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, a Unified Family Court was previously established in west-Volusia County, and
WHEREAS, the judges and various other stakeholders have concluded that a Unified Family Court should be established in east-Volusia County;
NOW THEREFORE, I, RAUL A. ZAMBRANO, Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, hereby order that a Unified Family Court be established in east-Volusia County effective September 1, 2018 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 east-Volusia County. If so, said Family Law case shall be assigned to the judicial division to which the related Dependency/TPR case is assigned. In addition, when a Dependency/TPR case is initiated in east-Volusia County, the Clerk’s office shall assign said case to a judicial division in accordance with other case assignment directives, but shall also ascertain if an active Family Law case involving the same family exists. If such an active related Family Law case exists, it shall be reassigned to the judicial division to which the related Dependency/TPR case is assigned. Family Case Management staff shall assist the Clerk’s office with the identification of related cases and the assignment/reassignment thereof as specified herein. Any additional reassignments of related Family Law/Dependency/TPR cases to the east-Volusia Unified Family Court divisions must be coordinated and mutually agreed upon by the affected judges.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk’s office shall link any related cases as specified herein in its case management system.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that in addition to being designated as the judicial divisions to which juvenile cases are assigned, Divisions 37 and 38 shall also be designated as the east-Volusia Unified Family Court divisions for assignment purposes.
TO BE RECORDED in Volusia County.
DONE AND ORDERED in DeLand, Volusia County, Florida, this 2nd day of August 2018.
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