WHEREAS, the Florida Supreme Court has encouraged judicial circuits to establish Unified Family Courts as a way to more efficiently and effectively address the needs of families with multiple related Family Law court cases, and
WHEREAS, Administrative Order FM-2005-036-VL established a Unified Family pilot project in west- Volusia County, and
WHEREAS, following one year of operation, the Unified Family Court Steering Committee recommended the formal establishment of the Unified Family Court in west-Volusia County;
NOW THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM A. PARSONS, Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, hereby order that a Unified Family Court be established in west-Volusia County to hear such matters involving related Family Law cases as may be assigned.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that when a case defined by administrative order as under the jurisdiction of Family Law is initiated, the Clerk of Court’s office shall ascertain if an active Dependency/Termination of Parental Rights case involving the same family exists in west-Volusia County. If so, said Family Law case shall be assigned to the west-Volusia Unified Family Court division. The related Dependency/TPR case may then also be reassigned to the west-Volusia Unified Family Court division. In addition, when a Dependency/Termination of Parental Rights case is initiated in west-Volusia County, the Clerk of Court’s office shall ascertain if an active Family Law case involving the same family exists. If so, said Dependency/TPR case shall be assigned to the west-Volusia Unified Family Court division. The related Family Law case may then also be reassigned to the Unified Family Court division. Any additional reassignments of related Family Law/Dependency/TPR cases to the west-Volusia Unified Family Court division must be coordinated and mutually agreed upon by the affected judges.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Unified Family Court division shall continue to be designated as Division 15 for assignment purposes.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Administrative Order FM-2005-036-VL be rescinded
TO BE RECORDED in Volusia County, Florida.
DONE AND ORDERED in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida, this 7th day of May, 2007.
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