It’s rare to see a pro se litigant win, especially at the appellate level, but this Mother most certainly did. This is definitely worth watching. For some reason only the audio recorded, so I’ve included a pleasant picture of the Third DCA for you to look at.
Court: Florida Third District Court of Appeal
Judges: Rothenberg, Salter, Schwartz
Attorneys: Kevin Colbert for the Father TR; Joseph Albury for Father JD; the Mother DC (pro se); Karla Perkins for DCF; Hillary Kambour for the GAL Program.
Issues: the extent to which a prior denied TPR is res judicata in a later filed petition for TPR; whether evidence of abandonment can per se fulfill the requirement that the TPR is in the manifest best interests of the child; whether there was sufficient evidence to support a TPR for abandonment; whether there was sufficient evidence to support the mother’s TPR for failing to comply with her case plan
Quotes: “He should have picked up the phone and called his son.” -Judge Rothenberg; “This is a TPR. You have to have a parent who has done something wrong.” -Judge Schwartz.
Prediction: Affirm both fathers’ TPRs and reverse the mother’s; however, if the court decides to consider the requirements for one-parent TPRs, then the fathers TPRs should be reversed as well.