Second DCA: Grandparent Standing and Limiting the Keeping Children Safe Act

Section 39.01(51), Florida Statutes (2010), defines “party” to include “the petitioner.” Because the grandparents are petitioners in the trial court, they are not “essentially” parties, they are parties. Thus, we determine that they have standing to challenge the order. In addition, the effect of the order is to prohibit the grandfather from living with his wife, which […]

The Power of Experts in Child Welfare Law

The basis of the petition to terminate the mother’s rights was the alleged insufficiency of her attempts to keep the children’s mentally ill and highly abusive father from her home and away from the children. There is no allegation that the mother has otherwise harmed her children or has not provided for their care. With […]

“Judicial Event Horizon” – Dual Maternity in Florida

A lesbian couple has a baby (one supplies the eggs, one supplies the womb), raises it, and eventually separates. The birth mother runs to Australia. The biological mother seeks to assert parental rights. Our analysis reveals that there is nothing in chapter 742, and specifically section 742.14, that addresses the situation where the child has both […]

Nonoffending Parents Given Fewer Rights than Offenders in Third DCA

The appellant is the mother of two children, K.B. (age nine at the time of the proceedings below) and A.V. (age three). She appeals an order denying her motion for reunification with K.B. in a circuit court dependency case following her substantial compliance with the tasks in her case plan. She has also appealed orders […]

City of Orlando v. Pineiro: What not to Say in Closing Argument

City of Orlando v. Pineiro — So.3d —-, 2011 WL 3359613 Fla.App. 5 Dist.,2011. August 05, 2011 (Approx. 7 pages) My honest thanks to the Fifth DCA for publishing a whole opinion on improper closing argument. My tongue-in-cheek thanks to anonymous counsel for making it possible. Improper arguments covered in the opinion include: golden rule […]