J.A.I. v. B.R., 2015 WL 404001 (Fla. 2d DCA)

J.A.I. and J.K.C. filed a petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of a trial court order requiring them and J.A.I.’s daughter to submit to genetic testing for the purpose of determining paternity. The Second District Court of Appeal (Second DCA) granted the writ finding that B.R. was precluded from challenging paternity.

J.A.I. and J.K.C. signed an acknowledgement of paternity on April 20, 2012. On June 26, 2012, B.R., filed a petition to determine paternity. He filed an amended petition on June 17, 2014. B.R. alleged that J.K.C. mistakenly believed he was the father of the child and was not aware that mother had a relationship with B.R. In between the signing of the acknowledgement and the filing of B.R.’s petition, J.A.I. and J.K.C. filed a petition seeking a declaratory judgment naming J.K.C. as the child’s father. The cases were consolidated and the court granted B.R.’s motion for genetic testing.

Florida Statute § 742.10(1) sets forth procedures for determining paternity when children are born out of wedlock. If an individual signs a notarized voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, the executed acknowledgement creates a rebuttable presumption of paternity. After sixty days, the acknowledgement can only be challenged “on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof upon the challenger. . . ” Florida Statute § 742.10(4).

Although B.R. alleged that J.K.C.’s acknowledgement was based on a mistake of fact, J.K.C. admitted in his petition for declaratory judgment that he was aware that B.R. claimed he was the child’s father. The Second DCA found that the acknowledgement was therefore not based on a material mistake of fact and B.R. had no statutory basis to challenge paternity.

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