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In re Amendments to The Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms-Form 12.961

Supreme Court of Florida

December 14, 2017

IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW FORMS-FORM 12.961

         Original Proceeding - Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms

          PER CURIAM.

         Pursuant to the procedures approved by this Court in Amendments to the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure and Family Law Forms, 810 So.2d 1, 13-14 (Fla. 2000), this Court has internally reviewed the Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms and has determined that amendments to form 12.961 (Notice of Hearing on Motion for Contempt/Enforcement), are needed in light of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Turner v. Rogers, 564 U.S. 431 (2011), and the current provisions of Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.615 (Civil Contempt in Support Matters). Input on these issues was received from the Advisory Workgroup on the Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms, which provided valuable assistance. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 2(a), Fla. Const.

         The amendments to form 12.961 add language to the form in order to clearly notify an alleged contemnor that his or her present ability to pay is a critical issue in the proceeding and that he or she will be provided an opportunity during the contempt hearing to respond to allegations and questions about his or her financial status. Additionally, to conform to current requirements under rule 12.615, the form is amended to advise the alleged contemnor whether the proceedings will be recorded electronically or by a court reporter.

         The amended form is adopted as set forth in the appendix to this opinion, fully engrossed and ready for use. The form shall become effective immediately upon release of this opinion. The form may be accessed and downloaded from the Florida State Court's website at http://www.flcourts.org/resources-and-services/court-improvement/problem-solving-courts/family-courts/family-law-forms.stml. By adoption of the form, we express no opinion as to its correctness or applicability. We also direct that the amended form be published for comment.

         Interested persons shall have sixty days from the date of this opinion to file comments with the Court.[1]

         It is so ordered.

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

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

         INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW FORM 12.961

         NOTICE OF HEARING ON MOTION FOR CONTEMPT/ENFORCEMENT IN SUPPORT MATTERS (RULE 12.615) (12/17)

         When should this form be used?

         Use this form anytime you have set a hearing on a Motion for Contempt/Enforcement, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.960, for a support matter under rule 12.615, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. Before you fill out this form, you should coordinate a hearing time and date with the judge or hearing officer and the other party. If the Department of Revenue is a party to the case, you may need to schedule your hearing time with the attorney for the Department of Revenue.

         If your case is to be heard by a child support enforcement hearing officer, the following information applies: A child support enforcement hearing officer is an attorney who has been appointed by administrative order of the court to take testimony and recommend decisions in cases involving the establishment, enforcement, and/or modification of child support, and the enforcement of alimony in conjunction with an ongoing child support arrearage order. If your case only involves issues pertaining to child support, you cannot object to the referral of your case to a hearing officer. If your case ...


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