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Judicial Developments Related to the 2012 Legislative Session

There have just been two major judicial decisions dealing with recent legislative changes. These include the recent Florida Supreme Court decision finding the Senate’s redistricting map unconstitutional and the decision by a Leon County Circuit Judge finding unconstitutional the requirement that members of the State Retirement System contribute 3% of their salaries to the pension fund. I. The Florida Supreme Court Rejects Senate’s Redistricting Map, and Confirms House Map by 5-2 vote. In a 234-page ruling written by Justice Pariente, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the Senate Redistricting map was unconstitutional, but that the House map met the c0nstitutional requirements....

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Recent Changes In Florida’s Power Of Attorney Law

Effective October 1, 2011 the requirements for a valid power of attorney in Florida changed. These changes have significant impact on estate planning issues and on how powers of attorney can be used. The following changes have been made to Florida statute 709, Florida’s power of attorney statute: 1. An individual can no longer make a “springing” power of attorney. A springing power of attorney is a power of attorney that becomes effective in the event of disability or some future event such as incapacity. There is an exception for certain military powers of attorney that become effective upon active enrollment in...

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Paying Child Support Through The State Is Good For The Payor & Payee

When a family law case concludes and a child support obligation is ordered an income deduction is almost always entered at the same time. Once that income deduction order goes into effect, one person's wages are garnished, that support payment is sent up to Tallahassee, and the State Disbursement Unit processes the payment and sends it down to the recipient. This process is cumbersome and many people do not like it. Most child support payors are offended and embarrassed to learn that their wages will be garnished. Then insult is added to injury when they are required to pay fees to...

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What is a Quiet Title Action?

A quiet title action is a lawsuit that is brought in circuit court to clear a party’s title to real property. The purpose of a quiet title action is to eliminate all claims to title, which might stand in the way of a title insurance company issuing a clear title insurance policy. Liens, claims by prior owners, and other matters affecting title are called "clouds" on title. The purpose of a quiet title action is to eliminate any of these "clouds" on title. Quiet title actions can be used in a number of different situations. For example, they are often used...

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Nonjudicial Foreclosures: Are They Coming to Florida?

In September 2011, presentations were given to both the Florida House and the Florida Senate encouraging them to pass legislation implementing nonjudicial foreclosures. Currently, between 25 and 37 states have some form of nonjudicial foreclosure. The only method of foreclosure now available in Florida, however, is a judicial foreclosure. What is the difference between a nonjudicial and a judicial foreclosure? A judicial foreclosure requires the lender to file a lawsuit and to pursue that lawsuit through the courts. This means that the foreclosure must follow the procedural rules applicable to litigation. For example, the debtor must be personally served with the foreclosure...

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