● Jessica C. Tien, Esquire (trial and appellate counsel) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
● Norman Palumbo, Jr., Esquire (appellate counsel)
● Debra Salisbury, Esquire (adoption counsel)
COURSE: 4395-8 (Live presentation, or DVD CLE)
CLE CREDIT HOUR: 8.0 C.L.E.R. credit (includes 1.0 ethics)
0.5 Appellate Practice Certification
6.0 Marital and Family Law Certification
GENERAL: PROCEDURE OF DEPENDENCY AND TPR PETITIONS
By Jessica Tien, Esquire 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. (10 min. break)
Introduction of Chapter 39 Dependency and Termination of Parental Rights. Topics may include:
● Introduction of the juvenile dependency proceedings
● Florida Rule of Juvenile Procedures
● Chapter 39, Florida Statutes
UPDATE OF CASE LAW
By: Jessica C. Tien, Esquire 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 noon (30 min. break)
Presentation and interpretation of Chapter 39 Case Law Topics and Legal Advisories from the Department of Children and Families. Discussion
and question sessions to follow. Topics may include:
● Abortion: The trial court only need to find “sufficient maturity” to decide termination of pregnancy.
● Abandonment: parents’ incarceration is not abandonment.
● Abuse or neglect: Domestic violence in the presence of the children may (and may not) be “abuse”.
● Adoption: court has no jurisdiction to interfere with DCF adoptive parent selection.
● Appeals: Anders briefs do not extend to termination of parental rights proceedings.
● Advisory hearing: personal appearance is mandatory; telephonic appearance is personal appearance.
● Case Plan: admission of guilt as condition of case plan is reversible error.
● Children’s right to Confidentiality: a child may assert psychotherapist-patient privilege.
● Competent Counsel: parents have no right to competent counsel in dependency proceedings;
TPR proceedings require competency.
● Consent Pleas: court has to inquire as to parent’s voluntariness of the plea.
● Continuance: court has broad discretion on defaults and continuances.
Judicial economy and conveniences do not overshadow the parent’s right to due process.
Continuances to TPR trials are rights of the Child. Extension should not exceed 60 days.
● Corporal Punishment: reasonable corporal punishment is not abuse.
Bruising and swollen cheek is not abuse.
● “Dependency”: Having multiple residence/relocation, alone, is not a sufficient basis to adjudicate dependency.
● Domestic Violence: domestic violence in the presence of children supports finding of dependency... not always.
● Evidence: statements made 2 hours after incident is not excited utterance; medical records
● Foster Parent information: disclosure not permitted
● Guardian Ad Litem: court may reject guardian ad litem recommendation
● Hearsay: business record exception, child victim’s statements
● Imminent Risk of Harm: “impending and about to occur”.
● Incarcerated Parent: an incarcerated parent who took the necessary steps to find a suitable placement for her new born child is a non-
The subsequent removal of the child from the caretaker does not automatically deem the child dependent as to the incarcerated
● Interstate Compact Placement of Children (ICPC): filing of an out of state home study is required
prior to placement of children with parents out of state.
● Intervention: grandparents may intervene in adoption proceeding. This is a two-step process.
● Long Term Relative Placement - the amended case plan changing the goal to permanent guardianship/long term relative must include the
caretaker’s duties and responsibilities.
The caretaker should sign the case plan with an acknowledgment of the possibility of reunification with the parents after their
demonstration of change in circumstance and such change is in the best interest of the children.
● Manifest Best Interest: §39.810, Fla. Stat., applications
● Notice: procedure, reunification
● Non-Offending Father: best interest of the child is not a factor. Child must be placed with non-offending father with positive home study
unless such placement endangers the child’s safety.
● Order: legal sufficiency, finding of facts and inconsistencies
● Placement: change of placement, mediated agreement, non-offending parents, specific placement prohibited, residential treatment.
● Putative Father:
putative father has no standing to establish paternity where the child was born into an intact marriage.
● Privilege - Rule 90.503, child’s privilege waived by parents’ agreement.
● Re-Opening Case: Permanent placement is not to be modified unless the circumstances of the permanent placement are no longer in the
child’s best interest.
Compliance with the case plan may not be ground to reopen the case.
● Risk Assessment: abuse to one child is not automatic imputed abuse to the other child(ren).
● Sexual Abuse/Predator: parent’s sexual abuse upon one child does not by itself constitute a substantial risk of imminent abuse to the child’
● Subject Matter Jurisdiction: court lacks jurisdiction over the sibling residing out of state unless records show child’s home state has
● Successor Judge: a successor judge who did not hear the testimony at trial may not enter a final judgment unless the parties stipulate to a
decision, or court may hold another trial.
● Telephone Appearance: a blanket rule to prohibit telephonic appearance would be violation of the Rule 2.071(c).
● Termination of Parental Rights: appearance at advisory require personal appearance or otherwise default, closure of hearing during TPR
proceedings, continued contacts after TPR is discretionary by the court; TPR is reversed when the mother was not offer a case plan with goal of
● Termination of Supervision: a child must be returned to a parent’s custody for 6 months prior to the court termination supervision and
jurisdiction of the case.
● Third Party Standing: a third party has no standing to procure independent counsel to represent the children where guardian ad litem
objected to the representation.
● Legal Advisories on Indian Child Welfare Act, Suspected Illegal Aliens who are dependent, Relative Priority & failure to comply, Least
Restrictive Means standard, Interstate Compact Placement of Children home study.
● Writ of Certiorari. The standard of review on appeal is whether the trial court departed from the essential requirement of the law.
12:30 - 1:30 pm (one hour)
ADOPTION & STATUTORY AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 63
By Debra Salisbury, Esq. 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm (10 min. break)
[handout by lecturer]
By Jessica C. Tien, Esquire 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm (5 min. break)
● §751 Petition: petition for temporary custody by extended family member. Consent of the parents is important. If one of the parent objects,
the petitioner has the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence that the parent is unfit.
● Keep Children Safe Act: 39.0139, Fla. Stat.
POST TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS PROCEDURES
By: Norman Palumbo, Jr., Esquire 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (10 min. break)
Presentation of various options and procedures to follow after Termination of Parental Rights order has been issued. Topics may include:
● Writs. New statutes require the court appointed counsel to file all non-final appeals as a part of their role as trial counsel.
● Notice of Appeal. New statute requires the parents to sign on all Notice of Appeals filed by the court appointed counsels.
● OBJECTIONS. Very difficult to win on appeal unless the issues are preserved at trial.
To preserve the appellate issues at trial.... the trial counsel must OBJECT on the record.
● Administrative appellate procedures:
● Parties (include Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Program as appellee)
● Designation of the Court Reporter (Need all dates of the adjudicatory hearing to be listed),
● Directions to the Clerk (must include summons, notices and exhibits),
● Notice of Appeal (must be filed within 30 days of the order or final judgment)
● Motion for Extension of Time (must state whether opposing counsel objected or not object)
● Caption (title of the pleading; parents’ name in initials)
● Order Appointing Appellate Counsel (must be timely submitted... preferred to be appointed at the end of the trial)
● Certificate of Service (must serve upon the guardian ad litem program)
● Motion to Re-open: material change in circumstance, and the change is in the best interest of the child.
REPRESENTING CLIENTS & ROLE AS AN ATTORNEY AD LITEM
Ethics 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (10 min. break)
Presentation and discussion on legal representations of parents, children and the Department of Children and Families and their agents. Topics
● Conflict of Interests: representing more than one parents.
● Confidentiality: mandatory reporting of abuse by attorneys vs. attorney-client privilege
● Rules Regulating Florida Bar: how to handle statutory requirement of mandatory reporting of child abuse and Florida Bar regulating client
|2008 JUVENILE DEPENDENCY LAW SEMINAR
Stetson University College of Law*
1700 N. Tampa Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
Monday, June 11, 2008
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
* CLE is not affiliated with nor sponsored by Stetson Univ.