A notice of related cases is a form that must be filed by a petitioner along with the initial pleading of a family or probate case. The Florida Rule of Judicial Administration requires this form to be filed with the court if a related case is “known or reasonably ascertainable.” Petitioners are also required to serve a copy of such notice to all parties in the related case.
When is Another Case Considered “Related”?
Another case is considered related and should be included on the form if:
- It involves any of the same parties or issues and it is pending at the time the petitioner files initial claim;
- It affects the court’s jurisdiction to proceed;
- An order was entered in that case which may conflict with an order on the same issues in the new case; or
- An order in the new case may conflict with an order in the earlier litigation
Why is a Notice of Related Cases Important in Florida?
A Notice of Related Cases serves as a means to conserve judicial resources and promote an efficient determination of actions in the Florida courts. Through this notice, a court is aware of any conflict that may arise prior to the commencement of a proceeding. It helps prevent the court from issuing an order that may conflict with another court order that may have been issued. This notice is also useful for coordinating hearings, which may possibly result in less trips to the courthouse.
How was the Notice of Related Cases Form Amended in Florida’s Probate Division?
The amended Notice of Related Probate Cases form now requires the parties to inform the court of any related cases that are pending or filed in any other division i.e civil and/or criminal division. Prior to its amendment, this duty to inform the court was limited to related probate cases only. However, unlike related probate cases, cases from other divisions will not be transferred to the probate division. It is important to note that each circuit court in Florida has its own template for the Notice of Related cases and each petitioner must ensure that he or she is using the most updated version of this Notice, per the circuit court’s requirement.
If you have questions about a potential probate or need assistance with probate or divorce proceedings, please do not hesitate to give us a call at EPGD Business Law. EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.