The Supreme Court has approved amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of General Practice and Judicial Administration, Rules of Criminal Procedure, Florida Probate Rules, Florida Traffic Court Rules, Florida Small Claims Rules and Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. See In re Amendments to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, et al., No. SC21-990 (Fla. July 14, 2022). The amendments provide for the broader and permanent use of remote technology.
The amendments include:
• Specific authorization to conduct remote hearings at the discretion of the court.
• Requirement that courts grant a request for remote hearings for non-evidentiary hearings of 30 minutes or less, absent good cause.
• Authorizes the remote swearing of witnesses.
• Requires pro se parties to designate an e-mail address for service, unless excused (reverses the presumption).
• Authorizes the taking of depositions remotely by stipulation or order of the court.
• Authorizes remote mediation and arbitration by stipulation or order of the court.
• Authorizes remote participation by jurors in jury trials if stipulated by the parties.
The rule amendments are effective October 1, 2022.