RULE 8.240.   COMPUTATION, CONTINUANCE, EXTENSION, AND ENLARGEMENT OF TIME

(a)    Computation. Computation of time is governed by Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.514, except for rules 8.300 and 8.305, to which rule 2.514(a)(2)(C) does not apply and the statutory time period governs.

(b)    Enlargement of Time. When by these rules, by a notice given under them, or by order of court an act is required or allowed to be done at or within a specified time, the court for good cause shown, within the limits established by law, and subject to the provisions of subdivision (d) of this rule, may, at any time, in its discretion (1) with or without notice, order the period enlarged if a request is made before the expiration of the period originally prescribed or as extended by a previous order, or (2) on motion made and notice after the expiration of the specified period permit the act to be done when the failure to act was the result of excusable neglect. The court may not, except as provided by law or elsewhere in these rules, extend the time for making a motion for new trial, for rehearing, or vacation of judgment, or for taking an appeal. This rule does not apply to shelter hearings.

(c)    Time for Service of Motions and Notice of Hearing. A copy of any written motion that may not be heard ex parte and a copy of the notice of hearing must be served a reasonable time before the time specified for the hearing.

(d)    Continuances and Extensions of Time.

(1)    A motion for continuance, extension, or waiver of the time standards provided by law and found in this rule must be in writing and signed by the requesting party. On a showing of good cause, the court must allow a motion for continuance or extension to be made ore tenus at any time during the proceedings.

(2)    A motion for continuance, extension, or waiver of the time standards provided by law must not be made in advance of the particular circumstance or need that would warrant delay of the proceedings.

(3)    A motion for continuance, extension, or waiver of the time standards provided by law must state all of the facts that the movant contends entitle the movant to a continuance, extension, or waiver of time including:

(A)    the task that must be completed by the movant to preserve the rights of a party or the best interests of the child who is the subject of the proceedings;

(B)    the minimum number of days absolutely necessary to complete this task; and

(C)    the total number of days the proceedings have been continued at the request of any party within any 12-month period.

(4)    These time limitations do not include the following:

(A)    Periods of delay resulting from a continuance granted at the request of the child’s counsel or the child’s guardian ad litem or, if the child is of sufficient capacity to express reasonable consent, at the request of or with the consent of the child.

(B)    Periods of delay because of unavailability of evidence that is material to the case if the requesting party has exercised due diligence to obtain the evidence and there are substantial grounds to believe that the evidence will be available within 30 days. However, if the requesting party is not prepared to proceed within 30 days, any other party may move for issuance of an order to show cause or the court on its own motion may impose appropriate sanctions, which may include dismissal of the petition.

(C)    Periods of delay to allow the requesting party additional time to prepare the case and additional time is justified because of an exceptional circumstance.

(D)    Reasonable periods of delay necessary to accomplish notice of the hearing to the parent or legal custodian.

(5)    Notwithstanding subdivision (4), proceedings may not be continued or extended for more than a total of 60 days within any 12-month period. A continuance or extension of time standards beyond 60 days in any 12-month period may be granted only on a finding by the court of extraordinary circumstances and that the continuance or extension of time standards is necessary to preserve the constitutional rights of a party or that there is substantial evidence demonstrating that the child’s best interests will be affirmatively harmed without the granting of a continuance or extension of time.