IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO THE FLORIDA RULES FOR QUALIFIED AND COURT-APPOINTED PARENTING COORDINATORS.
Proceeding - Supreme Court Committee on Alternative Dispute
Resolution Rules and Policy
Honorable Michael S. Orfinger, Chair, Committee on
Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy, Daytona
Beach, Florida; Honorable Rodney Smith, Past Chair, Committee
on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy, Miami,
Florida; and Juan R. Collins, Senior Attorney, Dispute
Resolution Center, Tallahassee, Florida, for Petitioner
Valorie Hoppenworth, Tallahassee, Florida, Responding with
Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy Committee
(ADRR&P Committee or Committee) proposes amendments to
Part II (Discipline) of the Rules for Qualified and
Court-Appointed Parenting Coordinators. We have
jurisdiction and adopt the proposed amendments, with
the modifications explained below.
In re Amendments to the Florida Family Law Rules of
Procedure; New Rules for Qualified and Court-Appointed
Parenting Coordinators, 142 So.3d 831 (Fla. 2014), the
Court adopted the Rules for Qualified and Court-Appointed
Parenting Coordinators (Parenting Coordinator Rules). As
explained in that opinion,
Part I [of the Parenting Coordinator Rules] sets forth
ethical standards for parenting coordinators and reinforces
the concepts of communication, negotiation, and facilitation
upon which parenting coordination is based, as well as
explaining the role of the parenting coordinator. . . . Part
II [of the rules] addresses discipline and provides simply
[in rule 15.210] that complaints alleging violations of the
standards for qualified and court-appointed parenting
coordinators shall be filed with the Dispute Resolution
Center which shall be responsible for enforcing the
Id. at 832. The ADRR&P Committee proposes
amendments to existing rule 15.210 (Procedure) in Part II of
the rules. The Committee also proposes adding new rules
15.220 through 15.370 to Part II, which will supersede and
codify in the Parenting Coordinator Rules, with some changes,
the disciplinary procedures for parenting coordinators that
the Court originally adopted, by administrative order, as the
Parenting Coordinator Discipline Operating Procedures
(Operating Procedures). See In re Parenting Coordinator
Operating Procedures, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC17-18
(March 13, 2017).
filing its rule proposals with the Court, the ADRR&P
Committee published the proposals for comment and revised
several of the proposals in response to the comments the
Committee received. After the Committee's proposals were
filed, the Court published the proposals for comment. The
Court received comments from one individual. The Committee
further revised several of its proposals in response to those
comments. At the request of the Court,  the ADRR&P
Committee also filed a supplemental report addressing the
Court's authority to adopt proposed rule 15.350
(Confidentiality). In the supplemental report, the Committee
proposes a revised confidentiality rule, which the Committee
modeled after Rule for Certification and Regulation of Spoken
Language Court Interpreters 14.440 (Confidentiality of
Disciplinary Proceedings). See In re Amends. to the Fla.
Rules for Certification & Regulation of Court
Interpreters, 136 So.3d 584, 587 (Fla. 2014) (amending
rule 14.440 to be consistent with Florida Rule of Judicial
considering the ADRR&P Committee's proposed
amendments to the Parenting Coordinator Rules, the comments,
the Committee's responses to the comments, and the
Committee's supplemental report, we adopt the majority of
the Committee's proposals with only minor technical
revisions. However, we have modified the notice and
publication requirements in proposed rules 15.290(j) and
15.300(k) and (1) to require the redaction of information
that is "confidential under Florida Rule of Judicial
Administration 2.420," which governs the confidentiality
of judicial branch records.
the Rules for Qualified and Court-Appointed Parenting
Coordinators are amended as set forth in the appendix to this
opinion. New language is underscored; deleted language is
struck through. 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.
CANADY, C.J., and POLSTON, LABARGA, LAWSON, LAGOA, LUCK, and
MUÑIZ, JJ., concur.
FILING OF A MOTION FOR REHEARING SHALL NOT ALTER THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THESE AMENDMENTS.
RULES FOR QUALIFIED AND COURT-APPOINTED PARENTING
15.210. PROCEDURE SCOPE AND PURPOSE
complaint alleging violations of the Rules For Qualified And
Court-Appointed Parenting Coordinators, Part I: STANDARDS,
shall be filed with the Dispute Resolution Center which shall
be responsible for enforcing these Standards. The
purpose of these disciplinary rules is to provide a means for
enforcing the Florida Rules for Qualified and Court-Appointed
Parenting Coordinators (rules). These rules apply to all
proceedings before rules violation complaint committees and
hearing panels of the Parenting Coordinator Review Board
(PCRB) involving the discipline of qualified parenting
coordinators and court-appointed parenting coordinators. The
PCRB shall be responsible for the enforcement of these rules,
with the exception of rule 15.220, Responsibilities of Chief
Judge, and rule 15.370, Chief Judge Review.
15.220. RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHIEF JUDGE
chief judge or the judge's designee in each judicial
circuit shall have responsibility for:
(a) the qualification and disqualification of parenting
(b) any disciplinary proceedings regarding:
(1) a qualified parenting coordinator's failure to
continue to meet the minimum qualifications in section
61.125, Florida Statutes;
(2) a qualified parenting coordinator experiencing any of the
disqualifying circumstances described in section 61.125,
Florida Statutes; and
(3) any failure of a qualified parenting coordinator to
immediately report to the court and the parties the
occurrence of (a) or (b) above; and
(c) review of the decision of a hearing panel as provided in
rule 15.370, Chief Judge Review.
15.230. ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY
responsibility for implementation of the disciplinary
procedures in the Rules for Qualified and Court-Appointed
Parenting Coordinators shall be with the Dispute Resolution
Center of the Office of the State Courts Administrator (DRC).
15.240. PRIVILEGE TO SERVE
privilege to serve as a parenting coordinator is conditional,
confers no vested right, and is revocable for cause.
appointed by the court as the parenting coordinator.
Dispute Resolution Center of the Office of the State Courts
is to deliver to the office of the DRC of the Office of the
State Courts Administrator pleadings, motions, instruments,
and other papers for preservation and reference.
individual qualified by experience to investigate complaints.
An investigator may be a qualified parenting coordinator,
Florida Bar member in good standing, or other qualified
individual retained by the DRC at the direction of a rule
violation complaint committee (RVCC) to conduct an
members of the PCRB selected by the DRC who did not serve on
the RVCC to adjudicate the formal charges associated with a
rule violation complaint.
member of The Florida Bar in good standing retained by the
DRC to assist a panel in performing its functions during a
hearing. A panel adviser provides only procedural advice, is
in attendance at the hearing, and is not part of the
panel's private deliberations. A panel adviser may not
sit in on deliberations but may be called into the
deliberations in order to answer procedural questions, and is
authorized to draft the decision and opinion of the panel.
Parenting Coordinator Review Board.
active member of The Florida Bar in good standing retained by
the DRC to prosecute a complaint before a hearing panel. The
prosecutor is authorized to: perform additional investigation
to prepare the case; negotiate a consent to charges and an
agreement to the imposition of sanctions to be presented to
the panel prior to the hearing; to fully prosecute the case
at the hearing; and represent the PCRB or DRC at post hearing
the requirements specified in the Florida Statutes.
Rule Violation Complaint.
submission of an alleged violation(s) of the Florida Rules
for Qualified and Court-Appointed Parenting Coordinators. A
complaint may originate from any person or from the DRC.
Rule Violation Complaint Committee or RVCC.
members of the PCRB selected by the DRC by rotation to
conduct the investigation and disposition of any rule
15.260. PARENTING COORDINATOR REVIEW BOARD
Generally. The PCRB shall be composed of 20 individuals
selected based on the following criteria:
(1) Judges: 6 circuit, family or county judges with no
disciplinary history during the ten years prior to the date
of submitting their application to serve as a member of the
(2) Parenting coordinators: 10 qualified parenting
coordinators from professions eligible to be qualified
parenting coordinators under section 61.125, Florida
Statutes, with no disciplinary history during the ten years
prior to the date of submitting their application to serve as
a member of the PCRB, at least 5 of whom are non-attorney
parenting coordinators. In the event there are not enough
qualified applicants for the non-attorney parenting
coordinator seats from whom to choose, the chief justice may
appoint attorney parenting coordinator applicants to fill the
seats as necessary.
(3) Attorneys: 4 attorneys licensed to practice law in
Florida for at least 3 years who have or had a substantial
family practice and are neither qualified as parenting
coordinators nor judicial officers during their terms of
service on the PCRB, but who have knowledge of and experience
with parenting coordination practice, statutes, and
procedures. These attorneys must be members in good standing
of The Florida Bar with no disciplinary history during the
ten years prior to the date of submitting his or her
application to serve as a member of the PCRB.
Appointment and Term.
persons shall be appointed to the PCRB by the chief justice
of the Supreme Court of Florida for a period of 4 years. No
member of the PCRB shall serve more than 3 terms. The term of
any member serving on a committee or panel may continue until
the final disposition of their service on a case.
Duty to Notify.
event a PCRB member is disciplined, suspended, or
disqualified as a parenting coordinator, or is disciplined,
suspended, or disbarred by any professional licensing
organization of which he or she is a member, the PCRB member
shall report such information to the DRC in writing within 10
days of the discipline, suspension, disqualification, or
Rule Violation Complaint Committee (RVCC).
RVCC shall be composed of 3 members of the PCRB selected by
the DRC on a rotation basis. RVCCs are assigned to a single
case; however, a RVCC may be assigned to related cases to be
disposed of collectively as is deemed appropriate by the
Chief of Alternative Dispute Resolution. A RVCC shall disband
after the disposition of the case(s) to which it is assigned.
Each RVCC shall be composed of:
(1) 1 judge or attorney, who shall act as the chair of the
(2) 2 qualified parenting coordinators from different
regulatory backgrounds, if feasible.
panel shall be composed of 3 members of the PCRB selected by
the DRC on a rotation basis. No member of a panel shall have
served on the RVCC for the same case(s). A panel may be
assigned to more than 1 unrelated case and may be assigned to
related cases to be disposed of collectively as is deemed
appropriate by the Chief of Alternative Dispute Resolution. A
panel shall disband after disposing of all cases to which it
is assigned. Each panel shall be composed of:
(1) 1 judge, who shall serve as the chair;
(2) 1 qualified parenting coordinator; and
(3) 1 attorney who shall serve as vice-chair. The vice-chair
shall act as the chair of the panel in the event of the
unavailability of the chair.
RVCCs and panels, while unanimity is the preferred method of
decision making, a majority vote shall control.
15.270. JURISDICTION AND POWERS
RVCC shall have such jurisdiction and powers as are necessary
to conduct the proper and speedy investigation and
disposition of any complaint. The judge or attorney chairing
the RVCC shall have the power to compel:
(1) the attendance of any person at a RVCC meeting;
(2) any person to give statements, testimony, and
(3) production of documents, records, and other evidence;
RVCC shall perform its investigatory function and have
concomitant power to resolve cases prior to panel referral.
panel shall have such jurisdiction and powers as are
necessary to conduct the proper and speedy adjudication and
disposition of any proceeding before it. The panel shall
perform the adjudicatory function, but shall not have any
investigatory functions. The chair of a panel shall have the
(1) compel the attendance of witnesses;
(2) issue subpoenas to compel the depositions of witnesses;
(3) order the production of records or other documentary