Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

(a) Limited Application. This rule shall be effective only when specifically invoked by administrative order of the chief justice for use in a particular county or circuit.

(b) Scope. This rule shall apply to proceedings for the establishment, enforcement, or modification of child support wherein the party seeking support is receiving services pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.  651 et seq.) and to non-Title IV-D proceedings upon administrative order of the chief justice.

(c) Support Enforcement Hearing Officers. The chief judge of each judicial circuit shall appoint such number of support enforcement hearing officers for the circuit or any county within the circuit as are necessary to expeditiously perform the duties prescribed by this rule. A hearing officer shall be a member of the Florida Bar unless waived by the chief justice and shall serve at the pleasure of the chief judge and a majority of the circuit judges in the circuit.

(d) Clerk of Court. Upon the filing of a cause of action or other proceeding for the establishment, enforcement, or modification of support to which this rule applies, the clerk of the circuit court shall refer such proceedings to a support enforcement hearing officer, pursuant to procedures to be established by administrative order of the chief judge.

(e) General Powers and Duties. The support enforcement hearing officer shall be empowered to issue process, administer oaths, require the production of documents, and conduct hearings for the purpose of taking evidence. Upon the receipt of a support proceeding, the support enforcement hearing officer shall:

(1) assign a time and place for an appropriate hearing and give notice to each of the parties as may be required by law;

(2) take testimony and establish a record, which record may be by electronic means as provided by Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.070(c);

(3) accept voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and support liability and stipulated agreements setting the amount of support to be paid; and

(4) evaluate the evidence and promptly make a recommended order to the court for the establishment and enforcement of support. Such order shall set forth findings of fact.

(f) Entry of Order and Relief From Order. Upon receipt of a recommended order, the court shall review the order and findings of fact and shall enter the same promptly unless good cause appears to amend the order or conduct further proceedings. Any party affected by the order may:

(1) move to vacate the order within 10 days from the date of entry, or

(2) move to modify the order at any time.

A motion to vacate the order shall be heard within 10 days after the movant applies for a hearing on the motion.

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