First DCA Still Requires Preservation of Sufficiency

J.F.S. appeals the termination of his parental rights. Because he failed to move for a judgment of dismissal after the presentation of the State’s evidence, or at any other time during the termination hearing, we affirm. K.J. ex rel. A.J. v. Dep’t of Children & Families, 33 So.3d 88, 89 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010); J.D. v. Dep’t of Children & Families, 825 So.2d 477 (Fla. 1st DCA 2002). We recognize, as we did in K.J.,that our holding requiring preservation of an evidentiary sufficiency issue under Florida Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.525(h) conflicts with decision of the Fourth and Fifth District Courts of Appeal in R.P. v. Dep’t of Children & Families, 49 So.3d 339 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010) andH.D. v. Dep’t of Children & Families, 964 So.2d 818 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007). We certify conflict with these decisions.

J.F.S. v. Department of Children and Families
— So.3d —-, 2012 WL 5870730
Fla.App. 1 Dist.,2012

Let us remember that there “is no effective assistance of counsel” in dependency cases (yet) and then steep in the double injustice that occurs when a parent on appeal is so strictly bound to the failure of his trial attorney to utter one sentence in the course of a trial.

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