Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.490 is all about Florida General Magistrates. A general magistrate in Florida family law is an attorney hired by a circuit court to decide cases not otherwise heard by the circuit court family law judge. It is common for a family judge to refer a case to the GM’s office, called an order of referral to general magistrate. This can allow some litigants to seek relief in a shorter time. Judge’s calendars can be full and hearing time can be hard to come by. Not every husband or wife, mom or dad, wants the general magistrate to hear their case. Many want the circuit judge to preside. Some specific matters are referred to the magistrate’s office such as a motion to compel, a motion for temporary relief, or a motion to vacate, etc. Typically, only some aspects of a case are sent to the GM’s office. Why object to general magistrate help with your case? Unless the entire case has been sent to the GM’s office by mutual consent of the parties and their family attorneys, a general magistrate Florida makes reports and recommendations, which can be appealed by exception and heard by the circuit judge. You may need to litigate part of your case twice if this happens. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113.
Why object to general magistrate? Procedurally, a written objection to an order of referral to general magistrate must be filed within 10 days of the service of the order of referral (served by electronic means in most cases). The failure to file a written objection within the applicable time period is deemed to be consent to the order of referral. This does not mean that if the circuit court has referred one aspect that your entire case is now with the general magistrate forever. However, if the entire case is referred and you fail to object, your entire case might not be eligible to be appealed by exception to the circuit court. A general magistrate in Florida family law can be better or worse than a circuit judge. It depends on your case, the facts, the timing, and the circumstances.
A general magistrate in Florida family law can be an attorney of the highest qualifications and ethical standards. Not every attorney is an expert on family law, but most are extraordinary in their knowledge and courtroom demeanor. As with anything else, it depends on the unique facts of your case. Call 507-335-8113 for more information.