Who determines probable cause under the Keeping Children Safe Act?

Not the dependency court holding the hearing:

[T]he KCSA [does not] authorize a court to revisit a probable cause determination that has been made. It is not the responsibility of a court in a KCSA hearing to re-determine whether there was probable cause; rather, the responsibility of the court is to determine whether a court of competent jurisdiction has found probable cause, and then to allow the caregiver to present clear and convincing evidence to rebut the statutory presumption that flows from the probable cause determination.

DCF v. P.F., — So.3d —- (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).

This increased KCSA case law by 50%. The two previous holdings were:

  • KCSA doesn’t apply in dissolution of marriage proceedings. Leneve v. Leneve, 64 So.3d 196 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011); Mahmood v. Mahmood, 15 So.3d 1 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009).
  • KCSA doesn’t apply to kids who haven’t been sexually abused. In re S.C.,  83 So.3d 883 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2012) (because the legislature doesn’t know how to write a good legislative purpose–please someone fix this).

I can’t believe no parent has raised constitutionality yet. Give it time.

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