The Power of Experts in Child Welfare Law

The basis of the petition to terminate the mother’s rights was the alleged insufficiency of her attempts to keep the children’s mentally ill and highly abusive father from her home and away from the children. There is no allegation that the mother has otherwise harmed her children or has not provided for their care. With […]

“Judicial Event Horizon” – Dual Maternity in Florida

A lesbian couple has a baby (one supplies the eggs, one supplies the womb), raises it, and eventually separates. The birth mother runs to Australia. The biological mother seeks to assert parental rights. Our analysis reveals that there is nothing in chapter 742, and specifically section 742.14, that addresses the situation where the child has both […]

This is what happened at the Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs

The Florida Senate’s Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs convened on December 7, 2011. A link to the committee’s page, along with audio of the hearing, is here: Notable events: Senate Bill 434 to modify the IL Program to an extended foster care model was approved. Alan Abramowitz presented on the GAL Program’s NICE […]

Dependency Oral Argument: A.F. v. DCF (Fla. 3rd DCA)

While I wish the issue was a little more interesting, I’m excited that this is the first dependency appellate oral argument I can bring you. Concept proven. Court: Florida Third District Court of Appeal Judges: Salter, Fernandez, Shepherd Attorneys: Kevin Colbert for the mother; Karla Perkins for DCF Issue: Whether the trial court’s dependency order […]

Fifth DCA Says No New Law Violations is a Reasonable Case Plan Task

We fully agree with the C.N. panel’s well-reasoned conclusion that breach of a no new law violation condition, standing alone, is insufficient to terminate parental rights. But, we disagree with the conclusion, in dicta, that no such condition may be imposed in the first place, or that doing so violates the separation of powers doctrine. S.S. v. […]

What will the Florida Senate’s Committee on Children and Families Discuss Tomorrow?

According to their meeting packet, the following should be interesting: SB 434’s changes to the IL Program (creating extended foster care for $0); SB 202’s changes to the Florida Safe Harbor Act (concerning sexual exploitation shelters); A presentation by the GAL Program (mostly concerning their new pilot on driving children [ed.: chauffeur ad litem?]); and OPPAGA’s review […]