Federal suit against Hillsborough child welfare employees allowed to go forward

A federal judge ruled this month that a lawsuit involving the 2012 death of Marie Freyre can go forward, denying various child welfare employees’ motions to dismiss. Judge James Whittemore (Tampa) ruled on December 5 that the mother stated valid claims that the child welfare employees violated her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation […]

Court orders DCF to pay for pro bono attorney’s travel costs. Appeal ensues.

This oral argument arises out of the pro bono representation of an extremely young girl–the parties say 11 years old at one point–placed in a lock-down residential treatment center out of state. The child’s attorney requested funds to visit the child in the other state. The court ordered DCF to pay for it, under the theory […]

Is an attorney ad litem a guardian ad litem?

This oral argument arises out of a termination of parental rights case in which the trial court appointed an attorney to “represent the best interests of the child.” The Guardian ad Litem Program had announced that it had a conflict and could not represent the child because it was already appointed to the child’s mother, who […]