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Joseph
Joseph, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have over a decade of experience as a Family Law litigator
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Hello Joseph, Son is filing an answer pro se to a petition

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Hello Joseph, Son is filing an answer pro se to a petition in Orange County. We have researched the judge and found she is very impatient with those who do not admit evidence properly. Son has photos of texts, call logs downloaded from phone carrier, drug test, etc to show proof that she is lying. How do we properly submit these to the court? Should we file with answer, or present at hearing? If presented at hearing...what is the proper procedure please?

Good morning and thank you for sending this to my attention. So then....

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There is no need, or purpose, in attaching any evidence to the answer. As I think we discussed previously, an answer is merely meant to "admit" or "deny" the allegations within the petition. In fact, Florida rules of civil procedure require a "short and plain statement" admitting or denying those allegations, there is no requirement in the law for evidence at that time.

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The time to submit evidence to the court is during any hearings or trials. While each item of evidence may have a somewhat different mechanism for having it admitted into evidence, there are a few general actions that will typically apply.

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If your son has any evidence of conversations between himself and the other party, he can admit those through his testimony or through the other party. As examples, if he has text messages or emails, he would want to print those out and take them to court. Then, he could have either party testify that they recognize the documents as conversations between the two of them and then ask the judge to accept them into evidence.

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Documents coming from someone else are a bit different. Using the "call logs" and "drug test" as examples, your son would need a bit of help from the entities that provided the relevant documents. You would typically use what is referred to as the "records custodian" for the appropriate entity. As an example, your son might have whatever person at the drug testing facility that creates or maintains those documents come to court to authenticate them.

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As an easier route, Florida rules permit a party to have the witness fill out an affidavit stating that these records are kept in the normal course of their business and they are an accurate record of the business conducted. Your son should check with the Orange County clerk of court, the clerk may very well have a template document for just this thing. He can contact the clerk directly and ask if they have a template records custodian affidavit, my guess is that they'll have such a document. I checked their website and didn't see one there....sorry.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Joseph, that is very helpful. Yes, I should have reviewed prior questions.


Next question, son has filed motion for contempt and for guardian et litem in Miami dade after fw filed her petition in orange. Her attorney has filed a motion to dismiss or transfer to orange county. He has sited case law, that I have verified, that ruled in favor of. With that said, he just wants to get this heard as soon as possible. Can my son just go ahead and transfer it to orange county himself...or can he file new motions in orange county before the dismiss motion in Miami is heard?

Well, he can't actually "transfer it to orange county himself". However, he can take steps to speed up the process. If he wants to move forward quickly, he should consider contacting the former wife's attorney and let him know that he will stipulate to the transfer. The attorney can then draft some paperwork to make the transfer happen more quickly.

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I hope you found my answer helpful. If so, please click on "OK", "Good" or "Excellent" service. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Even if you are a subscription member, you will need to click on one of the positive indicators. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed.
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If you are not yet satisfied with my answer, please do not yet rate my service. Instead, please click on the "Reply to Expert" and let me know what else I can do for you. Please only rate my answer when you are fully satisfied.
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Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.
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Leaving a bonus is not required but doing so is certainly appreciated! Thank you and good luck.

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