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Florida's Sixth District Court of Appeal Establishes Practice Procedures

Florida's new appellate court, the Sixth District Court of Appeal, began operations on January 1, 2023. The Sixth DCA has jurisdiction over appeals from the Ninth (Orlando area), Tenth (Lakeland area), and Twentieth (Fort Myers/Naples area) Judicial Circuits, and is headquartered in Lakeland.

The Sixth DCA has issued its first set of administrative orders, governing a wide range of procedures.

Additional Briefing Requirements

Administrative Order 23-01 establishes additional briefing requirements. All merits briefs must contain a statement of the basis for jurisdiction in the court. If the appeal is of a final order, the statement must state the basis for claiming that the judgment or order being appealed is final. If the appeal is nonfinal, the statement must cite the rule or law allowing the nonfinal appeal, along with a concise statement of facts establishing jurisdiction.

Each issue presented in a merits brief must also contain a statement as to where in the record the issue on appeal was raised and ruled on. The applicable standard of review for each issue must also be identified.

Extensions of Time for Briefs

Administrative Order 23-03 allows parties to agree to extensions of time in most appeals by notice, rather than requiring a motion for extension of time. Parties may agree to extensions of time of up to 60 days on initial and answer briefs, and up to 30 days on reply briefs. Notices of agreed extension of time cannot be filed in appeals from adoptions, dependency, termination of parental rights, judicial waiver of parental notification and consent or consent only to termination of pregnancy, any expedited or emergency appeal, or in original proceedings.

Oral Argument

Administrative Order 23-02 allows parties to request remote video oral arguments in a request for oral argument. The request must state the reason for requesting remote video oral argument, and whether opposing counsel agrees. Oral arguments will be set for in-person argument unless the court grants a request for remote argument, or sets the case for remote argument on its own motion.

Administrative Order 23-06 establishes procedures for requesting continuances of oral argument.

Appellate Mediation

Administrative Order 23-07 implements an appellate mediation program. The parties will receive an automatic extension of all deadlines if the court issues a mediation questionnaire in the case. If the case is ordered to mediation, all appellate deadlines will tolled for up to 45 days until mediation is completed. If the case is not accepted for mediation, all deadlines will begin to run from the date the court notifies the parties that the case has not been accepted for mediation.


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