First, we see no acceptable way for one to file a petition, acquiesce to the allegations of that petition, and thereby secure judicial relief. This is not a case or controversy and not, therefore, a basis for court action. The respondents base their position on the statutory language providing that “any … person with knowledge of the facts alleged,” not excluding a parent, may file a petition for dependency.See § 39.501(1), Fla. Stat. (2010). Reliance on that language to support the order below, however, just makes no sense. See Sch. Bd. of Palm Beach Cnty. v. Survivors Charter Sch., Inc., 3 So.3d 1220, 1235 (Fla.2009) (“We are not required to abandon either our common sense or principles of logic in statutory interpretation.”). A scenario in which the same person asks the court to act and then admits the need for that action, without more, simply does not legally confer authority upon it to do so. Rather than presenting a legally cognizable proceeding, it involves merely an unopposed request for the assistance of the court in a similar request to the responsible agency. When as here, the agency has already declined that request, it is wholly improper for the court to intervene.
Florida Dept. of Children and Families v. Y.C., — So.3d —-, 2012 WL 716091 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2012).
I wanted to get this posted, but I’m not sure what I think. I only hope this case does no damage to legitimate private dependency petitions. We may be unraveling (or ignoring) some of those footnotes for years.
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