At the direction of the Florida Supreme Court in Administrative Order AOSC20-23, Amendment 10, all Circuit and County Courts in the State have implemented Differentiated Case Management in civil cases. Differentiated Case Management requires the presiding judge in each civil case to take charge of cases at an early stage, firmly control their progress, and conclude the litigation as soon as it is reasonably and justly possible to do so.
What constitutes a “civil case” for purposes of Differentiated Case Management is defined in the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit’s Administrative Order 2021-05, Civil Case Management and Resolution. Generally, the term includes all cases filed in the civil divisions of the Circuit or County Courts except small claims cases and cases subject to the summary procedure. The procedures set forth in Administrative Order 2021-05 apply to civil cases pending as of April 29, 2021, as well as cases filed on April 30, 2021, or later.
Differentiated Case Management requires that civil cases be identified and designated as complex, streamlined, or general. Each type of case has a model time frame in which to be tried.
- Complex cases are actions that have been or may be designated by the Court as complex under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.201. These cases will proceed as provided in the rule. Complex cases generally should be set for trial within 24 months of an initial case management conference.
- Unless the presiding judge determines otherwise, streamlined cases are uncontested cases, cases not entitled to jury trial, or cases where a jury trial is not demanded. However, all civil cases within the County Court jurisdiction are designated as streamlined cases unless otherwise determined by the presiding judge. The projected date of trial for streamlined cases is within 12 months of the filing of a complaint.
- General cases are all other civil cases. The projected date of trial for general cases is within 18 months of the filing of a complaint.
The parties in each civil case must confer and agree upon various case management deadlines within the model time frames for each type of case. Once that is accomplished, they must submit a proposed civil case management plan and order to the Court. A civil case management plan template can be found on the presiding judge’s page on the Circuit’s website. Once the deadlines have been approved by the presiding judge, they must be strictly adhered to by the parties unless a change is otherwise agreed to by the parties and approved by the judge. Failure to abide by the deadlines may result in sanctions by the Court, including the award of attorney’s fees, the striking of pleadings and/or a dismissal of the action.
Please read Administrative Order 2021-05, Civil Case Management and Resolution for more information and further instruction as to the procedures involved in Differentiated Case Management.