K.B. v. Florida Department of Children and Families, 2016 WL 5804144 (Fla. 3rd DCA)

K.B., 17 year old dependent child, sought insurance of a writ of certiorari to quash an order directing K.B. to submit to an assessment by the Juvenile Addiction Receiving Facility (JARF) and to be transported by secure transport to the assessment. The Department of Children and Families (Department) concedes the order was issued without a proper petition and in violation of K.B.’s due process. The Third District Court of Appeal (Third DCA) granted the petition and quashed the order.

K.B. appeared for a dependency hearing scheduled to quash a pick up order. Prior to getting the child’s attorney on the phone, the court ordered the child to submit to a drug test. K.B. left the courtroom for a drug test while the court called her attorney. The GAL asked for the child to be sent to JARF for an assessment. The court responded that it would grant the request if K.B.’s test was positive. K.B. screened positive for marijuana and benzodiazepines. The court granted the GAL’s motion and directed K.B. to be transported securely for assessment. K.B.’s attorney objected.

The Marchman Act, Florida Statues §§ 397.675, 397.6811-397.6818, requires that a petition must be filed to request involuntary assessment and stabilization. The petition must include the petitioner’s basis for believing the respondent is substance abuse impaired and has lost the power of self-control. No such petition was filed in the instant case which violated K.B.’s due process.

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