Emergencies and case management conference

AuthorAnnette J. Szorosy/Stephanie Matalon
ProfessionGeneral Magistrate/General Magistrate
Emergencies and Case
Management Conference
Family court is considered the emergency room of the courthouse. The emotional dissolution of marriage, as
well as parties who may come to court with psychological and other familial problems, creates crises that
may only be resolved by immediate court intervention. The breakdown of the marriage may be caused by
f‌inancial crises, which may only be resolved by immediate court intervention. To lay persons going through
the process, everything may seem like an emergency; however, their situation may not be considered an
emergency under Florida law.
The lawyer, pursuant to the purposes of Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes and therapeutic justice, must be
able to identify real emergencies and be prepared to address the parties’ problems both in and out of the
courtroom. Prior investigation of even emergency circumstances should be made. In certain circumstances,
set forth in this chapter, ex parte emergency relief is imperative. In certain circumstances, interventions should
take place prior to seeking relief in court. However, if the lawyer has any concerns regarding whether the
matter is an actual emergency or is concerned about f‌iling a pleading that includes allegations that might be
unnecessarily detrimental to the parties or the children, or the lawyer, the lawyer has the alternative of f‌iling a
pleading that presents the emergency without detailed detrimental allegations, seeking a case management
conference in conjunction with it. This gives the lawyer the opportunity to orally present the details and affords
the judge the discretion to do what is necessary to protect the parties, the children or the property. The case
management conference is an important tool for the court, not only in dealing with emergencies, but in setting
the case on a course toward resolution, controlling the process and procedure, to avoid litigation or to set the
case expeditiously for trial, if necessary.
The intent of this chapter is to assist the lawyer with navigating emergencies in the new era of therapeutic justice
and electronic discovery issues at case management conference, and to provide detailed information on how
to use the best tool available in family law, the case management conference, combined with an emergency
hearing or a case management conference alone.
Florida Family Law and Practice 9-2
A. Basic Points
§9:01 What Is “Emergency”?
§9:02 Local Rules and Administrative Orders
§9:03 Child Emergencies Most Prevalent; Least Disruption Sought
§9:04 Ex Parte Relief Only in Extraordinary Circumstances; Then Return Hearing Date
§9:05 Temporary Orders are Subject to Modif‌ication Until Final Hearing
§9:06 No “Bait and Switch” Self-Represented Litigant
§9:07 Communication Technology
§9:08 Protect Children, Client, Property, and Yourself
§9:09 De Minimis Assets and Expenses
§9:10 Requests for Accommodations by Persons With Disabilities
§9:11 Impact of Duty of Candor
§9:12 Impact of Electronic Filing and Supreme Court Rule Changes on Emergencies
§9:13 Use of Electronic Devices
§9:14 Application of Foreign Law and Enforcement of a
Judgment or Order of a Court of a Foreign Country
B. Protect Child
1. Aff‌irmative Steps
§9:20 In General
§9:21 Claims and False Claims
§9:22 Reasonable Emergency Investigation
§9:23 Act Immediately Using Latest Florida Supreme Court-Approved Forms
§9:24 Practical Prevention
§9:25 Reality of 1-800-96-ABUSE
§9:26 Report Missing Child Immediately
2. What May Not Be Emergency
§9:40 In General
§9:41 Interfering With Time-Sharing
§9:42 Alienation
§9:43 Pre-Existing Condition
§9:44 Child Preference
§9:45 Other Parent’s New “Friend”
§9:46 Parents Living Together and Not Getting Along
C. Protect the Client
§9:60 In General
§9:61 Claims and False Claims
§9:62 Reasonable Emergency Investigation
§9:63 Act Immediately Using Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms
§9:64 Practical Prevention
D. Protect Property
§9:70 In General
§9:71 Claims and False Claims
§9:72 Reasonable Emergency Investigation
§9:73 Act Immediately
§9:74 Practical Prevention
§9:75 What Is Not Emergency
E. Additional Considerations
§9:80 Promote Purposes of Chapter 61 and Therapeutic Justice
§9:81 Credibility
§9:82 Consequences to Lawyer
§9:83 Consequences to Client
9-3 Emergencies and Case Management Conference
§9:90 In General
§9:91 Pleading Requirements for Ex Parte Relief Under Florida
Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.605
§9:92 Pleading Requirements for Ex Parte Relief Under Case Law
§9:93 Notice or Reasons Why Notice Should Not Be Given
§9:94 Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.605 and Case Law Requirements for Orders
§9:95 Must Be Strictly Complied With
§9:96 Required Findings
§9:97 Bond Required
§9:98 Provide for Binding Third Parties With Notice
§9:99 Presentation of Petition
§9:100 Injunction for Protection Against Violence —Mutual Injunctions
§9:101 Modifying or Dissolving Temporary Injunction
§9:102 Option of Appeal
§9:103 Burden of Proof
§9:104 Dissolve or Modif y at Any Time
A. Basic Points
§9:110 In General
§9:111 Follow Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.610 Strictly
§9:112 Mandatory Filing of UCCJEA Aff‌idavit
§9:113 Emergency Jurisdiction Under UCCJEA
§9:114 Burden of Proof
§9:115 Discretion of Court; Standard of Review
§9:116 Restriction or Denial of Time-Sharing
§9:117 Temporary Placement With Someone Other Than Either Parent
§9:118 Notice
§9:119 Bond
§9:120 Financial Aff‌idavits and Mandatory Disclosure Issues
§9:121 Expedited Procedure
§9:122 Investigations; Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem
§9:123 Court Appointment of Mental Health Professional or Other Expert Required;
Parenting Plan Recommendation
§9:124 Child’s Statutory Privilege in Communications With Psychotherapist
§9:125 Child Support
§9:126 Failure of a Parent to Appear at a Hearing or Trial on Child Issues
B. Child Abuse
§9:130 In General
§9:131 Criminal Child Abuse and Neglect
§9:132 Child Physical Abuse
§9:133 Child Emotional Abuse
§9:134 Child Sexual Abuse
C. Other Harmful Situations
§9:140 Neglect
§9:141 Instability That Causes Child to Suffer Adverse Consequences
§9:142 Domestic Violence on Parent
§9:143 Escalating Conf‌lict Between Parents
D. Remedial Options
§9:150 Injunction Against Removal of Children From Jurisdiction
§9:151 Relocation
§9:152 Intentional Interference With Custody—Civil Remedies
§9:153 Intentional Inter ference With Custody—Criminal Penalties

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