” But the statute clearly requires the trial court to first make a reasoned decision that reunification or adoption are not in the best interest of the child. See § 39.6221(1). Despite the language of the order, the court did not make that determination in this case and does not appear to have had a factual basis to have made such a determination. Subsection 39.6221(2) and rule 8.425(d) contain detailed requirements for the written order establishing a permanent guardianship. It is obvious that the legislature intends case specific explanations in such orders. Rule 8.425(d)(7) emphasizes the specific findings required when the permanent guardians are not relatives. A form order to assist judges in granting a permanent guardianship may be appropriate but not at the omission of the information that the statute requires the trial court to specify.”
“Although we conclude that the trial court’s decision to place the children in a permanent guardianship is supported by competent, substantial evidence, the order on appeal fails to contain or to reference the detailed findings required by section 39.6221(2)(a), Florida Statutes (2012).”
PRO TIP: If anyone is objecting, treat a permanency hearing or TOS hearing on permanent guardianship with the professional attention you would a TPR trial. Because to that parent, it is essentially a TPR trial.
Says the Fourth DCA: It’s not a conflict for a judge to order DCF to file a TPR petition, and then preside over that TPR trial, and then grant that TPR. D.A. v. Department of Children & Families, 2014 WL 464151 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) (Mem). Says me: Yes, the statute allows that, but if a goal of the justice system is to avoid the appearance of unfairness then it probably shouldn’t.