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One family / one judge: the coordination of related cases


From the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure:

“…to facilitate access to the court and to provide procedural fairness to all parties, to save time and expense through active case management, setting timetables, and the use of alternatives to litigation, and to enable the court to coordinate related cases and proceedings to avoid multiple appearances by the same parties on the same or similar issues and to avoid inconsistent court orders.” 
Rule 12.010(b)

“All related family cases must be handled before one judge unless impractical.” 
Rule 12.003(a)

“The court may order joint hearings or trials of any issues in related family cases.” 
Rule 12.003(b)

“A judge hearing a family case may access and review the files of any related case either pending or closed, to aid in carrying out his or her adjudicative responsibilities.” 
Rule 12.004(a)

The benefits of coordinating all of the cases involving one family, using the one family / one judge model (from the chief judges and trial court administrators, June 2015):

•    Enhanced public trust and confidence
•    Judicial economy: fewer hearings, saves time
•    Consistent orders
•    Increased knowledge of family
•    Expectations more clearly known to family
•    Saves money (for the family and the court)
•    Saves time for family
•    More accurate picture of the family
•    Better decisions
•    Better collegiality 
•    Experienced attorneys
•    Provider coordination

Click here for a handy one family/one judge benchcard provided by the Honorable Christine Greider, 20th Judicial Circuit.