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Proposed Amendments to Rules Concerning Magistrates and Hearing Officers

The Family Law Rules Committee invites comments on the proposed rule amendments anticipated to be included in a report to the court concerning magistrates and hearing officers.

Interested persons have until November 30, 2020, to submit any comments, electronically, to Cory Brandfon, chair of the Family Law Rules Committee, nd to the Bar staff liaison Mikalla Davis.

Proposal Summary

 

Full Text of ProposalRule 12.490.

21-0-0 Changes to Rule 12.490 (Magistrates) are made throughout to make the rule consistent with the requirements for hearings before a hearing officer (Rule 12.491).

In subdivision (b), “reference” is replaced with “referral” in the subdivision title and the first sentence.

In the first sentence of subdivision (b)(2), “shall” is changed to “must” twice for greater clarity for the reader.

In the first paragraph of the bold, indented language in subdivision (b)(2), “made” is replaced by “filed” and “commencement of” is added for greater clarity.

In the second paragraph of the bold indented language in subdivision (b)(2), deletes “report and recommendations” and replaces it with “recommended order” to match rule

12.491. Also, in that paragraph, deletes

“shall” and replaces it with “must” for

greater clarity for the reader and deletes “exceptions” and replaces it with “a motion to vacate” in the middle of the sentence for consistency with Rule 12.491. In addition, deletes “f” and replace it with “e” to correctly cite to 12.490(e). Also, in this paragraph, deletes “may be” and replaces with “is” as transcription of the hearing is necessary for hearing in front of the general magistrate. Last, “exceptions” is replaced by “motion to vacate unless waived by order of the court prior to any hearing on the motion to vacate” for greater flexibility to the court.

In subdivision (b)(4), “reference” is replaced by “referral” to update the terminology.

In subdivision (c), replaces “shall” with “must” for greater clarity for the reader.

In subdivision (d)(1), “reference” is replaced by “referral” throughout the subdivision to update the terminology.

In subdivision (d)(1), “report” is replaced by “recommended order” to match Rule 12.491.

In subdivision (d)(3), “reference” is replaced by “referral” to update the terminology.

In the bold, indented paragraph of subdivision (d)(4), deletes “recommendation” and replaces it with “recommended order” for consistency with Rule 12.491. In addition, deletes “f” and replace it with “e” to correctly cite to12.490(e). Also, in this paragraph, deletes

“exceptions” and replaces it with “a motion to vacate” for consistency with Rule 12.491. In this paragraph, deletes “exceptions or your exceptions” and replaces it with “motion to vacate or your motion.” Last, adds in the last sentence, “unless waived by order of the court prior to any hearing on the motion to vacate” for greater clarity.

Deletes existing subdivisions (e) and (f) as it is recommended that general magistrates complete recommended orders consistent with hearings with hearing officers in Rule 12.491.

Adds a new subdivision (e) regarding the requirements of the magistrate’s recommended orders.

Renumbers the previous subdivision (g) as subdivision (f) to accommodate the deletions of two subdivisions and addition of a subdivision.

In the new subdivision (f), deletes “exceptions” and replaces it with “a motion to vacate” for consistency with Rule 12.491 throughout the subdivision. Also, in the subdivision, relocates the phrase “all depositions and documentary and other evidence presented at hearing” for greater clarity. At the end of subdivision (f)(1), adds an additional sentence regarding the ability to waive a transcript.

In the new subdivision (f)(2), adds a beginning phrase to the subdivision regarding the ability to waive a transcript. In the first sentence deletes “on exceptions” for consistency. In the second sentence, replaces “prepared” with “furnished” for clarity of the terminology. Also in the second sentence of the subdivision, deletes “excepting” and replaces it with “moving.” Finally, the last sentence of the subdivision, deletes “exceptions” and replaces it with “motion to vacate.”

Rule 12.491 21-0-0 In subdivision (d), in the title and the subdivision, “referral” is replaced by “assignment” to update the terminology.

In subdivision (e), a sentence is added to specify grounds for disqualifying hearing officers.

In subdivision(e)(1), “assign” is replaced by “designate” for greater clarity.

In subdivision (f), “refer” is replaced by “reassign” for greater clarity.

Forms 12.920 (a), (b), and (c). 19-0-0 In the first paragraph of the instructions, deletes “decisions” and replaces it with “orders” and deletes “recommendations” and replaces it with “recommended orders” to make the form instructions consistent with the proposed amendments to Rule 12.490, making hearings in front of magistrates consistent with hearings in front of a hearing officer.

Also, in the first paragraph of the instruction, adds “and entered” and deletes “and are generally approved.”

In the fourth paragraph of the instruction, deletes “the original” and replaces it with “these documents” for clarity when parties file electronically.

Adds a new section to the instructions regarding e-filing and e-service elections.

In the third paragraph of the “What should I do next?” section, deletes “the original” and replaces it with “this document” for clarity when parties file electronically.

In the Form 12.920(b) after “IT IS FURTHER ORDERED,” deletes “report and recommendations” and replaces it with “recommended order” to make consistent with the proposed amendments to Rule 12.490, making hearings in front of magistrates consistent with hearings in front of a hearing officer.

In the second paragraph of boldface print, deletes “report and recommendations” and replaces it with “recommended order” consistent with the proposed amendments to Rule 12.490, making hearings in front of magistrates consistent with hearings in front of a hearing officer.

Also, in the second paragraph of boldface print, replaces “f” with “e,” replaces “may be” with “is,” and replaces “exceptions” with “the motion to vacate ”and “a motion to vacate” to make consistent with the proposed amendments to Rule 12.490, making hearings in front of magistrates consistent with hearings in front of a hearing officer.

In the last paragraph of boldface print, deletes “report and recommendations” and replaces it with “recommended order and deletes “exceptions” and replaces it with “motion to vacate” and “a motion to vacate” in the paragraph to make consistent with the proposed amendments to Rule 12.490, making hearings in front of magistrates consistent with hearings in front of a hearing officer. Also, in that paragraph, replaces “f” with “e” and deletes “if necessary” to make consistent with the proposed amendments to Rule 12.490, making hearings in front of magistrates consistent with hearings in front of a hearing officer.

Also in Form 12.920(c), under “YOU ARE HEREBY ADVISED THAT IN THIS CIRCUIT” adds an option c to be consistent with Form 12.961.

In Form 12.920(c), in boldface type, adds language required by Turner V. Rogers,564 U.S. 431 (2011), regarding the parties’ ability to pay in contempt hearings.

Also in Form 12.920(c), after the ADA required language, deletes “report and recommendations” and replaces it with

“recommended order” and deletes “exceptions” and replaces it with “motion to vacate” and “a motion to vacate” in the paragraph to make consistent with the proposed amendments to Rule 12.490, making hearings in front of magistrates consistent with hearings in front of a hearing officer. Also, in that paragraph, replaces “f” with “e” and deletes “if necessary” to make consistent with the proposed amendments to Rule 12.490, making hearings in front of magistrates consistent with hearings in front of a hearing officer.

Also in Form 12.920(c), under “YOU ARE HEREBY ADVISED THAT IN THIS CIRCUIT” adds an option c to be consistent with Form 12.961.

Full Text of Proposal

Full Text Magistrates