WHEREAS, on March 9, 2018, Governor Rick Scott signed into law the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act,” which, among other things, created section 790.40 I, Florida Statutes, titled “Risk Protection Orders”;
WHEREAS, this new statute creates Risk Protection Orders, which allows law enforcement officers and agencies to petition to a circuit court to order that a violent or mentally ill individual immediately surrender any firearms or ammunition in his or her possession and from purchasing firearms or ammunition;
WHEREAS, this statute also requires the Office of the State Courts Administrator to develop and prepare the necessary forms to be used statewide by January 1,2019;
WHEREAS, in accordance with the authority vested in the chief judge by Article V, section 2(d) of the Florida Constitution; section 43 .26, Florida Statutes; and Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.2 15.
It is hereby ORDERED:
Any petitions filed by law enforcement seeking a risk protection order will be assigned to and handled by the Chief Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit to promote uniformity of procedure and compliance with the strict time limitations contained in the statute.
The statute provides that the circuit court must consider petitions seeking a temporary risk protection order, by holding an ex parte hearing, on the day the petition is filed or the next business day. However, if emergency circumstances warrant immediate consideration of a petition seeking a temporary ex parte risk protection order during non-business hours, law enforcement shall attempt to contact the Chief Judge, the local judge, or the duty judge for immediate review.
If the Chief Judge is unavailable to timely consider a petition seeking a temporary risk protection order, the petition shall be presented to the local judge or duty judge, who will handle the request for a temporary risk protection order and set the compliance hearing and final hearing before the Chief Judge in accordance with the dates and times set forth in this Administrative Order.
Compliance hearings, to ensure that a respondent has complied with either a temporary or final risk protection order by surrendering all of his or her firearms and ammunition, will be held in the Columbia County Courthouse, in Judge Coleman’s healing room, on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m., and on Fridays at 9:00 a.m. The parties may appear via Polycom, which is available at each of the local courthouses.
Hearings for final risk protection orders will be held every other Friday at 9:00 a.m., as needed. Consult the Third Judicial Circuit Master Calendar, available at http://www.jud3.ficourts.org/Calendar Master.html, to determine which Fridays these hearings will be held on. These hearings will be held in Judge Coleman’s hearing room for all cases arising in Columbia County.
Until the Office of the State Courts Administrator releases the official forms for risk protection orders, the attached forms shall be used to seek risk protection orders and to motion to vacate a risk protection order. Both also include a cover page with brief instructions.
DONE in Columbia County, Florida, on April 4, 2018.