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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR UNIFIED FAMILY COURT
How can I, as a litigant or an attorney, refer a case to the Unified Family Court? Administrative Order #03-15 establishes procedures for the Unified Family Court/Complex Litigation Division (Division 48) within the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. A potential UFC case may be referred to the UFC/Complex Litigation Division staff using the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida Related Case Information Sheet, or by telephone, fax, or e-mail. The UFC Division staff researches the related cases in the circuit-wide case information system to determine if any additional Family, Dependency, Delinquency, Domestic Violence, and/or related Criminal cases exist. If a matter qualifies for transfer to Unified Family Court, a Transfer Order will be prepared for signature by the appropriate Complex Litigation Division Judge, and the parties will be noticed to appear for hearing before the designated Complex Litigation Division Judge. The Director of the UFC/Complex Litigation Division, Lauren Lazarus, Esq. may be contacted at (305) 349-5555 or llazarus@jud11.flcourts.org for purposes of transfer, case coordination, or any other questions regarding the Unified Family Court. 

Administrative Order No. 03-15
Administrative Order No. 10-08
Related Case Information Sheet  

What types of matters qualify for transfer into Unified Family Court?
A matter may qualify for transfer into the UFC Division when two or more open “crossover” cases among family members with issues concerning the same children are pending simultaneously in the Family, Juvenile Dependency or Delinquency, and/or Domestic Violence Divisions. There must be, at a minimum, an open Dependency and an open Family Court case to qualify for transfer into the UFC/Complex Litigation Division. There may be, in addition to these actions, an open Domestic Violence Injunction case(s) as well.

For Domestic Violence Injunction cases that are filed, where there is a companion Family case which has been open for six months or more, the Domestic Violence Injunction case shall automatically be set at the time of intake before the Family Judge. In instances where the Family case has been open for less than six months, the Domestic Violence Injunction case shall be set before a Domestic Violence Judge. The case may be transferred for hearing before the Family Judge upon motion and good cause shown. The motion should be filed with the Family Judge, with a courtesy copy to the Domestic Violence Judge, and both case numbers referenced.

For Domestic Violence Injunction cases that are filed, where there is a companion open Dependency case, the Domestic Violence Injunction case shall automatically be set at the time of intake before the Dependency Judge.

Related Dependency and Delinquency crossover matters are also identified and transferred for hearing before a designated UFC/Complex Litigation Division Judge.

What cases fall under the jurisdiction of the UFC?

The jurisdiction of the UFC is extensive. It includes the following types of Family, Juvenile, and Domestic Violence cases:
FAMILY
• Dissolution of marriage
• Division & distribution of property arising out of dissolution of marriage
• Annulment
• Custodial care /access to children
• Adoption
• Support unconnected with dissolution of marriage
• Child support
• Paternity
• URESA/UIFSA
• Declaratory judgment actions related to premarital, marital or post-marital agreements
• Name change JUVENILE
• Juvenile delinquency
• Emancipation of a minor
• CINS/FINS
• Truancy
• Juvenile dependency
• Termination of parental rights DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
• Civil domestic & repeat violence
• Modifications and enforcement of orders  

Does the Administrative Order provide for coordination of cases that are not transferred into UFC?
Yes. The Administrative Order provides for coordination of matters where there is an open cross-over case pending with a related closed case in multiple jurisdictions of the court. In this instance, the assigned judges may share case information to avoid the entry of conflicting orders and duplication of resources and services.
 
Related Information
BulletUFC Related Case Information Sheet
 

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