final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
Petition for Writ of Certiorari-Original Jurisdiction.
Hadley Sanders, Hadley Sanders, P.A., Pensacola, for
appearance for Respondent.
Former Wife has filed a petition for writ of certiorari
seeking review of the trial court's Order on Former
Husband's Motion for Mental Health Evaluation of Former
Wife, entered pursuant to Florida Family Law Rule of
Procedure 12.360(1). Relief by way of a petition for writ of
certiorari requires a demonstration of material injury not
remediable on appeal-the jurisdictional threshold-and a
departure from the essential requirements of the law.
Oldham v. Greene, 263 So.3d 807, 811 (Fla. 1st DCA
2018) (citing State, Dep't of Revenue v.
Hartsell, 189 So.3d 363, 364-65 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016)).
"Ordering a compulsory medical examination meets the
jurisdictional threshold." Id. (citing J.B.
v. M.M., 92 So.3d 888, 889 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012)).
Accordingly, the question of our jurisdiction having been
settled, the issue we must address is whether the trial
court's order departed from the essential requirements of
bifurcated proceeding, the parties were granted a Judgment of
Dissolution of Marriage on September 16, 2016. Subsequently,
on March 27, 2017, the trial court heard the remaining issues
set forth in the Former Husband's Petition and the Former
Wife's Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, as
well as the Former Husband's Amended Motion for Contempt.
Two children were born of the marriage. Sadly, following the
entry of the Final Judgment on the pending petitions, the
parties' youngest child-four-year-old A.-found himself
directly in the middle of the emotional turmoil of his
parents' hostile divorce. To say that the
post-dissolution atmosphere was contentious is an
parents have impressive credentials. The Former Husband is a
pediatrician. The Former Wife is a board-certified family
nurse practitioner, as well as a board-certified psychiatric
nurse practitioner treating wounded and disabled veterans at
a Veteran's Administration clinic. In the Final Judgment
ultimately rendered on January 18, 2018, the trial court
found that both parents "have the best interest of their
children at heart" and "enjoy a close parent/child
relationship." It also found, however, that the Former
Wife had engaged in "way over the top negative behavior
which places her desires over that of the children."
Furthermore, the court found that "[t]he children have
experienced greater stability and positivity with the Father,
with the Father providing more consistent behavior towards
the children." Considering the mental and physical
health of the parents, the trial court found that both were
in good health, but went on to note that due to the number of
false reports it had received, the Department of Children and
Families requested that the Former Wife undergo a mental
health evaluation-which she refused to do.
surprisingly, the trial court found that communication
between the parents concerning the children "fell
short," with the Former Wife providing "minimal
information" regarding the children's health needs.
Also, the court found that there had been
numerous-unfounded-reports of domestic violence, child abuse,
and neglect leveled by the Former Wife against the Former
Husband. The Sheriff's Office and the Department of
Children and Families were often dragged into the fray when
called upon by the Former Wife to conduct welfare checks on
the children and physical examinations of A., after the
children had been in the Former Husband's care-complaints
that were invariably found to be without substance.
notwithstanding the trial court's negative rhetoric
concerning the Former Wife, in the end, it found that it was
in the children's best interests to adopt a
shared, rotating parenting plan under which each parent would
have the children every other week, from Monday to Monday.
The Former Husband, though, was granted sole parental
responsibility "for making ultimate major decisions as
to the children's medical/health needs; and
academic/educational needs of the children." In
addition, the court concluded "it would be beneficial
for both parties to engage in counseling to address
the stress and anger that has arisen over the course of
co-parenting." (Emphasis added.) Accordingly, it ordered
that both parents "seek one on one counseling for
stress-related and anger issues."
recently affirmed the trial court's Final Judgment,
without opinion, in Reno v. Reno, 274 So.3d 1061
(Fla. 1st DCA 2019) (table).
on November 11, 2018, the Former Husband filed his Emergency
Motion for Mental Examination and Supervised Timesharing
pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.360 and rule
12.360. In his motion, the Former Husband alleged that the
Former Wife's "psychological disorder and mental
problems" "substantially impact her ability to
parent" and "prevent her from being able to
properly care for" the minor children. He went on to
claim the Former Wife's "mental health is in
controversy," and "good cause" had been shown
based on the joint behavior of the Former Wife and her mother
in "engaging in a pattern of seeking unnecessary medical
treatment for the minor children based on false allegations
of physical and sexual abuse of the minor children,"
which reports "continue to be deemed unfounded."
The Former Husband further contended:
The minor children are being subjected to painful and
embarrassing prodding and scrutiny of their most private
areas in a medical and law enforcement setting which is
causing a harmful, negative, and detrimental effect on the
children, and is completely the result of the Former
Wife's continued erroneous beliefs of abuse, despite all
evidence to the contrary by professional investigators. The
Former Wife and her mother . . . previously contained their
allegations of such abuse with the Former Husband as their