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Part III Fla. R. Jud. Admin. Download

Florida Rules of Judicial Administration
Part III
Judicial Officers


(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.


(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.


(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.


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

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