Miami Dade Family Courts Are Not Completely Closed during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Miami-Dade justice system may not be operating at full capacity, but it is still functioning. According to the Miami-Dade Clerk of Court’s website, the Miami Dade Courthouses have been closed to the public, except for essential matters and matters per judicial discretion. The Miami-Dade Chief Judge, Berta Soto, issued an administrative order whereby all non-emergency court proceedings, including but not limited to, special set hearings, trials, and all calendars, including but not limited to, motions, pretrial motions, foreclosures, writs of possession, uncontested divorces and case management conferences, will be postponed through Friday, April 17, 2020, except for mission critical matters and other court proceedings and events that can be effectively conducted remotely without the necessity of in-person appearances.
Miami-Dade Courthouses remain open for in person Domestic Violence Injunctions, for Baker or Marchman Act Petitions, Bond Hearings, Juvenile Dependency Hearings, Termination of Parental Rights Hearings, and other emergency hearings. In the event you are obligated to appear in person for a court hearing, you must remain six feet apart from all other participants.
Miami-Dade Family Judges are currently holding hearings for non-emergency court proceedings either by phone conference or by Zoom! If you currently have a family law case pending in Miami-Dade County, or wish to file a new case, your case is assigned to one judge. Each judge has their own website. On that website, you will find detailed instructions on how your judge will be conducting hearings, how to submit documents, and also how to contact the judge’s assistant for guidance.
While the courthouses are physically closed to the public, many in person services are still available online. For example, you may file documents related to your case online, instead of going in person to the courthouse. You are also able to request certified copies of any civil, family, or probate matters online. It is important to note however that Miami Dade foreclosures are cancelled through April 17, 2020 and evictions have been suspended until further notice. The Clerk’s Office is not performing any wedding ceremonies or issuing marriage licenses until further notice, unless it is an emergency.
COVID-19 or better known as the Coronavirus has brought uncertainty and anxiety. Do not panic and do not lose sight of your goals. This is the time to act. This is the time to plan.
If you are currently going through a divorce, this is the time to reevaluate. You may wish to set your differences aside and enter into a Marital Settlement Agreement that allows both you and your spouse to plan for your financial futures. You should be cooperating with your spouse and focusing on the best interest of your children. Child support or alimony obligations should be discussed.
If you are currently preparing to file for divorce, you can and should move forward. The courts are currently experiencing a light workload. If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, a family law judge will be able to get you divorced even during the coronavirus stay at home order. We strongly recommend that you contact a family law attorney to guide you through your options at this time.