Author: Karen Weintraub, Esq.

Florida Federal Judge Has Ruled on the Ban of Same-Sex Marriages

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in Same Sex Marriage
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On August 21, 2014, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle of Tallahassee ruled that Florida’s gay-marriage ban is, in fact, unconstitutional. This is the first decision rendered by a court of this State that actually has a statewide impact. This Federal Judge ordered the State of Florida to allow same sex couple to marry and to recognize legal same sex marriages performed out of state. The Florida Attorney General’s office has until September 22, 2014 to decide whether to bring this matter before the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, GA. However, in the interim, Judge Hinkle did stay the effects of most of his ruling, pending appeal. (more…)


Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Pleadings
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When divorced parents of children do not practice the same religion, adjudicating issues regarding religious practice is extremely difficult. Due to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Florida Courts have long held that decisions regarding the child’s religion or the parents’ religious practices must be left to the parents, not the Court, absent a clear showing of “harm”, “risk” or “detriment” to the child. (more…)

Attorney’s Fee Award

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Attorney Fee
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An award of attorney’s fees to a party in a matrimonial proceeding must meet the specific requirements of F.S. 61.16, Fla. Patient’s Comp. Fund. V. Rowe, 472 So.2d 1145 (Fla. 1985) and other legal precedent. Recently, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal reversed an award of attorney’s fees to the Wife, in Robert Mitchell v. Cynthia Mitchell, 2014 WL 2751058 (Fla. App. 1 Dist.). In this case, the appellate court found that the Trial Court erred in its award of attorney’s fees to the Wife, because the Trial Court failed to comply with Section 61.16 of the Florida Statutes (2013). When a Trial Court makes and award of attorney’s fees, there must be an explicit and stated finding as to the attorney’s hours expended, hourly rate and reasonableness of the fee. (more…)

Conflicting Child Custody Jurisdiction Between the Florida State Courts and Tribal Courts

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Pleadings
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The Third District Court of Appeal recently entered a compelling ruling in Layla Billie v. Kevin Stier, 2014 WL 1613661 (Fla. App. 3 Dist.), regarding Tribal Court child custody jurisdiction. In that case, the Third District held that since the Tribal Court did not “substantially comply” with the basic procedural jurisdictional requirements as delineated by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), child custody jurisdiction must remain with the Florida Courts, and not in the Miccosukee Tribal Courts. (more…)

Motion for Rehearing Deadlines

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Pleadings
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Upon the entry of certain orders or judgments, a Motion for Rehearing may be filed, if a party believes the Court has entered the underlying order in error. However, there are strict time deadlines to file the order, and it is critical to know the deadline to file such a motion for rehearing. If you do not comply with the deadline, and the Motion is filed late and/or untimely, the Motion shall not be considered by the Court. (more…)