Depositions in Florida
Depositions in Florida are discussed under Discovery requirements, Rule 3.220(h). In fact a deposition is referred to a a “Discovery Deposition” in the rules.
When Can you Schedule a Deposition?
According to the Rules you can schedule them any time after the filing of the charging document. However the rules require that the party taking a deposition give reasonable written notice to the other party AND also make a good faith effort to coordinate the date, time, and location of the depositions to accommodate the schedules of other parties and witnesses to be deposed.
Do you need permission by the Court to have depositions?
No, according to the Rules neither side is required to contact the judge and get permission before deposing category A witnesses.
Category C Witnesses:
Category C witnesses are not subject to deposition unless the court determines that the witness should be listed in another category. See Rule 3.220(h)(1)(C).
Videotape Requirement for Children under 16 years old:
The Rules require that if a child is under the age of 16, the deposition must be videotaped unless the Court says otherwise. The videotape requirement can also be applied to sensitive witnesses. For example where the witness has a fragile emotional strength, the judge may require that her deposition be videotaped.
Subpoenas Not Required for Law Enforcement Depositions:
According to the rules, a law enforcement officer must appear for a deposition with simply providing that law enforcement officer notice of the deposition delivered at the at address of the law enforcement agency.
Depositions in Misdemeanor Cases:
Per 3.220(h)(1)(D) no deposition shall be taken in a case which the defendant is charged with only a misdemeanor or a criminal traffic offense. Courts however may grant permission to conduct depositions in certain cases. Specifically, judges are to look at consequences to the defendant, the complexity of the testimony, and other opportunities available to the Defendant.