommendations of Trial Court Budget Commission. The supreme court or chief justice, as appropriate, may take any or all of the following actions on recommendations made by the Trial Court Budget Commission:
(1) The adoption of the recommendations of the commission made in accordance with the discharge of its responsibilities listed in subdivision (b) in whole.
(2) The adoption of the recommendations in part and referral of specific issues or questions back to the commission for further study or alternative recommendations.

(e) Membership and Organization. The Trial Court Budget Commission will be composed of 21 voting members appointed by the chief justice who will represent the interests of the trial courts generally rather than the individual interests of a particular circuit or division. The respective presidents of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges and the Conference of County Court Judges and the chair of the Commission on Trial Court Performance and Accountability shall serve as ex officio nonvoting members of the Commission. The chief justice will make appointments to ensure that the broad interests of the trial courts are represented by including members who have experience in different divisions, who have expertise in court operations or administrative matters, and who offer geographic, racial, ethnic, and gender diversity.
(1) The membership must include 14 trial court judges and 7 trial court administrators.
(2) The chief justice will appoint 1 member to serve as chair and 1 member to serve as vice chair, each for a 2-year term.
(3) A supreme court justice will be appointed by the chief justice to serve as supreme court liaison.
(4) No circuit will have more than 2 members on the commission.
(5) The original members of the commission will be appointed as follows:
(A) 7 members shall be appointed for a 2-year term;
(B) 7 members shall be appointed for a 4-year term; and
(C) 7 members shall be appointed for one 6-year term.
All subsequent members will each be appointed for one 6-year term. In the event of a vacancy, the chief justice will appoint a new member to serve for the remainder of the departing member’s term.
(6) The commission may establish subcommittees as necessary to satisfactorily carry out its responsibilities. Subcommittees may make recommendations only to the commission as a whole. The chair of the commission may appoint a non-commission member to serve on a subcommittee.

(f) Staff Support and Funding. The Office of the State Courts Administrator will provide primary staff support to the commission. Adequate staffing and resources will be made available to the Office of the State Courts Administrator to ensure the commission is able to fulfill its responsibilities as outlined in the rule. Sufficient resources will also be provided for the commission and its subcommittees to meet and otherwise complete its work.

RULE 2.235 | DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL BUDGET COMMISSION

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to establish a District Court of Appeal Budget Commission with responsibility for developing and overseeing the administration of district court budgets in a manner which ensures equity and fairness in state funding among the 5 districts.

(b) Responsibilities. The District Court of Appeal Budget Commission is charged with specific responsibility to:
(1) establish budgeting and funding policies and procedures consistent with judicial branch plans and policies, directions from the supreme court, and in consideration of input from the Commission on District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability, and other supreme court committees;
(2) make recommendations to the supreme court on a unitary district court component of the annual judicial branch budget request;
(3) advocate for the district court component of the annual judicial branch budget request;
(4) make recommendations to the supreme court on funding allocation formulas and/or criteria as well as associated accountability mechanisms based on actual legislative appropriations;
(5) monitor district court expenditure trends and revenue collections to identify unanticipated budget problems and to ensure the efficient use of resources;
(6) recommend statutory and rule changes related to district court budgets;
(7) develop recommended responses to findings on financial audits and reports from the Supreme Court Inspector General, Auditor General, Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, and other governmental entities charged with auditing responsibilities regarding district court budgeting when appropriate;
(8) recommend to the supreme court district court budget reductions required by the legislature;
(9) identify potential additional sources of revenue for the district courts;
(10) recommend to the supreme court legislative pay plan issues for district court personnel, except the commission shall not make recommendations as to pay or benefits for judges; and
(11) request input from the Commission on District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability on recommendations from that commission that may impact the district court budget or require funding.

(c) Operational Procedures.The District Court of Appeal Budget Commission will establish operating procedures necessary to carry out its responsibilities as outlined in subdivision (b), subject to final approval by the supreme court. These procedures shall include:
(1) a method for ensuring input from interested constituencies, including the chief judges, marshals, and clerks of the district courts, other members of the district court judiciary, the Judicial Management Council, the Commission on District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability, and other judicial branch committees and commissions; and
(2) a method for appeal of the decisions of the District Court of Appeal Budget Commission. Appeals may be made only by a chief judge on behalf of the district. Appeals may be heard only by the District Court of Appeal Budget Commission unless the appeal is based on the failure of the commission to adhere to its operating procedures, in which case the appeal may be made to the supreme court.

(d) Action by Supreme Court or Chief Justice on Recommendations of District Court of Appeal Budget Commission. The supreme court or chief justice, as appropriate, may take any or all of the following actions on recommendations made by the District Court of Appeal Budget Commission:
(1) The adoption of the recommendations of the commission made in accordance with the discharge of its responsibilities listed in subdivision (b) in whole.
(2) The adoption of the recommendations in part and referral of specific issues or questions back to the commission for further study or alternative recommendations.

(e) Membership and Organization. The District Court of Appeal Budget Commission will be composed of 10 voting members appointed by the chief justice who will represent the interests of the district courts generally rather than the individual interests of a particular district.
(1) The membership shall include the chief judge of each district court of appeal, who shall serve for his or her term as chief judge. The membership shall also include one additional judge from each district court of appeal, appointed by the chief justice, with advice from each chief judge. The marshal of each district court of appeal shall serve as a nonvoting member. Ex officio nonvoting members shall also include the chairs of the District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability Commission and the Appellate Court Technology Committee, and the president of the District Court of Appeal Judges Conference.
(2) The chief justice will appoint 1 member to serve as chair and 1 member to serve as vice chair, each for a four-year term, or until the member’s term on the commission expires.
(3) The commission may establish subcommittees as necessary to satisfactorily carry out its responsibilities. Subcommittees may make recommendations only to the commission as a whole. The chair of the commission may appoint a non-commission member to serve on a subcommittee.
(4) Effective July 1, 2013, the commission shall be reconstituted with staggered terms for voting members, as follows: (A) The chief judge of each district will be appointed for his or her term as chief judge. (B) The additional judge from each odd-numbered district will be appointed for a four-year term. (C) The additional judge from each even-numbered district will be appointed for a two-year term, and thereafter to four-year terms. (D) Each nonvoting member will serve so long as he or she continues to hold the office which entitles him or her to membership on the commission.

(f) Staff Support and Funding. The Office of the State Courts Administrator will provide primary staff support to the commission. Adequate staffing and resources will be made available to the Office of the State Courts Administrator to ensure the commission is able to fulfill its responsibilities as outlined in this rule. Sufficient resources will also be provided for the commission and its subcommittees to meet and otherwise complete its work.

RULE 2.236 | FLORIDA COURTS TECHNOLOGY COMMISSION

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to establish a Florida Courts Technology Commission with responsibility for overseeing, managing, and directing the development and use of technology within the judicial branch under the direction of the supreme court as specified in this rule. For the purpose of this rule, the term “judicial branch” does not include The Florida Bar, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, or the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

(b) Responsibilities. The Florida Courts Technology Commission is charged with specific responsibility to:
(1) make recommendations to the supreme court on all matters of technology policy impacting the judicial branch to allow the supreme court to establish technology policy in the branch;
(2) make recommendations to the supreme court regarding policies for public access to electronic court records;
(3) make recommendations to the supreme court about the relative priorities of various technology projects within the judicial branch so that the supreme court can establish priorities. The commission should coordinate with the Trial Court Budget Commission and District Court of Appeal Budget Commission to secure funds for allocation of those priorities;
(4) direct and establish priorities for the work of all technology committees in the judicial branch, including the Appellate Court Technology Committee, and review and approve recommendations made by any court committee concerning technology matters or otherwise implicating court technology policy.
(5) establish, periodically review, and update technical standards for technology used and to be used in the judicial branch to receive, manage, maintain, use, secure, and distribute court records by electronic means, consistent with the technology policies established by the supreme court. These standards shall be coordinated with the strategic plans of the judicial branch, rules of procedure, applicable law, and directions from the supreme court, and shall incorporate input from the public, clerks of court, supreme court committees and commissions, and other groups involved in the application of current technology to the judicial branch;
(6) create procedures whereby courts and clerks and other applicable entities can apply for approval of new systems, or modifications to existing systems, that involve the application of technology to the receipt, management, maintenance, use, securing, and distribution of court records within the judicial branch, and between the public and the judicial branch;
(7) evaluate all such applications to determine whether they comply with the technology policies established by the supreme court and the procedures and standards created pursuant to this rule, and approve those applications deemed to be effective and found to be in compliance;
(8) develop and maintain security policies that must be utilized to ensure the integrity and availability of court technology systems and related data;
(9) ensure principles of accessibility are met for all court technology projects, with consideration and application of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and any other applicable state or federal disability laws;
(10) ensure that the technology utilized in the judicial branch is capable of required integration;
(11) periodically review and evaluate all approved technology in the judicial branch to determine its adherence to current supreme court technology policies and standards;
(12) review annual and periodic reports on the status of court technology systems and proposals for technology improvements and innovation throughout the judicial branch;
(13) recommend statutory and rule changes or additions relating to court technology and the receipt, maintenance, management, use, securing, and distribution of court records by electronic means;
(14) identify technology issues that require attention in the judicial branch upon:
(A) referral from the chief justice;
(B) referral from the supreme court; or
(C) identification by the Florida Courts Technology Commission on its own initiative based on recommendations of the public, commission members, judges, justice system partners, The Florida Bar, clerks of court, the Florida Legislature (either informally or through the passage of legislation), the Governor, the cabinet, or executive branch agencies; and

(15) coordinate proposed amendments to rules of court procedure and judicial administration necessary to effectuate the commission’s charge with appropriate Florida Bar rules committees. If a program, system, or application is found not to comply with the policies established by the supreme court or the standards and procedures established by the commission, the commission may require that it be terminated or modified or subject to such conditions as the commission deems appropriate.

(c) Operational Procedures. The Florida Courts Technology Commission shall establish operating procedures necessary to carry out its responsibilities as outlined in subdivision (b), subject to final approval by the supreme court. These procedures shall include:
(1) a method for ensuring input from all interested constituencies in the state of Florida;
(2) a method for monitoring the development of new court technology projects, reviewing reports on new technology projects, and reviewing the annual reports;
(3) a method whereby courts and clerks and other applicable entities can apply for approval of new technology systems or applications, or modifications to existing systems or applications, that affect the receipt, management, maintenance, use, securing, and distribution of court records;
(4) a system to evaluate all applications for new or modified technology systems to determine whether they comply with the policies and technical standards established by the supreme court and the procedures created pursuant to this rule, and are otherwise appropriate to implement in the judicial branch;
(5) a process for making decisions on all applications for new or modified technology systems and communicating those decisions to interested parties. If an application is found to comply with technology policies and standards, the commission may approve the application and its written approval shall authorize the applicant to proceed. For all applications that are not approved, the commission shall assist the applicant in remedying any deficiencies that the commission identifies;
(6) a method to monitor all technology programs, systems, and applications used in the judicial branch to ensure that such programs, systems, and applications are operating in accordance with the technology policies established by the supreme court and technical standards established by the commission. The commission may ask any operator of a program, system, or application to appear before it for examination into whether the program, system, or application complies with technology policies and standards;
(7) a process to conduct the limited, short-term work of the commission through work groups that it may constitute from time to time. Work groups may make recommendations to the commission as a whole. The chair of the commission may appoint non-commission members to serve on any work group; and
(8) a process to conduct substantial work of the commission requiring long-term commitment through subcommittees. Subcommittees may make recommendations to the commission as a whole. The chair of the commission may appoint non-commission members to serve on any subcommittee.

(d) Action by Supreme Court or Chief Justice on Recommendations of or Decisions by Florida Courts Technology Commission. The supreme court or chief justice, as appropriate, may take any of the following actions on recommendations or decisions made by the Florida Courts Technology Commission:
(1) Adopt the recommendation or decision of the commission in whole or in part, with or without conditions.
(2) Refer specific issues or questions back to the commission for further study or alternative recommendations.
(3) Reject the recommendation or decision in whole or in part.
(4) Take alternative action.

(e) Membership and Organization.
(1) The Florida Courts Technology Commission shall be composed of 25 voting members appointed by the chief justice after consultation with the court. All members shall represent the interests of the public and of Florida courts generally rather than the separate interests of any particular district, circuit, county, division, or other organization. The membership shall include members who have experience in different divisions of courts, in court operations, and in using technology in court for case processing, management, and administrative purposes, and shall provide geographic, racial, ethnic, gender, and other diversity.
(2) The membership shall include 2 district court judges, 5 circuit court judges (1 of whom must be a chief judge), 2 county court judges, 3 court administrators, 3 court technology officers, 4 clerks of court (1 of whom must be a clerk of an appellate court), 4 members of The Florida Bar (1 of whom must be a member of the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar), and 2 members of the public at large.
(3) The members of the commission who are judicial officers, court technology officers, and court administrators must constitute a majority of the commission and must constitute a majority of any quorum at all meetings of the commission.
(4) A supreme court justice shall be appointed by the chief justice to serve as supreme court liaison to the commission.
(5) Each member will be initially appointed for a 1-, 2-, or 3-year term, with the terms staggered to ensure continuity and experience on the commission and for three year terms thereafter. Retention and reappointment of each member will be at the discretion of the chief justice.
(6) The chief justice shall appoint 1 member to serve as chair for a two-year term.

(f) Schedule of Reports. The Florida Courts Technology Commission shall prepare an annual report of its activities, which shall include its recommendations for changes or additions to the technology policies or standards of Florida courts, its recommendations for setting or changing priorities among the programs within the responsibility of the commission to assist with budget resources available, its recommendations for changes to rules, statutes, or regulations that affect technology in Florida courts and the work of the commission. The report also shall include recommendations of the Appellate Court Technology Committee that implicate court technology policy and the action taken on those recommendations by the commission. This report shall be submitted to the supreme court on April 1 of each year.

(g) Appellate Court Technology Committee.
(1) Purpose. The purpose of this subdivision is to establish the Appellate Court Technology Committee as a standing committee of the Florida Courts Technology Commission responsible for providing technical guidance and consultation to the commission regarding information systems development and operational policies and procedures relating to automation in the district courts of appeal.
(2) Responsibilities. (A) coordinate with and provide advice to the Florida Courts Technology Commission regarding the development of standards and policies for implementing new technologies, system security, public access to district court information, and system support;
(B) develop, recommend, and implement policy and procedures consistent with the overall policy of the supreme court relating to technology issues affecting the district courts of appeal;
(C) recommend and coordinate the purchase and upgrade of hardware and software in relation to the district courts’ office automation systems and networks;
(D) oversee and direct expenditures of designated state court system trust funds for technology needs in the district courts;
(E) promote orientation and education programs on technology and its effective utilization in the district court environment;
(F) ensure principles of accessibility are met for all court technology projects, with consideration and application of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and any other applicable state or federal disability laws;
(G) propose amendments to rules of court procedure and judicial administration necessary to effectuate the committee’s charge, after coordination with appropriate Florida Bar rules committees; and
(H) identify budget issues and funding sources and coordinate with the District Court of Appeal Budget Commission on recommendations requiring additional funding or resources for implementation in the district courts of appeal.

(3) Membership and Terms.
(A) The chief justice will select the chair of the committee from among the judges of the district courts, with input from the chief judges.
(B) The chief judges of the remaining district courts will designate a representative from each of their courts to serve as member of the committee.
(C) The chair and members will serve 3-year terms. Retention and reappointment of the chair will be at the discretion of the chief justice. Retention and reappointment of the representative from each district court will be at the discretion of the district court chief judge.

(4) Commission Approval and Reporting of Policy Recommendations. Committee recommendations that implicate court technology policy must be reviewed and approved by the commission. The commission will report the committee’s policy recommendations and the action taken on them by the commission to the supreme court. The committee may submit to the court a companion report on its recommendations, supporting or opposing the action taken by the commission.

(h) Staff Support and Funding.The Office of the State Courts Administrator shall provide primary staff support to the Florida Courts Technology Commission and the Appellate Court Technology Committee. Adequate staffing and resources shall be made available by the Office of the State Courts Administrator to ensure that the commission and committee are able to fulfill their responsibilities under this rule.

RULE 2.240 | DETERMINATION OF NEED FOR ADDITIONAL JUDGES

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to set forth uniform criteria used by the supreme court in determining the need for additional judges, except supreme court justices, and the necessity for decreasing the number of judges, pursuant to article V, section 9, Florida Constitution. These criteria form the primary basis for the supreme court’s determination of need for additional judges. Unforeseen developments, however, may have an impact upon the judiciary resulting in needs which cannot be foreseen or predicted by statistical projections. The supreme court, therefore, may also consider any additional information found by it to be relevant to the process. In establishing criteria for the need for additional appellate court judges, substantial reliance has been placed on the findings and recommendations of the Commission on District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability. See In re Report of the Comm’n on Dist. Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability—Rule of Judicial Admin. 2.035, 933 So. 2d 1136 (Fla. 2006).

(b) Criteria.
(1)Trial Courts.
(A) Assessment of judicial need at the trial court level is based primarily upon the application of case weights to circuit and county court caseload statistics supplied to the Office of the State Courts Administrator by the clerks of the circuit courts, pursuant to rule 2.245, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. Such case weights provide a quantified measure of judicial time spent on case-related activity, translating judicial caseloads into judicial workload by factoring in the relative complexity by case type in the following manner:
(i) The circuit court case weights are applied to forecasted case filings, which include circuit criminal (includes felony, drug court, and worthless check cases), circuit civil (includes matters involving claims of $15,000.01 and above), family (includes domestic relations, juvenile dependency, and juvenile delinquency cases), and probate (includes guardianship, mental health, and trust cases).
(ii) The county court case weights are applied to forecasted filings, which include county criminal (includes misdemeanor, violations of county and municipal ordinance, worthless check, driving under the influence, and other criminal traffic cases), and county civil (includes small claims, matters involving claims ranging from $5,000.01 to $15,000, landlord-tenant, and civil traffic infraction cases).

(B) Other factors may be utilized in the determination of the need for one or more additional judges. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) The availability and use of county court judges in circuit court.
(ii) The availability and use of senior judges to serve on a particular court.
(iii) The availability and use of magistrates and hearing officers.
(iv) The extent of use of alternative dispute resolution.
(v) The number of jury trials.
(vi) Foreign language interpretations.
(vii) The geographic size of a circuit, including travel times between courthouses in a particular jurisdiction.
(viii) Law enforcement activities in the court’s jurisdiction, including any substantial commitment of additional resources for state attorneys, public defenders, and local law enforcement.
(ix) The availability and use of case-related support staff and case management policies and practices.
(x) Caseload trends.

(C) The Commission on Trial Court Performance and Accountability shall review the trial court workload trends and case weights and consider adjustments no less than every five years.
(2) District Courts of Appeal.
(A) The criteria for determining the need to certify the need for increasing or decreasing the number of judges on a district court of appeal shall include the following factors:
(i) workload factors to be considered include: trends in case filings; trends in changes in case mix; trends in the backlog of cases ready for assignment and disposition; trends in the relative weight of cases disposed on the merits per judge; and changes in statutes, rules of court, and case law that directly or indirectly impact judicial workload. (ii) efficiency factors to be considered include: a court’s ability to stay current with its caseload, as indicated by measurements such as trend in clearance rate; trends in a court’s percentage of cases disposed within the time standards set forth in the Rules of Judicial Administration and explanation/justification for cases not resolved within the time standards; and a court’s utilization of resources, case management techniques and technologies to maximize the efficient adjudication of cases, research of legal issues, and preparation and distribution of decisions. (iii) effectiveness factors to be considered include the extent to which each judge has adequate time to: thoroughly research legal issues, review briefs and memoranda of law, participate in court conferences on pending cases, hear and dispose of motions, and prepare correspondence, orders, judgments and opinions; expedite appropriate cases; prepare written opinions when warranted; develop, clarify, and maintain consistency in the law within that district; review all decisions rendered by the court; perform administrative duties relating to the court; and participate in the administration of the justice system through work in statewide committees. (iv) professionalism factors to be considered include: the extent to which judges report that they have time to participate, including teaching, in education programs designed to increase the competency and efficiency of the judiciary and justice system as well as the competency of lawyers; provide guidance and instruction for the professional development of court support staff; and participate in appropriate activities of the legal profession at both the state and local levels to improve the relationship between the bench and bar, to enhance lawyer professionalism, and to improve the administration of justice.

(B) The court will presume that there is a need for an additional appellate court judgeship in any district for which a request is made and where the relative weight of cases disposed on the merits per judge would have exceeded the weighted case disposition threshold after application of the proposed additional judge(s).
(i) The relative weight of cases disposed on the merits shall be determined based upon case disposition statistics supplied to the state courts administrator by the clerks of the district courts of appeal, multiplied by the relative case weights established pursuant to subdivision (b)(2)(B)(ii), and divided by 100. (ii) The Commission on District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability shall review the workload trends of the district courts of appeal and consider adjustments in the relative case weights and the weighted case disposition threshold every four years. Any such recommended adjustment shall be subject to the approval of the supreme court.


(c) Additional Trial Court Workload Factors. Because summary statistics reflective of the above criteria do not fully measure judicial workload, the supreme court will receive and consider, among other things, information about the time to perform and volume of the following activities, which also comprise the judicial workload of a particular jurisdiction:
(1) review appellate court decisions;
(2) research legal issues;
(3) review briefs and memoranda of law;
(4) participate in court conferences on pending cases;
(5) hear and dispose of motions;
(6) prepare correspondence, orders, judgments, and decisional opinions;
(7) review presentence investigative reports and predispositional reports in delinquency and dependency cases;
(8) review petitions and motions for post-conviction relief;
(9) perform administrative duties relating to the court;
(10) participate in meetings with those involved in the justice system; and
(11) participate in educational programs designed to increase the competency and efficiency of the judiciary.

(d) Certification Process. The process by which certification of the need to increase or decrease the number of judges shall include:
(1) The state courts administrator will distribute a compilation of summary statistics and projections to each chief judge at a time designated by the chief justice.
(2) Each chief judge shall submit to the chief justice a request for any increase or decrease in the number of judges in accordance with the following:
(A) Trial Courts. Each chief judge will then consider these criteria, additional workload factors, and summary statistics, and submit to the chief justice a request for any increases or decreases under article V, section 9, of the Florida Constitution that the chief judge feels are required.
(B) District Courts. Each chief judge will then consider the criteria of this rule and the summary statistics; if a new judge is requested, the chief judge shall prepare a report showing the need for a new judge based upon the application of the criteria in this rule.
(i) Any request for a new district court judge shall be submitted to the District Court of Appeal Budget Commission for review and approval.
(ii) The chief judge of a district court of appeal shall submit the report showing the need together with the approval of the District Court of Appeal Budget Commission to the chief justice.


(3) The chief justice and the state courts administrator may then confer with the chief judge and other representatives of the court submitting the request as well as representatives of The Florida Bar and the public to gather additional information and clarification about the need in the particular jurisdiction.
(4) The chief justice will submit recommendations to the supreme court, which will thereafter certify to the legislature its findings and recommendations concerning such need.
(5) The supreme court, in conjunction with the certification process under this rule, shall also consider the necessity for increasing, decreasing, or redefining appellate districts and judicial circuits as required by article V, section 9, of the Florida Constitution and as set forth in Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.241.

Court Commentary

1983 Adoption. Article V, section 9, of the Florida Constitution authorizes the establishment, by rule, of uniform criteria for the determination of the need for additional judges, except supreme court justices, the necessity for decreasing the number of judges and for increasing, decreasing, or redefining appellate districts and judicial circuits. Each year since the adoption of article V in 1972, this court, pursuant to section 9, has certified its determination of need to the legislature based upon factors and criteria set forth in our certification decisions. This rule is intended to set forth criteria and workload factors previously developed, adopted, and used in this certification process, as summarized and specifically set forth in In re Certificate of Judicial Manpower, 428 So. 2d 229 (Fla. 1983); In re Certificate of Judicial Manpower, 396 So. 2d 172 (Fla. 1981); and In re Certification, 370 So. 2d 365 (Fla. 1979).
2004 Amendment. Subdivision (b)(2) was amended to provide more specific criteria and workload factors to be used in determining the need for increasing or decreasing the number of judges on the District Courts of Appeal. In addition, the caseload level at which the court will presume that there is a need for an additional appellate judge has been increased from 250 to 350 filings per judge.
2006 Amendment. Subdivision (a) is amended to be consistent with the 2006 adoption of rule 2.036 [renumbered as 2.241 in 2006] relating to the criteria for determining the necessity and for increasing, decreasing, or redefining appellate districts and judicial circuits, pursuant to article V, section 9, Florida Constitution. The Court adopts the Commission on District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability’s conclusion that a single case filing threshold is insufficient to capture the intricacies that make up judicial workload in the district courts. The Commission’s alternative to the 350-filings-per-judge threshold is a weighted case dispositions per judge, which the Commission determined to be a meaningful measure of judicial workload.
The relative weighted caseload is determined by surveying a representative sample of judges on the relative degree of judicial effort put into each category of cases based upon an agreed typical case having a value of 100. Each category was assigned a relative weight number based upon the statewide average of the weight calculated through the survey. These weights were then applied to each court’s dispositions on the merits to determine the weighted caseload value and divided by 100.
This approach accommodates the important distinction between the number of cases filed and the judicial effort required to dispose of those cases. While the number of cases continues to increase, trends in the types of cases filed have dramatically changed the nature of the work that the district court judges handle. The weighted caseload approach not only accommodates the differences in types of cases by measuring their relative workload demands for judges, but it also accommodates the work performed by legal support staff.
Subdivision (b)(2)(B) establishes a presumption that the relative weight of cases disposed on the merits should fall below 280 per judge. Chief judges must consider the impact that the addition of a judge would have on this measure when applied to their courts’ dispositions on the merits for the previous year.
Every four years the Commission will measure the relative judicial effort associated with the cases disposed on the merits for the year immediately preceding. This will be accomplished by asking a representative sample of judges to approximate the relative weight of cases in relation to a mid-ranked case. The resulting weights will then be applied to each court’s dispositions on the merits to determine the weighted caseload value per judge.
2013 Amendment. Subdivision (d)(5) was added to ensure the certification process under rule 2.240(d) is conducted in conjunction with the related process for determinations regarding increases, decreases, or redefinition of appellate districts and judicial circuits under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.241.

RULE 2.241 | DETERMINATION OF THE NECESSITY TO INCREASE, DECREASE, OR REDEFINE JUDICIAL CIRCUITS AND APPELLATE DISTRICTS

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to establish uniform criteria for the supreme court’s determination of the necessity for increasing, decreasing, or redefining judicial circuits and appellate districts as required by article V, section 9, of the Florida Constitution. This rule also provides for an assessment committee and a certification process to assist the court in certifying to the legislature its findings and recommendations concerning such need.

(b) Certification Process. A certification process shall be completed in conjunction with the supreme court’s annual determination regarding the need for judges under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.240(d) and in accordance with the following:
(1) The supreme court shall certify a necessity to increase, decrease, or redefine judicial circuits and appellate districts when it determines that the judicial process is adversely affected by circumstances that present a compelling need for the certified change.
(2) The supreme court may certify a necessity to increase, decrease, or redefine judicial circuits and appellate districts when it determines that the judicial process would be improved significantly by the certified change.
(3) The state courts administrator will distribute a compilation of summary statistics and projections to each chief judge at a time designated by the chief justice.
(4) Each chief judge shall consider criteria as may apply under rules 2.241(c) and 2.241(d), as well as any other relevant factors, and shall inform the chief justice of any perceived need to increase, decrease, or redefine the state’s judicial circuits or appellate districts.
(5) Having been advised in these matters by the chief justice and taking into consideration other relevant factors, the supreme court, finding cause for further inquiry, may appoint an assessment committee to consider the capacity of the courts to effectively fulfill their constitutional and statutory responsibilities as well as any attendant need to increase, decrease, or redefine appellate districts and judicial circuits.
(6) If an assessment committee is appointed, the committee shall confer with the chief judges and other representatives of appellate districts and judicial circuits, district court of appeal and/or trial court budget commissions, The Florida Bar, and the public for purposes of gathering additional information regarding matters within its charge and shall submit written recommendations to the supreme court.
(7) The supreme court shall consider the assessment committee’s recommendations within a timeframe it deems appropriate.
(8) Whether or not an assessment committee is appointed, the supreme court shall balance the potential impact and disruption caused by changes in judicial circuits and appellate districts against the need to address circumstances that limit the quality and efficiency of, and public confidence in, the judicial process. Given the impact and disruption that can arise from any alteration in judicial structure, prior to recommending a change in judicial circuits or appellate districts, the supreme court shall consider less disruptive adjustments including, but not limited to, the addition of judges, the creation of branch locations, geographic or subject-matter divisions within judicial circuits or appellate districts, deployment of new technologies, and increased ratios of support staff per judge.

(c) Criteria for Judicial Circuits. The following criteria shall be considered when determining the necessity for increasing, decreasing, or redefining judicial circuits as required by article V, section 9, of the Florida Constitution:
(1) Effectiveness. Factors to be considered for this criterion include the extent to which each court:
(A) expedites appropriate cases;
(B) handles its workload in a manner permitting its judges to prepare written decisions when warranted;
(C) is capable of accommodating changes in statutes or case law impacting workload or court operations; and
(D) handles its workload in a manner permitting its judges to serve on committees for the judicial system.

(2) Efficiency. Factors to be considered for this criterion are the extent to which each court:
(A) stays current with its caseload, as indicated by measurements such as the clearance rate;
(B) adjudicates a high percentage of its cases within the time standards set forth in the Rules of Judicial Administration and has adequate procedures to ensure efficient, timely disposition of its cases; and
(C) uses its resources, case management techniques, and technologies to improve the efficient adjudication of cases, research of legal issues, and issuance of decisions.

(3) Access to Courts. Factors to be considered for this criterion are the extent to which:
(A) litigants, including self-represented litigants, have meaningful access consistent with due process; and
(B) decisions of a court are available in a timely and efficient manner.

(4) Professionalism. Factors to be considered for this criterion are the extent to which each court:
(A) handles workload issues in a manner permitting its judges adequate time and resources to participate in continuing judicial education and to stay abreast of the law in order to maintain a qualified judiciary;
(B) is capable of recruiting and retaining qualified staff; and
(C) affords staff adequate time to participate in continuing education and specialized training.

(5) Public Trust and Confidence. Factors to be considered for this criterion are the extent to which each court:
(A) handles workload in a manner permitting its judges adequate time for community involvement;
(B) affords access to open court and other public proceedings for the general public;
(C) fosters public trust and confidence given its geography and demographic composition; and
(D) attracts a diverse group of well-qualified applicants for judicial vacancies, including applicants from all counties within the circuit.

(6) Additional criteria. Such other factors as are regularly considered when making a determination with respect to the need for additional judges under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.240(b)(1) and (c).

(d) Criteria for District Courts. The following criteria shall be considered when determining the necessity for increasing, decreasing, or redefining appellate districts as required by article V, section 9, of the Florida Constitution:
(1) Effectiveness. Factors to be considered for this criterion are the extent to which each court:
(A) expedites appropriate cases;
(B) handles workload in a manner permitting its judges to prepare written opinions when warranted;
(C) functions in a collegial manner;
(D) handles workload in a manner permitting its judges to develop, clarify, and maintain consistency in the law within that district, including consistency between written opinions and per curiam affirmances without written opinions;
(E) handles its workload in a manner permitting its judges to harmonize decisions of their court with those of other district courts or to certify conflict when appropriate;
(F) handles its workload in a manner permitting its judges to have adequate time to review all decisions rendered by the court;
(G) is capable of accommodating changes in statutes or case law impacting workload or court operations; and
(H) handles its workload in a manner permitting its judges to serve on committees for the judicial system.

(2) Efficiency. Factors to be considered for this criterion are the extent to which each court:
(A) stays current with its caseload, as indicated by measurements such as the clearance rate;
(B) adjudicates a high percentage of its cases within the time standards set forth in the Rules of Judicial Administration and has adequate procedures to ensure efficient, timely disposition of its cases; and
(C) uses its resources, case management techniques, and other technologies to improve the efficient adjudication of cases, research of legal issues, and preparation and distribution of decisions.

(3) Access to Appellate Review. Factors to be considered for this criterion are the extent to which: (A) litigants, including self-represented litigants, have meaningful access to a district court for mandatory and discretionary review of cases, consistent with due process;
(B) litigants are afforded efficient access to the court for the filing of pleadings and for oral argument when appropriate; and
(C) orders and opinions of a court are available in a timely and efficient manner.

(4) Professionalism. Factors to be considered for this criterion are the extent to which each court:
(A) handles its workload in a manner permitting its judges adequate time and resources to participate in continuing judicial education opportunities and to stay abreast of the law in order to maintain a qualified judiciary;
(B) is capable of recruiting and retaining qualified staff; and
(C) affords staff adequate time to participate in continuing education and specialized training.

(5) Public Trust and Confidence. Factors to be considered for this criterion are the extent to which each court:
(A) handles its workload in a manner permitting its judges adequate time for community involvement;
(B) provides adequate access to oral arguments and other public proceedings for the general public within its district;
(C) fosters public trust and confidence given its geography and demographic composition; and
(D) attracts diverse group of well-qualified applicants for judicial vacancies, including applicants from all circuits within the district.


(e) Results of determination. Only upon the supreme court’s finding that a need exists for increasing, decreasing, or redefining appellate districts and judicial circuits, shall the court, acting prior to the next regular session of the legislature, certify to the legislature its findings and recommendations concerning such need.

Committee Notes

District Court of Appeal Workload and Jurisdiction Committee Notes 2006 Adoption. Article V, section 9 of the Florida constitution states that:
The supreme court shall establish by rule uniform criteria for the determination of the need for additional judges except supreme court justices, the necessity for decreasing the number of judges and for increasing, decreasing or redefining appellate districts. If the supreme court finds that a need exists for . . . increasing, decreasing or redefining appellate districts . . . , it shall, prior to the next regular session of the legislature, certify to the legislature its findings and recommendations concerning such need.
(Emphasis added.) Thus, the constitution uses only “need” when describing the uniform criteria for certifying additional judges, but uses both “necessity” and “need” when describing the uniform criteria for increasing, decreasing, or redefining appellate districts. The supreme court has never determined whether this language compels differing tests for the two certifications. Subdivision (c) of this rule uses the phrase “certify a necessity.” The Committee on District Court of Appeal Workload and Jurisdiction determined that the two standards set forth in that subdivision recognize the supreme court’s obligation to recommend a change to the structure of the district courts when circumstances reach the level of necessity that compels a change, but also recognize the court’s discretion to recommend a change to the structure of the district courts when improvements are needed.
The criteria set forth in this rule are based on studies of the workload, jurisdiction, and performance of the appellate courts, and the work of the Committee on District Court of Appeal Workload and Jurisdiction in 2005. In establishing these criteria, substantial reliance was placed on empirical research conducted by judicial branch committees and on other statistical data concerning cases, caseloads, timeliness of case processing, and manner for disposition of cases, collected by the Office of the State Courts Administrator Office as required by section 25.075, Florida Statutes (2004), and Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.030(e)(2).
The workload and jurisdiction committee considered the impact of computer technology on appellate districts. It is clear that, at this time or in the future, technology can be deployed to allow litigants efficient access to a court for filing of pleadings and for participation in oral argument, and that it can expand the general public’s access to the courts. It is possible that technology will substantially alter the appellate review process in the future and that appellate courts may find that technology permits or even requires different districting techniques. This rule was designed to allow these issues to be addressed by the assessment committee and the supreme court without mandating any specific approach.
The five basic criteria in subdivision (d) are not listed in any order of priority. Thus, for example, the workload and jurisdiction committee did not intend efficiency to be a more important criterion than engendering public trust and confidence.
Subdivision (d)(2)(A) recognizes that the court currently provides the legislature with an annual measurement of the appellate courts’ “clearance rate,” which is the ratio between the number of cases that are resolved during a fiscal year and the new cases that are filed during the same period. Thus, a clearance rate of one hundred percent reflects a court that is disposing of pending cases at approximately the same rate that new cases arrive. Given that other measurements may be selected in the future, the rule does not mandate sole reliance on this measurement.
Subdivision (d)(5)(E) recognizes that a district court’s geographic territory may be so large that it limits or discourages applicants for judicial vacancies from throughout the district and creates the perception that a court’s judges do not reflect the makeup of the territory.

Court Commentary

2013 Amendment.The rule has been amended so the supreme court’s annual certification process will include an analysis of the need to increase, decrease, or redefine judicial circuits. The requirement for an assessment committee to analyze, once every eight years, the capacity of the district courts to fulfill their duties has been deleted. Instead, the chief judges of the trial and appellate courts will review annual statistics provided by the state courts administrator, along with the criteria set forth in the rule and any other relevant factors, and inform the chief justice of any perceived need. Taking these and other concerns into consideration, the supreme court may appoint an assessment committee to make further inquiry. If an assessment committee is appointed, the supreme court will consider the committee’s recommendations and will certify to the legislature its own findings and recommendations concerning such need.

RULE 2.244 | JUDICIAL COMPENSATION

(a) Statement of Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to set forth the official policy of the judicial branch of state government concerning the appropriate salary relationships between justices and judges at the various levels of the state courts system and the mechanism for advancing judicial compensation and benefits issues. Although ultimate discretion in establishing judicial compensation is vested in the Florida Legislature, the salary relationships referenced in this rule reflect the policy of the judicial branch when requesting adjustments to judicial salaries.

(b) Annual Salaries. The annual salary of a district court of appeal judge should be equal to 95 percent of the annual salary of a supreme court justice. The annual salary of a circuit court judge should be equal to 90 percent of the annual salary of a supreme court justice. The annual salary of a county court judge should be equal to 85 percent of the annual salary of a supreme court justice.

(c) Unified Committee on Judicial Compensation.
(1) Creation. There shall be created a Unified Committee on Judicial Compensation to address judicial pay and benefits issues.
(2) Purpose. The purpose of the Unified Committee on Judicial Compensation shall be to:
(A) develop and recommend to the supreme court judicial pay and benefits priorities; and
(B) advocate for judicial pay and benefits issues approved by the supreme court for inclusion in the annual judicial branch budget request.

(3) Membership. The membership shall include the chief justice of the supreme court, the presidents and presidents-elect of the Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges, the Conference of Circuit Court Judges, and the Conference of County Court Judges, and the chairs and vice-chairs of the District Court Budget Commission and the Trail Court Budget Commission.
(4) Staffing. The Office of the State Courts Administrator will provide primary staff support to the committee.

RULE 2.245 | CASE REPORTING SYSTEM FOR TRIAL COURTS

(a) Reporting.The clerk of the circuit court shall report the activity of all cases before all courts within the clerk’s jurisdiction to the supreme court in the manner and on the forms established by the office of the state courts administrator and approved by order of the court. In those jurisdictions where separate offices of the clerk of the circuit court and clerk of the county court have been established by law, the clerk of the circuit court shall report the activity of all cases before the circuit court, and the clerk of the county court shall report the activity of all cases before the county court.

(b) Uniform Case Numbering System.
(1) The clerk of the circuit court and the clerk of the county court, where that separate office exists, shall use the Uniform Case Numbering System. The uniform case number shall appear upon the case file, the docket and minute books (or their electronic equivalent), and the complaint.
(2) The office of the state courts administrator shall distribute to the respective clerks of the circuit and county courts appropriate instructions regarding the nature and use of the Uniform Case Numbering System.

RULE 2.250 | TIME STANDARDS FOR TRIAL AND APPELLATE COURTS AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

(a) Time Standards. The following time standards are hereby established as a presumptively reasonable time period for the completion of cases in the trial and appellate courts of this state. It is recognized that there are cases that, because of their complexity, present problems that cause reasonable delays. However, most cases should be completed within the following time periods:
(1) Trial Court Time Standards.
(A) Criminal.
Felony — 180 days (arrest to final disposition)
Misdemeanor — 90 days (arrest to final disposition)
(B) Civil.
Jury cases — 18 months (filing to final disposition)
Non-jury cases — 12 months (filing to final disposition)
Small claims — 95 days (filing to final disposition)
(C) Domestic Relations.
Uncontested — 90 days (filing to final disposition)
Contested — 180 days (filing to final disposition)
(D) Probate.
Uncontested, no federal estate tax return — 12 months (from issuance of letters of administration to final discharge)
Uncontested, with federal estate tax return — 12 months (from the return’s due date to final discharge)
Contested — 24 months (from filing to final discharge)
(E) Juvenile Delinquency.
Disposition hearing — 120 days (filing of petition or child being taken into custody to hearing)
Disposition hearing (child detained) — 36 days (date of detention to hearing)
(F) Juvenile Dependency.
Disposition hearing (child sheltered) — 88 days (shelter hearing to disposition)
Disposition hearing (child not sheltered) — 120 days (filing of petition for dependency to hearing)
(G) Permanency Proceedings.
Permanency hearing — 12 months (date child is sheltered to hearing)

(2) Supreme Court and District Courts of Appeal Time Standards: Rendering a decision — within 180 days of either oral argument or the submission of the case to the court panel for a decision without oral argument, except in juvenile dependency or termination of parental rights cases, in which a decision should be rendered within 60 days of either oral argument or submission of the case to the court panel for a decision without oral argument.
(3) Florida Bar Referee Time Standards: Report of referee — within 180 days of being assigned to hear the case
(4) Circuit Court Acting as Appellate Court:
Ninety days from submission of the case to the judge for review

(b) Reporting of Cases. The time standards require that the following monitoring procedures be implemented:

All pending cases in circuit and district courts of appeal exceeding the time standards shall be listed separately on a report submitted quarterly to the chief justice. The report shall include for each case listed the case number, type of case, case status (active or inactive for civil cases and contested or uncontested for domestic relations and probate cases), the date of arrest in criminal cases, and the original filing date in civil cases. The Office of the State Courts Administrator will provide the necessary forms for submission of this data. The report will be due on the 15th day of the month following the last day of the quarter.

RULE 2.255 | STATEWIDE GRAND JURY

(a) Procedure. The chief judge of each judicial circuit shall cause a list of those persons whose names have been drawn and certified for jury duty in each of the counties within that circuit to be compiled. The lists shall be taken from the male and female population over the age of 18 years and having the other constitutional and statutory qualifications for jury duty in this state not later than the last day of the first week of December of each year. From the lists so compiled, the chief judge shall cause to be selected, by lot and at random, and by any authorized method including mechanical, electronic, or electrical device, a list of prospective grand jurors from each county whose number shall be determined on the basis of 3 jurors for each 3,000 residents or a fraction thereof in each county. The lists from which the names are drawn may be, but are not required to be, the same lists from which petit and grand juries are drawn in each county and circuit.

After compilation, the statewide grand jury lists shall be submitted to the state courts administrator not later than February 15 of each year.

(b) Population. For the purposes of this rule, the population of each county shall be in accordance with the latest United States Decennial Census as set forth in the Florida Statutes.

(c) Excuses.
(1) The judge appointed to preside over the statewide grand jury may issue an order appointing the chief judge of the judicial circuit where a prospective grand juror resides to determine whether service on the statewide grand jury will result in an unreasonable personal or financial hardship because of the location or projected length of the grand jury investigation.
(2) The chief judge of the circuit shall determine whether a prospective grand juror fails to meet the qualifications of a juror in the county where the person resides. The determination shall be made only for those prospective grand jurors who contact the chief judge and request disqualification.
(3) The chief judge of the circuit shall excuse any prospective grand juror who requests and is qualified for exemption from grand jury service pursuant to general law, or from service as a juror in the county where the person resides. The chief judge shall inform the judge appointed to preside over the statewide grand jury without delay of any determination.

RULE 2.256 | JUROR TIME MANAGEMENT

(a) Optimum Use.The services of prospective jurors should be employed so as to achieve optimum use with a minimum of inconvenience to jurors.

(b) Minimum Number.A minimally sufficient number of jurors needed to accommodate trial activity should be determined. This information and appropriate management techniques should be used to adjust both the number of individuals summoned for jury duty and the number assigned to jury panels, consistent with any administrative orders issued by the Chief Justice.

(c) Courtroom Assignment.Each prospective juror who has reported to the courthouse should be assigned a courtroom for voir dire before any prospective juror is assigned a second time.

(d) Calendar Coordination.Jury management and calendar management should be coordinated to make effective use of jurors.

RULE 2.260 | CHANGE OF VENUE

(a) Preliminary Procedures. Prior to entering an order to change venue to a particular circuit in a criminal case or in any other case in which change of venue will likely create an unusual burden for the transferee circuit, the chief judge in the circuit in which the case originated shall contact the chief judge in the circuit to which the case is intended to be moved to determine the receiving county’s ability to accommodate the change of venue. It is the intent of this rule that the county identified to receive the case shall do so unless the physical facilities or other resources in that county are such that moving the case to that county would either create an unsafe situation or adversely affect the operations of that court. Any conflict between the circuits regarding a potential change of venue shall be referred to the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court for resolution.

(b) Presiding Judge. The presiding judge from the originating court shall accompany the change of venue case, unless the originating and receiving courts agree otherwise.

(c) Reimbursement of Costs. As a general policy the county in which an action originated shall reimburse the county receiving the change of venue case for any ordinary expenditure and any extraordinary but reasonable and necessary expenditure that would not otherwise have been incurred by the receiving county. For purposes of this section, ordinary expenditure, extraordinary expenditure, and nonreimbursable expenditure are defined as follows:
(1) Ordinary expenditures include:
(A) juror expenses not reimbursed by the State of Florida;
(B) court reporter expenses, including appearances by either official or freelance reporters, transcripts, and other expenses associated with the creation of a court record;
(C) court interpreters;
(D) maintenance of evidence, including the cost of handling, storing, or maintaining the evidence beyond the expenses normally incurred by the receiving county;
(E) services and supplies purchased as a result of the change of venue;
(F) overtime expenditures for regular court and clerk staff attributable to the change of venue; and
(G) trial-related expenses, including conflict attorney fees; all expert, law enforcement, or ordinary witness costs and expenses; and investigator expenses.

(2) Extraordinary but reasonable and necessary expenses include:
(A) security-related expenditures, including overtime for security personnel;
(B) facility remodeling or renovation; and
(C) leasing or renting of space or equipment.
Except in emergencies or unless it is impracticable to do so, a receiving county should give notice to the chief judge and clerk of the county in which the action originated before incurring any extraordinary expenditures.

(3) Nonreimbursable expenses include:
(A) normal operating expenses, including the overhead of the receiving county; and
(B) equipment that is purchased and kept by the receiving county that can be used for other purposes or cases.


(d) Documentation of Costs. No expenses shall be submitted for reimbursement without supporting documentation, such as a claim, invoice, bill, statement, or time sheet. Any required court order or approval of costs shall also be sent to the originating court.

(e) Timing of Reimbursement. Unless both counties agree to other terms, reimbursement of all expenses by the originating county shall be paid or disputed in writing on or before the sixtieth day after the receipt of the claim for reimbursement. Payment of a disputed amount shall be made on or before the sixtieth day after the resolution of this dispute. Any amount subject to dispute shall be expeditiously resolved by authorized representatives of the court administrator’s office of the originating and receiving counties.

(f) Media Relations. Procedures to accommodate the media shall be developed by the receiving county immediately upon notice of the change of venue when the change of venue is reasonably expected to generate an unusual amount of publicity. These procedures must be approved by the chief judge of the receiving circuit and implemented pursuant to administrative order by the presiding judge. The presiding judge shall obtain the concurrence of the chief judge before entering any orders that vary from or conflict with existing administrative orders of the receiving circuit.

(g) Case File. The clerk of the circuit court in the originating county shall forward the original case file to the clerk in the receiving county. The receiving clerk shall maintain the file and keep it secure until the trial has been concluded. During the trial, any documents or exhibits that have been added shall be properly marked and added to the file in a manner consistent with the policy and procedures of the receiving county. After the conclusion of the trial, the file shall be returned to the clerk in the county of origin.

RULE 2.265 | MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS

(a) References to Abolished Municipal Courts. All references to a municipal court or municipal judge in rules promulgated by the supreme court, in the Florida Statutes, and in any municipal ordinance shall be deemed to refer, respectively, to the county court or county court judge.

(b) Costs in County Courts. The chief judge of a circuit shall by administrative order establish a schedule of costs, in conformity with any provisions of law, to be assessed against a defendant in the county court and paid to the county for violations of municipal ordinances which are prosecuted in county court. The costs shall be assessed as a set dollar amount per conviction, not to exceed $50 excluding any other statutory costs.

(c) Collection of Outstanding Fines. All cases for which outstanding fines, civil penalties, and costs are being collected by a municipality shall be retained by the municipality until collected or until the offender defaults on payment. If a default occurs, the municipality may institute summary claims proceedings to collect the outstanding fines.

(d) Judicial Notice of Municipal Ordinances. The judges of the county courts may take judicial notice of any municipal ordinance if a certified copy of the ordinance has been filed in the office of the clerk of circuit court or, in those counties having a clerk of the county court, filed in that office, and if a certified copy of the ordinance is presented to the court.

(e) Style of Municipal Ordinance Cases. All prosecutions for violations of municipal ordinances in county court shall have the following style: City of _______________ v. ________________

RULE 2.310 | JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE, REMOVAL, RETIREMENT, AND SUSPENSION

(a) Filing. Any recommendations to the supreme court from the Judicial Qualifications Commission pursuant to article V, section 12, of the Florida Constitution shall be in writing. The original and 7 copies shall be filed with the clerk of the court, and a copy shall be served expeditiously on the justice or judge against whom action is sought.

(b) Procedure.
(1) Promptly upon the filing of a recommendation from the commission, the court shall determine whether the commission’s recommendation complies with all requirements of the constitution and the commission’s rules. Upon determining that the recommendation so complies, and unless the court otherwise directs, an order shall issue directing the justice or judge to show cause in writing why the recommended action should not be taken.
(2) The justice or judge may file a response in writing within the time set by the court in its order to show cause, and the commission may serve a reply within 20 days from service of the response.
(3) If requested by the commission, or by a justice or judge at the time of filing a response, the court may allow oral argument on the commission’s recommendation.

(c) Costs. The supreme court may award reasonable and necessary costs, including costs of investigation and prosecution, to the prevailing party. Neither attorneys’ fees nor travel expenses of commission personnel shall be included in an award of costs. Taxable costs may include:

(1) court reporters’ fees, including per diem fees, deposition costs, and costs associated with the preparation of the transcript and record; and
(2) witness expenses, including travel and out-of-pocket expenses.

RULE 2.320 | CONTINUING JUDICIAL EDUCATION

(a) Purpose. This rule sets forth the continuing education requirements for all judges in the state judicial system.

(b) Education Requirements.
(1) Applicability. All Florida county, circuit, and appellate judges and Florida supreme court justices shall comply with these judicial education requirements. Retired judges who have been approved by the supreme court to be assigned to temporary active duty as authorized by section 25.073, Florida Statutes (1991), shall also comply with the judicial education requirements
(2) Minimum Requirements. Each judge and justice shall complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved judicial education programs every 3 years. Beginning January 1, 2012, 4 hours must be in the area of judicial ethics; prior to that date, 2 hours in the area of judicial ethics are required. Approved courses in fairness and diversity also can be used to fulfill the judicial ethics requirement. In addition to the 30-hour requirement, every judge new to a level of trial court must complete the Florida Judicial College program in that judge’s first year of judicial service following selection to that level of court; every new appellate court judge or justice must, within 2 years following selection to that level of court, complete an approved appellate-judge program. Every new appellate judge who has never been a trial judge or who has never attended Phase I of the Florida Judicial College as a magistrate must also attend Phase I of the Florida Judicial College in that judge’s first year of judicial service following the judge’s appointment. Credit for teaching a course for which mandatory judicial education credit is available will be allowed on the basis of 2 1/2 hours’ credit for each instructional hour taught, up to a maximum of 5 hours per year.
(3) Mediation Training. Prior to conducting any mediation, a senior judge shall have completed a minimum of one judicial education course offered by the Florida Court Education Council. The course shall specifically focus on the areas where the Code of Judicial Conduct or the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators could be violated.

(c) Course Approval. The Florida Court Education Council, in consultation with the judicial conferences, shall develop approved courses for each state court jurisdiction. Courses offered by other judicial and legal education entities must be approved by the council before they may be submitted for credit.

(d) Waiver. The Florida Court Education Council is responsible for establishing a procedure for considering and acting upon waiver and extension requests on an individual basis.

(e) Reporting Requirements and Sanctions. The Florida Court Education Council shall establish a procedure for reporting annually to the chief justice on compliance with this rule. Each judge shall submit to the Court Education Division of the Office of the State Courts Administrator an annual report showing the judge’s attendance at approved courses. Failure to comply with the requirements of this rule will be reported to the chief justice of the Florida supreme court for such administrative action as deemed necessary. The chief justice may consider a judge’s or justice’s failure to comply as neglect of duty and report the matter to the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

RULE 2.330 | DISQUALIFICATION OF TRIAL JUDGES

(a) Application. This rule applies only to county and circuit judges in all matters in all divisions of court.

(b) Parties. Any party, including the state, may move to disqualify the trial judge assigned to the case on grounds provided by rule, by statute, or by the Code of Judicial Conduct.

(c) Motion. A motion to disqualify shall:
(1) be in writing;
(2) allege specifically the facts and reasons upon which the movant relies as the grounds for disqualification;
(3) be sworn to by the party by signing the motion under oath or by a separate affidavit; and
(4) include the dates of all previously granted motions to disqualify filed under this rule in the case and the dates of the orders granting those motions.
The attorney for the party shall also separately certify that the motion and the client’s statements are made in good faith. In addition to filing with the clerk, the movant shall immediately serve a copy of the motion on the subject judge as set forth in Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.080.


(d) Grounds. A motion to disqualify shall show:
(1) that the party fears that he or she will not receive a fair trial or hearing because of specifically described prejudice or bias of the judge; or
(2) that the judge before whom the case is pending, or some person related to said judge by consanguinity or affinity within the third degree, is a party thereto or is interested in the result thereof, or that said judge is related to an attorney or counselor of record in the cause by consanguinity or affinity within the third degree, or that said judge is a material witness for or against one of the parties to the cause.


(e) Time. A motion to disqualify shall be filed within a reasonable time not to exceed 10 days after discovery of the facts constituting the grounds for the motion and shall be promptly presented to the court for an immediate ruling. Any motion for disqualification made during a hearing or trial must be based on facts discovered during the hearing or trial and may be stated on the record, provided that it is also promptly reduced to writing in compliance with subdivision (c) and promptly filed. A motion made during hearing or trial shall be ruled on immediately.

(f) Determination —Initial Motion. The judge against whom an initial motion to disqualify under subdivision (d)(1) is directed shall determine only the legal sufficiency of the motion and shall not pass on the truth of the facts alleged. If the motion is legally sufficient, the judge shall immediately enter an order granting disqualification and proceed no further in the action. If any motion is legally insufficient, an order denying the motion shall immediately be entered. No other reason for denial shall be stated, and an order of denial shall not take issue with the motion.

(g) Determination —Successive Motions. If a judge has been previously disqualified on motion for alleged prejudice or partiality under subdivision (d)(1), a successor judge shall not be disqualified based on a successive motion by the same party unless the successor judge rules that he or she is in fact not fair or impartial in the case. Such a successor judge may rule on the truth of the facts alleged in support of the motion.

(h) Prior Rulings. Prior factual or legal rulings by a disqualified judge may be reconsidered and vacated or amended by a successor judge based upon a motion for reconsideration, which must be filed within 20 days of the order of disqualification, unless good cause is shown for a delay in moving for reconsideration or other grounds for reconsideration exist.

(i) Judge’s Initiative. Nothing in this rule limits the judge’s authority to enter an order of disqualification on the judge’s own initiative.

(j) Time for Determination. The judge shall rule on a motion to disqualify immediately, but no later than 30 days after the service of the motion as set forth in subdivision (c). If not ruled on within 30 days of service, the motion shall be deemed granted and the moving party may seek an order from the court directing the clerk to reassign the case.

RULE 2.340 | JUDICIAL ATTIRE

During any judicial proceeding, robes worn by a judge must be solid black with no embellishment.

RULE 2.410 | POSSESSION OF COURT RECORDS

No person other than judges and authorized court employees shall remove court records as defined in rule 2.430 from the clerk’s office except by order of the chief judge or chief justice upon a showing of good cause.

Court Commentary

1996 Adoption.This rule was written as a result of the problems being encountered in the removal of files from clerks’ offices. While the purpose of the rule is to discourage the removal of court files, it is not intended to prohibit chief judges or the chief justice from issuing for good cause a general order providing that attorneys or authorized individuals may be allowed to check out files on a routine basis to assist in the administrative efficiency of a court. We note that section 28.13, Florida Statutes (1995), similarly prohibits the removal of files from clerks’ offices.

RULE 2.420 | PUBLIC ACCESS TO AND PROTECTION OF JUDICIAL BRANCH RECORDS

(a) Scope and Purpose. Subject to the rulemaking power of the Florida Supreme Court provided by article V, section 2, Florida Constitution, the following rule shall govern public access to and the protection of the records of the judicial branch of government. The public shall have access to all records of the judicial branch of government, except as provided below. Access to all electronic and other court records shall be governed by the Standards for Access to Electronic Court Records and Access Security Matrix, as adopted by the supreme court in Administrative Order AOSC14-19 or the then-current Standards for Access. Remote access to electronic court records shall be permitted in counties where the supreme court’s conditions for release of such records are met.

(b) Definitions.
(1) “Records of the judicial branch” are all records, regardless of physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received in connection with the transaction of official business by any judicial branch entity and consist of:
(A) “court records,” which are the contents of the court file, including the progress docket and other similar records generated to document activity in a case, transcripts filed with the clerk, documentary exhibits in the custody of the clerk, and electronic records, videotapes, or stenographic tapes of depositions or other proceedings filed with the clerk, and electronic records, videotapes, or stenographic tapes of court proceedings; and
(B) “administrative records,” which are all other records made or received pursuant to court rule, law, or ordinance, or in connection with the transaction of official business by any judicial branch entity.

(2) “Judicial branch” means the judicial branch of government, which includes the state courts system, the clerk of court when acting as an arm of the court, The Florida Bar, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and all other entities established by or operating under the authority of the supreme court or the chief justice.
(3) “Custodian.” The custodian of all administrative records of any court is the chief justice or chief judge of that court, except that each judge is the custodian of all records that are solely within the possession and control of that judge. As to all other records, the custodian is the official charged with the responsibility for the care, safekeeping, and supervision of such records. All references to “custodian” mean the custodian or the custodian’s designee.
(4) “Confidential,” as applied to information contained within a record of the judicial branch, means that such information is exempt from the public right of access under article I, section 24(a) of the Florida Constitution and may be released only to the persons or organizations designated by law, statute, or court order. As applied to information contained within a court record, the term “exempt” means that such information is confidential. Confidential information includes information that is confidential under this rule or under a court order entered pursuant to this rule. To the extent reasonably practicable, restriction of access to confidential information shall be implemented in a manner that does not restrict access to any portion of the record that is not confidential.
(5) “Affected non-party” means any non-party identified by name in a court record that contains confidential information pertaining to that non-party.
(6) “Filer” means any person who files a document in court records, except “filer” does not include the clerk of court or designee of the clerk, a judge, magistrate, hearing officer, or designee of a judge, magistrate or hearing officer.

(c) Confidential and Exempt Records. The following records of the judicial branch shall be confidential:
(1) Trial and appellate court memoranda, drafts of opinions and orders, court conference records, notes, and other written materials of a similar nature prepared by judges or court staff acting on behalf of or at the direction of the court as part of the court’s judicial decision-making process utilized in disposing of cases and controversies before Florida courts unless filed as a part of the court record;
(2) Memoranda or advisory opinions that relate to the administration of the court and that require confidentiality to protect a compelling governmental interest, including, but not limited to, maintaining court security, facilitating a criminal investigation, or protecting public safety, which cannot be adequately protected by less restrictive measures. The degree, duration, and manner of confidentiality imposed shall be no broader than necessary to protect the compelling governmental interest involved, and a finding shall be made that no less restrictive measures are available to protect this interest. The decision that confidentiality is required with respect to such administrative memorandum or written advisory opinion shall be made by the chief judge;
(3)
(A) Complaints alleging misconduct against judges until probable cause is established;
(B) Complaints alleging misconduct against other entities or individuals licensed or regulated by the courts, until a finding of probable cause or no probable cause is established, unless otherwise provided. Such finding should be made within the time limit set by law or rule. If no time limit is set, the finding should be made within a reasonable period of time;

(4) Periodic evaluations implemented solely to assist judges in improving their performance, all information gathered to form the bases for the evaluations, and the results generated therefrom;
(5) Only the names and qualifications of persons applying to serve or serving as unpaid volunteers to assist the court, at the court’s request and direction, shall be accessible to the public. All other information contained in the applications by and evaluations of persons applying to serve or serving as unpaid volunteers shall be confidential unless made public by court order based upon a showing of materiality in a pending court proceeding or upon a showing of good cause;
(6) Copies of arrest and search warrants and supporting affidavits retained by judges, clerks, or other court personnel until execution of said warrants or until a determination is made by law enforcement authorities that execution cannot be made;
(7) All records made confidential under the Florida and United States Constitutions and Florida and federal law;
(8) All records presently deemed to be confidential by court rule, including the Rules for Admission to the Bar, by Florida Statutes, by prior case law of the State of Florida, and by the rules of the Judicial Qualifications Commission;
(9) Any court record determined to be confidential in case decision or court rule on the grounds that:
(A) confidentiality is required to:
(i) prevent a serious and imminent threat to the fair, impartial, and orderly administration of justice;
(ii) protect trade secrets;
(iii) protect a compelling governmental interest;
(iv) obtain evidence to determine legal issues in a case;
(v) avoid substantial injury to innocent third parties;
(vi) avoid substantial injury to a party by disclosure of matters protected by a common law or privacy right not generally inherent in the specific type of proceeding sought to be closed;
(vii) comply with established public policy set forth in the Florida or United States Constitution or statutes or Florida rules or case law;

(B) the degree, duration, and manner of confidentiality ordered by the court shall be no broader than necessary to protect the interests set forth in subdivision (c)(9)(A); and
(C) no less restrictive measures are available to protect the interests set forth in subdivision (c)(9)(A).

(10) The names and any identifying information of judges mentioned in an advisory opinion of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee.

(d) Procedures for Determining Confidentiality of Court Records.
(1) The clerk of the court shall designate and maintain the confidentiality of any information contained within a court record that is described in subdivision (d)(1)(A) or (d)(1)(B) of this rule. The following information shall be maintained as confidential:
(A) information described by any of subdivisions (c)(1) through (c)(6) of this rule; and
(B) except as provided by court order, information subject to subdivision (c)(7) or (c)(8) of this rule that is currently confidential or exempt from section 119.07, Florida Statutes, and article I, section 24(a) of the Florida Constitution as specifically stated in any of the following statutes or as they may be amended or renumbered:
(i) Chapter 39 records relating to dependency matters, termination of parental rights, guardians ad litem, child abuse, neglect, and abandonment. §§ 39.0132(3), 39.0132(4)(a), Fla. Stat.
(ii) Adoption records. § 63.162, Fla. Stat.
(iii) Social Security, bank account, charge, debit, and credit card numbers. § 119.0714(1)(i)–(j), (2)(a)–(e), Fla. Stat. (Unless redaction is requested pursuant to § 119.0714(2), Fla. Stat., this information is exempt only as of January 1, 2012.)
(iv) HIV test results and the identity of any person upon whom an HIV test has been performed. § 381.004(2)(e), Fla. Stat.
(v) Records, including test results, held by the Department of Health or its authorized representatives relating to sexually transmissible diseases. § 384.29, Fla. Stat.
(vi) Birth records and portions of death and fetal death records. §§ 382.008(6), 382.025(1), Fla. Stat.
(vii) Information that can be used to identify a minor petitioning for a waiver of parental notice when seeking to terminate pregnancy. § 390.01116, Fla. Stat.
(viii) Clinical records under the Baker Act. § 394.4615(7), Fla. Stat.
(ix) Records of substance abuse service providers which pertain to the identity, diagnosis, and prognosis of and service provision to individuals. § 397.501(7), Fla. Stat., and all petitions, court orders, and related records for involuntary assessment and stabilization of an individual, § 397.6760, Fla. Stat.
(x) Clinical records of criminal defendants found incompetent to proceed or acquitted by reason of insanity. § 916.107(8), Fla. Stat.
(xi) Estate inventories and accountings. § 733.604(1), Fla. Stat.
(xii) The victim’s address in a domestic violence action on petitioner’s request. § 741.30(3)(b), Fla. Stat.
(xiii) Protected information regarding victims of child abuse or sexual offenses. §§ 119.071(2)(h), 119.0714(1)(h), Fla. Stat.
(xiv) Gestational surrogacy records. § 742.16(9), Fla. Stat.
(xv) Guardianship reports, orders appointing court monitors, and orders relating to findings of no probable cause in guardianship cases. §§ 744.1076, 744.3701, Fla. Stat.
(xvi) Grand jury records. §§ 905.17, 905.28(1), Fla. Stat.
(xvii) Records acquired by courts and law enforcement regarding family services for children. § 984.06(3)–(4), Fla. Stat.
(xviii)Juvenile delinquency records. §§ 985.04(1), 985.045(2), Fla. Stat.
(xix) Records disclosing the identity of persons subject to tuberculosis proceedings and records held by the Department of Health or its authorized representatives relating to known or suspected cases of tuberculosis or exposure to tuberculosis. §§ 392.545, 392.65, Fla. Stat.
(xx) Complete presentence investigation reports. Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.712.
(xxi) Forensic behavioral health evaluations under Chapter 916. § 916.1065, Fla. Stat.
(xxii) Eligibility screening, substance abuse screening, behavioral health evaluations, and treatment status reports for defendants referred to or considered for referral to a drug court program. § 397.334(10)(a), Fla. Stat.


(2) The filer of any document containing confidential information described in subdivision (d)(1)(B) shall, at the time of filing, file with the clerk a “Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing” in order to indicate that confidential information described in subdivision (d)(1)(B) of this rule is included within the document being filed and also indicate that either the entire document is confidential or identify the precise location of the confidential information within the document being filed. If an entire court file is maintained as confidential, the filer of a document in such a file is not required to file the notice form. A form Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing accompanies this rule.
(A) If any document in a court file contains confidential information as described in subdivision (d)(1)(B), the filer, a party, or any affected non-party may file the Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing if the document was not initially filed with a Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing and the confidential information is not maintained as confidential by the clerk. The Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing filed pursuant to this subdivision must also state the title and type of document, date of filing (if known), date of document, docket entry number, indicate that either the entire document is confidential or identify the precise location of the confidential information within the document, and provide any other information the clerk may require to locate the confidential information.
(B) The clerk of court shall review filings identified as containing confidential information to determine whether the purported confidential information is facially subject to confidentiality under subdivision (d)(1)(B). If the clerk determines that filed information is not subject to confidentiality under subdivision (d)(1)(B), the clerk shall notify the filer of the Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing in writing within 5 days of filing the notice and thereafter shall maintain the information as confidential for 10 days from the date such notification by the clerk is served. The information shall not be held as confidential for more than that 10-day period, unless a motion has been filed pursuant to subdivision (d)(3).

(3) The filer of a document with the court shall ascertain whether any information contained within the document may be confidential under subdivision (c) of this rule notwithstanding that such information is not itemized at subdivision (d)(1) of this rule. If the filer believes in good faith that information is confidential but is not described in subdivision (d)(1) of this rule, the filer shall request that the information be maintained as confidential by filing a “Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records” under the procedures set forth in subdivision (e), (f), or (g), unless:
(A) the filer is the only individual whose confidential information is included in the document to be filed or is the attorney representing all such individuals; and
(B) a knowing waiver of the confidential status of that information is intended by the filer. Any interested person may request that information within a court file be maintained as confidential by filing a motion as provided in subdivision (e), (f), or (g).

(4) If a notice of confidential information is filed pursuant to subdivision (d)(2), or a motion is filed pursuant to subdivision (e)(1) or (g)(1) seeking to determine that information contained in court records is confidential, or pursuant to subdivision (e)(5) or (g)(5) seeking to vacate an order that has determined that information in a court record is confidential or seeking to unseal information designated as confidential by the clerk of court, then the person filing the notice or motion shall give notice of such filing to any affected non-party. Notice pursuant to this provision must:
(A) be filed with the court;
(B) identify the case by docket number;
(C) describe the confidential information with as much specificity as possible without revealing the confidential information, including specifying the precise location of the information within the court record; and
(D) include:
(i) in the case of a motion to determine confidentiality of court records, a statement that if the motion is denied then the subject material will not be treated as confidential by the clerk; and
(ii) in the case of a motion to unseal confidential records or a motion to vacate an order deeming records confidential, a statement that if the motion is granted, the subject material will no longer be treated as confidential by the clerk.


(5) Except when the entire court file is maintained as confidential, if a judge, magistrate, or hearing officer files any document containing confidential information, the confidential information within the document must be identified as “confidential” and the title of the document must include the word “confidential.” The clerk must maintain the confidentiality of the indentified confidential information. A copy of the document edited to omit the confidential information shall be provided to the clerk for filing and recording purposes.


(e) Request to Determine Confidentiality of Trial Court Records in Noncriminal Cases.
(1) A request to determine the confidentiality of trial court records in noncriminal cases under subdivision (c) must be made in the form of a written motion captioned “Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records.” A motion made under this subdivision must: (A) identify the particular court records or a portion of a record that the movant seeks to have determined as confidential with as much specificity as possible without revealing the information subject to the confidentiality determination;
(B) specify the bases for determining that such court records are confidential without revealing confidential information; and
(C) set forth the specific legal authority and any applicable legal standards for determining such court records to be confidential without revealing confidential information.
Any written motion made under this subdivision must include a signed certification by the party or the attorney for the party making the request that the motion is made in good faith and is supported by a sound factual and legal basis. Information that is subject to such a motion must be treated as confidential by the clerk pending the court’s ruling on the motion. A response to a written motion filed under this subdivision may be served within 10 days of service of the motion. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, the court may not determine that the case number, docket number, or other number used by the clerk’s office to identify the case file is confidential.

(2) Except when a motion filed under subdivision (e)(1) represents that all parties agree to all of the relief requested, the court must, as soon as practicable but no later than 30 days after the filing of a motion under this subdivision, hold a hearing before ruling on the motion. Whether or not any motion filed under subdivision (e)(1) is agreed to by the parties, the court may in its discretion hold a hearing on such motion. Any hearing held under this subdivision must be an open proceeding, except that any person may request that the court conduct all or part of the hearing in camera to protect the interests set forth in subdivision (c). Any person may request expedited consideration of and ruling on the motion. The movant shall be responsible for ensuring that a complete record of any hearing held pursuant to this subdivision is created, either by use of a court reporter or by any recording device that is provided as a matter of right by the court. The court may in its discretion require prior public notice of the hearing on such a motion in accordance with the procedure for providing public notice of court orders set forth in subdivision (e)(4) or by providing such other public notice as the court deems appropriate. The court must issue a ruling on the motion within 30 days of the hearing.
(3) Any order granting in whole or in part a motion filed under subdivision (e) must state the following with as much specificity as possible without revealing the confidential information:
(A) the type of case in which the order is being entered;
(B) the particular grounds under subdivision (c) for determining the information is confidential;
(C) whether any party’s name determined to be confidential and, if so, the particular pseudonym or other term to be substituted for the party’s name;
(D) whether the progress docket or similar records generated to document activity in the case are determined to be confidential;
(E) the particular information that is determined to be confidential;
(F) identification of persons who are permitted to view the confidential information;
(G) that the court finds that: (i) the degree, duration, and manner of confidentiality ordered by the court are no broader than necessary to protect the interests set forth in subdivision (c); and (ii) no less restrictive measures are available to protect the interests set forth in subdivision (c); and
(H) that the clerk of the court is directed to publish the order in accordance with subdivision (e)(4).

(4) Except as provided by law or court rule, notice must be given of any written order granting in whole or in part a motion made under subdivision (e)(1) as follows:
(A) within 10 days following the entry of the order, the clerk of court must post a copy of the order on the clerk’s website and in a prominent public location in the courthouse; and
(B) the order must remain posted in both locations for no less than 30 days. This subdivision shall not apply to orders determining that court records are confidential under subdivision (c)(7) or (c)(8).

(5) If a nonparty requests that the court vacate all or part of an order issued under subdivision (e) or requests that the court order the unsealing of records designated as confidential under subdivision (d), the request must be made by a written motion, filed in that court, that states with as much specificity as possible the bases for the motion. The motion must set forth the specific legal authority and any applicable legal standards supporting the motion. The movant must serve all parties and all affected non-parties with a copy of the motion. Except when a motion filed under this subdivision represents that all parties and affected non-parties agree to all of the relief requested, the court must, as soon as practicable but no later than 30 days after the filing of a motion under this subdivision, hold a hearing on the motion. Regardless of whether any motion filed under this subdivision is agreed to by the parties and affected non-parties, the court may in its discretion hold a hearing on such motion. Any person may request expedited consideration of and ruling on the motion. Any hearing held under this subdivision must be an open proceeding, except that any person may request that the court conduct all or part of the hearing in camera to protect the interests set forth in subdivision (c). The court must issue a ruling on the motion within 30 days of the hearing. The movant shall be responsible for ensuring that a complete record of any hearing held under this subdivision be created, either by use of a court reporter or by any recording device that is provided as a matter of right by the court. This subdivision shall not apply to orders determining that court records are confidential under subdivision (c)(7) or (c)(8).

(f) Request to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records in Criminal Cases.
(1) Subdivisions (e) and (h) shall apply to any motion by the state, a defendant, or an affected non-party to determine the confidentiality of trial court records in criminal cases under subdivision (c), except as provided in subdivision (f)(3). As to any motion filed in the trial court under subdivision (f)(3), the following procedure shall apply:
(A) Unless the motion represents that the state, defendant(s), and all affected non-parties subject to the motion agree to all of the relief requested, the court must hold a hearing on the motion filed under this subdivision within 15 days of the filing of the motion. Any hearing held under this subdivision must be an open proceeding, except that any person may request that the court conduct all or part of the hearing in camera to protect the interests set forth in subdivision (c)(9)(A).
(B) The court shall issue a written ruling on a motion filed under this subdivision within 10 days of the hearing on a contested motion or within 10 days of the filing of an agreed motion.

(2) Subdivision (g) shall apply to any motion to determine the confidentiality of appellate court records under subdivision (c), except as provided in subdivision (f)(3). As to any motion filed in the appellate court under subdivision (f)(3), the following procedure shall apply:
(A) The motion may be made with respect to a record that was presented or presentable to a lower tribunal, but no determination concerning confidentiality was made by the lower tribunal, or a record presented to an appellate court in an original proceeding.
(B) A response to a motion filed under this subdivision may be served within 10 days of service of the motion.
(C) The court shall issue a written ruling on a motion filed under this subdivision within 10 days of the filing of a response on a contested motion or within 10 days of the filing of an uncontested motion.

(3) Any motion to determine whether a court record that pertains to a plea agreement, substantial assistance agreement, or other court record that reveals the identity of a confidential informant or active criminal investigative information is confidential under subdivision (c)(9)(A)(i), (c)(9)(A)(iii), (c)(9)(A)(v), or (c)(9)(A)(vii) of this rule may be made in the form of a written motion captioned “Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records.” Any motion made pursuant to this subdivision must be treated as confidential and indicated on the docket by generic title only, pending a ruling on the motion or further order of the court. As to any motion made under this subdivision, the following procedure shall apply:
(A) Information that is the subject of such motion must be treated as confidential by the clerk pending the court’s ruling on the motion. Filings containing the information must be indicated on the docket in a manner that does not reveal the confidential nature of the information.
(B) The provisions of subdivisions (e)(3)(A)–(G), (g)(7), (h), and (j), shall apply to motions made under this subdivision. The provisions of subdivisions (e)(1), (e)(2), (e)(3)(H), (e)(4), and (e)(5) shall not apply to motions made under this subdivision.
(C) No order entered under this subdivision may authorize or approve the sealing of court records for any period longer than is necessary to achieve the objective of the motion, and in no event longer than 120 days. Extensions of an order issued hereunder may be granted for 60–day periods, but each such extension may be ordered only upon the filing of another motion in accordance with the procedures set forth under this subdivision. In the event of an appeal or review of a matter in which an order is entered under this subdivision, the lower tribunal shall retain jurisdiction to consider motions to extend orders issued hereunder during the course of the appeal or review proceeding.
(D) The clerk of the court shall not publish any order of the court issued hereunder in accordance with subdivision (e)(4) or (g)(4) unless directed by the court. The docket shall indicate only the entry of the order.

(4) This subdivision does not authorize the falsification of court records or progress dockets.

(g) Request to Determine Confidentiality of Appellate Court Records in Noncriminal Cases.
(1) Subdivision (e)(1) shall apply to any motion filed in the appellate court to determine the confidentiality of appellate court records in noncriminal cases under subdivision (c). Such a motion may be made with respect to a record that was presented or presentable to a lower tribunal, but no determination concerning confidentiality was made by the lower tribunal, or a record presented to an appellate court in an original proceeding.
(2) A response to a motion filed under subdivision (g)(1) may be served within 10 days of service of the motion. The court shall issue a written ruling on a written motion filed under this subdivision within 30 days of the filing of a response on a contested motion or within 30 days of the filing of an uncontested written motion.
(3) Any order granting in whole or in part a motion filed under subdivision (g)(1) must be in compliance with the guidelines set forth in subdivisions (e)(3)(A)–(e)(3)(H). Any order requiring the sealing of an appellate court record operates to also make those same records confidential in the lower tribunal during the pendency of the appellate proceeding.
(4) Except as provided by law, within 10 days following the entry of an order granting a motion under subdivision (g)(1), the clerk of the appellate court must post a copy of the order on the clerk’s website and must provide a copy of the order to the clerk of the lower tribunal, with directions that the clerk of the lower tribunal shall seal the records identified in the order. The order must remain posted by the clerk of the appellate court for no less than 30 days.
(5) If a nonparty requests that the court vacate all or part of an order issued under subdivision (g)(3), or requests that the court order the unsealing of records designated as confidential under subdivision (d), the request must be made by a written motion, filed in that court, that states with as much specificity as possible the bases for the request. The motion must set forth the specific legal authority and any applicable legal standards supporting the motion. The movant must serve all parties and all affected non-parties with a copy of the motion. A response to a motion may be served within 10 days of service of the motion.
(6) The party seeking to have an appellate record sealed under this subdivision has the responsibility to ensure that the clerk of the lower tribunal is alerted to the issuance of the order sealing the records and to ensure that the clerk takes appropriate steps to seal the records in the lower tribunal.
(7) Upon conclusion of the appellate proceeding, the lower tribunal may, upon appropriate motion showing changed circumstances, revisit the appellate court’s order directing that the records be sealed.
(8) Records of a lower tribunal determined to be confidential by that tribunal must be treated as confidential during any review proceedings. In any case where information has been determined to be confidential under this rule, the clerk of the lower tribunal shall so indicate in the index transmitted to the appellate court. If the information was determined to be confidential in an order, the clerk’s index must identify such order by date or docket number. This subdivision does not preclude review by an appellate court, under Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.100(d), or affect the standard of review by an appellate court, of an order by a lower tribunal determining that a court record is confidential.

(h) Oral Motions to Determine Confidentiality of Trial Court Records.
(1) Notwithstanding the written notice requirements of subdivision (d)(2) and written motion requirements of subdivisions (d)(3), (e)(1), and (f), the movant may make an oral motion to determine the confidentiality of trial court records under subdivision (c), provided:
(A) except for oral motions under subdivision (f)(3), the oral motion otherwise complies with subdivision (e)(1);
(B) all parties and affected non-parties are present or properly noticed or the movant otherwise demonstrates reasonable efforts made to obtain the attendance or any absent party or affected non-party;
(C) the movant shows good cause why the movant was unable to timely comply with the written notice requirements as set forth in subdivision (d)(2) or the written motion requirement as set forth in subdivision (d)(3), (e)(1), or (f), as applicable;
(D) the oral motion is reduced to written form in compliance with subdivision (d), (e)(1), or (f), as applicable, and is filed within 5 days following the date of making the oral motion;
(E) except for oral motions under subdivisions (f)(3), the provisions of subdivision (e)(2) shall apply to the oral motion, procedure and hearing;
(F) the provisions of subdivision (f)(1)(A) and (f)(1)(B) and (f)(3) shall apply to any oral motion under subdivision (f)(3); and
(G) oral motions are not applicable to subdivision (f)(2) or (g) or extensions of orders under subdivision (f)(3)(C).

(2) The court may deny any oral motion made pursuant to subdivision (h)(1) if the court finds that that movant had the ability to timely comply with the written notice requirements in subdivision (d) or the written motion requirements of (d)(3), (e)(1), or (f), as applicable, or the movant failed to provide adequate notice to the parties and affected non-parties of the confidentiality issues to be presented to the court.
(3) Until the court renders a decision regarding the confidentiality issues raised in any oral motion, all references to purported confidential information as set forth in the oral motion shall occur in a manner that does not allow public access to such information.
(4) If the court grants in whole or in part any oral motion to determine confidentiality, the court shall issue a written order that does not reveal the confidential information and complies with the applicable subdivision of this rule as follows:
(A) For any oral motion under subdivision (e) or (f)(1), except subdivisions (f)(1)(A) and (f)(1)(B), the written order must be issued within 30 days of the hearing and must comply with subdivision (e)(3).
(B) For any oral motion under subdivision (f)(3), the written order must be issued within 10 days of the hearing on a contested motion or filing of an agreed motion and must comply with subdivision (f)(3).


(i) Sanctions. After notice and an opportunity to respond, and upon determining that a motion, filing, or other activity described below was not made in good faith and was not supported by a sound legal or factual basis, the court may impose sanctions against any party or non-party and/or their attorney, if that party or non-party and/or their attorney, in violation of the applicable provisions of this rule:
(1) seeks confidential status for non-confidential information by filing a notice under subdivision (d)(2);
(2) seeks confidential status for non-confidential information by making any oral or written motion under subdivision (d)(3), (e), (f), (g), or (h);
(3) seeks access to confidential information under subdivision (j) or otherwise;
(4) fails to file a Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing in compliance with subdivision (d)(2);
(5) makes public or attempts to make public by motion or otherwise information that should be maintained as confidential under subdivision (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), or (h); or
(6) otherwise makes or attempts to make confidential information part of a non-confidential court record.
Nothing in this subdivision is intended to limit the authority of a court to enforce any court order entered pursuant to this rule.

(j) Procedure for Obtaining Access to Confidential Court Records.
(1) The clerk of the court must allow access to confidential court records to persons authorized by law, or any person authorized by court order.
(2) A court order allowing access to confidential court records may be obtained by filing a written motion which must:
(A) identify the particular court record(s) or a portion of the court record(s) to which the movant seeks to obtain access with as much specificity as possible without revealing the confidential information;
(B) specify the bases for obtaining access to such court records;
(C) set forth the specific legal authority for obtaining access to such court records; and
(D) contain a certification that the motion is made in good faith and is supported by a sound factual and legal basis.

(3) The movant must serve a copy of the written motion to obtain access to confidential court records on all parties and reasonably ascertainable affected non-parties and the court must hold a hearing on the written motion within a reasonable period of time.
(4) Any order granting access to confidential court records must:
(A) describe the confidential information with as much specificity as possible without revealing the confidential information, including specifying the precise location of the information within the court records;
(B) identify the persons who are permitted to view the confidential information in the court records;
(C) identify any person who is permitted to obtain copies of the confidential court records; and
(D) state the time limits imposed on such access, if any, and any other applicable terms or limitations to such access.

(5) The filer of confidential court records, that filer’s attorney of record, or that filer’s agent as authorized by that filer in writing may obtain access to such confidential records pursuant to this subdivision.
(6) Unless otherwise provided, an order granting access to confidential court records under this subdivision shall not alter the confidential status of the record.

(k) Procedure for Service on Victims and Affected Non-parties and When Addresses Are Confidential.
(1) In criminal cases, when the defendant is required to serve any notice or motion described in this rule on an alleged victim of a crime, service shall be on the state attorney, who shall send or forward the notice or motion to the alleged victim.
(2) Except as set forth in subdivision (k)(1), when serving any notice or motion described in this rule on any affected non-party whose name or address is not confidential, the filer or movant shall use reasonable efforts to locate the affected non-party and may serve such affected non-party by any method set forth in Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516.
(3) Except as set forth in subdivision (k)(1), when serving any notice or motion described in this rule and the name or address of any party or affected non-party is confidential, the filer or movant must state prominently in the caption of the notice or motion “Confidential Party or Confidential Affected Non-Party — Court Service Requested.” When a notice or motion so designated is filed, the court shall be responsible for providing a copy of the notice or motion to the party or affected non-party, by any method permitted in Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516, in such a way as to not reveal the confidential information.

(l) Denial of Access Request for Administrative Records. Expedited review of denials of access to administrative records of the judicial branch shall be provided through an action for mandamus or other appropriate relief, in the following manner:
(1) When a judge who has denied a request for access to records is the custodian, the action shall be filed in the court having appellate jurisdiction to review the decisions of the judge denying access. Upon order issued by the appellate court, the judge denying access to records shall file a sealed copy of the requested records with the appellate court.
(2) All other actions under this rule shall be filed in the circuit court of the circuit in which such denial of access occurs.

(m) Procedure for Public Access to Judicial Branch Records. Requests and responses to requests for access to records under this rule shall be made in a reasonable manner.
(1) Requests for access to judicial branch records shall be in writing and shall be directed to the custodian. The request shall provide sufficient specificity to enable the custodian to identify the requested records. The reason for the request is not required to be disclosed.
(2) The custodian shall be solely responsible for providing access to the records of the custodian’s entity. The custodian shall determine whether the requested record is subject to this rule and, if so, whether the record or portions of the record are exempt from disclosure. The custodian shall determine the form in which the record is provided. If the request is denied, the custodian shall state in writing the basis for the denial.
(3) Fees for copies of records in all entities in the judicial branch of government, except for copies of court records, shall be the same as those provided in section 119.07, Florida Statutes.

Committee Notes

1995 Amendment. This rule was adopted to conform to the 1992 addition of article I, section 24, to the Florida Constitution. Amendments to this rule were adopted in response to the 1994 recommendations of the Study Committee on Confidentiality of Records of the Judicial Branch.
Subdivision (b) has been added by amendment and provides a definition of “judicial records” that is consistent with the definition of “court records” contained in rule 2.075(a)(1) [renumbered as 2.430(a)(1) in 2006] and the definition of “public records” contained in chapter 119, Florida Statutes. The word “exhibits” used in this definition of judicial records is intended to refer only to documentary evidence and does not refer to tangible items of evidence such as firearms, narcotics, etc. Judicial records within this definition include all judicial records and data regardless of the form in which they are kept. Reformatting of information may be necessary to protect copyrighted material. Seigle v. Barry, 422 So. 2d 63 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982), review denied, 431 So. 2d 988 (Fla. 1983).
The definition of “judicial records” also includes official business information transmitted via an electronic mail (e-mail) system. The judicial branch is presently experimenting with this new technology. For example, e-mail is currently being used by the judicial branch to transmit between judges and staff multiple matters in the courts including direct communications between judges and staff and other judges, proposed drafts of opinions and orders, memoranda concerning pending cases, proposed jury instructions, and even votes on proposed opinions. All of this type of information is exempt from public disclosure under rules 2.051(c)(1) and (c)(2) [renumbered as 2.420(c)(1) and (c)(2) in 2006]. With few exceptions, these examples of e-mail transmissions are sent and received between judicial officials and employees within a particular court’s jurisdiction. This type of e-mail is by its very nature almost always exempt from public record disclosure pursuant to rule 2.051(c). In addition, official business e-mail transmissions sent to or received by judicial officials or employees using dial-in equipment, as well as the use of on-line outside research facilities such as Westlaw, would also be exempt e-mail under rule 2.051(c). On the other hand, we recognize that not all e-mail sent and received within a particular court’s jurisdiction will fall into an exception under rule 2.051(c). The fact that a non-exempt e-mail message made or received in connection with official court business is transmitted intra-court does not relieve judicial officials or employees from the obligation of properly having a record made of such messages so they will be available to the public similar to any other written communications. It appears that official business e-mail that is sent or received by persons outside a particular court’s jurisdiction is largely non-exempt and is subject to recording in some form as a public record. Each court should develop a means to properly make a record of non-exempt official business e-mail by either electronically storing the mail or by making a hard copy. It is important to note that, although official business communicated by e-mail transmissions is a matter of public record under the rule, the exemptions provided in rule 2.051(c) exempt many of these judge/staff transmissions from the public record. E-mail may also include transmissions that are clearly not official business and are, consequently, not required to be recorded as a public record. Each court should also publish an e-mail address for public access. The individual e-mail addresses of judicial officials and staff are exempt under rule 2.051(c)(2) to protect the compelling interests of maintaining the uninterrupted use of the computer for research, word-processing, preparation of opinions, and communication during trials, and to ensure computer security.
Subdivision (c)(3) was amended by creating subparts (a) and (b) to distinguish between the provisions governing the confidentiality of complaints against judges and complaints against other individuals or entities licensed or regulated by the Supreme Court.
Subdivision (c)(5) was amended to make public the qualifications of persons applying to serve or serving the court as unpaid volunteers such as guardians ad litem, mediators, and arbitrators and to make public the applications and evaluations of such persons upon a showing of materiality in a pending court proceeding or upon a showing of good cause.
Subdivision (c)(9) has also been amended. Subdivision (c)(9) was adopted to incorporate the holdings of judicial decisions establishing that confidentiality may be required to protect the rights of defendants, litigants, or third parties; to further the administration of justice; or to otherwise promote a compelling governmental interest. Barron v. Florida Freedom Newspapers, Inc., 531 So. 2d 113 (Fla.1988); Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Lewis, 426 So. 2d 1 (Fla.1982). Such confidentiality may be implemented by court rule, as well as by judicial decision, where necessary for the effective administration of justice. See, e.g., Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.470, (Sealed Verdict); Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.712, (Presentence Investigation Reports); Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.280(c), (Protective Orders).
Subdivision (c)(9)(D) requires that, except where otherwise provided by law or rule of court, reasonable notice shall be given to the public of any order closing a court record. This subdivision is not applicable to court proceedings. Unlike the closure of court proceedings, which has been held to require notice and hearing prior to closure, see Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Lewis, 426 So. 2d 1 (Fla.1982), the closure of court records has not required prior notice. Requiring prior notice of closure of a court record may be impractical and burdensome in emergency circumstances or when closure of a court record requiring confidentiality is requested during a judicial proceeding. Providing reasonable notice to the public of the entry of a closure order and an opportunity to be heard on the closure issue adequately protects the competing interests of confidentiality and public access to judicial records. See Florida Freedom Newspapers, Inc. v. Sirmons, 508 So. 2d 462 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987), approved, Barron v. Florida Freedom Newspapers, Inc., 531 So. 2d 113 (Fla.1988); State ex rel. Tallahassee Democrat v. Cooksey, 371 So. 2d 207 (Fla. 1st DCA 1979). Subdivision (c)(9)(D), however, does not preclude the giving of prior notice of closure of a court record, and the court may elect to give prior notice in appropriate cases.

2002 Court Commentary

The custodian is required to provide access to or copies of records but is not required either to provide information from records or to create new records in response to a request. Op. Atty. Gen. Fla. 80-57 (1980); Wootton v. Cook, 590 So. 2d 1039 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991); Seigle v. Barry, 422 So. 2d 63 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982).
The writing requirement is not intended to disadvantage any person who may have difficulty writing a request; if any difficulty exists, the custodian should aid the requestor in reducing the request to writing.
It is anticipated that each judicial branch entity will have policies and procedures for responding to public records requests.
The 1995 commentary notes that the definition of “judicial records” added at that time is consistent with the definition of “court records” contained in rule 2.075(a)(1) [renumbered as 2.430(a)(1) in 2006] and the definition of “public records” contained in chapter 119, Florida Statutes. Despite the commentary, these definitions are not the same. The definitions added in 2002 are intended to clarify that records of the judicial branch include court records as defined in rule 2.075(a)(1) and administrative records. The definition of records of the judicial branch is consistent with the definition of “public records” in chapter 119, Florida Statutes.

2005 Court Commentary

Under courts’ inherent authority, appellate courts may appoint a special magistrate to serve as commissioner for the court to make findings of fact and oversee discovery in review proceedings under subdivision (d) of this rule. Cf. State ex rel. Davis v. City of Avon Park, 158 So. 159 (Fla. 1934) (recognizing appellate courts’ inherent authority to do all things reasonably necessary for administration of justice within the scope of courts’ jurisdiction, including the appointment of a commissioner to make findings of fact); Wessells v. State, 737 So. 2d 1103 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998) (relinquishing jurisdiction to circuit court for appointment of a special master to serve as commissioner for court to make findings of fact).

2007 Court Commentary

New subdivision (d) applies only to motions that seek to make court records in noncriminal cases confidential in accordance with subdivision (c)(9).

2007 Committee Commentary

Subdivision (d)(2) is intended to permit a party to make use of any court-provided recording device or system that is available generally for litigants’ use, but is not intended to require the court system to make such devices available where they are not already in use and is not intended to eliminate any cost for use of such system that is generally borne by a party requesting use of such system.

APPENDIX TO RULE 2.420
________________
Plaintiff/Petitioner,

v.

________________
Defendant/Respondent
IN THE (NAME OF COURT),
FLORIDA
CASE NO: ____________
NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION WITHIN COURT FILING Pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420(d)(2), I hereby certify:

( )(1) I am filing herewith a document containing confidential information as described in Rule 2.420(d)(1)(B) and that:

(a) The title/type of document is _________________________, and :

(b)( ) the entire document is confidential, or

( ) the confidential information within the document is precisely located at :

________________________________________

OR

( )(2) A document was previously filed in this case that contains confidential information as described in Rule 2.420(d)(1)(B), but a Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing was not filed with the document and the confidential information was not maintained as confidential by the clerk of the court. I hereby notify the clerk that this confidential information is located as follows:

(a) Title/type of document: _______________________________;

(b) Date of filing (if known): ____________________________;

(c) Date of document: _____________________________________;

(d) Docket entry number: __________________________________;

(e) ( ) Entire document is confidential, or

( ) Precise location of confidential information in document:

__________________________________________________________

Movant


CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing was furnished by (e-mail) (delivery) (mail) (fax) on: (All parties and Affected Non-Parties. Note: If the name or address of a Party or Affected Non-Party is confidential DO NOT include such information in this Certificate of Service. Instead, serve the State Attorney or request Court Service. See Rule 2.420(k)) ________, on , 20__. this ________ day of ______________________, 20____.

Name
Address
Florida Bar No. (if applicable)
E-mail Addres


Note: The clerk of court shall review filings identified as containing confidential information to determine whether the information is facially subject to confidentiality under subdivision (d)(1)(B). The clerk shall notify the filer in writing within 5 days if the clerk determines that the information is NOT subject to confidentiality, and the records shall not be held as confidential for more than 10 days, unless a motion is filed pursuant to subdivision (d)(3) of the Rule. Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.420(d)(2).

RULE 2.330 | MINIMIZATION OF THE FILING OF SENSITIVE INFORMATION

(a) Limitation for Court Filings. Unless authorized by subdivision (b), statute, another rule of court, or the court orders otherwise, designated sensitive information filed with the court must be limited to the following format:
(1) The initials of a person known to be a minor;
(2) The year of birth of a person’s birth date;
(3) No portion of any
(A) social security number,
(B) bank account number,
(C) credit card account number,
(D) charge account number, or
(E) debit account number;

(4) The last four digits of any
(A) taxpayer identification number (TIN),
(B) employee identification number,
(C) driver’s license number,
(D) passport number,
(E) telephone number,
(F) financial account number, except as set forth in subdivision (a)(3),
(G) brokerage account number,
(H) insurance policy account number,
(I) loan account number,
(J) customer account number, or
(K) patient or health care number;

(5) A truncated version of any
(A) email address,
(B) computer user name,
(C) password, or
(D) personal identification number (PIN); and

(6) A truncated version of any other sensitive information as provided by court order.

(b) Exceptions. Subdivision (a) does not apply to the following:

(c) Remedies. Upon motion by a party or interested person or sua sponte by the court, the court may order remedies, sanctions or both for a violation of subdivision (a). Following notice and an opportunity to respond, the court may impose sanctions if such filing was not made in good faith.

(d) Motions Not Restricted. This rule does not restrict a party’s right to move for protective order, to move to file documents under seal, or to request a determination of the confidentiality of records.

(e) Application. This rule does not affect the application of constitutional provisions, statutes, or rules of court regarding confidential information or access to public information.

RULE 2.430 | RETENTION OF COURT RECORDS

(a) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this rule:
(1) “Court records” mean the contents of the court file, including the progress docket and other similar records generated to document activity in a case, transcripts filed with the clerk, documentary exhibits in the custody of the clerk, and electronic records, video tapes, or stenographic tapes of depositions or other proceedings filed with the clerk, and electronic records, videotapes or stenographic tapes of court proceedings.
(2) “After a judgment has become final” means:
(A) when a final order, final judgment, final docket entry, final dismissal, or nolle prosequi has been entered as to all parties, no appeal has been taken, and the time for appeal has expired; or
(B) when a final order, final judgment, or final docket entry has been entered, an appeal has been taken, the appeal has been disposed of, and the time for any further appellate proceedings has expired.

(3) “Permanently recorded” means that a document has been microfilmed, optically imaged, or recorded onto an electronic record keeping system in accordance with standards adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida.

(b) Permanently Recorded Records.
(1) Court records, except exhibits, that have been permanently recorded may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the clerk at any time after a judgment has become final.
(2) Any physical media submitted to the clerk for the purpose of filing information contained in the media may be destroyed, retained, or otherwise disposed of by the clerk once the contents of the media have been made a part of the court record.

(c) Records Not Permanently Recorded. No court records under this subdivision shall be destroyed or disposed of until the final order, final docket entry, or final judgment is permanently recorded for, or recorded in, the public records. The time periods shall not apply to any action in which the court orders the court records to be kept until the court orders otherwise. When an order is entered to that effect, the progress docket and the court file shall be marked by the clerk with a legend showing that the court records are not to be destroyed or disposed of without a further order of court. Any person may apply for an order suspending or prohibiting destruction or disposition of court records in any proceeding. Court records, except exhibits, that are not permanently recorded may be destroyed or disposed of by the clerk after a judgment has become final in accordance with the following schedule:
(1) For trial courts
(A) 60 days — Parking tickets and noncriminal traffic infractions after required audits have been completed.
(B) 2 years — Proceedings under the Small Claims Rules, Medical Mediation Proceedings.
(C) 5 years — Noncriminal ordinance violations, civil litigation proceedings in county court other than those under the Small Claims Rules, and civil proceedings in circuit court except marriage dissolutions and adoptions.
(D) 10 years — Probate, guardianship, and mental health proceedings.
(E) 10 years — Felony and misdemeanor cases in which no information or indictment was filed or in which all charges were dismissed, or in which the state announced a nolle prosequi, or in which the defendant was adjudicated not guilty.
(F) 75 years — Juvenile proceedings containing an order permanently depriving a parent of custody of a child, and adoptions, and all felony and misdemeanor cases not previously destroyed.
(G) Juvenile proceedings not otherwise provided for in this subdivision shall be kept for 5 years after the last entry or until the child reaches the age of majority, whichever is later.
(H) Marriage dissolutions — 10 years from the last record activity. The court may authorize destruction of court records not involving alimony, support, or custody of children 5 years from the last record activity.

(2) For district courts of appeal
(A) 2 years — noncriminal court records.
(B) 5 years — Criminal court records.

(3) For the Supreme Court
(A) 5 years — All cases disposed of by order not otherwise provided for in this rule.
(B) 10 years — Cases disposed of by order involving individuals licensed or regulated by the court and noncriminal court records involving the unauthorized practice of law.


(d) Records to Be Retained Permanently.
(1) progress dockets, and other similar records generated to document activity in a case, and
(2) court records of the supreme court in which the case was disposed of by opinion.

(e) Court Reporters’ Notes. Court reporters or persons acting as court reporters for judicial or discovery proceedings shall retain the original notes or electronic records of the proceedings or depositions until the times specified below:
(1) 2 years from the date of preparing the transcript — Judicial proceedings, arbitration hearings, and discovery proceedings when an original transcript has been prepared.
(2) 10 years — Judicial proceedings in felony cases when a transcript has not been prepared.
(3) 5 years — All other judicial proceedings, arbitration hearings, and discovery proceedings when a transcript has not been prepared.
When an agreement has been made between the reporter and any other person and the person has paid the reasonable charges for storage and retention of the notes, the notes or records shall be kept for any longer time agreed on. All reporters’ notes shall be retained in a secure place in Florida.
(f) Exhibits.
(1) Exhibits in criminal proceedings shall be disposed of as provided by law.
(2) All other exhibits shall be retained by the clerk until 90 days after a judgment has become final. If an exhibit is not withdrawn pursuant to subdivision (i) within 90 days, the clerk may destroy or dispose of the exhibits after giving the parties or their attorneys of record 30 days’ notice of the clerk’s intention to do so. Exhibits shall be delivered to any party or attorney of record calling for them during the 30-day time period.

(g) Disposition Other Than Destruction. Before destruction or disposition of court records under this rule, any person may apply to the court for an order requiring the clerk to deliver to the applicant the court records that are to be destroyed or disposed of. All parties shall be given notice of the application. The court shall dispose of that court record as appropriate.

(h) Release of Court Records. This rule does not limit the power of the court to release exhibits or other parts of court records that are the property of the person or party initially placing the items in the court records. The court may require copies to be substituted as a condition to releasing the court records under this subdivision.

(i) Right to Expunge Records. Nothing in this rule shall affect the power of the court to order records expunged.

(j) Sealed Records. No record which has been sealed from public examination by order of court shall be destroyed without hearing after such notice as the court shall require.

(k) Destruction of Jury Notes. At the conclusion of the trial and promptly following discharge of the jury, the court shall collect all juror notes and immediately destroy the juror notes.

RULE 2.440 | RETENTION OF JUDICIAL BRANCH ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS

(a) Definitions.
(1) “Judicial branch” means the judicial branch of government, which includes the state courts system, the clerk of court when acting as an arm of the court, The Florida Bar, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and all other entities established by or operating under the authority of the supreme court or the chief justice.
(2) “Records of the judicial branch” means all records, regardless of physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received in connection with the transaction of official business by any judicial branch entity and consists of:
(A) “court records,” which means the contents of the court file, including the progress docket and other similar records generated to document activity in a case, transcripts filed with the clerk, documentary exhibits in the custody of the clerk, and electronic records, videotapes, or stenographic tapes of depositions or other proceedings filed with the clerk, and electronic records, videotapes, or stenographic tapes of court proceedings; and
(B) “administrative records,” which means all other records made or received pursuant to court rule, law, or ordinance, or in connection with the transaction of official business by any judicial branch entity.

(b) Retention Requirements. Administrative records in the judicial branch shall be retained in accordance with the Judicial Branch Records Retention Schedule approved by the supreme court.

RULE 2.450 | TECHNOLOGICAL COVERAGE OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS

(a) Electronic and Still Photography Allowed. Subject at all times to the authority of the presiding judge to: (i) control the conduct of proceedings before the court; (ii) ensure decorum and prevent distractions; and (iii) ensure the fair administration of justice in the pending cause, electronic media and still photography coverage of public judicial proceedings in the appellate and trial courts of this state shall be allowed in accordance with the following standards of conduct and technology promulgated by the Supreme Court of Florida.

(b) Equipment and Personnel.
(1) At least 1 portable television camera, operated by not more than 1 camera person, shall be permitted in any trial or appellate court proceeding. The number of permitted cameras shall be within the sound discretion and authority of the presiding judge.
(2) Not more than 1 still photographer, using not more than 2 still cameras, shall be permitted in any proceeding in a trial or appellate court.
(3) Not more than 1 audio system for radio broadcast purposes shall be permitted in any proceeding in a trial or appellate court. Audio pickup for all media purposes shall be accomplished from existing audio systems present in the court facility. If no technically suitable audio system exists in the court facility, microphones and related wiring essential for media purposes shall be unobtrusive and shall be located in places designated in advance of any proceeding by the chief judge of the judicial circuit or district in which the court facility is located.
(4) Any “pooling” arrangements among the media required by these limitations on equipment and personnel shall be the sole responsibility of the media without calling upon the presiding judge to mediate any dispute as to the appropriate media representative or equipment authorized to cover a particular proceeding. In the absence of advance media agreement on disputed equipment or personnel issues, the presiding judge shall exclude all contesting media personnel from a proceeding.

(c) Sound and Light Criteria.
(1) Only television photographic and audio equipment that does not produce distracting sound or light shall be used to cover judicial proceedings. No artificial lighting device of any kind shall be used in connection with the television camera.
(2) Only still camera equipment that does not produce distracting sound or light shall be used to cover judicial proceedings. No artificial lighting device of any kind shall be used in connection with a still camera.
(3) It shall be the affirmative duty of media personnel to demonstrate to the presiding judge adequately in advance of any proceeding that the equipment sought to be used meets the sound and light criteria enunciated in this rule. A failure to obtain advance judicial approval for equipment shall preclude its use in any proceeding.

(d) Location of Equipment Personnel.
(1) Television camera equipment shall be positioned in such location in the court facility as shall be designated by the chief judge of the judicial circuit or district in which such facility is situated. The area designated shall provide reasonable access to coverage. If and when areas remote from the court facility that permit reasonable access to coverage are provided, all television camera and audio equipment shall be positioned only in such area. Videotape recording equipment that is not a component part of a television camera shall be located in an area remote from the court facility.
(2) A still camera photographer shall position himself or herself in such location in the court facility as shall be designated by the chief judge of the judicial circuit or district in which such facility is situated. The area designated shall provide reasonable access to coverage. Still camera photographers shall assume a fixed position within the designated area and, once established in a shooting position, shall act so as not to call attention to themselves through further movement. Still camera photographers shall not be permitted to move about in order to obtain photographs of court proceedings.
(3) Broadcast media representatives shall not move about the court facility while proceedings are in session, and microphones or taping equipment once positioned as required by subdivision (b)(3) shall not be moved during the pendency of the proceeding.

(e) Movement During Proceedings. News media photographic or audio equipment shall not be placed in or removed from the court facility except before commencement or after adjournment of proceedings each day, or during a recess. Neither television film magazines nor still camera film or lenses shall be changed within a court facility except during a recess in the proceeding.

(f) Courtroom Light Sources. With the concurrence of the chief judge of a judicial circuit or district in which a court facility is situated, modifications and additions may be made in light sources existing in the facility, provided such modifications or additions are installed and maintained without public expense.

(g) Conferences of Counsel. To protect the attorney-client privilege and the effective right to counsel, there shall be no audio pickup or broadcast of conferences that occur in a court facility between attorneys and their clients, between co-counsel of a client, or between counsel and the presiding judge held at the bench.

(h) Impermissible Use of Media Material. None of the film, videotape, still photographs, or audio reproductions developed during or by virtue of coverage of a judicial proceeding shall be admissible as evidence in the proceeding out of which it arose, in any proceeding subsequent or collateral thereto, or upon retrial or appeal of such proceedings.

(i) Appellate Review. Review of an order excluding the electronic media from access to any proceeding, excluding coverage of a particular participant, or upon any other matters arising under these standards shall be pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.100(d).

Court Commentary

1994 Amendment. This rule was copied from Canon 3A(7) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Canon 3A(7) represented a departure from former Canon 3A(7) [ABA Canon 35]. The former canon generally proscribed electronic media and still photography coverage of judicial proceedings from within and in areas immediately adjacent to the courtroom, with three categories of exceptions —(a) use for judicial administration, (b) coverage of investitive, ceremonial, and naturalization proceedings, and (c) use for instructional purposes in educational institutions. Subject to the limitations and promulgation of standards as mentioned therein, the revised canon constituted a general authorization for electronic media and still photography coverage for all purposes, including the purposes expressed as exceptions in the former canon. Limited only by the authority of the presiding judge in the exercise of sound discretion to prohibit filming or photographing of particular participants, consent of participants to coverage is not required. The text of the rule refers to public judicial proceedings. This is in recognition of the authority reposing in the presiding judge, upon the exercise of sound discretion, to hold certain judicial proceedings or portions thereof in camera, and in recognition of the fact that certain proceedings or portions thereof are made confidential by statute. The term “presiding judge” includes the chief judge of an appellate tribunal.

RULE 2.451 | USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES

(a) Electronic Devices Defined. An electronic device is any device capable of making or transmitting still or moving photographs, video recordings, or images of any kind; any device capable of creating, transmitting, or receiving text or data; and any device capable of receiving, transmitting, or recording sound. Electronic devices include, without limitation, film cameras, digital cameras, video cameras, any other type of camera, cellular telephones, tape recorders, digital voice recorders, any other type of audio recorders, laptop computers, personal digital assistants, or other similar technological devices with the ability to make or transmit video recordings, audio recordings, images, text, or data.

(b) Use of Electronic Devices by Jurors.
(1) Electronic devices, as that term is defined in subdivision (a), may be removed as directed by the presiding judge from all members of a jury panel at any time before deliberations, but such electronic devices must be removed from all members of a jury panel before jury deliberations begin. The electronic devices will be removed and appropriately secured by the bailiff or other person designated by the chief judge.
(2) Any electronic devices removed from members of a jury panel may be returned to the members of the jury panel during recesses in the trial. When jurors are sequestered, the presiding judge may determine whether the electronic devices will be removed from jurors during the entire period of sequestration.
(3) From the time a person reports for jury service until the person is discharged from jury service, that person is prohibited from using electronic devices for any of the following purposes:
(A) making or transmitting still or moving photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, or images of any kind of the court proceedings;
(B) transmitting or accessing text or data during the court proceedings;
(C) transmitting or accessing text or data about the case on which the juror is serving;
(D) researching, transmitting, or accessing information about the case on which the juror is serving;
(E) otherwise communicating about the case on which the juror is serving; or
(F) otherwise communicating about the jury deliberations.

(4) Nothing in this rule is to be construed to limit or impair the authority of a chief judge or presiding judge to grant permission to a juror to retain his or her electronic device during trial proceedings.
(5) The jury summons mailed to prospective jurors should contain a notice that electronic devices will be removed from all members of a jury panel before jury deliberations begin and as directed by the presiding judge, may be removed at other stages of a trial. At the beginning of the trial, the presiding judge should advise the jury panel about the removal of electronic devices.
(c) Use of Electronic Devices by Others.

(1) The use of electronic devices in a courtroom is subject at all times to the authority of the presiding judge or quasi-judicial officer to
(A) control the conduct of proceedings before the court;
(B) ensure decorum and prevent distractions; and
(C) ensure the fair administration of justice in the pending cause.

(2) The use of electronic devices in a courthouse or court facility is subject at all times to the authority of the chief judge to
(A) ensure decorum and prevent distractions;
(B) ensure the fair administration of justice; and
(C) preserve court security.

Committee Notes

2013 Adoption. Subdivision (c), Use of Electronic Devices by Others, parallels Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.450(a) regarding the use of electronic devices by the media.

RULE 2.505 | ATTORNEYS

(a) Scope and Purpose. All persons in good standing as members of The Florida Bar shall be permitted to practice in Florida. Attorneys of other states who are not members of The Florida Bar in good standing shall not engage in the practice of law in Florida except to the extent permitted by rule 2.510.

(b) Persons Employed by the Court. Except as provided in this subdivision, no full-time employee of the court shall practice as an attorney in any court or before any agency of government while continuing in that position. Any attorney designated by the chief justice or chief judge may represent the court, any court employee in the employee’s official capacity, or any judge in the judge’s official capacity, in any proceeding in which the court, employee, or judge is an interested party. An attorney formerly employed by a court shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the attorney participated personally and substantially while employed by the court, unless all parties to the proceeding consent after disclosure.

(c) Attorney Not to Be Surety. No attorneys or other officers of court shall enter themselves or be taken as bail or surety in any proceeding in court.

(d) Stipulations. No private agreement or consent between parties or their attorneys concerning the practice or procedure in an action shall be of any force unless the evidence of it is in writing, subscribed by the party or the party’s attorney against whom it is alleged. Parol agreements may be made before the court if promptly made a part of the record or incorporated in the stenographic notes of the proceedings, and agreements made at depositions that are incorporated in the transcript need not be signed when signing of the deposition is waived. This rule shall not apply to settlements or other substantive agreements.

(e) Appearance of Attorney. An attorney may appear in a proceeding in any of the following ways:
(1) By serving and filing, on behalf of a party, the party’s first pleading or paper in the proceeding.
(2) By substitution of counsel, but only by order of court and with written consent of the client, filed with the court. The court may condition substitution upon payment of, or security for, the substituted attorney’s fees and expenses, or upon such other terms as may be just.
(3) By filing with the court and serving upon all parties a notice of appearance as counsel for a party that has already appeared in a proceeding pro se or as co-counsel for a party that has already appeared in a proceeding by non-withdrawing counsel.

(f) Termination of Appearance of Attorney. The appearance of an attorney for a party in a proceeding shall terminate only in one of the following ways:
(1) Withdrawal of Attorney. By order of court, where the proceeding is continuing, upon motion and hearing, on notice to all parties and the client, such motion setting forth the reasons for withdrawal and the client’s last known address, telephone number, including area code, and email address.
(2) Substitution of Attorney. By order of court, under the procedure set forth in subdivision (e)(2) of this rule.
(3) Termination of Proceeding. Automatically, without order of court, upon the termination of a proceeding, whether by final order of dismissal, by final adjudication, or otherwise, and following the expiration of any applicable time for appeal, where no appeal is taken.
(4) Filing of Notice of Completion. For limited representation proceedings under Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.040, automatically, by the filing of a notice of completion titled “Termination of Limited Appearance” pursuant to rule 12.040(c).

(g) Law Student Participation. Eligible law students shall be permitted to participate as provided under the conditions of chapter 11 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar as amended from time to time.

(h) Attorney as Agent of Client. In all matters concerning the prosecution or defense of any proceeding in the court, the attorney of record shall be the agent of the client, and any notice by or to the attorney or act by the attorney in the proceeding shall be accepted as the act of or notice to the client.

Court Commentary

1997 Amendment. Originally, the rule provided that the follow-up filing had to occur within ten days. In the 1997 amendment to the rule, that requirement was modified to provide that the follow-up filing must occur “immediately” after a document is electronically filed. The “immediately thereafter” language is consistent with language used in the rules of procedure where, in a somewhat analogous situation, the filing of a document may occur after service. See, e.g., Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.080(d) (“All original papers shall be filed with the court either before service or immediately thereafter.”) (emphasis added). “Immediately thereafter” has been interpreted to mean “filed with reasonable promptness.” Miami Transit Co. v. Ford, 155 So. 2d 360 (Fla. 1963).
The use of the words “other person” in this rule is not meant to allow a nonlawyer to sign and file pleadings or other papers on behalf of another. Such conduct would constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
2003 Amendment. Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-1.12(c), which addresses the imputed disqualification of a law firm, should be looked to in conjunction with the rule 2.060(b) [renumbered as 2.505(b) in 2006] restriction on representation by a former judicial staff attorney or law clerk.

RULE 2.510 | FOREIGN ATTORNEYS

(a) Eligibility. Upon filing a verified motion with the court, an attorney who is an active member in good standing of the bar of another state and currently eligible to practice law in a state other than Florida may be permitted to appear in particular cases in a Florida court upon such conditions as the court may deem appropriate, provided that a member of The Florida Bar in good standing is associated as an attorney of record. The foreign attorney must make application in each court in which a case is filed even if a lower tribunal granted a motion to appear in the same case. In determining whether to permit a foreign attorney to appear pursuant to this rule, the court may consider, among other things, information provided under subdivision (b)(3) concerning discipline in other jurisdictions. No attorney is authorized to appear pursuant to this rule if the attorney
(1) is a Florida resident, unless the attorney has an application pending for admission to The Florida Bar and has not previously been denied admission to The Florida Bar;
(2) is a member of The Florida Bar but is ineligible to practice law;
(3) has previously been disciplined or held in contempt by reason of misconduct committed while engaged in representation permitted pursuant to this rule provided, however, the contempt is final and has not been reversed or abated;
(4) has failed to provide notice to The Florida Bar or pay the filing fee as required in subdivision (b)(7); or
(5) is engaged in a “general practice” before Florida courts. For purposes of this rule, more than 3 appearances within a 365-day period in separate cases shall be presumed to be a “general practice.” Appearances at different levels of the court system in the same case shall be deemed 1 appearance for the purposes of determining whether a foreign attorney has made more than 3 appearances within a 365-day period. In cases involving indigent or pro bono clients, the court may waive the filing fee for good cause shown. This rule shall not affect the eligibility of a foreign attorney to appear in a Florida court when authorized by federal law.

(b) Contents of Verified Motion. A form verified motion accompanies this rule and shall be utilized by the foreign attorney. The verified motion required by subdivision (a) shall include:
(1) a statement identifying all jurisdictions in which the attorney is an active member in good standing and currently eligible to practice law, including all assigned bar numbers and attorney numbers, for which a certificate of good standing is not required;
(2) a statement identifying by date, case name, and case number all other matters in Florida state courts in which pro hac vice admission has been sought in the preceding 5 years, including any lower tribunals for the case in which the motion is filed, and whether such admission was granted or denied;
(3) a statement identifying all jurisdictions in which disciplinary, suspension, disbarment, or contempt proceedings have been initiated against the attorney in the preceding 5 years including the date on which the proceeding was initiated, the nature of the alleged violation, and the result of the proceeding including the sanction, if any, imposed;
(4) a statement identifying the date on which the legal representation at issue commenced, and the party or parties represented;
(5) a statement that all applicable provisions of these rules and the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar have been read, and that the verified motion complies with those rules;
(6) the name, record bar address, and membership status of the Florida Bar member or members associated for purposes of the representation;
(7) a certificate indicating service of the verified motion upon all counsel of record in the matter in which leave to appear pro hac vice is sought and upon The Florida Bar at its Tallahassee office accompanied by a nonrefundable $250.00 filing fee made payable to The Florida Bar or notice that the movant has requested a judicial waiver of said fee; and
(8) a verification by the attorney seeking to appear pursuant to this rule and the signature of the Florida Bar member or members associated for purposes of the representation.

________________
Plaintiff,

v.

________________
Defendant
IN THE ________ COURT OF THE ________ JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR ________, COUNTY
FLORIDA
VERIFIED MOTION FOR ADMISSION TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE PURSUANT TO FLORIDA RULE OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION 2.510 Comes now ________________, Movant herein, and respectfully represents the following:

1. [ ] Movant resides in , [City], [State]

Movant is not a resident of the State of Florida.

[ ] Movant is a resident of the State of Florida and has an application pending for admission to The Florida Bar and has not previously been denied admission to The Florida Bar.

2. Movant is an attorney and a member of the law firm of [or practices law under the name of] ____________, with offices at [Street Address], [City], [County], [State], [Zip Code], [Telephone],

3. Movant has been retained personally or as a member of the above named law firm on by [Date Representation Commenced] BY [Name of Party or Parties] to provide legal representation in connection with the above-styled matter now pending before the above-named court of the State of Florida.

4. Movant is an active member in good standing and currently eligible to practice law in the following jurisdiction(s): Include attorney or bar number(s). (Attach an additional sheet if necessary.)

JURISDICTION
ATTORNEY/BAR NUMBER


5. There have been no disciplinary, suspension, disbarment, or contempt proceedings initiated against Movant in the preceding 5 years, except as provided below [give jurisdiction of proceeding, date upon which proceeding was initiated, nature of alleged violation, statement of whether the proceeding has concluded or is still pending, and sanction, if any, imposed]: (Attach an additional sheet if necessary.)

6. Movant, either by resignation, withdrawal, or otherwise, never has terminated or attempted to terminate Movant’s office as an attorney in order to avoid administrative, disciplinary, disbarment, or suspension proceedings.

7. Movant is not an inactive member of The Florida Bar.

8. Movant is not now a member of The Florida Bar.

9. Movant is not a suspended member of The Florida Bar.

10. Movant is not a disbarred member of The Florida Bar nor has Movant received a disciplinary resignation or disciplinary revocation from The Florida Bar.

11. Movant has not previously been disciplined or held in contempt by reason of misconduct committed while engaged in representation pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.510, except as provided below (give date of disciplinary action or contempt, reasons therefor, and court imposing contempt): (Attach an additional sheet if necessary.)


12. Movant has filed motion(s) to appear as counsel in Florida state courts during the past five (5) years in the following matters: (Attach an additional sheet if necessary.)

13. Local counsel of record associated with Movant in this matter is _________________ who is an active member in good standing of The Florida Bar [Name and Florida Bar Number] and has offices at [Street Address] [City] [County] [State] [Zip Code] [Telephone with area code]

(If local counsel is not an active member of The Florida Bar in good standing, please provide information as to local counsel’s membership status.___________________________________)

14. Movant has read the applicable provisions of Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.510 and Rule 1-3.10 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and certifies that this verified motion complies with those rules.

15. Movant agrees to comply with the provisions of the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct and consents to the jurisdiction of the courts and the Bar of the State of Florida.

WHEREFORE, Movant respectfully requests permission to appear in this court for this cause only.

DATED this ___________ day of ___________________, 20____.

Movant
Address
Address
City, State, Zip Code
Telephone Number
E-mail Addres


STATE OF ______________________

COUNTY OF ______________________

I, ________________________________, do hereby swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that I am the Movant in the above-styled matter; that I have read the foregoing Motion and know the contents thereof, and the contents are true of my own knowledge and belief.

Movant


I hereby consent to be associated as local counsel of record in this cause pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.510.

DATED this _______ day of __________________________, 20____.

Local Counsel of Record
Address
Address
City, State, Zip Code
Telephone Number
Florida Bar Number
E-mail Addres


CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing motion was served by mail to PHV Admissions, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2333 accompanied by payment of the $250.00 filing fee made payable to The Florida Bar, or notice that the movant has requested a judicial waiver of said fee; and by (e-mail) (delivery) (mail) (fax) to [name of attorney or party if not represented]

this ________ day of ______________________, 20____.

Movant


RULE 2.514 | COMPUTING AND EXTENDING TIME

(a) Computing Time. The following rules apply in computing time periods specified in any rule of procedure, local rule, court order, or statute that does not specify a method of computing time.

(1) Period Stated in Days or a Longer Unit. When the period is stated in days or a longer unit of time
(A) exclude the day of the event that triggers the period;
(B) count every day, including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and
(C) include the last day of the period, but if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, or falls within any period of time extended through an order of the chief justice under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.205(a)(2)(B)(iv), the period continues to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday and does not fall within any period of time extended through an order of the chief justice.

(2) Period Stated in Hours.
(A) begin counting immediately on the occurrence of the event that triggers the period;
(B) count every hour, including hours during intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and
(C) if the period would end on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, or during any period of time extended through an order of the chief justice under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.205(a)(2)(B)(iv), the period continues to run until the same time on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday and does not fall within any period of time extended through an order of the chief justice.

(3) Period Stated in Days Less Than Seven Days. When the period stated in days is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation.
(4) “Last Day” Defined. Unless a different time is set by a statute, local rule, or court order, the last day ends
(A) for electronic filing or for service by any means, at midnight; and
(B) for filing by other means, when the clerk’s office is scheduled to close.

(5) “Next Day” Defined. The “next day” is determined by continuing to count forward when the period is measured after an event and backward when measured before an event.
(6) “Legal Holiday” Defined. “Legal holiday” means
(A) the day set aside by section 110.117, Florida Statutes, for observing New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day, and
(B) any day observed as a holiday by the clerk’s office or as designated by the chief judge.

(b) Additional Time after Service by Mail or E-mail. When a party may or must act within a specified time after service and service is made by mail or e-mail, 5 days are added after the period that would otherwise expire under subdivision (a).

RULE 2.515 | SIGNATURE AND CERTIFICATES OF ATTORNEYS AND PARTIES

(a) Attorney’s Signature and Certificates. Every document of a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least 1 attorney of record in that attorney’s individual name whose current record Florida Bar address, telephone number, including area code, primary e-mail address and secondary e-mail addresses, if any, and Florida Bar number shall be stated, and who shall be duly licensed to practice law in Florida or who shall have received permission to appear in the particular case as provided in rule 2.510. The attorney may be required by the court to give the address of, and to vouch for the attorney’s authority to represent, the party. Except when otherwise specifically provided by an applicable rule or statute, documents need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit. The signature of an attorney shall constitute a certificate by the attorney that:
(1) the attorney has read the document;
(2) to the best of the attorney’s knowledge, information, and belief there is good ground to support the document;
(3) the document is not interposed for delay; and
(4) the document contains no confidential or sensitive information, or that any such confidential or sensitive information has been properly protected by complying with the provisions of rules 2.420 and 2.425. If a document is not signed or is signed with intent to defeat the purpose of this rule, it may be stricken and the action may proceed as though the document had not been served.
(b) Pro Se Litigant Signature. A party who is not represented by an attorney shall sign any document and state the party’s address and telephone number, including area code.

(c) Form of Signature.
(1) The signatures required on documents by subdivisions (a) and (b) of this rule may be:
(A) original signatures;
(B) original signatures that have been reproduced by electronic means, such as on electronically transmitted documents or photocopied documents;
(C) an electronic signature indicator using the “/s/,” “s/,” or “/s” [name] formats authorized by the person signing a document electronically served or filed; or
(D) any other signature format authorized by general law, so long as the clerk where the proceeding is pending has the capability of receiving and has obtained approval from the Supreme Court of Florida to accept pleadings and documents with that signature format.

(2) By serving a document, or by filing a document by electronic transmission using an attorney’s assigned electronic filing credentials:
(A) that attorney certifies compliance with subdivision (a)(1) through (a)(4) and accepts responsibility for the document for all purposes under this rule;
(B) that attorney certifies compliance with all rules of procedure regarding service of the document on attorneys and parties;
(C) that attorney certifies that every person identified as a signer in the document as described in subdivision (c)(1)(C) has authorized such signature; and
(D) every signing attorney is as responsible for the document as if that document had been served by such signing attorney or filed using the assigned electronic filing credentials of such signing attorney.

RULE 2.516 | SERVICE OF PLEADINGS AND DOCUMENTS

(a) Service; When Required. Unless the court otherwise orders, or a statute or supreme court administrative order specifies a different means of service, every pleading subsequent to the initial pleading and every other document filed in any court proceeding, except applications for witness subpoenas and documents served by formal notice or required to be served in the manner provided for service of formal notice, must be served in accordance with this rule on each party. No service need be made on parties against whom a default has been entered, except that pleadings asserting new or additional claims against them must be served in the manner provided for service of summons.

(b) Service; How Made. When service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney, service must be made upon the attorney unless service upon the party is ordered by the court.
(1) Service by Electronic Mail (“e-mail”). All documents required or permitted to be served on another party must be served by e-mail, unless the parties otherwise stipulate or this rule otherwise provides. A filer of an electronic document has complied with this subdivision if the Florida Courts e-filing Portal (“Portal”) or other authorized electronic filing system with a supreme court approved electronic service system (“e-Service system”) served the document by e-mail or provided a link by e-mail to the document on a website maintained by a clerk (“e-Service”). The filer of an electronic document must verify that the Portal or other e-Service system uses the names and e-mail addresses provided by the parties pursuant to subdivision (b)(1)(A).
(A) Service on Attorneys. Upon appearing in a proceeding, an attorney must designate a primary e-mail address and may designate no more than two secondary e-mail addresses and is responsible for the accuracy of and changes to that attorney’s own e-mail addresses maintained by the Portal or other e-Service system. Thereafter, service must be directed to all designated e-mail addresses in that proceeding. Every document filed or served by an attorney thereafter must include the primary e-mail address of that attorney and any secondary e-mail addresses. If an attorney does not designate any e-mail address for service, documents may be served on that attorney at the e-mail address on record with The Florida Bar.
(B) Exception to E-mail Service on Attorneys. Upon motion by an attorney demonstrating that the attorney has no e-mail account and lacks access to the Internet at the attorney’s office, the court may excuse the attorney from the requirements of e-mail service. Service on and by an attorney excused by the court from e-mail service must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2).
(C) Service on and by Parties Not Represented by an Attorney. Any party not represented by an attorney may serve a designation of a primary e-mail address and also may designate no more than two secondary e-mail addresses to which service must be directed in that proceeding by the means provided in subdivision (b)(1) of this rule. If a party not represented by an attorney does not designate an e-mail address for service in a proceeding, service on and by that party must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2).
(D) Time of Service. Service by e-mail is complete on the date it is sent.
(i) If, however, the e-mail is sent by the Portal or other e-Service system, service is complete on the date the served document is electronically filed.
(ii) If the person required to serve a document learns that the e-mail was not received by an intended recipient, the person must immediately resend the document to that intended recipient by e-mail, or by a means authorized by subdivision (b)(2) of this rule.
(iii) E-mail service, including e-Service, is treated as service by mail for the computation of time.

(E) Format of E-mail for Service. Service of a document by e-mail is made by an e-mail sent to all addresses designated by the attorney or party with either (a) a copy of the document in PDF format attached or (b) a link to the document on a website maintained by a clerk.
(i) All documents served by e-mail must be sent by an e-mail message containing a subject line beginning with the words “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT” in all capital letters, followed by the case number and case style of the proceeding in which the documents are being served.
(ii) The body of the e-mail must identify the court in which the proceeding is pending, the case number, the name of the initial party on each side, the title of each document served with that e-mail, and the name and telephone number of the person required to serve the document.
(iii) Any document served by e-mail may be signed by any of the “/s/,” “/s,” or “s/” formats.
(iv) Any e-mail which, together with its attached documents, exceeds the appropriate size limitations specified in the Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Court, must be divided and sent as separate e-mails, no one of which may exceed the appropriate size limitations specified in the Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Court and each of which must be sequentially numbered in the subject line.


(2) Service by Other Means. In addition to, and not in lieu of, service by e-mail, service may also be made upon attorneys by any of the means specified in this subdivision. If a document is served by more than one method of service, the computation of time for any response to the served document shall be based on the method of service that provides the shortest response time. Service on and by all parties who are not represented by an attorney and who do not designate an e-mail address, and on and by all attorneys excused from e-mail service, must be made by delivering a copy of the document or by mailing it to the party or attorney at their last known address or, if no address is known, by noting the non-service in the certificate of service, and stating in the certificate of service that a copy of the served document may be obtained, on request, from the clerk of the court or from the party serving the document. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. Delivery of a copy within this rule is complete upon:
(A) handing it to the attorney or to the party,
(B) leaving it at the attorney’s or party’s office with a clerk or other person in charge thereof,
(C) if there is no one in charge, leaving it in a conspicuous place therein,
(D) if the office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at the person’s usual place of abode with some person of his or her family above 15 years of age and informing such person of the contents, or
(E) transmitting it by facsimile to the attorney’s or party’s office with a cover sheet containing the sender’s name, firm, address, telephone number, and facsimile number, and the number of pages transmitted. When service is made by facsimile, a copy must also be served by any other method permitted by this rule. Facsimile service occurs when transmission is complete.
(F) Service by delivery shall be deemed complete on the date of delivery.


(c) Service; Numerous Defendants. In actions when the parties are unusually numerous, the court may regulate the service contemplated by these rules on motion or on its own initiative in such manner as may be found to be just and reasonable.

(d) Filing. All documents must be filed with the court either before service or immediately thereafter, unless otherwise provided for by general law or other rules. If the original of any bond or other document required to be an original is not placed in the court file or deposited with the clerk, a certified copy must be so placed by the clerk.

(e) Filing Defined. The filing of documents with the court as required by these rules must be made by filing them with the clerk in accordance with rule 2.525, except that the judge may permit documents to be filed with the judge, in which event the judge must note the filing date before him or her on the documents and transmit them to the clerk. The date of filing is that shown on the face of the document by the judge’s notation or the clerk’s time stamp, whichever is earlier.

(f) Certificate of Service. When any attorney certifies in substance:

“I certify that the foregoing document has been furnished to [here insert name or names, addresses used for service, and mailing addresses] by [(e-mail) (delivery) (mail) (fax)] on ____ [date]____

Movant


the certificate is taken as prima facie proof of such service in compliance with this rule.

(g) Service by Clerk. When the clerk is required to serve notices and other documents, the clerk may do so by e-mail as provided in subdivision (b)(1) or by any other method permitted under subdivision (b)(2). Service by a clerk is not required to be by e-mail.

(h) Service of Orders.
(1) A copy of all orders or judgments must be transmitted by the court or under its direction to all parties at the time of entry of the order or judgment. No service need be made on parties against whom a default has been entered except orders setting an action for trial and final judgments that must be prepared and served as provided in subdivision (h)(2). The court may require that orders or judgments be prepared by a party, may require the party to furnish the court with stamped, addressed envelopes for service of the order or judgment, and may require that proposed orders and judgments be furnished to all parties before entry by the court of the order or judgment. The court may serve any order or judgment by e-mail to all attorneys who have not been excused from e-mail service and to all parties not represented by an attorney who have designated an e-mail address for service.
(2) When a final judgment is entered against a party in default, the court must mail a conformed copy of it to the party. The party in whose favor the judgment is entered must furnish the court with a copy of the judgment, unless it is prepared by the court, with the address of the party to be served. If the address is unknown, the copy need not be furnished.
(3) This subdivision is directory and a failure to comply with it does not affect the order or judgment, its finality, or any proceedings arising in the action.

RULE 2.520 | DOCUMENTS

(a) Electronic Filing Mandatory. All documents filed in any court shall be filed by electronic transmission in accordance with rule 2.525. “Documents” means pleadings, motions, petitions, memoranda, briefs, notices, exhibits, declarations, affidavits, orders, judgments, decrees, writs, opinions, and any paper or writing submitted to a court.

(b) Type and Size. Documents subject to the exceptions set forth in rule 2.525(d) shall be legibly typewritten or printed, on only one side of letter sized (8 1/2 by 11 inch) white recycled paper with one inch margins and consecutively numbered pages. For purposes of this rule, paper is recycled if it contains a minimum content of 50 percent waste paper. Reduction of legal-size (8 1/2 by 14 inches) documents to letter size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) is prohibited. All documents filed by electronic transmission shall comply with rule 2.526 and be filed in a format capable of being electronically searched and printed in a format consistent with the provisions of this rule.

(c) Exhibits. Any exhibit or attachment to any document may be filed in its original size.

(d) Recording Space and Space for Date and Time Stamps.
(1) On all documents prepared and filed by the court or by any party to a proceeding which are to be recorded in the public records of any county, including but not limited to final money judgments and notices of lis pendens, a 3-inch by 3-inch space at the top right-hand corner on the first page and a 1-inch by 3-inch space at the top right-hand corner on each subsequent page shall be left blank and reserved for use by the clerk of court.
(2) On all documents filed with the court, a 1-inch margin on all sides must be left blank for date and time stamps. (A) Format. Date and time stamp formats must include a single line detailing the name of the court or Portal and shall not include clerk seals. Date stamps must be 8 numerical digits separated by slashes with 2 digits for the month, 2 digits for the date, and 4 digits for the year. Time stamps must be formatted in 12 hour time frames with a.m. or p.m. included. The font size and type must meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
(B) Location. The Portal stamp shall be on the top left of the document. The Florida Supreme Court and district courts of appeal stamps shall be on the left margin horizontally. Any administrative agency stamp shall be on the right margin horizontally. The clerk’s stamp for circuit and county courts shall be on the bottom of the document.
(C) Paper Filings. When a document is filed in paper as authorized by rule, the clerk may stamp the paper document in ink with the date and time of filing instead of, or in addition to, placing the electronic stamp as described in subdivision (B). The ink stamp on a paper document must be legible on the electronic version of the document, and must neither obscure the content or other date stamp, not occupy space otherwise reserved by subdivision (B).


(e) Exceptions to Recording Space. Any documents created by persons or entities over which the filing party has no control, including but not limited to wills, codicils, trusts, or other testamentary documents; documents prepared or executed by any public officer; documents prepared, executed, acknowledged, or proved outside of the State of Florida; or documents created by State or Federal government agencies, may be filed without the space required by this rule.

(f) Noncompliance. No clerk of court shall refuse to file any document because of noncompliance with this rule. However, upon request of the clerk of court, noncomplying documents shall be resubmitted in accordance with this rule.

Court Commentary

1989 Adoption. Rule 2.055 [renumbered as 2.520 in 2006] is new. This rule aligns Florida’s court system with the federal court system and the court systems of the majority of our sister states by requiring in subdivision (a) that all pleadings, motions, petitions, briefs, notices, orders, judgments, decrees, opinions, or other papers filed with any Florida court be submitted on paper measuring 8 1/2 by 11 inches. Subdivision (e) provides a 1-year transition period from the effective date of January 1, 1990, to January 1, 1991, during which time filings that traditionally have been accepted on legal-size paper will be accepted on either legal- or letter-size paper. The 1-year transition period was provided to allow for the depletion of inventories of legal-size paper and forms. The 1-year transition period was not intended to affect compliance with Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.210(a)(1), which requires that typewritten appellate briefs be filed on paper measuring 8 1/2 by 11 inches. Nor was it intended that the requirement of Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.210(a)(1) that printed briefs measure 6 by 9 inches be affected by the requirements of subdivision (a).
Subdivision (b), which recognizes an exception for exhibits or attachments, is intended to apply to documents such as wills and traffic citations which traditionally have not been generated on letter-size paper.
Subdivision (c) was adopted to ensure that a 1 1/2 inch square at the top right-hand corner of all filings is reserved for use by the clerk of court. Subdivision (d) was adopted to ensure that all papers and documents submitted for filing will be considered filed on the date of submission regardless of paper size. Subdivision (d) also ensures that after the 1-year transition period of subdivision (e), filings that are not in compliance with the rule are resubmitted on paper measuring 8 1/2 by 11 inches.
This rule is not intended to apply to those instruments and documents presented to the clerk of the circuit court for recording in the Official Records under section 28.222, Florida Statutes (1987). It is also not intended to apply to matters submitted to the clerk of the circuit court in the capacity as ex officio clerk of the board of county commissioners pursuant to article VIII, section (1)(d), Florida Constitution.
1996 Amendment. Subdivision (c) was amended to make the blank space requirements for use by the clerk of the court consistent with section 695.26, Florida Statutes (1995). Subdivision (e) was eliminated because the transition period for letter-size and recycled paper was no longer necessary.

RULE 2.525 | ELECTRONIC FILING

(a) Definition. “Electronic transmission of documents” means the sending of information by electronic signals to, by or from a court or clerk, which when received can be transformed and stored or transmitted on paper, microfilm, magnetic storage device, optical imaging system, CD-ROM, flash drive, other electronic data storage system, server, case maintenance system (“CM”), electronic court filing (“ECF”) system, statewide or local electronic portal (“e-portal”), or other electronic record keeping system authorized by the supreme court in a format sufficient to communicate the information on the original document in a readable format. Electronic transmission of documents includes electronic mail (“e-mail”) and any internet-based transmission procedure, and may include procedures allowing for documents to be signed or verified by electronic means.

(b) Application. Only the electronic filing credentials of an attorney who has signed a document may be used to file that document by electronic transmission. Any court or clerk may accept the electronic transmission of documents for filing and may send documents by electronic transmission after the clerk, together with input from the chief judge of the circuit, has obtained approval of procedures, programs, and standards for electronic filing from the supreme court (“ECF Procedures”). All ECF Procedures must comply with the then-current e-filing standards, as promulgated by the supreme court in Administrative Order No. AOSC09-30, or subsequent administrative order.

(c) Documents Affected.
(1) All documents that are court records, as defined in rule 2.430(a)(1), must be filed by electronic transmission provided that:
(A) the clerk has the ability to accept and retain such documents;
(B) the clerk or the chief judge of the circuit has requested permission to accept documents filed by electronic transmission; and
(C) the supreme court has entered an order granting permission to the clerk to accept documents filed by electronic transmission.

(2) The official court file is a set of electronic documents stored in a computer system maintained by the clerk, together with any supplemental non-electronic documents and materials authorized by this rule. It consists of:
(A) documents filed by electronic transmission under this rule;
(B) documents filed in paper form under subdivision (d) that have been converted to electronic form by the clerk;
(C) documents filed in paper form before the effective date of this rule that have been converted to electronic form by the clerk;
(D) documents filed in paper form before the effective date of this rule or under subdivision (d) , unless such documents are converted into electronic form by the clerk;
(E) electronic documents filed pursuant to subdivision (d)(5); and
(F) materials and documents filed pursuant to any rule, statute or court order that either cannot be converted into electronic form or are required to be maintained in paper form.

(3) The documents in the official court file are deemed originals for all purposes except as otherwise provided by statute or rule.
(4) Any document in paper form submitted under subdivision (d) is filed when it is received by the clerk or court and the clerk shall immediately thereafter convert any filed paper document to an electronic document. “Convert to an electronic document” means optically capturing an image of a paper document and using character recognition software to recover as much of the document’s text as practicable and then indexing and storing the document in the official court file.
(5) Any storage medium submitted under subdivision (d)(5) is filed when received by the clerk or court and the clerk shall immediately thereafter transfer the electronic documents from the storage device to the official court file.
(6) If the filer of any paper document authorized under subdivision (d) provides a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope for return of the paper document after it is converted to electronic form by the clerk, the clerk shall place the paper document in the envelope and deposit it in the mail. Except when a paper document is required to be maintained, the clerk may recycle any filed paper document that is not to be returned to the filer.
(7) The clerk may convert any paper document filed before the effective date of this rule to an electronic document. Unless the clerk is required to maintain the paper document, if the paper document has been converted to an electronic document by the clerk, the paper document is no longer part of the official court file and may be removed and recycled.

(d) Exceptions. Paper documents and other submissions may be manually submitted to the clerk or court:
(1) when the clerk does not have the ability to accept and retain documents by electronic filing or has not had ECF Procedures approved by the supreme court;
(2) for filing by any self-represented party or any self-represented nonparty unless specific ECF Procedures provide a means to file documents electronically. However, any self-represented nonparty that is a governmental or public agency and any other agency, partnership, corporation, or business entity acting on behalf of any governmental or public agency may file documents by electronic transmission if such entity has the capability of filing document electronically;
(3) for filing by attorneys excused from e-mail service in accordance with rule 2.516(b);
(4) when submitting evidentiary exhibits or filing non-documentary materials;
(5) when the filing involves documents in excess of the appropriate size limitations specified in the Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Court. For such filings, documents may be transmitted using an electronic storage medium that the clerk has the ability to accept, which may include a CD-ROM, flash drive, or similar storage medium;
(6) when filed in open court, as permitted by the court;
(7) when paper filing is permitted by any approved statewide or local ECF procedures; and
(8) if any court determines that justice so requires.

(e) Service.
(1) Electronic transmission may be used by a court or clerk for the service of all orders of whatever nature, pursuant to rule 2.516(h), and for the service of any documents pursuant to any ECF Procedures, provided the clerk, together with input from the chief judge of the circuit, has obtained approval from the supreme court of ECF Procedures containing the specific procedures and program to be used in transmitting the orders and documents. All other requirements for the service of such orders must be met.
(2) Any document electronically transmitted to a court or clerk must also be served on all parties and interested persons in accordance with the applicable rules of court.

(f) Administration.
(1) Any clerk who, after obtaining supreme court approval, accepts for filing documents that have been electronically transmitted must:
(A) provide electronic or telephonic access to its equipment, whether through an e-portal or otherwise, during regular business hours, and all other times as practically feasible;
(B) accept electronic transmission of the appropriate size limitations specified in the Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Court; and
(C) accept filings in excess of the appropriate size limitations specified in the Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Court by electronic storage device or system, which may include a CD-ROM, flash drive, or similar storage system.

(2) All attorneys, parties, or other persons using this rule to file documents are required to make arrangements with the court or clerk for the payment of any charges authorized by general law or the supreme court before filing any document by electronic transmission.
(3) The filing date for an electronically transmitted document is the date and time that such filing is acknowledged by an electronic stamp or otherwise, pursuant to any procedure set forth in any ECF Procedures approved by the supreme court, or the date the last page of such filing is received by the court or clerk.
(4) Any court or clerk may extend the hours of access or increase the page or size limitations set forth in this subdivision.

(g) Accessibility. All documents transmitted in any electronic form under this rule must comply with the accessibility requirements of Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.526.

Court Commentary

1997 Amendment. Originally, the rule provided that the follow-up filing had to occur within ten days. In the 1997 amendment to the rule, that requirement was modified to provide that the follow-up filing must occur “immediately” after a document is electronically filed. The “immediately thereafter” language is consistent with language used in the rules of procedure where, in a somewhat analogous situation, the filing of a document may occur after service. See, e.g., Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.080(d) (“All original papers shall be filed with the court either before service or immediately thereafter.”) (emphasis added). “Immediately thereafter” has been interpreted to mean “filed with reasonable promptness.” Miami Transit Co. v. Ford, 155 So.2d 360 (Fla.1963).
The use of the words “other person” in this rule is not meant to allow a nonlawyer to sign and file pleadings or other papers on behalf of another. Such conduct would constitute the unauthorized practice of law.

RULE 2.526 | ACCESSIBILITY OF INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY

Any document that is or will become a judicial branch record, as defined in rule 2.420(b)(1), and that is transmitted in an electronic form, as defined in rule 2.525, must be formatted in a manner that complies with all state and federal laws requiring that electronic judicial records be accessible to persons with disabilities, including without limitation the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as incorporated into Florida law by section 282.603(1), Florida Statutes (2010), and any related federal or state regulations or administrative rules.

RULE 2.530 | COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT

(a) Definition. Communication equipment means a conference telephone or other electronic device that permits all those appearing or participating to hear and speak to each other, provided that all conversation of all parties is audible to all persons present.

(b) Use by All Parties. A county or circuit court judge may, upon the court’s own motion or upon the written request of a party, direct that communication equipment be used for a motion hearing, pretrial conference, or a status conference. A judge must give notice to the parties and consider any objections they may have to the use of communication equipment before directing that communication equipment be used. The decision to use communication equipment over the objection of parties will be in the sound discretion of the trial court, except as noted below.

(c) Use Only by Requesting Party. A county or circuit court judge may, upon the written request of a party upon reasonable notice to all other parties, permit a requesting party to participate through communication equipment in a scheduled motion hearing; however, any such request (except in criminal, juvenile, and appellate proceedings) must be granted, absent a showing of good cause to deny the same, where the hearing is set for not longer than 15 minutes.

(d) Testimony.
(1) Generally. A county or circuit court judge, general magistrate, special magistrate, or hearing officer may allow testimony to be taken through communication equipment if all parties consent or if permitted by another applicable rule of procedure.
(2) Procedure. Any party desiring to present testimony through communication equipment shall, prior to the hearing or trial at which the testimony is to be presented, contact all parties to determine whether each party consents to this form of testimony. The party seeking to present the testimony shall move for permission to present testimony through communication equipment, which motion shall set forth good cause as to why the testimony should be allowed in this form.
(3) Oath. Testimony may be taken through communication equipment only if a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths in the witness’s jurisdiction is present with the witness and administers the oath consistent with the laws of the jurisdiction.
(4) Confrontation Rights. In juvenile and criminal proceedings the defendant must make an informed waiver of any confrontation rights that may be abridged by the use of communication equipment.
(5) Video Testimony. If the testimony to be presented utilizes video conferencing or comparable two-way visual capabilities, the court in its discretion may modify the procedures set forth in this rule to accommodate the technology utilized.

(e) Burden of Expense. The cost for the use of the communication equipment is the responsibility of the requesting party unless otherwise directed by the court.

(f) Override of Family Violence Indicator. Communications equipment may be used for a hearing on a petition to override a family violence indicator under Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.650.

RULE 2.535 | COURT REPORTING

(a) Definitions.
(1) “Approved court reporter” means a court employee or contractor who performs court reporting services, including transcription, at public expense and who meets the court’s certification, training, and other qualifications for court reporting.
(2) “Approved transcriptionist” means a court employee, contractor, or other individual who performs transcription services at public expense and who meets the court’s certification, training, and other qualifications for transcribing proceedings.
(3) “Civil court reporter” means a court reporter who performs court reporting services in civil proceedings not required to be reported at public expense, and who meets the court’s certification, training, and other qualifications for court reporting.
(4) “Court reporting” means the act of making a verbatim record of the spoken word, whether by the use of written symbols, stenomask equipment, stenographic equipment, or electronic devices, in any proceedings pending in any of the courts of this state, including all discovery proceedings conducted in connection therewith, any proceedings reported for the court’s own use, and all proceedings required by statute to be reported by an approved court reporter or civil court reporter. It does not mean the act of taking witness statements not intended for use in court as substantive evidence.
(5) “Electronic record” means the audio, analog, digital, or video record of a court proceeding.
(6) “Official record” means the transcript, which is the written or electronically stored record of court proceedings and depositions prepared in accordance with the requirements of subdivision (f).

(b) When Court Reporting Required. Any proceeding shall be reported on the request of any party. The party so requesting shall pay the reporting fees, but this requirement shall not preclude the taxation of costs as authorized by law.

(c) Record. When trial proceedings are being reported, no part of the proceedings shall be omitted unless all of the parties agree to do so and the court approves the agreement. When a deposition is being reported, no part of the proceedings shall be omitted unless all of the parties and the witness so agree. When a party or a witness seeks to terminate or suspend the taking of a deposition for the time necessary to seek a court order, the court reporter shall discontinue reporting the testimony of the witness.

(d) Ownership of Records. The chief judge of the circuit in which a proceeding is pending, in his or her official capacity, is the owner of all records and electronic records made by an official court reporter or quasi-judicial officer in proceedings required to be reported at public expense and proceedings reported for the court’s own use.

(e) Fees. The chief judge shall have the discretion to adopt an administrative order establishing maximum fees for court reporting services. Any such order must make a specific factual finding that the setting of such maximum fees is necessary to ensure access to the courts. Such finding shall include consideration of the number of court reporters in the county or circuit, any past history of fee schedules, and any other relevant factors.

(f) Transcripts. Transcripts of all judicial proceedings, including depositions, shall be uniform in and for all courts throughout the state and shall be stored in an electronic format sufficient to communicate the information contained in proceedings in a readable format, and capable of being transmitted electronically as set forth in rule 2.525. Any transcripts stored in electronic form must be capable of being printed in accordance with this rule. The form, size, spacing, and method of printing transcripts are as follows:
(1) All proceedings shall be printed on paper 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches in size and bound on the left.
(2) There shall be no fewer than 25 printed lines per page with all lines numbered 1 through 25, respectively, and with no more than a double space between lines.
(3) Font size or print shall be 9 or 10 pica, 12-point courier, or 12-point Times New Roman print with no less than 56 characters per line on questions and answers unless the text of the speaker ends short of marginal requirements.
(4) Colloquy material shall begin on the same line following the identification of the speaker, with no more than 2 spaces between the identification of the speaker and the commencement of the colloquy. The identification of the speaker in colloquy shall begin no more than 10 spaces from the left margin, and carry-over colloquy shall be indented no more than 5 spaces from the left margin.
(5) Each question and answer shall begin on a separate line no more than 5 spaces from the left margin with no more than 5 spaces from the “Q” or “A” to the text. Carry-over question and answer lines shall be brought to the left margin.
(6) Quoted material shall begin no more than 10 spaces from the left margin with carry-over lines beginning no more than 10 spaces from the left margin.
(7) Indentations of no more than 10 spaces may be used for paragraphs, and all spaces on a line as herein provided shall be used unless the text of the speaker ends short of marginal requirements.
(8) One-line parentheticals may begin at any indentation. Parentheticals exceeding 1 line shall begin no more than 10 spaces from the left margin, with carry-over lines being returned to the left margin.
(9) Individual volumes of a transcript, including depositions, shall be no more than 200 pages in length, inclusive of the index.
(10) Deviation from these standards shall not constitute grounds for limiting use of transcripts in the trial or appellate courts.

(g) Officers of the Court. Approved court reporters, civil court reporters, and approved transcriptionists are officers of the court for all purposes while acting as court reporters in judicial proceedings or discovery proceedings or as transcriptionists. Approved court reporters, civil court reporters, and approved transcriptionists shall comply with all rules and statutes governing the proceeding that are applicable to court reporters and approved transcriptionists.

(h) Court Reporting Services at Public Expense.
(1) When Reporting Is Required. All proceedings required by law, court rule, or administrative order to be reported shall be reported at public expense.
(2) When Reporting May Be Required. Proceedings reported for the court’s own use may be reported at public expense.
(3) Circuit Plan. The chief judge, after consultation with the circuit court and county court judges in the circuit, shall enter an administrative order developing and implementing a circuit-wide plan for the court reporting of all proceedings required to be reported at public expense using either full or part time court employees or independent contractors. The plan shall ensure that all court reporting services are provided by approved court reporters or approved transcriptionists. This plan may provide for multiple service delivery strategies if they are necessary to ensure the efficient provision of court reporting services. Each circuit’s plan for court reporting services shall be developed after consideration of guidelines issued by the Office of the State Courts Administrator.
(4) Electronic Recording and Transcription of Proceedings Without Court Reporters. A chief judge may enter a circuit-wide administrative order, which shall be recorded, authorizing the electronic recording and subsequent transcription by approved court reporters or approved transcriptionists, of any judicial proceedings, including depositions, that are otherwise required to be reported by a court reporter. Appropriate procedures shall be prescribed in the order which shall:
(A) set forth responsibilities for the court’s support personnel to ensure a reliable record of the proceedings;
(B) provide a means to have the recording transcribed by approved court reporters or approved transcriptionists, either in whole or in part, when necessary for an appeal or for further use in the trial court; and
(C) provide for the safekeeping of such recordings.

(5) Safeguarding Confidential Communications When Electronic Recording Equipment Is Used in the Courtroom.
(A) Court personnel shall provide notice to participants in a courtroom proceeding that electronic recording equipment is in use and that they should safeguard information they do not want recorded.
(B) Attorneys shall take all reasonable and available precautions to protect disclosure of confidential communications in the courtroom. Such precautions may include muting microphones or going to a designated location that is inaccessible to the recording equipment.
(C) Participants have a duty to protect confidential information.

(6) Grand Jury Proceedings. Testimony in grand jury proceedings shall be reported by an approved court reporter, but shall not be transcribed unless required by order of court. Other parts of grand jury proceedings, including deliberations and voting, shall not be reported. The approved court reporter’s work product, including stenographic notes, electronic recordings, and transcripts, shall be filed with the clerk of the court under seal.

(i) Court Reporting Services in Capital Cases. The chief judge, after consultation with the circuit court judges in the circuit, shall enter an administrative order developing and implementing a circuit-wide plan for court reporting in all trials in which the state seeks the death penalty and in capital postconviction proceedings. The plan shall prohibit the use of digital court reporting as the court reporting system and shall require the use of all measures necessary to expedite the preparation of the transcript, including but not limited to:
(1) where available, the use of an approved court reporter who has the capacity to provide real-time transcription of the proceedings;
(2) if real-time transcription services are not available, the use of a computer-aided transcription qualified court reporter;
(3) the use of scopists, text editors, alternating court reporters, or other means to expedite the finalization of the certified transcript; and
(4) the imposition of reasonable restrictions on work assignments by employee or contract approved court reporters to ensure that transcript production in capital cases is given a priority.

(j) Juvenile Dependency and Termination of Parental Rights Cases. Transcription of hearings for appeals of orders in juvenile dependency and termination of parental rights cases shall be given priority, consistent with rule 2.215(g), over transcription of all other proceedings, unless otherwise ordered by the court based upon a demonstrated exigency.

Committee Notes

The definitions of “electronic record” in subdivision (a)(5) and of “official record” in subdivision (a)(6) are intended to clarify that when a court proceeding is electronically recorded by means of audio, analog, digital, or video equipment, and is also recorded via a written transcript prepared by a court reporter, the written transcript shall be the “official record” of the proceeding to the exclusion of all electronic records. While the term “record” is used within Rule 2.535 and within Fla. R. App. P. 9.200, it has a different meaning within the unique context of each rule. Accordingly, the meaning of the term “record” as defined for purposes of this rule does not in any way alter, amend, change, or conflict with the meaning of the term “record” as defined for appellate purposes in Fla. R. App. P. 9.200(a).

RULE 2.540 | REQUESTS FOR ACCOMMODATIONS BY PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

(a) Duties of Court. Qualified individuals with a disability will be provided, at the court’s expense, with accommodations, reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, in order to participate in programs or activities provided by the courts of this state. The court may deny a request only in accordance with subdivision (e).

(b) Definitions. The definitions encompassed in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., are incorporated into this rule.

(c) Notice Requirement.

(1) All notices of court proceedings to be held in a public facility, and all process compelling appearance at such proceedings, shall include the following statement in bold face, 14-point Times New Roman or Courier font:
“If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact [identify applicable court personnel by name, address, and telephone number] at least 7 days before your scheduled court appearance, or immediately upon receiving this notification if the time before the scheduled appearance is less than 7 days; if you are hearing or voice impaired, call 711.” (2) Each trial and appellate court shall post on its respective website and in each court facility the procedures for obtaining an accommodation as well as the grievance procedure adopted by that court.

(d) Process for Requesting Accommodations. The process for requesting accommodations is as follows:
(1) Requests for accommodations under this rule may be presented on a form approved or substantially similar to one approved by the Office of the State Courts Administrator, in another written format, or orally. Requests must be forwarded to the ADA coordinator, or designee, within the time frame provided in subdivision (d)(3).
(2) Requests for accommodations must include a description of the accommodation sought, along with a statement of the impairment that necessitates the accommodation and the duration that the accommodation is to be provided. The court, in its discretion, may require the individual with a disability to provide additional information about the impairment. Requests for accommodation shall not include any information regarding the merits of the case.
(3) Requests for accommodations must be made at least 7 days before the scheduled court appearance, or immediately upon receiving notification if the time before the scheduled court appearance is less than 7 days. The court may, in its discretion, waive this requirement.

(e) Response to Accommodation Request. The court must respond to a request for accommodation as follows:
(1) The court must consider, but is not limited by, the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 in determining whether to provide an accommodation or an appropriate alternative accommodation.
(2) The court must inform the individual with a disability of the following:
(3) If the court determines that a person is a qualified person with a disability and an accommodation is needed, a request for accommodation may be denied only when the court determines that the requested accommodation would create an undue financial or administrative burden on the court or would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.

(f) Grievance Procedure.
(1) Each judicial circuit and appellate court shall establish and publish grievance procedures that allow for the resolution of complaints. Those procedures may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by the Florida State Courts System.
(2) If such grievance involves a matter that may affect the orderly administration of justice, it is within the discretion of the presiding judge to stay the proceeding and seek expedited resolution of the grievance.

RULE 2.545 | CASE MANAGEMENT

(a) Purpose. Judges and lawyers have a professional obligation to conclude litigation as soon as it is reasonably and justly possible to do so. However, parties and counsel shall be afforded a reasonable time to prepare and present their case.

(b) Case Control. The trial judge shall take charge of all cases at an early stage in the litigation and shall control the progress of the case thereafter until the case is determined. The trial judge shall take specific steps to monitor and control the pace of litigation, including the following:
(1) assuming early and continuous control of the court calendar;
(2) identifying priority cases as assigned by statute, rule of procedure, case law, or otherwise;
(3) implementing such docket control policies as may be necessary to advance priority cases to ensure prompt resolution;
(4) identifying cases subject to alternative dispute resolution processes;
(5) developing rational and effective trial setting policies; and
(6) advancing the trial setting of priority cases, older cases, and cases of greater urgency.

(c) Priority Cases.
(1) In all noncriminal cases assigned a priority status by statute, rule of procedure, case law, or otherwise, any party may file a notice of priority status explaining the nature of the case, the source of the priority status, any deadlines imposed by law on any aspect of the case, and any unusual factors that may bear on meeting the imposed deadlines.
(2) If, in any noncriminal case assigned a priority status by statute, rule of procedure, case law, or otherwise, a party is of the good faith opinion that the case has not been appropriately advanced on the docket or has not received priority in scheduling consistent with its priority case status, that party may seek review of such action by motion for review to the chief judge or to the chief judge’s designee. The filing of such a motion for review will not toll the time for seeking such other relief as may be afforded by the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(d) Related Cases.
(1) The petitioner in a family case as defined in this rule shall file with the court a notice of related cases in conformity with family law form 12.900(h), if related cases are known or reasonably ascertainable. A case is related when:
(A) it involves any of the same parties, children, or issues and it is pending at the time the party files a family case; or
(B) it affects the court’s jurisdiction to proceed; or
(C) an order in the related case may conflict with an order on the same issues in the new case; or
(D) an order in the new case may conflict with an order in the earlier litigation.

(2) “Family cases” include dissolution of marriage, annulment, support unconnected with dissolution of marriage, paternity, child support, UIFSA, custodial care of and access to children, proceedings for temporary or concurrent custody of minor children by extended family, adoption, name change, declaratory judgment actions related to premarital, martial [marital], or postmarital agreements, civil domestic, repeat violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual violence injunctions, juvenile dependency, termination of parental rights, juvenile delinquency, emancipation of a minor, CINS/FINS, truancy, and modification and enforcement of orders entered in these cases.
(3) The notice of related cases shall identify the caption and case number of the related case, contain a brief statement of the relationship of the actions, and contain a statement addressing whether assignment to one judge or another method of coordination will conserve judicial resources and promote an efficient determination of the actions.
(4) The notice of related cases shall be filed with the initial pleading by the filing attorney or self-represented petitioner. The notice shall be filed in each of the related cases that are currently open and pending with the court and served on all other parties in each of the related cases, and as may be directed by the chief judge or designee. Parties may file joint notices. A notice of related cases filed pursuant to this rule is not an appearance. If any related case is confidential and exempt from public access by law, then a Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing as required by Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420 shall accompany the notice. Parties shall file supplemental notices as related cases become known or reasonably ascertainable.
(5) Each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of any proceedings in this or any other state that could affect the current proceeding.
(6) Whenever it appears to a party that two or more pending cases present common issues of fact and that assignment to one judge or another method of coordination will significantly promote the efficient administration of justice, conserve judicial resources, avoid inconsistent results, or prevent multiple court appearances by the same parties on the same issues, the party may file a notice of related cases requesting coordination of the litigation.

(e) Continuances. All judges shall apply a firm continuance policy. Continuances should be few, good cause should be required, and all requests should be heard and resolved by a judge. All motions for continuance shall be in writing unless made at a trial and, except for good cause shown, shall be signed by the party requesting the continuance. All motions for continuance in priority cases shall clearly identify such priority status and explain what effect the motion will have on the progress of the case.

Committee Notes

The provisions in subdivision (c) of this rule governing priority cases should be read in conjunction with the provisions of rule 2.215(g), governing the duty to expedite priority cases.

RULE 2.550 | CALENDAR CONFLICTS

(a) Guidelines. In resolving calendar conflicts between the state courts of Florida or between a state court and a federal court in Florida, the following guidelines must be considered:
(1) Any case priority status established by statute, rule of procedure, case law, or otherwise shall be evaluated to determine the effect that resolving a calendar conflict might have on the priority case or cases.
(2) Juvenile dependency and termination of parental rights cases are generally to be given preference over other cases, except for speedy trial and capital cases.
(3) Criminal cases are generally to be given preference over civil cases.
(4) Jury trials are generally to be given preference over non-jury trials.
(5) Appellate arguments, hearings, and conferences are generally to be given preference over trial court proceedings.
(6) The case in which the trial date has been first set generally should take precedence.

(b) Additional Circumstances. Factors such as cost, numbers of witnesses and attorneys involved, travel, length of trial, age of case, and other relevant matters may warrant deviation from these case guidelines.

(c) Notice and Agreement; Resolution by Judges. When an attorney is scheduled to appear in 2 courts at the same time and cannot arrange for other counsel to represent the clients’ interests, the attorney shall give prompt written notice of the conflict to opposing counsel, the clerk of each court, and the presiding judge of each case, if known. If the presiding judge of the case cannot be identified, written notice of the conflict shall be given to the chief judge of the court having jurisdiction over the case, or to the chief judge’s designee. The judges or their designees shall confer and undertake to avoid the conflict by agreement among themselves. Absent agreement, conflicts should be promptly resolved by the judges or their designees in accordance with the above case guidelines.

Committee Notes

1996 Adoption.The adoption of this rule was prompted by the Resolution of the Florida State-Federal Judicial Council Regarding Calendar Conflicts Between State and Federal Courts, which states as follows:
WHEREAS, the great volume of cases filed in the state and federal courts of Florida creates calendar conflicts between the state and federal courts of Florida which should be resolved in a fair, efficient and orderly manner to allow for judicial efficiency and economy; and
WHEREAS, the Florida State-Federal Judicial Council which represents the Bench and Bar of the State of Florida believes that it would be beneficial to formally agree upon and publish recommended procedures and priorities for resolving calendar conflicts between the state and federal courts of Florida;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED
In resolving calendar conflicts between the state and federal courts of Florida, the following case priorities should be considered:
1. Criminal cases should prevail over civil cases.
2. Jury trials should prevail over non-jury trials.
3. Appellate arguments, hearings, and conferences should prevail over trials.
4. The case in which the trial date has been first set should take precedence.
5. Circumstances such as cost, numbers of witnesses and attorneys involved, travel, length of trial, age of case and other relevant matters may warrant deviation from this policy. Such matters are encouraged to be resolved through communication between the courts involved.
Where an attorney is scheduled to appear in two courts — trial or appellate, state or federal — at the same time and cannot arrange for other counsel in his or her firm or in the case to represent his or her client’s interest, the attorney shall give prompt written notice to opposing counsel, the clerk of each court, and the presiding judge of each case, if known, of the conflict. If the presiding judge of a case cannot be identified, written notice of the conflict shall be given to the chief judge of the court having jurisdiction over the case, or to his or her designee. The judges or their designees shall confer and undertake to avoid the conflict by agreement among themselves. Absent agreement, conflicts should be promptly resolved by the judges or their designees in accordance with the above case priorities.
In jurisdictions where calendar conflicts arise with frequency, it is recommended that each court involved consider appointing a calendar conflict coordinator to assist the judges in resolving calendar conflicts by obtaining information regarding the conflicts and performing such other ministerial duties as directed by the judges.
REVISED AND READOPTED at Miami, Florida, this 13th day of January, 1995

Court Commentary

2002 Court Commentary. As provided in subdivision (c), when a scheduling conflict involves different courts, the presiding judges should confer and undertake to agree on a resolution, using the guidelines provided in this rule.

RULE 2.555 | INITIATION OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

(a) Major Statutory Offense. Law enforcement officers, at the time of the filing of a complaint with the clerk of court, shall designate whether the most serious charge on the complaint is a felony or a misdemeanor. The state attorney or the state attorney’s designee, at the time of the filing of an original information or an original indictment with the clerk of court, shall designate whether the most serious offense on the information or the indictment is a felony or misdemeanor. Complaints, original informations, and original indictments on which the most serious charge is a felony shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court.

(b) Ordinance Violations. In cases when the state attorney has the responsibility for the prosecution of county or municipal ordinance violations, where such ordinances have state statutory equivalents, the state attorney or the state attorney’s designee shall set forth at the top of the face of the accusatory instrument the exact statute number of the single most serious offense charged.

(c) Information or Indictment after County Court Proceedings Begun. When action in a criminal case has been initiated in county court, and subsequently the state attorney files a direct information or the grand jury indicts the defendant, the state attorney or the state attorney’s designee shall notify the clerk without delay.

RULE 2.560 | APPOINTMENT OF SPOKEN LANGUAGE COURT INTERPRETERS FOR NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING AND LIMITED-ENGLISH-PROFICIENT PERSONS

(a) Criminal or Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings. In any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding in which the accused, the parent or legal guardian of the accursed juvenile, the victim, or the alleged victim cannot understand or has limited understanding of English, or cannot express himself or herself in English sufficiently to be understood, an interpreter shall be appointed.

(b) Other Proceedings. In all other proceedings in which a non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person is a litigant, an interpreter for the non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient litigant shall be appointed if the court determines that the litigant’s inability to comprehend English deprives the litigant of an understanding of the court proceedings, that a fundamental interest is at stake (such as in a civil commitment, termination of parental rights, paternity, or dependency proceeding), and that no alternative to the appointment of an interpreter exists.

(c) Witnesses. In any proceeding in which a non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person is a witness, the appointment of an interpreter shall be governed by the applicable provisions of the Florida Evidence Code.

(d) Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In making determinations regarding the appointment of an interpreter, the court should ensure compliance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

(e) Qualifications of Interpreter.
(1) Appointment of Interpreters When Certified or Other Duly Qualified Interpreters Are Available. Whenever possible, a certified or other duly qualified interpreter, as defined in the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters, shall be appointed. Preference shall be given to appointment of certified and language skilled interpreters, then to persons holding a provisionally approved designation.
(2) Appointment of Interpreters When Certified or Other Duly Qualified Interpreters Are Unavailable. If, after diligent search, a certified, language skilled, or provisionally approved interpreter is not available, the presiding judge, magistrate, or hearing officer, finding good cause, may appoint an interpreter who is otherwise registered with the Office of the State Courts Administrator in accordance with the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters. No appointment shall be made under this subdivision unless the presiding judge, magistrate, or hearing officer makes a determination, on the record, the proposed interpreter is competent to interpret in the proceedings.
(3) Appointment in Exceptional Circumstances. If after diligent search no interpreter qualifying under subdivision (e)(1) or (e)(2) of this rule is available at the time interpreter services are needed, the presiding judge, magistrate, or hearing officer, finding good cause exists for the appointment of an interpreter not qualifying under subdivision (e)(1) or (e)(2), such as the prevention of burdensome delay, the request or consent of the non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person, or other unusual circumstance, may appoint an interpreter who is not certified, language skilled, provisionally approved, or otherwise registered with the Office of the State Courts Administrator. No appointment, including appointment of interpreters available via remote technology, shall be made under this subdivision unless the presiding judge, magistrate, or hearing officer finds the proposed interpreter is competent to interpret in the proceedings. This finding must be made on the record based, not only on the unavailability of an interpreter otherwise qualified in a particular language, but also on specific exigent circumstances given the demands of the case and the interpreter’s sworn assertion he or she is able, either in direct or relay/intermediary interpretation, to communicate effectively in the languages in which interpreter services are required. An appointment under this subdivision shall excuse an interpreter so appointed from the registration requirements under the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters, but only for the delivery of the specific services for which the interpreter is appointed.
(4) On-the-Record Objections or Waivers in Criminal and Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings. In any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding in which the interpreter is not appointed under subdivision (e)(1) of this rule, the court shall advise the accused, on the record, that the proposed interpreter is not certified, language skilled, or provisionally approved pursuant to the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters. The accused’s objection to the appointment of a proposed interpreter, or the accused’s waiver of the appointment of a certified, language skilled, or provisionally approved interpreter, shall also be on the record.
(5) Additional on-the-Record Findings, Objections, and Waivers Required at Subsequent Proceedings. The appointment of an interpreter who is not certified, language skilled, or provisionally approved in accordance with the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters shall be limited to a specific proceeding and shall not be extended to subsequent proceedings in a case without additional findings of good cause and qualification as required by subdivisions (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this rule, and additional compliance with the procedures for on-the-record objections or waivers provided for in subdivision (e)(4) of this rule.

(f) Privileged Communications. Whenever a person communicates through an interpreter to any person under circumstances that would render the communication privileged and such person could not be compelled to testify as to the communication, the privilege shall also apply to the interpreter.

(g) Definitions. When used in this rule, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below: (1) Limited-English-Proficient Person. A person who is unable to communicate effectively in English because the individual’s primary language is not English and he or she has not developed fluency in the English language. A person with limited English proficiency may have difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding English.
(2) Proceeding. Any hearing or trial, excluding an administrative hearing or trial, presided over by a judge, general magistrate, special magistrate, or hearing officer within the state courts.

RULE 2.565 | RETENTION OF SPOKEN LANGUAGE COURT INTERPRETERS FOR NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING AND LIMITED-ENGLISH-PROFICIENT PERSONS BY ATTORNEYS OR SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS

(a) Retention of Interpreters when Certified or Other Duly Qualified Interpreters Are Available. When an attorney or self-represented litigant retains the services of an interpreter to assist a non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient litigant or witness in a court proceeding or court-related proceeding as defined in the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters, the attorney or self-represented litigant shall, whenever possible, retain a certified, language skilled or provisionally approved interpreter, as defined in the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters. Preference shall be given to retention of certified and language skilled interpreters, then to persons holding a provisionally approved designation.

(b) Retention of Interpreters when Certified or Other Duly Qualified Interpreters Are Unavailable. If, after diligent search, a certified, language skilled, or provisionally approved interpreter is not available, an attorney or self-represented litigant may retain an interpreter who is otherwise registered with the Office of the State Courts Administrator in accordance with the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters.

(c) Retention in Exceptional Circumstances. If, after diligent search, no interpreter qualifying under subdivision (a) or (b) of this rule is available, an attorney or self-represented litigant, for good cause, may retain an interpreter who is not certified, language skilled, provisionally approved, or otherwise registered with the Office of the State Courts Administrator.

(d) Written Declaration Substantiating Good Cause. No interpreter shall be retained under subdivision (c) unless the attorney or a self-represented litigant states under oath or affirms in a verified writing that:
(1) a diligent search has been conducted;
(2) neither a certified, language skilled, provisionally approved interpreter nor an interpreter otherwise registered with the Office of the State Courts Administrator is available to interpret in person or via remote technology; and
(3) to the best of the attorney or self-represented litigant’s information and belief, the proposed interpreter is competent to interpret. In addition, the written declaration shall include the full name, mailing address, and telephone number of the proposed interpreter; the non-English language interpreted; the date of the interpreted event; and nature of the interpreted event.

(e) Filing and Retention of Written Declaration. An attorney or self-represented litigant substantiating good cause under subdivision (d) shall submit via e-mail, a copy of the verified written declaration with the Court Interpreter Program Office in the Office of the State Courts Administrator. A prescribed form and dedicated e-mail address appear on the Court’s website. The filer shall thereafter furnish a copy to the proposed interpreter, and shall:
(1) file the original declaration in any pending court action or administrative action and serve a copy thereof on all other parties; or
(2) if no action is pending at the time interpreter services are provided, retain the original declaration and serve a copy thereof on the non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person at the time interpreter services are provided. The declaration shall be made available to all other parties and to any state court or administrative judge, magistrate, or hearing officer upon request in any action later filed to which the interpreted event is relevant. The filing with the Office of the State Courts Administrator of a written declaration in substantial conformity with this subdivision shall excuse the proposed interpreter from the registration requirements under the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Interpreters for the delivery of the specific interpreter services for which certification is made.

(f) Time for Preparation, Submission, Filing, and Service. Verified written declarations required by this rule shall be prepared, submitted to the Office of State Courts Administrator, filed with the Clerk of Court, when required, and served on all parties in advance of the proceedings to which they are relevant. When compliance with this subdivision is impossible or impracticable due to the existence of emergency or other extraordinary circumstances, the attorney or self-represented litigant shall:
(1) comply with the preparation, submission, filing, and service requirements of this rule as soon as is practicable following the conclusion of the proceeding; and
(2) include in the verified written declaration a brief statement describing the emergency or other extraordinary circumstances justifying post-proceeding compliance.

RULE 2.570 | [REPEALED] STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS

REPEALED! (a) Use; Modification. The standard jury instructions appearing on the supreme court’s website at https://jury.flcourts.org may be used by trial judges in instructing the jury in every trial to the extent that the instructions are applicable, unless the trial judge determines that an applicable standard jury instruction is erroneous or inadequate, in which event the judge shall modify the standard instruction or give such other instruction as the trial judge determines to be necessary to instruct the jury accurately and sufficiently on the circumstances of the case. If the trial judge modifies a standard jury instruction or gives another instruction, upon timely objection to the instruction, the trial judge shall state on the record or in a separate order the respect in which the judge finds the standard instruction erroneous or inadequate and the legal basis for varying from the standard instruction. Similarly, in all circumstances in which the comments or notes on use accompanying the standard jury instructions contain a recommendation that a certain type of instruction not be given, the trial judge may follow the recommendation unless the judge determines that the giving of such an instruction is necessary to instruct the jury accurately and sufficiently, in which event the judge shall give such instruction as the judge deems appropriate and necessary. If the trial judge does not follow such a recommendation, upon timely objection to the instruction, the trial judge shall state on the record or in a separate order the legal basis of the determination that the instruction is necessary.

(b) Referral to Committee. The party requesting and receiving a modified instruction shall send a copy of the modified instruction to the appropriate committee on standard jury instructions under rule 2.270, so that the committee can consider the modification to determine whether the standard instruction should be amended.

(c) No Supreme Court Approval or Presumption of Correctness. The standard jury instructions approved for publication and use under rule 2.270 are not approved or otherwise specifically authorized for use by the supreme court. The approval of a standard jury instruction under that rule shall not be construed as an adjudicative determination on the legal correctness of the instruction. Standard instructions authorized for use by the supreme court prior to the adoption of rule 2.270 shall be treated the same as and given no more deference than instructions approved for use under that rule.

Congratulations! You're now booked up on all of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration (Fla. R. Jud. Admin.)!

Please get the justice you deserve.

Sincerely,



www.TextBookDiscrimination.com
Icon-Email-WBIcon-Email-WG Icon-Youtube-WBIcon-Youtube-WG Icon-Share-WBIcon-Share-WG
Pages You Might Also Like