Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Please See The Rules

How do I . . . .

It is rare that I get an email asking "how do I . . . " that I cannot answer the question by cutting and pasting a portion of a 60Q Rule into the reply email. I do not mean that I do this to support my answer, I mean that the pasted portion usually is my answer. 

Some recent examples:

Issue One:

"I have a motion to file, but I want a hearing on this. How do I communicate that to the Judge?"

60Q6.115(4) "The judge shall not hold hearings on motions except in exceptional circumstances and for good cause shown in the motion or response."

Shorter answer: explain in the motion or response what is exceptional, and what the good cause is that supports holding a hearing. 

Issue Two:

"I filed a motion, but the issue has resolved. I sent the judge a letter but an order was nonetheless entered."

60Q6.108(c) "The following documents shall not be filed with the OJCC unless relevant to an issue to be heard and not more than 10 days but at least two days before the scheduled hearing: requests or notices to produce and objections or responses thereto, deposition transcripts, correspondence between counsel or parties, correspondence to the judge or the judge’s staff, subpoenas and returns of service."

Shorter answer: don't send correspondence, e-file a short pleading "withdrawal of motion for . . ." That is "Comes now the ____________ and withdraws the motion for ____________ filed ________, dd, YYYY. The issue(s) is resolved and no order is necessary."  

Issue Three:

"I made a mistake in a pleading, petition, or notice and it needs to be corrected in the OJCC database." 

or

"I filed some document in the wrong case by accident and would like it stricken from the mistaken case as it contains information that others should not see." 

and/or 

"I called the clerks office and they will not fix the error for me. What do I do?"

60Q6.115(1) "Any request for an order or for other relief shall be by motion and shall have a title describing the relief requested."

Short answer: Don't call the clerk's office to fix an error. You are putting the staff in a difficult position. If you need something changed in our database, file a motion to correct scrivener's error or motion to amend.  If you need something stricken from the record, file a motion to strike or motion to seal. This is within the discretion of the assigned Judge. Our clerks are here to help you, but the assigned Judge needs to make the decisions about her or his cases. However, if you have an emergency, feel free to contact me (david.langham@doah.state.fl.us).

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