Bill allows coordination between a child’s dependency and juvenile cases

first_img A bill to improve coordination when a child has simultaneous cases in more than one court and to clarify jurisdiction when a child moves out of a county has cleared its initial Senate committee.The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 124, by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville, with a 6-0 vote February 4. The measure addresses when juveniles are in multiple cases in one or more jurisdictions.“What this bill does, with the help of our friends at the Guardian ad Litem Program, is gives deference to a judge to take the best venue for where cases should be, bring them together if need be,” Bean said. “It also coordinates better notice to guardians ad litem, who can give judges more information about a child.”According to the staff analysis, the bill:• Allows guardianship proceedings for a dependent child or young adult in foster care to be in either the county where the child or young adult resides or the court that originally had jurisdiction. Current law gives jurisdiction to the court where the dependent resides, but the change will allow the original court to retain the case if the court and caseworkers are more familiar with the dependent’s needs. The analysis noted that sometimes a court with long experience dealing with a dependent loses jurisdiction when the dependent moves to another county or is placed in a home or program in another county.• Allows juvenile and dependency courts to receive information from additional sources.• Requires the Department of Juvenile Justice to provide notice to the dependency court, the Department of Children and Families, and if they are appointed, to guardian and attorney ad litems before transferring a juvenile from one program or facility to another.• Allows the Guardian ad Litem Program to be among those who serve on a community reentry team when a juvenile transitions from a residential commitment facility to adulthood.• Specifically allows attorney and guardian ad litems from a child’s dependency case to provide information to the court in a concurrent juvenile proceeding. The analysis noted that in November 2018, there were 1,003 “crossover” cases where a child was part of simultaneous dependency and juvenile proceedings and many had been moved to different counties or circuits.SB 124 had already passed the Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee and next goes to the Rules Committee.A similar measure in the House, HB 115, has been referred to the Civil Justice Subcommittee, the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, and the Judiciary Committee. Feb 13, 2019 Regular News Bill allows coordination between a child’s dependency and juvenile caseslast_img read more

Leaders urge Bar sections, divisions, and committees to hold all meetings virtually through February

first_imgLeaders urge Bar sections, divisions, and committees to hold all meetings virtually through February January Board of Governors meeting to be held remotely Facing the latest deadly surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bar leaders are “strongly urging” section, division, and committee chairs to hold all meetings virtually through the end of February.Bar leaders made the announcement after the Executive Committee met December 16 and decided that a January 28-29 Board of Governors meeting that was scheduled for Tallahassee would convene virtually instead.In a December 17 statement, President Dori Foster-Morales noted that new cases and positivity rates and hospitalizations have soared in Florida and are expected to remain high over the next several months.“I cannot stress enough to our section, division, and committee chairs how important this request to cancel all in-person meetings is when considering the health and safety of our members and our staff as a top priority,” Foster-Morales said. “This is not the time to reduce our vigilance in doing everything possible to prevent the spread of the virus. I also believe that we can be productive using Zoom and other virtual platforms that guarantee safety first and foremost.”Foster-Morales also urged Bar members to follow the recommendations of health officials.“As we await the wider distribution of the vaccine, the Florida Department of Health continues to advise practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing, wearing face covers in public, cleaning and disinfection of ‘high touch’ surfaces, and other measures listed here,” Foster-Morales said.Bar members should monitor the COVID-19 webpage,  where the Pandemic Recovery Task Force is providing extensive medical/health information and other pertinent information for Florida’s legal community, Foster-Morales said.“The Executive Committee will revisit this recommendation in February and communicate again with you at that time,” Foster-Morales said. Dec 18, 2020 By Jim Ash Senior Editor News in Photoslast_img read more