Setting A Hearing On Exceptions

by Marina from Brevard County, Florida

I am pro se, and my ex has representation. After a lengthy hearing, the General Magistrate delivered a stern admonishment to the ex. The GM found he had violated a prior order, reserved as to contempt, and recommended setting Child Support arrears at a certain number.


Ex's attorney was instructed to prepare a report and recommendations. Attorney's version was submitted to the General Magistrate without my review and was substantially different from the GM's pronouncement, so I submitted my own version the next day.

General Magistrate made one change to my version and signed off. Ex's attorney submitted exceptions, several of which are simply silly, as they take exception to things not found in the GM's Report & Recommendations.

I filed a response and cross-exceptions. Now, I cannot get the Circuit Court judge's Judicial Assistant to set a hearing. Ex's attorney has not yet provided a transcript of the hearing nor set a hearing. The Florida Family rules say that a hearing can be set by either party, but Judges Assistant simply ignores requests. What now?

I have submitted a Motion requesting that either a hearing be set or an order entered accepting the GM's Report & Recommendations based on the ex's failure to act in accordance with the rules, but I can't even get that before the judge at this point.

Answer to Florida Court Forms Question

Dear Marina,

It sounds like you are doing a competent job representing yourself, and I commend you.

Even pro se litigants with legal background and training sometimes face challenges that are difficult to overcome.

Some circuits have court rules that are in addition to the state rules; and the difficult part is that sometimes no one will explain what the local court rules are.

I have found the clerks in the law library much more helpful than most other court staff.

Pay your local law library a visit at least to see what they have available for self help litigants. There may be another paper that you need to file in your circuit.

For example, some circuits require a Notice of Issue and Request to Docket before they will set a hearing even though a Motion for Hearing has been filed.

Go to the law library in the courthouse and ask the law clerk there for a copy of the local court rules and see if there is anything that you have missed.

Also, judicial assistants (JA's) are sometimes very helpful, and at other times not helpful at all. You can also try to find out if there is a pro se advocate or any pro se assistance available to you in the courthouse.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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