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L.C. v. DCF – Schizophrenia and Expedited TPRs

Court: Florida 3rd DCA

Judges: Shepherd, Logue, Schwartz

Attorneys: Kevin Colbert for the Father, Karla Perkins for DCF, Hillary Kambour for GAL Program.

Issue: Did substantial competent evidence support expedited TPR for a father with schizophrenia?

Thoughts: Expedited TPRs for treatable/manageable conditions are always tricky because there is always a possibility, no matter how remote, that some treatment will work. I once had an expert in a TPR trial testify unexpectedly to an experimental procedure used in Switzerland (or somewhere) that had achieved good results. But the procedure wasn’t approved for use in the US. The question is what threshold of reasonable expectation of benefit do we require? Bright-line rules are difficult. There is always a doctor who is willing to try one more thing. There is always a judge who has had enough.

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