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UFC CASELOAD DATA
As a result of our diligent efforts to advance our UFC Model as envisioned by the Florida Supreme Court, in the interest of the families and children residing in Miami-Dade County, and by increasing awareness about which matters qualify for transfer, resulting from training and outreach efforts to the judiciary, court system personnel, system partners, and attorneys, our circuit experienced an increase in the number of cases transferred (filings) into the UFC Division. In 2006, the caseload of the UFC/Complex Litigation Division tripled over that in 2005, as 72 families were transferred (new filings), constituting 266 Dependency, Domestic Relations, and Domestic Violence Injunction cases combined, and 158 children. We experienced another 11% increase in our caseload in 2007 as compared to the previous year, as 76 families were transferred (new filings), constituting 249 Dependency, Domestic Relations, and Domestic Violence Injunction cases combined, and 183 children. In 2008, while the number of new filings (families transferred) decreased 24%, the number of related cases these families brought with them into UFC increased 37% over 2007, indicating a rising complex, contested caseload impacting judicial resources. A total of 58 families were transferred (new filings), constituting 342 Dependency, Domestic Relations, and Domestic Violence Injunction cases combined, and 155 children.

This trend of a more complex and contested caseload continued in 2009, and the total number of new filings (families transferred) surged 66% over 2008. A total of 96 families were transferred (new filings), constituting 582 Dependency, Domestic Relations, and Domestic Violence Injunction cases combined (a 70% increase), and 269 children (a 74% increase). In 2010, the UFC caseload remained fairly constant (there was a 6% decrease) [90 Families were transferred (new filings), constituting 522 Dependency, Domestic Relations, and Domestic Violence Injunction cases combined, and 230 children].

The UFC Division also experienced a dramatic 57% increase in the number of Domestic Violence Injunction/Dependency crossover cases transferred to the Dependency Judges for hearing in 2009 over 2008, and an additional 54% increase in 2010 over 2009. Furthermore, in 2009, the circuit noted an increase in the number of Domestic Violence Injunction cases filed by a parent or caretaker on behalf of (“o/b/o”) a minor child against a parent. From March 2009 through April 2011, 224 families have filed 276 DV Injunction cases by a parent on behalf of a minor child against the other parent. In approximately one third of these cases the parent also files a DV Injunction for his/her own protection against the other parent. In approximately half of these cases there is a related Domestic Relations case involving this family, and in a small percentage of these cases a Dependency case is filed as to the subject children. In July 2010, the Chief Judge issued Administrative Order #10-08, providing for the judicial assignment of this category of cases to the UFC Division, as well a protocol for the UFC Division to be responsible for research, tracking, and case management of this caseload.
 
 

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