Filing Exceptions to Florida Family Law Magistrates’ Temporary Needs Reports and Recommendations

Jacksonville, Florida Courthouse

It is common for one or both parties to file a motion for temporary needs in Jacksonville Florida divorce actions. The reasons to file motions for temporary needs are discussed in detail in a prior post on this blog. But, what if you do not agree with a magistrate’s report and recommendations to the court? Can you appeal a magistrate’s temporary needs report and recommendations to the Court?  Yes, but the process is not referred to as an appeal, it is referred to as filing “exceptions.”

Exceptions are Time Sensitive

If a party chooses to file exceptions to a magistrate’s report and recommendations, exceptions must be filed within 10 days. If magistrate serves a report and recommendations by mail, Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.090(e) allows an additional five (5) days to file exceptions.  If a party misses the deadline, a court will not consider the party’s exceptions.

Providing a Record to the Court

The party who files exceptions must provide a transcript of the hearing before the magistrate to the court. The party who filed the exception must also pay for the cost of the transcript.   Due to the cost of the transcript, a party should carefully consider filing exceptions and the likelihood of the court ruling in the party’s favor.

Standard of Review of Temporary Needs Hearings

An exceptions hearing does not provide an opportunity to retry the case; in fact, the court is prohibited from receiving new evidence. The court’s role at an exceptions hearing is restricted to from a review of the evidence and a transcript of the temporary needs hearing to determine: 1) whether there was “competent, substantial evidence” to support the magistrate’s ruling, and 2) whether the magistrate’s legal conclusions are “clearly erroneous” or whether the magistrate misconceived the legal effect of the evidence.

Contact The Taylor Law Office

If you have questions about exceptions  to a magistrate’s report and recommendations in a Jacksonville, Florida divorce case, or divorce or family law, call your divorce attorney in Jacksonville, FL, Christopher (“Chris”) Taylor, at 904-339-5298 or contact Chris through this website.