Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Florida Supreme Court Amends Family Law Rules of Procedure

The Florida Supreme Court in its opinion In Re: Amendments to the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, 30 Fla. L. Weekly S 408 [Fla. 2005] amended, among other rules, those pertaining to Family Mediation. The amendments are effective June 2, 2005.

Rule 12.740, Family Mediation, was amended to reference section 44.108, Florida Statutes, which was amended in 2004 to provide a fee schedule for court-ordered mediation services.

Rule 12.741, Mediation Rules, was amended to recognize the family court's authority under section 44.406, Florida Statutes, to order sanctions for violations of mediation confidentiality provisions. This amendment recognizes the 2004 Legislature's creation of the Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act, sections 44.401 - 44.406, Florida Statutes (2004). The rule was further amended to provide that any violation of a confidentiality provision under section 44.405, Florida Statutes, must be knowing and willful for the court to impose sanctions under this rule.

The pertinent pages of the opinion reflecting the above rule changes are pages 36 – 39.

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