R.M. v. State, Dept. of Children and Families, 2016 WL 6476935 (Fla. 4th DCA)

Mother and Father appealed an order adjudicating their children dependent based on neglect, abuse and imminent risk of neglect and/or abuse. The Fourth District Court of Appeal (Fourth DCA) affirmed adjudication based on neglect but reversed as to all other findings. The Fourth DCA found substantial evidence was presented as to an ongoing rat infestation […]

In re J.H., 2016 WL 6777133 (Fla. 2nd DCA)

The Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL) appealed an order dismissing a dependency petition for two siblings while adjudicating the third sibling. The Second District Court of Appeal (Second DCA) reversed dismissal of the two petitions finding the trial court failed to recognize the nexus between the severe abuse of Le.H. and the substantial risk of […]

In re N.L., 210 So. 3d 1288 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2016)

Father appealed an order adjudicating his child dependent. The Second District Court of Appeal reversed. The trial court found the child to be dependent as to Father solely based on Father’s failure to comply with a case plan for older children previously found dependent. No evidence was presented that the child was at “substantial risk of imminent abuse,abandonment […]

B.J. v. Department of Children and Families, 2016 WL 1578492 (Fla. 3rd DCA)

Mother appealed an order of adjudication and disposition of dependency. The Third District Court of Appeal (Third DCA) reversed adjudication.Mother and Father were spending the weekend in a hotel with their two children. Mother co-slept with the children, while Father slept on a pull-out sofa. Mother awoke and found their 4 month old child cold […]

In re B.Y.G.M., 176 So. 3d 290 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2015)

B.Y.G.M. appealed dismissal of her private petition for dependency on the basis of abandonment and neglect by her father. The Third District Court of Appeal (Third DCA) affirmed. B.Y.G.M. was abandoned by her father when she was eight months old in El Salvador. She lived with her grandparents until she fled to the United States […]

In re K.B.L.V., 176 So. 3d 279 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2015)

K.B.L.V. appealed dismissal of his private petition for dependency based upon abandonment. The Third District Court of Appeal (Third DCA) affirmed. K.B.L.V. was seventeen years old when he filed a private petition for dependency. At the time, he was living with his mother in Florida. It was undisputed that his father abandoned him in Honduras. […]

In re YV., 2015 WL 1578561 (Fla. 1st DCA)

This appeal follows dismissal of a private petition for dependency on behalf of a minor child who illegally emigrated alone from Honduras to the United States. Y.V. was abused and abandoned by his parents in Honduras. He crossed the Mexico-United States border alone, was picked up by “authorities,” who contacted his uncle in Florida. Uncle […]

E.R. v. Department of Children and Families, 143 So. 3rd 1131 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014)

The Fourth District Court of Appeal (Fourth DCA) reversed the trial court’s order adjudicating Mother and Father’s children dependent. Specifically, the Fourth DCA (in E.R.) held that the trial court’s finding that Mother “placed both the minor children at imminent risk of neglect and harm” was not supported by “competent, substantial evidence.” The underlying case was […]

A.J. v. Department of Children and Families, 111 So.3d 980 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013)

The father appealed the trial court’s dependency adjudication of his daughter. She was born prematurely and had significant health problems, which required intensive medical involvement. The Department of Children and Families (department) based their dependency petition on the parent’s neglect of the child’s extensive medical needs and her failure to thrive.  The parent had failed […]

In re A.P., 135 So.3d 541 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014)

The father appealed the trial court’s order adjudicating his children dependent based upon an unsecured gun being found in the home.   The Second District Court of Appeal (Second DCA) reversed the dependency adjudication holding the “application of § 39.01(15)(f) requires “the necessity of a continuing risk-not just a risk that existed sometime in the […]

J.O. v. Department of Children and Families, 2014 WL 3534231 (Fla. 5th DCA)

Father appealed the trial court’s decision finding his son dependent.  Although the Fifth District Court of Appeal (Fifth DCA) affirmed most of the dependency order, the Fifth DCA reversed the portion of the decision that prohibited all contact between Father and son until Father’s release from incarceration.  All contact, including telephonic, was prohibited by the […]

H.C. v. Department of Children and Family Services and Guardian ad Litem Program, 141 So.3d 243 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014)

Father appealed an order adjudicating his children dependent based on a finding of abuse pursuant to § 39.01(2), Florida Statutes.   The Department Children and Family Services (Department) alleged abuse of Father’s two-year-old child based on “two purple-green, non-patterned bruises” and a “purple loop mark” on the child’s thigh.  Testimony at the dependency adjudication hearing was […]

In the Interest of J.S., 2014 WL 3674049 (Fla. 2nd DCA)

The Guardian ad Litem Program(GAL) appealed the trial court’s order modifying the child’s placement.  The GAL argued the trial court failed to consider whether the change of placement was in the child’s best interest.  The Second District Court of Appeal (Second DCA) agreed with the GAL. Although the trial court modified the child’s placement, nothing […]

K.S. v. Depart. of Children and Families, 136 So.3d 1289 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014)

The trial court found the children to be dependent based on the consent of Father.  No evidentiary hearing was held and no written findings were issued.  Mother had requested an evidentiary hearing within the statutory requirements but the trial court based the dependency solely on the father’s consent to dependency.  The First District Court of […]