WHEREAS, the undersigned has determined that the issuance of an Administrative Order governing motions to compel discovery in probate / guardianship actions is necessary for the efficient and proper administration of justice in the Seventh Judicial Circuit;
NOW THEREFORE, I, JULIANNE PIGGOTTE, Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, hereby order that no motion to compel discovery in any probate / guardianship action may be filed in the Seventh Judicial Circuit unless the moving party has complied with the following procedures:
1. The moving party must notify the opposing party, in writing, of the specific nature of the deficiencies of his/her discovery response and the specific actions necessary to cure said asserted deficiencies. Said written notice must provide 10 days, plus mailing time, for the opposing party to cure said asserted deficiencies, or such shorter time as may be required by the Court.
2. Upon failure to resolve the issue within the time mentioned in # 1 above, the moving party may then file a motion to compel discovery and request that a hearing be set. A copy of the written notice of deficiency, and any response thereto, must be attached to the motion. Once set, the hearing may not be cancelled by either party without the Court’s consent.
3. When a motion to compel discovery alleges a complete failure to respond or object to discovery, and where there has been no request for extension, an ex-parte order may be entered by the Court requiring compliance with the original discovery demand within 10 days of the signing of the order. The moving party must submit a proposed order and self-addressed, stamped envelopes for the Court’s use.
4. If the opposing party fails to respond to a proper discovery request, or responds in a manner deemed by the Court to be in bad faith, a presumption in favor of sanctions against the offending party shall arise. Said sanctions may include, but are not limited to, attorneys’ fees and costs. Bad faith in propounding improper or unreasonable discovery requests may be sanctioned in a like manner.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Administrative Order # PB-2004-019-SC is hereby rescinded.
TO BE RECORDED in Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties.
DONE AND ORDERED in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida this 29th day of March, 2004.
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