Third DCA: Foster Parents cannot access the entire file

The facts are simple: foster parents moved for party status, and the trial court partially granted them access to the entire court file. The mother (not TPR’d), joined by the GAL Program (for the children) and an AAL for another half-sibling, petitioned for cert alleging violation of privacy and lack of statutory basis. DCF took […]

Oral Argument on Notice and Hearing gets Real

Court: Florida Third DCA Judges: Emas, Rothenberg, Fernandez Attorneys: Kevin Colbert for Father, Karla Perkins for DCF Issue: Trial court entered a TOS order with a no-contact for out-of-state father without notice and hearing. The father’s TPR by default was previously reversed in F.M. v. State Dept. of Children & Families, 95 So. 3d 378 (Fla. […]

Here’s what the Fourth DCA did with the amended reunification statute, section 39.522

After years of confusion on what to do on a motion for reunification when you have a “charged” parent who completed a case plan and an “uncharged” parent who was given custody, on July 1, 2013 the reunification statute was amended to include the following language: In cases where the issue before the court is […]

Recreational marijuana use isn’t a defense to TPR, yet

Apparently I missed this in November: the Fourth DCA responded to a father’s defense that his marijuana use was only “recreational.” The father never received a negative drug screen during the pendency of this case, he admitted at trial to continuing to smoke marijuana “recreationally,” and he failed to complete the required outpatient program before […]