Amendment to Rule 1.490 re Use of Magistrates in Residential Foreclosures

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The Florida Supreme Court has amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.490, effective immediately, to streamline the use magistrates in residential mortgage foreclosures.

Subdivision (c) of the rule currently requires that no matter be referred to a magistrate without consent of the parties. The amendments authorize referral of residential mortgage foreclosure cases to a magistrate with the implied consent of the parties, but the parties are given the opportunity to object to the referral. This subdivision is also amended to provide language that must be included in bold type in the order of referral to ensure that the parties are given notice of the requirements of the rule. The amendments to this subdivision do not change the consent requirement for other civil cases.

Subdivision (d)  is amended  to prohibit magistrates from practicing law of the same case type in the court in the county or circuit where the magistrate is appointed to serve.

Because the amendments were not published for comment prior to their adoption, interested persons shall have sixty days from the date of this opinion in which to file comments with the Court.

Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.490 has been updated to reflect the amendment.

IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO FLORIDA RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 1.490, Case No. SC13-684 (May 9, 2013).

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