Retroactivity and 39.806(1)(l)

In re A.R.
— So.3d —-, 2012 WL 3709010
Fla.App. 2 Dist.,2012.
August 29, 2012 (Approx. 2 pages)

We review de novo the trial court’s interpretation of section 39.806(1)( l ), and we conclude that the trial court erred as a matter of law in determining that it was precluded from considering out-of-home placements that preceded the effective date of the statute. Here, the most recent out-of-home placement which triggered the Department’s termination petition occurred after the enactment of section 39.806(1)( l ). And because the pivotal removal occurred after the effective date of July 1, 2008, a consideration of out-of-home placements predating the statute does not constitute retroactive application of the statute. The plain language of section 39.806(1)( l ) permits the trial court to consider the history of prior out-of-home placements, and it does not preclude a consideration of out-of-home placements predating the effective date of the statute.

Like other statutory provisions recognizing the danger posed by repetitive bad behavior, section 39.806(1)( l ) was designed to protect children when parents continually engage in conduct warranting out-of-home placement…. [And] there is nothing improper, retroactive, or violative of [a parent’s] rights in the [l]egislature’s decision to authorize the courts to consider additional factors when making termination of parental rights decisions. [Note: quoting Judge Hawkes in

This TPR ground has so many problems with it, but at least one of them now has an answer: as long as one of the removals happened after July 1, 2008, there’s no question of retroactivity.

 

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