Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Procedure

On a basic level, getting the court to order the relief you want starts with filing in the correct court. If you file your case in the wrong court, you may face frustrating delays and wasted filing fees. The case Nunez-Miller v. MIller, 209 So.3d 619 illustrates this point. 

The former wife and former husband were married in Miami, but approximately 1.5 years later, they moved to Germany. The parties separated in Germany where the Wife obtained a final judgment of dissolution of marriage granting her sole parental custody of the parties' child. After the parties' separation, the former husband moved to Seminole County, Florida and the former Wife subsequently relocated to Miami, Florida. 

In 2015, the former husband filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in Seminole County along with an emergency motion for a pick-up order. He later filed a petition to register a foreign judgment, in response to which the former wife filed a motion to transfer venue to Miami-Dade County. The trial court denied the former wife's motion which the wife appealed. 

In reversing the trial court's denial of the former wife's motion, the appellate court noted that the Florida Statutes state an action to domesticate a foreign judgment must be filed in the county in which the responding party resides. The statutes further state the proper venue for modification of a parenting plan is the circuit court in the county in which the parent and the child reside. Under both rules, venue was proper in Miami-Dade County where the former wife resided. 

Because the appellate court ruled the former husband's petitions filed in Seminole County were dismissed, he likely lost his filing fees paid for the petitions and now must refile his case in Miami-Dade County. A consultation with a Miami family law attorney may help you decide the best way to proceed with filing your case so that you can avoid similar loss of time and money.