S.M. v. Department of Children and Families, 188 So.3d 982 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016)

Father appealed termination of his parental rights to T.H. The Fifth District Court of Appeal (Fifth DCA) affirmed termination.

When T.H. was two years old, Father was found guilty by reason of insanity of homicide and involuntarily committed. He remained institutionalized almost continuously since then. T.H. was adjudicated dependent in 2011. Four years later, T.H. began having monthly visits with Father in the state hospital. Testimony at the termination trial was that Father needed continued hospitalization and would not be considered for release due to his aggression and the threat to himself and others.

The Fifth DCA found multiple statutory grounds to base termination of Father’s parental rights. The Fifth DCA did note that one subsection however, Florida Statute § 39.806(1)(e), only appeared to address the Mother’s actions and was not pled in the petition as to the Father. The case was remanded to amend the final judgment accordingly.

Read the Opinion