Three times was too many for Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade’s ex-wife. Four years ago, an Illinois court entered a 102-page (!) judgment after a 38-day (!) trial, detailing D-Wade and his ex-wife’s custody and timesharing arrangements. D-Wade was given sole custody and permission to relocate the minor children to Florida, with his ex-wife granted
Avenues of communication have dramatically expanded over the past few decades, with email, social media, the proliferation of mobile phones, and text messaging making it easier and easier to make contact with the vast majority of people. Whether they want to be in contact with us or not.
Rules for service of process in most…
Is a Facebook friendship really a friendship? Can judges be “friends” with attorneys on Facebook? Florida judges and legal ethicists have been debating these questions for more than four years. Florida District Courts of Appeal have now begun to offer their opinions, as Facebook friending has emerged as an issue in motions to recuse trial…
Issuing its opinion in DMT vs. TMH, a closely watched case that drew national attention, the Supreme Court of Florida today declared that a woman has constitutionally protected rights to raise a child created by artificial insemination using her ovum, with the fertilized ovum carried and the child born by her then-committed partner, and…
In the past few years, the strangest things have started appearing in appellate decisions: images. That has been seen as so revolutionary that it has been widely covered in the legal press, with 7th Circuit opinions authored by Judge Richard Posner (as is often the case) drawing the most attention. The question is: why…
No doubt family law disputes can result in some of the most acrimonious litigation. If France v. France, No. 5D11-1477, a decision handed down by Florida’s 5th DCA last week, is any indication, they can also result in highly complex issues of jurisdiction and conflicts of law among states.
Generally, if you’re injured while in…
Real electronic filing may finally make its way to Florida courts in the not-too-distant future. But before that happens, the Florida Supreme Court wants to make sure that there isn’t too much private information in court filings for the public to access.
On June 30, 2011, the Court adopted sweeping new rules about what information can and can’t be put in the court file. Florida litigators who want to avoid the sanctions that can be imposed for violating the new rules shouldn’t wait too long to become familiar with them — they are going into effect on October 1, 2011.
For the time being, the privacy rules don’t affect criminal cases, for the most part, but they affect all civil cases. And the reprieve in criminal cases isn’t likely to last very long.
Here is a breakdown of the Rule changes you need to know:
Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.425
Rule of Judicial Administration 2.425, which was added by the Court’s June 30, 2011 Amendments, contains the overarching principles. So if you learn that Rule (and remember to apply it in whatever context you find yourself) you’ll be most of the way there. But one caution: Rule 2.425 only states a default rule — it gives way to conflicting Rules, statutes, and orders.
This chart spells out the types of information that are subject to Rule 2.425:
Restricted Info: Can include in a filing? Exceptions:Child’s Name Initials only Orders re: time-sharing, parental responsibility, or child support. Any document re: child’s ownership of real property. Birthdates Year only Any party’s full birthdate in writ of attachment or notice to payor. Child’s full birthdate when
necessary for jurisdiction.
Social Sec. #s No General exceptions
Bank Account #s No General exceptions
Credit/Debit Card # No General exceptions
Charge Account # No General exceptions
Drivers License # Last 4 digits only General exceptions Passport # Last 4 digits only General exceptions Taxpayer ID # Last 4 digits only General exceptions Employee ID # Last 4 digits only General exceptions Phone # Last 4 digits only General exceptions Insurance Policy # Last 4 digits only General exceptions Loan # Last 4 digits only General exceptions Patient/health care # Last 4 digits only General exceptions Customer Accont # Last 4 digits only General exceptions Email address Truncated General exceptions User name Truncated General exceptions Password Truncated General exceptions PIN #s Truncated General exceptions
Other sensitive info: Truncated as per court order
- Statute, Rule or Order authorizes the inclusion of the information in a filing
- Account number is necessary to identify property at issue in a case.
- Information that is “relevant and material to an issue before the court.” [!!! This looks to me like an exception that you could drive a truck through. It’ll be interesting to see how courts interpret it.]
- Records in an administrative, agency, appellate, or review proceeding.
- Information used by the clerk or the court for file and case management purposes.
- Criminal cases are temporarily exempt.
- Traffic court cases are temporarily exempt.
- Small claims cases are temporarily exempt.
A Few Other Notes:
What effect does Rule 2.425 have on parties’ ability to obtain a protective order? According to the Rule itself, none. But I’d be surprised if judges’ opinions on what information should be kept private were not influenced by the views of the Supreme Court as expressed in Rule 2.425.
The Rule also claims that it “does not affect the application of constitutional provisions, statutes, or rules of court regarding confidential information or access to public information.” I’m not sure how that could be so, but again, we’ll see how courts interpret that subsection.
The Court is also amending quite a few other Rules to accomodate Rule 2.425. Changes are being made to the Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly with regard to filing discovery documents, the Family Law Rules of Procedure, the Rules of Appellate Procedure, Probate Rules, and to a lesser extent, Criminal Procedure and Small Claims Rules, as well as several forms.
The amendments to those rules and forms are listed below.
The Florida Supreme Court’s precedential decision last Thursday in Kaaa v. Kaaa, No. SC09-967, could make life a bit more complicated Florida family lawyers. Just what you needed, I’m sure!
The Court denied a petition for rehearing, and revised its September opinion, in an attempt to clarify a pretty confusing discussion. The basic holding…