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In re Amendments to Florida Probate Rules 5.550 and 5.695-2017 Fast-Track Report

Supreme Court of Florida

September 7, 2017

IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO FLORIDA PROBATE RULES 5.550 AND 5.695-2017 FAST-TRACK REPORT.

         THE FILING OF A MOTION FOR REHEARING SHALL NOT ALTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THESE AMENDMENTS.

         Original Proceeding - The Florida Probate Rules Committee

          Jonathan Adam Galler, Chair, Florida Probate Rules Committee, Proskauer Rose, LLP, Boca Raton, Florida; John F. Harkness, Jr., Executive Director, and Heather Savage Telfer, Staff Liaison, The Florida Bar, Tallahassee, Florida, for Petitioner.

          PER CURIAM.

         In response to recent legislation, The Florida Bar's Probate Rules Committee (Committee) has filed an out-of-cycle, fast-track report[1] proposing amendments to Florida Probate Rules 5.550 (Petition to Determine Incapacity) and 5.695 (Annual Guardianship Reports).[2] The Board of Governors of The Florida Bar unanimously approved the proposals. We adopt the proposed rule amendments and make minor revisions to the new committee note to rule 5.550 in order to correct some of the statutory references.

         The proposed amendments are in response to changes to sections 744.331 and 744.367, Florida Statutes (2016), that were made by sections 1 and 2 of chapter 2017-16, Laws of Florida, which became effective July 1, 2017.[3] After considering the Committee's proposals and the relevant legislation, we amend the Florida Probate Rules as proposed.

         We amend rule 5.550 (Petition to Determine Incapacity) to add new subdivisions (e) (Reports) and (f) (Adjudicatory Hearing) to address changes made to sections 744.331(3)(e), (3)(h), and (5)(a), Florida Statutes (2016), and the creation of new section 744.331(3)(i), Florida Statutes, by section 1 of chapter 2017-16, Laws of Florida. New subdivisions (e)(1) (Filing), (e)(2) (Service), and (e)(3) (Objections) of rule 5.550 provide the filing, service, and objection requirements for the reports of committee members appointed to examine an alleged incapacitated person. See § 744.331(3)(e), (3)(h), & (3)(i), Fla. Stat. (2017). New subdivision (f) (Adjudicatory Hearing) provides the timing requirements for conducting the adjudicatory hearing on a petition to determine incapacity. See § 744.331(5)(a), Fla. Stat. (2017). We have revised the new committee note to rule 5.550 to reference the appropriate statutory provisions.

         Finally, we amend subdivision (a)(1) (Contents and Filing; Guardian of the Person) of rule 5.695 to change the reporting deadlines for annual guardianship reports consistent with the changes made to section 744.367(1), Florida Statutes (2016), by section 2 of chapter 2017-16, Laws of Florida. A new committee note also is added to this rule.

         Accordingly, we amend the Florida Probate Rules as reflected in the appendix to this opinion. New language is indicated by underscoring; deletions are indicated by struck-through type. The committee notes are offered for explanation only and are not adopted as an official part of the rules. The amendments shall become effective immediately upon the release of this opinion. Because the amendments were not published for comment prior to their adoption, interested persons shall have sixty days from the date of this opinion in which to file comments with the Court.[4]

         It is so ordered.

          LABARGA, C.J., and PARIENTE, LEWIS, QUINCE, CANADY, POLSTON, and LAWSON, JJ., concur.

         APPENDIX

         RULE 5.550. PETITION TO DETERMINE INCAPACITY

         (a) - ...


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