Office of Court Improvement Publications Collection
The following is the collected works of the Office of Court Improvement. For works from before 2008, please visit the OCI Archives page. The works are sorted by section. The sections available are:
The Family Law Advisory Group (FLAG) documented many of the advancements being made in family courts. The Group also catalogued best practices for Unified Family Courts, and discussed various issues that impacted the family courts. This documentation resulted in two compendiums, which were distributed throughout the state. The compendiums provide detailed information on various activities in which stakeholders participated.
The 2007 Compendium of Family Court Practices PDF RTF
The 2006 Compendium of Family Court Practices PDF
Steering Committee Reports
The Florida Supreme Court commissioned a Steering Committee of Families and Children in the Court. This Committee produced several reports at the end of the committee’s terms; these reports detailed the various matters the committee had been charged to review. These reports have been extremely helpful to family courts, drawing attention to areas where impediments exist to a smooth court operation and providing useful corrective measures.
The 2008 - 2010 Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court Report PDF RTF
The 2006 - 2008 Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court Report PDF RTF
The 2009 Florida’s Family Court Toolkit I PDF RTF
In February 2009 the Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court promulgated a Toolkit designed to assist judges and staff in responding effectively and efficiently to the judicial needs of Florida’s families. The first volume begins by presenting the guiding principles of a Model Family Court; it then provides comprehensive information on case management for various types of cases, identification and processing of crossover cases, and the Family Law Advisory Group and the benefits such groups can provide to a Family Court.
The 2009 Florida’s Family Court Toolkit II PDF RTF
The second volume of the Toolkit is designed to provide a discussion of the more advanced issues regarding family courts. This volume details issues such as coordination versus consolidation, differing burdens of proof in various coordinated cases, judicial communication, and the establishment of child support obligations. This is meant to supplement the first volume of the Toolkit.
A Crisis Carol is a video that was created by the Office of Court Improvement and shown during the opening plenary of the 2004 Family Court Conference, "A Vision without Division." The video tells the story of a stubborn judge who is shown the benefits of a unified family court system and slowly begins to embrace its concepts.
low speed / dialup internet connection version
high speed / broadband internet version
These videos require Windows Media Player. For a free download of Windows Media Player, visit the following website : http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/default.mspx
Unified Family Court Brochure PDF
The Office of Court Improvement created a brochure that highlighted the history of Unified Family Courts, its essential components, and reasons for using a unified family court approach.
What, Where, Why, and How PDF
This document, created in 2003, provides a basis for the Unified Family Court initiative. This historical narrative discusses the history of Unified Family Courts, and steps that had been taken leading up to 2003.
Unified Family Court Sample Administrative Order PDF
The Unified Family Court Sample Administrative Order can be used by circuits desiring to establish a unified family court division. The sample order details what will be required of a unified family court division, and how the circuit can anticipate a successful enactment of the new division.
A Model Family Court for Florida PDF
In 2000 the Family Court Steering Committee developed and produced a document detailing the initial initiative to create a Unified Family Court model in Florida. This document discusses the Committee’s recommendations for establishing a Unified Family Court, along with a commentary devoted to in-depth discussion of each recommendation, and the requirements for any successful Unified Family Court. This guide was the foundation for the Unified Family Court initiative.
Drug Court Publications
Statewide Drug Court Directory PDF
Florida's Adult Drug Court Tool Kit PDF
Problem-Solving Courts Publications
Transforming Florida's Mental Health System PDF
2011 Dependency Benchbook
In June 2011, following a two-year development process, the Dependency Court Improvement Panel (comprised of judges, magistrates, and child welfare partners) and the Office of Court Improvement (OCI) published the 2011 Dependency Benchbook. This benchbook presents a family-centered approach to improving court practice – an approach that focuses on judicial leadership and oversight; substantive and timely hearings; promising practices covering a wide range of current, relevant topics; family engagement; and collaboration among all key partners in the dependency system.
The complete 2011 Dependency Benchbook is available in Word and PDF.
2012 Child Support Benchbook
Electronic Version (This document is intended for electronic viewing and includes bookmark navigation features. It is also formatted to be accessible to persons with disabilities.) PDF Word
Dependency Outlook Newsletter
The Office of Court Improvement is pleased to present the first issue of The Dependency Outlook newsletter. The newsletter will be distributed quarterly, and will cover local and statewide dependency initiatives, promising practices, dependency court events, and training opportunities. You may view the newsletter by clicking on the following link:
Spring 2013 Newsletter PDF
“Make Your Voice Heard: A Guide to Dependency Court” is a video for youth ages 12 to 18 that explains what happens in dependency court and encourages youth to participate in their hearings.
If you have a low speed / dialup internet connection, click on the link below to view the video.
Hearing Your Voice Video (low speed)
Hearing Your Voice Video (low speed with subtitles)
If you have a high speed / broadband internet connection, click on the link below to view the video.
Hearing Your Voice Video (high speed)
Hearing Your Voice Video (high speed with subtitles)
To view a transcript of the video, please click the link below.
Hearing your Voice Transcript RTF
Hearing your Voice Transcript PDF
“A Family Guide to Dependency Court” is a video that was jointly developed by the Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court and the Office of Court Improvement. The video provides an overview of the dependency court system for parents involved in the system.
low speed/dial up connection
low speed/dioal up connection (with subtitles)
high speed/broadband conection
high speed/broadband connection (with subtitles)
Dependency court guides have been developed to assist those who are involved in the dependency court system. Below are guides for young children, older youth, parents, and caregivers.
Delinquency Benchbook PDF RTF
The Florida Delinquency Benchbook is a comprehensive resource designed to aid judges who are on the delinquency bench or who may expect to hear detention hearings. The benchbook provides information on every aspect of the delinquency process, examining the requirements of each hearing and what each participant may be expected to do. It is filled with flowcharts and quick reference guides for ease of use. The 2010 Florida Delinquency Benchbook has been distributed to every new judge, every judge on the delinquency bench, as well as those judges who may review initial delinquency proceedings, and is available on request to other interested stakeholders.
Please note, the 2010 Delinquency Flow Chart is only available in the PDF version of the Delinquency Benchbook.
Rules and Flowcharts
Rules of Juvenile Procedure PDF RTF
The Office of Court Improvement (OCI) has consolidated the Rules of Juvenile Procedure into a useful document; providing quick access to the relevant sections for each phase of the delinquency process. This document is provided to judges and other stakeholders throughout Florida.
Quick Reference Delinquency Flowchart PDF RTF
The OCI created a quick-reference flowchart that provides at-a-glance information about the delinquency process. This flowchart is distributed as part of the Delinquency Benchbook, but due to its popularity, it is provided as a stand-alone document as well.
"Tales from Delinquency Court" is a video that was jointly developed by the Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court and the OCI. It provides an overview of the juvenile delinquency court system; the video's target audience is juveniles and their parents. DVD copies were sent to courthouses, assessment centers, detention centers, and probation offices throughout the state.
low speed / dialup internet connection version
high speed / broadband internet connection version
Family Guide to Delinquency Court PDF
The OCI has produced a Family Guide to Delinquency Court. This guide, aimed at youths who come into contact with the Delinquency system, provides helpful information about the Delinquency process, the participants in any hearing and their roles, and possible outcomes. This guide has been sent to courthouses throughout Florida, and is available to other stakeholders as well.
"What's Going to Happen to Me?" PDF
The OCI has produced a comicbook guide to Delinquency Court for Teens. This guide is intended to inform juveniles about the Delinquency process, and provides useful information about every hearing, including definitions of those terms that may be unfamiliar to teens. This guide will be made available to teens and other stakeholders throughout Florida.
The Civil Injunction for Protection Brochure for Petitioners
PDF in Color PDF in Black and White PDF Alternative Text PDF.
This brochure discusses the types of injunctions available to petitioners, what protection may be available, and what to expect during the injunction process. These brochures have been sent to every courthouse where domestic violence petitions may be filed.
The Civil injunction for Protection Brochure for Respondents
PDF in Color PDF in Black and White Alternative Text PDF.
This brochure explains what a temporary injunction means, what the respondent can and cannot do while the temporary injunction is in effect, what to expect at the hearing in court, and what possible restrictions the judge may order if a final injunction is ordered. These brochures have been sent to every courthouse where domestic violence injunction hearings may be held.
The 2008 Domestic Violence Benchbook
The Florida Domestic Violence Benchbook is a comprehensive resource guide for judges who are on the domestic violence bench, or who may be expected to review filed petitions for protection against domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, or repeat violence. The benchbook provides information on every step of the injunction process, complete with flowcharts and checklists designed to provide at-a-glance illumination of the procedures the judge must follow. The benchbook has been distributed to every new judge, every judge ascending to the domestic violence bench, every duty judge who may be required to review petitions for protection against domestic violence, and are available on request to other judges and stakeholders.
Quick Reference Guides
The Office of Court Improvement (OCI) has produced checklists for the four injunctions for protection against violence; these checklists are designed to be quick reference guides to the process for each type of injunction, beginning with the petition, and continuing through ordering the final injunction and enforcing it should there be any such issues. These guides are distributed with the Florida Domestic Violence Benchbook, but are also distributed separately due to their high demand.
The Dating Violence Checklist
The Repeat Violence Checklist
The Sexual Violence Checklist
The Domestic Violence Checklist
The Stalking Violence Checklist
Firearms Quick Reference Guide Word
The OCI has also produced a Quick Reference Guide for Florida Laws Regarding Firearms. This guide provides information on the state and federal laws governing possession of firearms as it is affected by domestic violence. This guide was sent out to Florida judges and will be included in the updated Florida Domestic Violence Benchbook.
The OCI produces semi-annual newsletters about topics and events pertaining to current events. These newsletters inform readers of upcoming events, conferences, and projects that may be of interest. Also, each newsletter includes an article of interest relating to domestic violence. These newsletters are distributed to judges, court staff, and interested stakeholders.
Florida Injunctions for Protection, An Overview is a video that focuses on the needs of parties considering a petition for protection. It is hoped that the video will assist petitioners (as well as respondents) in understanding Florida’s four orders of protection and the requirements for filing a petition.
Florida Injunctions for Protection, An Overview
RTF and PDF)
Florida Injunctions for Protection, the Hearing is a video designed as an orientation to civil domestic violence court; the video provides important information about court room procedures, discusses the participants in the hearing, and answers many of the questions litigants might have about what will happen when they come to court.
Florida Injunctions for Protection, The Hearing
(Transcript RTFand PDF)
Mythbreakers: Chapter 39 Injunctions is a video that discusses common myths and misconceptions associated with the Chapter 39 injunction process. It also discusses the differences between Chapter 39 injunctions and Chapter 741 injunctions.
This video has been distributed to stakeholders throughout Florida, including Guardians ad Litem, court personnel, and judges who may review such petitions or who are on either the domestic violence or the dependency bench.
Please click the link below to view the video. Please note: if you would like to view the view with subtitles you will need to make sure that your viewer has the closed captioning features turned on. (Windows Media Player: to turn on captions go to Play - Lyrics/Captions/Subtitles - If available. You many also need to go to Tools - Options - Security - check the box "show local captions when present.")
Mythbreakers: Chapter 39 Injunctions (Transcript RTF and PDF)
Promising Practicing for Enforcing Final Injunctions
In 2012, the OCI conducted a 6-month pilot program to assess methods of enforcing final injunctions. As a result of the pilot, the OCI developed a promising practices guide for enforcign final injunctions. The steps outlined in the guide may assist courts in providing effective enforcement to ensure respondents follow the terms of the final order. This guide is available in PDF format, and as a Powerpoint slideshow.
Additionally, the OCI produced a final report on the pilot program, which details the process used in the pilot program, the results of the program, and future steps to promote the promising practices guide. This report is available in PDF format.
OCI Bibliography PDF RTF
The OCI has consolidated a list of useful domestic violence reading materials. This bibliography may provide more information on domestic violence issues.
2008 Statewide Domestic Violence Referral Guide PDF RTF
The 2008 Statewide Domestic Violence Referral Guide provides information for every circuit and county in Florida, listing addresses and telephone numbers for police departments, batterer intervention programs, and domestic violence shelters.
2008 Domestic Violence Strategic Plan WORD PPT
The 2008 Domestic Violence Strategic Plan, “Putting the Pieces Together,” details goals the OCI was pursuing as of 2008. The majority of goals being pursued are either completed or are projects the OCI will be working on in the near future.
The Best Practices Model on Child Support in Domestic Violence
The Best Practices Model on Child Support in Domestic Violence provides helpful guidelines for judges facing child support issues in a domestic violence case. The Model provides step-by-step suggestions for every stage of a domestic violence case, and is distributed with the 2008 Florida Domestic Violence Benchbook. However, due to its success, it is also distributed separately.
2011 Case Management Guidelines PDF
The newly updated 2011 Case Management Guidelines provides Florida Case Managers with a valuable resource that examines each stage in the domestic violence process and outlines the case management process.