12th Judicial Circuit Judges' Requirements for Family Court Mediation

Source:  Judges’ Requirements, as of 1/14/2021. (Requirements are subject to later change).

Updated to include Judge Ruhl’s Requirements as of 1/7/2021 and Judge  Brunings’s Requirements as of 1/4/2021  

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- Robert Marble, Esq., Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator

  DivisionJudgeMediation Required for:Exceptions to Mediation RequirementMediation Required for Hearing on Motion for Temporary Relief?12TH CIR. FAMILY MEDIATION PROGRAM: Order of Referral Required? / Motion for Order Required? PRIVATE MEDIATION: Order of Referral Required? / Motion for Order Required?Mediator's Report Required?
1Hon. Kimberly C. Bonner1. Before scheduling an evidentiary, non-emergency, hearing with the Judge or the Magistrate/Non-Title IV-D hearing officer, mediation is required on all issues (Page 2)1. An uncontested cause of action (i.e., name change, uncontested dissolution, when respondent has been defaulted, etc.) (Page 2)No (Page2)Yes (Order)/ No (Motion)No (Order) /No (Motion)Yes
2. Mediation is required in all cases unless waived by order of the court and must be completed prior to trial. A trial order may be vacated if mediation has not been completed or scheduled by the time of the Pre Trial Conference. (Page 6)

It is not necessary to complete mediation before filing a Notice for Trial. (Page 6)
2. A Court order allowing an exception based on a hardship upon motion filed in compliance with this Court’s requirements (see “”Motions” section for further direction) (Page 2)
3. When it is established by stipulation or verified motion that there is a history of domestic violence that would compromise the mediation process. (see ""Motions” section for further direction) (Page 2)
4. The issues set forth in the “Magistrate” section below under “Refer to Magistrate PRIOR to mediation being completed.” (Page 2)
5. Motion for Temporary Relief (Page 2)
6. Non-Title IV-D Child Support. It is not necessary to complete mediation before filing a Notice for Trial. (Page 4)
2Hon. Maria Ruhl1. This Court allows a Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Costs to proceed on the issue of entitlement only. Following the hearing and if entitlement is found, this Court requires mediation as to the issue of amount (Page 6)1. Civil contempt/enforcement issues. Magistrates may recommend that pro se matters filed as “contempt/enforcement” attend mediation if the matter requires further clarification which may be accomplished through mediation prior to litigation. (Page 11)Yes (Pages 6, 11)Yes (Order)/ No (Motion)No (Order) /No (Motion)Yes
2. All temporary issues/matters must be mediated prior to any court hearing. If mediation is unsuccessful, the parties are to set the matter for hearing before the Magistrate. (Page 9)2. Discovery-related issues (i.e., compel, protective order, objection to interrogatories, etc.). These motions must comply with the requirements of Local Rule 5. (Page 11)
3. With limited exceptions, mediation is required in all cases for all issues before scheduling any hearing before the Court or Magistrate/Non-Title IV-D hearing officer. (Page 11)3. Motions directed to the pleadings (i.e., amend, strike, default, dismiss, set aside, etc.) (Page 11)
4. Mediation must be completed and a Mediation Report filed with the Clerk before counsel can submit a Notice for Trial (Page 14)4. Where there is an established history of domestic violence (either by stipulation or verified motion) that would compromise the mediation process. (Page 11)
5. Uncontested matters (i.e., name change, dissolution, etc.) (Page 11)
6. After a default has been entered against the opposing party (Financial Affidavit must still be filed if seeking support). (Page 11)
7. By Court order allowing an exception based on hardship, emergency or other exigent circumstances pursuant to a written motion filed in compliance with these requirements. (Requires Sworn Motion justifying exception, Court will then whether to waive mediaiton requirement) (Page 11)
3Hon. Kevin Bruning1. Parties are required to mediate all contested matters or issues before a motion for temporary relief is heard and prior to trial, except when excused by the Court. (Page 15)1. Uncontested causes of action (i.e., name change, uncontested dissolution, when respondent has been defaulted, etc.). (Pate 15)Yes. (Page 15)Yes (Order)/ No (Motion)No (Order) /No (Motion)Yes
2. Mediation is required prior to trial. Should a party desire NOT to participate in mediation, a motion will need to be filed and a hearing held. (Page 19)2. When the Court waives mediation, upon verified motion and hearing, because of a hardship, emergency, or history of domestic violence between the parties that would compromise the mediation process. (Page 15)
3. Issues referred to the Magistrate for which the Magistrate does not require mediation. (Page 15)
4Hon. Teresa K. Dees1. Before scheduling an evidentiary, non-emergency, hearing with the Judge or the Magistrate/Non-Title IV-D hearing officer, mediation is required on all issues (Page 2)1. An uncontested cause of action (i.e., name change, uncontested dissolution, when respondent has been defaulted, etc.) (Page 2)No (Page2)Yes (Order)/ No (Motion)No (Order) /No (Motion)Yes
2. Mediation is required in all cases unless waived by order of the court and must be completed prior to trial. A trial order may be vacated if mediation has not been completed or scheduled by the time of the Pre Trial Conference. (Page 6)

It is not necessary to complete mediation before filing a Notice for Trial. (Page 6)
2. A Court order allowing an exception based on a hardship upon motion filed in compliance with this Court’s requirements (see “”Motions” section for further direction) (Page 2)
3. When it is established by stipulation or verified motion that there is a history of domestic violence that would compromise the mediation process. (see “”Motions” section for further direction) (Page 2)
4. The issues set forth in the “Magistrate” section below under “Refer to Magistrate PRIOR to mediation being completed.” (Page 2)
5. Motion for Temporary Relief (Page 2)
6. Non-Title IV-D Child Support. It is not necessary to complete mediation before filing a Notice for Trial. (Page 4)
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