Rule 12.750. Family Self-Help Programs

(a)     Establishment of Programs. A chief judge, by administrative order, may establish a self-help program to facilitate access to family courts. The purpose of a self-help program is to assist self-represented litigants, within the bounds of this rule, to achieve fair and efficient resolution of their family law case. The purpose of a self-help program is not to provide legal advice to self-represented litigants. This rule applies only to programs established and operating under the auspices of the court pursuant to this rule.

(b)     Definitions.

(1)     “Family law case” means any case in the circuit that is assigned to the family law division.

(2)     “Self-represented litigant” means any individual who seeks information to file, pursue, or respond to a family law case without the assistance of a lawyer authorized to practice before the court.

(3)     “Self-help personnel” means lawyer and nonlawyer personnel in a self-help program.

(4)     “Self-help program” means a program established and operating under the authority of this rule.

(5)     “Approved form” means (A) Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Forms or Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms or (B) forms that have been approved in writing by the chief judge of a circuit and that are not inconsistent with the Supreme Court approved forms, copies of which are to be sent to the chief justice, the chair of the Family Law Rules Committee of The Florida Bar, the chair of the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar, and the chair of the Family Court Steering Committee. Forms approved by a chief judge may be used unless specifically rejected by the Supreme Court.

(c)      Services Provided. Self-help personnel may:

(1)     encourage self-represented litigants to obtain legal advice;

(2)     provide information about available pro bono legal services, low cost legal services, legal aid programs, and lawyer referral services;

(3)     provide information about available approved forms, without providing advice or recommendation as to any specific course of action;

(4)     provide approved forms and approved instructions on how to complete the forms;

(5)     engage in limited oral communications to assist a person in the completion of blanks on approved forms;

(6)     record information provided by a self-represented litigant on approved forms;

(7)     provide, either orally or in writing, definitions of legal terminology from widely accepted legal dictionaries or other dictionaries without advising whether or not a particular definition is applicable to the self-represented litigant’s situation;

(8)     provide, either orally or in writing, citations of statutes and rules, without advising whether or not a particular statute or rule is applicable to the self-represented litigant’s situation;

(9)     provide docketed case information;

(10)   provide general information about court process, practice, and procedure;

(11)   provide information about mediation, required parenting courses, and courses for children of divorcing parents;

(12)   provide, either orally or in writing, information from local rules or administrative orders;

(13)   provide general information about local court operations;

(14)   provide information about community services; and

(15)   facilitate the setting of hearings.

(d)     Limitations on Services. Self-help personnel shall not:

(1)     provide legal advice or recommend a specific course of action for a self-represented litigant;

(2)     provide interpretation of legal terminology, statutes, rules, orders, cases, or the constitution;

(3)     provide information that must be kept confidential by statute, rule, or case law;

(4)     deny a litigant’s access to the court;

(5)     encourage or discourage litigation;

(6)     record information on forms for a self-represented litigant, except as otherwise provided by this rule;

(7)     engage in oral communications other than those reasonably necessary to elicit factual information to complete the blanks on forms except as otherwise authorized by this rule;

(8)     perform legal research for litigants;

(9)     represent litigants in court; and

(10)   lead litigants to believe that they are representing them as lawyers in any capacity or induce the public to rely upon them for legal advice.

(e)      Unauthorized Practice of Law. The services listed in subdivision (c), when performed by nonlawyer personnel in a self-help program, shall not be the unauthorized practice of law.

(f)      No Confidentiality. Notwithstanding ethics rules that govern attorneys, certified legal interns, and other persons working under the supervision of an attorney, information given by a self-represented litigant to self-help personnel is not confidential or privileged.

(g)     No Conflict. Notwithstanding ethics rules that govern attorneys, certified legal interns, and other persons working under the supervision of an attorney, there is no conflict of interest in providing services to both parties.

(h)     Notice of Limitation of Services Provided. Before receiving the services of a self-help program, self-help personnel shall thoroughly explain the “Notice of Limitation of Services Provided” disclaimer below. Each self-represented litigant, after receiving an explanation of the disclaimer, shall sign an acknowledgment that the disclaimer has been explained to the self-represented litigant and that the self-represented litigant understands the limitation of the services provided. The self-help personnel shall sign the acknowledgment certifying compliance with this requirement. The original shall be filed by the self-help personnel in the court file and a copy shall be provided to the self-represented litigant.

NOTICE OF LIMITATION
OF SERVICES PROVIDED

THE PERSONNEL IN THIS SELF-HELP PROGRAM ARE NOT ACTING AS YOUR LAWYER OR PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE TO YOU.

SELF-HELP PERSONNEL ARE NOT ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE COURT OR ANY JUDGE. THE PRESIDING JUDGE IN YOUR CASE MAY REQUIRE AMENDMENT OF A FORM OR SUBSTITUTION OF A DIFFERENT FORM. THE JUDGE IS NOT REQUIRED TO GRANT THE RELIEF REQUESTED IN A FORM.

THE PERSONNEL IN THIS SELF-HELP PROGRAM CANNOT TELL YOU WHAT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS OR REMEDIES ARE, REPRESENT YOU IN COURT, OR TELL YOU HOW TO TESTIFY IN COURT.

SELF-HELP SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE TO ALL PERSONS WHO ARE OR WILL BE PARTIES TO A FAMILY CASE.

THE INFORMATION THAT YOU GIVE TO AND RECEIVE FROM SELF-HELP PERSONNEL IS NOT CONFIDENTIAL AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO DISCLOSURE AT A LATER DATE. IF ANOTHER PERSON INVOLVED IN YOUR CASE SEEKS ASSISTANCE FROM THIS SELF-HELP PROGRAM, THAT PERSON WILL BE GIVEN THE SAME TYPE OF ASSISTANCE THAT YOU RECEIVE.

IN ALL CASES, IT IS BEST TO CONSULT WITH YOUR OWN ATTORNEY, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR CASE PRESENTS SIGNIFICANT ISSUES REGARDING CHILDREN, CHILD SUPPORT, ALIMONY, RETIREMENT OR PENSION BENEFITS, ASSETS, OR LIABILITIES.


                    I CAN READ ENGLISH.

                    I CANNOT READ ENGLISH. THIS NOTICE WAS READ TO          ME BY {NAME}                                       IN {LANGUAGE}                      .

 

 

 

 

 

SIGNATURE

 

 

AVISO DE LIMITACION
DE SERVICIOS OFRECIDOS

EL PERSONAL DE ESTE PROGRAMA DE AYUDA PROPIA NO ESTA ACTUANDO COMO SU ABOGADO NI LE ESTA DANDO CONSEJOS LEGALES.

ESTE PERSONAL NO REPRESENTA NI LA CORTE NI NINGUN JUEZ. EL JUEZ  ASIGNADO A SU CASO PUEDE REQUERIR UN CAMBIO DE ESTA FORMA O UNA FORMA DIFERENTE. EL JUEZ NO ESTA OBLIGADO A CONCEDER LA REPARACION QUE USTED PIDE EN ESTA FORMA.

EL PERSONAL DE ESTE PROGRAMA DE AYUDA PROPIA NO LE PUEDE DECIR CUALES SON SUS DERECHOS NI SOLUCIONES LEGALES, NO PUEDE REPRESENTARLO EN CORTE, NI DECIRLE COMO TESTIFICAR EN CORTE.

SERVICIOS DE AYUDA PROPIA ESTAN DISPONIBLES A TODAS LAS PERSONAS QUE SON O SERAN PARTES DE UN CASO FAMILIAR.

LA INFORMACION QUE USTED DA Y RECIBE DE ESTE PERSONAL NO ES CONFIDENCIAL Y PUEDE SER DESCUBIERTA MAS ADELANTE. SI OTRA PERSONA ENVUELTA EN SU CASO PIDE AYUDA DE ESTE PROGRAMA, ELLOS RECIBIRAN EL MISMO TIPO DE ASISTENCIA QUE USTED RECIBE.

EN TODOS LOS CASOS, ES MEJOR CONSULTAR CON SU PROPIO ABOGA-DO, ESPECIALMENTE SI SU CASO TRATA DE TEMAS RESPECTO A NINOS, MANTENIMIENTO ECONOMICO DE NINOS, MANUTENCION MATRIMONIAL, RETIRO O BENEFICIOS DE PENSION, ACTIVOS U OBLIGACIONES.


          YO PUEDO LEER ESPANOL.

                    YO NO PUEDO LEER ESPANOL. ESTE AVISO FUE LEIDO A      MI POR {NOMBRE}                                    EN {IDIOMA}                        .

 

 

 

 

 

FIRMA

If information is provided by telephone, the notice of limitation of services provided shall be heard by all callers prior to speaking to self-help staff.

(i)      Exemption. Self-help personnel are not required to complete Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.900(a), Disclosure From Nonlawyer, as required by rule 10-2.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. The provisions in rule 10-2.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, which require a nonlawyer to include the nonlawyer’s name and identifying information on a form if the nonlawyer assisted in the completion of a form, are not applicable to self-help personnel unless the self-help personnel recorded the information on the form as authorized by this rule.

(j)      Availability of Services. Self-help programs are available to all self-represented litigants in family law cases.

(k)     Cost of Services. Self-help programs, as authorized by statute, may require self-represented litigants to pay the cost of services provided for by this rule, provided that the charge for persons who are indigent is substantially reduced or waived.

(l)      Records. All records made or received in connection with the official business of a self-help program are judicial records and access to such records shall be governed by Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420.

(m)    Domestic, Repeat, Dating, and Sexual Violence, and Stalking Exclusion. Nothing in this rule shall restrict services provided by the clerk of the court or family or in-junctions for protection intake personnel pursuant to rule 12.610.

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