Florida Division of Administrative Hearings Considers Amendments to Procedural Rules Applicable to Workers’ Compensation Adjudications Before Judges of Compensation Claims

Jul 11, 2012


The Florida Department of Management Services, Division of Administrative Hearings (“DOAH”) held a Rule Development Workshop on July 6, 2012 on proposed amendments to Rules 60Q-6.102 through 60Q-6.127, F.A.C., which are procedural Rules applicable to workers’ compensation adjudications before Florida’s judges of compensation claims. 

To view the Workshop notice, click here.

The proposed Rules are:

60Q-6.102: Definitions
60Q-6.103: Pleadings and Proposed Orders
60Q-6.107: Amendment and Dismissal of Petition for Benefits
60Q-6.108: Filing and Service
60Q-6.110: Mediation, Generally
60Q-6.115: Motion Practice
60Q-6.116: Prosecution of Claims and Petitions for Benefits
60Q-6.117: Emergency Conferences
60Q-6.123: Settlements Under Section 440.20(11), Florida Statutes
60Q-6.124: Payment of Attorney’s Fees and Costs Other Than Pursuant to Section 440.20(11), Florida Statutes
60Q-6.126: Disqualification or Recusal of Judges
60Q-6.127: Procedure for Relief from Appellate Filing Fee and Costs

To view the full text of the proposed Rules, click here.

Procedural rules for adjudication of workers’ compensation claims were implemented on February 23, 2003, pursuant Section 440.45, F.S. mandating that DOAH adopt them.  Previous amendments to the Rules were made in 2006 and 2010.  Since Sections 440.015 and 440.44(2), F.S. require that Florida’s workers’ compensation system be efficient and self-executing, and that the DOAH assume an active and forceful role in achieving that goal, the DOAH is amending the existing Rules accordingly.

After calling the Workshop to order, DOAH Chief Judge Robert Cohen introduced Deputy Chief Judy David Langham from the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims, who noted that the proposed amendments are an attempt to effectuate changes related to electronic service requirements and child support enforcement.

All concerned parties participating in the Workshop were in agreement that the proposed Rules should stipulate that attorneys who electronically file motions should be required to simultaneously email the documents to opposing counsel.  There also was discussion on which email address to use for opposing counsel.  It was suggested that attorneys provide a primary email address and two additional email addresses for backup. 

A representative of the Trial Bar also noted that there should be a requirement that an order should be entered for matters resolved through mediation or stipulation.  He added that, if the agreement is violated, there is no recourse.

Chief Judge Cohen indicated that record would remain open for the submission of comments or suggestions until the close of business on Monday, July 16, 2012.  He anticipates that the amended Rules will be published on, or about August 1, 2012. 

The hearing for these amended Rules will be held on Wednesday, August 22 during the annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference in Orlando.  To view the August 22 hearing notice, click here.


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