Judicial Officers

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General Magistrates

General magistrates are widely utilized in Florida’s trial courts to assist the judiciary in the effective and timely disposition of cases. They are appointed by the chief judge to hear cases and make findings of fact and recommendations in a General Magistrate’s Report to judges in the Family, Circuit Civil, Juvenile and Probate Divisions. Once the general magistrate has filed a report with the sitting judge, either party in the case may appeal by making exceptions to the general magistrate’s findings and recommendations. If there are no exceptions to the report, the judge generally enters an order approving the decision of the general magistrate.

Hearing Officers

Child Support Hearing Officers are  appointed by the Chief Judge in each circuit to expeditiously handle child support issues, including establishment, modification and enforcement of child support.   When a child support matter is filed, the Clerk of Court refers the matter to the Hearing Officer.   The Hearing Officer sets a hearing, takes testimony, makes a record, and submits a recommended order to the Court. Any party affected by the order may file a Motion to Vacate within 10 days, and may move to modify at any time.