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Court moves to improve rulemaking process

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Florida Supreme Court SealTo streamline changes to court procedural rules, the Supreme Court has done away with the three-year regular-cycle rule amendment filing schedule and directed rules committees to file amendments whenever they are ready.

The changes to Rule of Judicial Administration 2.140 came in a February 6 court opinion and are effective June 1. Because the changes were not advertised before the court acted on its own motion, interested parties have 75 days to file comments.

Currently, rule amendments from 10 procedural rule committees are filed as regular-cycle reports at three-year intervals, as out-of-cycle reports when those changes meet conditions outlined in Rule 2.140, and as fast-track recommendations, usually necessary to implement new laws passed by the Legislature before or as those laws become effective.

“After discussions with representatives of the Bar and the various rules committees about ways to improve the rulemaking process, the Court has determined that amending subdivision (b) (Schedule for Regular-Cycle Rules Proposals) of rule 2.140 to do away with the set schedule for rules committee reports and allow the committees to file rules proposals with the Court whenever a committee determines rules changes are needed will streamline the process and provide for more expeditious rule making,” the court said in the opinion. “This change also should result in more informative committee reports and responses to comments by helping to ensure that the proposing committee’s chair and a majority of its members were involved in the development of the rules proposals filed with the Court.”

The court amended subdivision (e) of Rule 2.140 to eliminate the section on out-of-cycle nonemergency rule amendments. That subdivision now addresses only fast-track procedures “which are used for rule amendments that warrant expedited consideration or are necessary due to changes in legislation.”

The court acted in In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.140, Case No. SC 19-2104.

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