IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR
RE: PROCEDURES FOR RETURN HEARINGS WHEN A CONTEMNOR HAS
BEEN RELEASED FOLLOWING A BOWEN HEARING
Pursuant to section 38.22, Florida Statutes, and Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.615, a circuit court may find a person in civil contempt for failure to pay child support and may issue a writ of bodily attachment for the contemnor.
Pursuant to Rule 12.615
and Bowen v. Bowen, 471 So. 2d
Under Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.491, child support hearing officers are authorized to conduct Bowen hearings and to make recommended orders to the court, including recommending the release of the contemnor.
To facilitate the collection of child support and the contemnor’s compliance with the court-ordered support obligation, it is appropriate to establish procedures by which a weekend or holiday advisory duty judge or a child support hearing officer may order the contemnor to appear for a subsequent review hearing before a child support hearing officer when the contemnor is released following a Bowen hearing.
IT IS ORDERED:
1. A weekend or holiday advisory duty judge who orders the release of a contemnor following a Bowen hearing may direct the contemnor to appear at a specific date and time for a review hearing before a child support hearing officer. If a contemnor is not released because of other criminal matters, the judge may also set a review hearing before a child support hearing officer. The judge may direct the contemnor to appear before a child support hearing officer to whom the case is not regularly assigned in order to ensure prompt review. This may result in a review hearing being scheduled at a courthouse other than that where the case is normally heard.
2. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall supply to the Sheriffs’ Offices and to the Clerks of the Circuit Court a list of all child support hearing officers in Pasco County or Pinellas County, their hearing addresses and office phone numbers, and the days and times that each hearing officer will conduct review hearings ordered by the weekend or holiday advisory judge. The Administrative Office of the Court shall update this information as required.
3. When a weekend or holiday advisory duty judge directs a contemnor to appear for a review hearing before a child support hearing officer:
a. the Sheriff shall provide the contemnor with written Notice of Return Hearing with the name and office address of the child support hearing officer, and the date and time of the review hearing. The Sheriff shall also provide the notice to the Clerk.
b. The Clerk of the Circuit Court shall send via facsimile to the
Administrative Office of the Courts the name, case number, and
the date and time of the review hearing. The Clerk shall also send
a copy of the Notice of Return Hearing to the Department of Revenue and the Petitioner/obligee, in care of Department of Revenue.
4. A child support hearing officer who recommends the release of a contemnor following a Bowen hearing may require the contemnor to appear at a subsequent review hearing, which may be scheduled on his or her own calendar or on the calendar of the child support hearing officer to whom the case is normally assigned. This may result in a review hearing being held at a courthouse other than that where the case is normally heard. Notice of the location, date, and time of the review hearing shall be provided by the Hearing Officer to the contemnor and the Department of Revenue.
5. When provided notice by the Clerk or by the Hearing Officer, the Department of Revenue shall appear at such review hearings.
6. This Administrative Order shall take effect on January 1, 2008.
Administrative Orders 2006-021 PA/PI-CIR and 2006-048 PA/PI-CIR remain in full force and effect.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at
Robert J. Morris, Jr., Chief Judge
cc: All Judges
The Honorable Bernie McCabe, State Attorney
The Honorable Bob Dillinger, Public Defender
Honorable Jed Pittman, Clerk of the Circuit Court,
The Honorable Ken Burke, Clerk of the
Honorable Bob White, Sheriff,
Honorable Jim Coats, Sheriff,
Debbie Gay, Assistant Court Services Director, Pasco County Clerk’s Office
Carol Heath, Executive Director, Pinellas County Clerk’s Office
Gay L. Inskeep, Trial Courts Administrator
Rice, Deputy Courts Administrator,
Captain Brian Head, Detention Bureau, Pasco County Sheriff’s Department
Marianne Garret, Inmate Records Supervisor, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department