FROM FLORIDA STATUTES

DEFINITIONS

TITLE XLVI, CRIMES – FLORIDA STATUTES - CHAPTER 827.03 ABUSE, AGGRAVATED ABUSE, AND NEGLECT OF A CHILD PENALTIES

 

DEFINITIONS

TITLE V, JUDICIAL BRANCH – FLORIDA STATUTES - CHAPTER 39.0 PROCEEDINGS RELATED TO CHILDREN - DEFINITIONS

 

ABUSE

TITLE V, JUDICIAL BRANCH – FLORIDA STATUTES – CHAPTER 39.201 PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN - MANDATORY REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE, ABANDONMENT, OR NEGLECT; MANDATORY REPORTS OF DEATH; CENTRAL ABUSE HOTLINE

 

DEFINITIONS

TITLE VI, CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - STATUTE 61.503 DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE; SUPPORT; TIME-SHARING

CHAPTER 827.03 ABUSE, AGGRAVATED ABUSE, AND NEGLECT OF A CHILD PENALTIES

https://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2011/827.03

827.03 Abuse, aggravated abuse, and neglect of a child; penalties.—

(1) “Child abuse” means:

(a) Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child;

(b) An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; or

(c) Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.

A person who knowingly or willfully abuses a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2) “Aggravated child abuse” occurs when a person:

(a) Commits aggravated battery on a child;

(b) Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages a child; or

(c) Knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child.

A person who commits aggravated child abuse commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3)(a) “Neglect of a child” means:

1. A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child; or

2. A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.

Neglect of a child may be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission that results in, or could reasonably be expected to result in, serious physical or mental injury, or a substantial risk of death, to a child.

(b) A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4) For purposes of this section, “maliciously” means wrongfully, intentionally, and without legal justification or excuse. Maliciousness may be established by circumstances from which one could conclude that a reasonable parent would not have engaged in the damaging acts toward the child for any valid reason and that the primary purpose of the acts was to cause the victim unjustifiable pain or injury.

History.—s. 1, ch. 4721, 1899; s. 1, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3236, 3238; RGS 5069, 5071; s. 1, ch. 9331, 1923; CGL 7171, 7173; s. 1, ch. 65-113; s. 1, ch. 70-8; s. 940, ch. 71-136; s. 49, ch. 74-383; s. 30, ch. 75-298; s. 1, ch. 84-238; s. 8, ch. 96-322; s. 16, ch. 99-168; s. 1, ch. 2003-130.

Note.—Former s. 828.04.

Florida Stat 39.01 Definitions

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2015/39.01

39.01 Definitions.—When used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Abandoned” or “abandonment” means a situation in which the parent or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a parent or legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able, has made no significant contribution to the child’s care and maintenance or has failed to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with the child, or both. For purposes of this subsection, “establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship” includes, but is not limited to, frequent and regular contact with the child through frequent and regular visitation or frequent and regular communication to or with the child, and the exercise of parental rights and responsibilities. Marginal efforts and incidental or token visits or communications are not sufficient to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with a child. The term does not include a surrendered newborn infant as described in s. 383.50, a “child in need of services” as defined in chapter 984, or a “family in need of services” as defined in chapter 984. The incarceration, repeated incarceration, or extended incarceration of a parent, legal custodian, or caregiver responsible for a child’s welfare may support a finding of abandonment.

(2) “Abuse” means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual abuse, injury, or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.

(3) “Addictions receiving facility” means a substance abuse service provider as defined in chapter 397.

(4) “Adjudicatory hearing” means a hearing for the court to determine whether or not the facts support the allegations stated in the petition in dependency cases or in termination of parental rights cases.

(5) “Adult” means any natural person other than a child.

(6) “Adoption” means the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child where it did not exist, thereby declaring the child to be legally the child of the adoptive parents and their heir at law, and entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all the obligations of a child born to the adoptive parents in lawful wedlock.

(7) “Juvenile sexual abuse” means any sexual behavior by a child which occurs without consent, without equality, or as a result of coercion. For purposes of this subsection, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Coercion” means the exploitation of authority or the use of bribes, threats of force, or intimidation to gain cooperation or compliance.

(b) “Equality” means two participants operating with the same level of power in a relationship, neither being controlled nor coerced by the other.

(c) “Consent” means an agreement, including all of the following:

1. Understanding what is proposed based on age, maturity, developmental level, functioning, and experience.

2. Knowledge of societal standards for what is being proposed.

3. Awareness of potential consequences and alternatives.

4. Assumption that agreement or disagreement will be accepted equally.

5. Voluntary decision.

6. Mental competence.

Juvenile sexual behavior ranges from noncontact sexual behavior such as making obscene phone calls, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and the showing or taking of lewd photographs to varying degrees of direct sexual contact, such as frottage, fondling, digital penetration, rape, fellatio, sodomy, and various other sexually aggressive acts.

(8) “Arbitration” means a process whereby a neutral third person or panel, called an arbitrator or an arbitration panel, considers the facts and arguments presented by the parties and renders a decision which may be binding or nonbinding.

(9) “Authorized agent” or “designee” of the department means an employee, volunteer, or other person or agency determined by the state to be eligible for state-funded risk management coverage, which is assigned or designated by the department to perform duties or exercise powers under this chapter.

(10) “Caregiver” means the parent, legal custodian, permanent guardian, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare as defined in subsection (47).

(11) “Case plan” means a document, as described in s. 39.6011, prepared by the department with input from all parties. The case plan follows the child from the provision of voluntary services through any dependency, foster care, or termination of parental rights proceeding or related activity or process.

(12) “Child” or “youth” means any unmarried person under the age of 18 years who has not been emancipated by order of the court.

(13) “Child protection team” means a team of professionals established by the Department of Health to receive referrals from the protective investigators and protective supervision staff of the department and to provide specialized and supportive services to the program in processing child abuse, abandonment, or neglect cases. A child protection team shall provide consultation to other programs of the department and other persons regarding child abuse, abandonment, or neglect cases.

(14) “Child who has exhibited inappropriate sexual behavior” means a child who has been found by the department or the court to have committed an inappropriate sexual act.

(15) “Child who is found to be dependent” means a child who, pursuant to this chapter, is found by the court:

(a) To have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by the child’s parent or parents or legal custodians;

(b) To have been surrendered to the department, the former Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, or a licensed child-placing agency for purpose of adoption;

(c) To have been voluntarily placed with a licensed child-caring agency, a licensed child-placing agency, an adult relative, the department, or the former Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, after which placement, under the requirements of this chapter, a case plan has expired and the parent or parents or legal custodians have failed to substantially comply with the requirements of the plan;

(d) To have been voluntarily placed with a licensed child-placing agency for the purposes of subsequent adoption, and a parent or parents have signed a consent pursuant to the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure;

(e) To have no parent or legal custodians capable of providing supervision and care;

(f) To be at substantial risk of imminent abuse, abandonment, or neglect by the parent or parents or legal custodians; or

(g) To have been sexually exploited and to have no parent, legal custodian, or responsible adult relative currently known and capable of providing the necessary and appropriate supervision and care.

(16) “Child support” means a court-ordered obligation, enforced under chapter 61 and ss. 409.2551-409.2597, for monetary support for the care, maintenance, training, and education of a child.

(17) “Circuit” means any of the 20 judicial circuits as set forth in s. 26.021.

(18) “Comprehensive assessment” or “assessment” means the gathering of information for the evaluation of a child’s and caregiver’s physical, psychiatric, psychological, or mental health; developmental delays or challenges; and educational, vocational, and social condition and family environment as they relate to the child’s and caregiver’s need for rehabilitative and treatment services, including substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, developmental services, literacy services, medical services, family services, and other specialized services, as appropriate.

(19) “Concurrent planning” means establishing a permanency goal in a case plan that uses reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent, while at the same time establishing another goal that must be one of the following options:

(a) Adoption when a petition for termination of parental rights has been filed or will be filed;

(b) Permanent guardianship of a dependent child under s. 39.6221;

(c) Permanent placement with a fit and willing relative under s. 39.6231; or

(d) Placement in another planned permanent living arrangement under s. 39.6241.

(20) “Court,” unless otherwise expressly stated, means the circuit court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under this chapter.

(21) “Department” means the Department of Children and Families.

(22) “Diligent efforts by a parent” means a course of conduct which results in a meaningful change in the behavior of a parent that reduces risk to the child in the child’s home to the extent that the child may be safely placed permanently back in the home as set forth in the case plan.

(23) “Diligent efforts of social service agency” means reasonable efforts to provide social services or reunification services made by any social service agency that is a party to a case plan.

(24) “Diligent search” means the efforts of a social service agency to locate a parent or prospective parent whose identity or location is unknown, initiated as soon as the social service agency is made aware of the existence of such parent, with the search progress reported at each court hearing until the parent is either identified and located or the court excuses further search.

(25) “Disposition hearing” means a hearing in which the court determines the most appropriate protections, services, and placement for the child in dependency cases.

(26) “Expedited termination of parental rights” means proceedings wherein a case plan with the goal of reunification is not being offered.

(27) “False report” means a report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of a child to the central abuse hotline, which report is maliciously made for the purpose of:

(a) Harassing, embarrassing, or harming another person;

(b) Personal financial gain for the reporting person;

(c) Acquiring custody of a child; or

(d) Personal benefit for the reporting person in any other private dispute involving a child.

The term “false report” does not include a report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of a child made in good faith to the central abuse hotline.

(28) “Family” means a collective body of persons, consisting of a child and a parent, legal custodian, or adult relative, in which:

(a) The persons reside in the same house or living unit; or

(b) The parent, legal custodian, or adult relative has a legal responsibility by blood, marriage, or court order to support or care for the child.

(29) “Foster care” means care provided a child in a foster family or boarding home, group home, agency boarding home, child care institution, or any combination thereof.

(30) “Harm” to a child’s health or welfare can occur when any person:

(a) Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical, mental, or emotional injury. In determining whether harm has occurred, the following factors must be considered in evaluating any physical, mental, or emotional injury to a child: the age of the child; any prior history of injuries to the child; the location of the injury on the body of the child; the multiplicity of the injury; and the type of trauma inflicted. Such injury includes, but is not limited to:

1. Willful acts that produce the following specific injuries:

a. Sprains, dislocations, or cartilage damage.

b. Bone or skull fractures.

c. Brain or spinal cord damage.

d. Intracranial hemorrhage or injury to other internal organs.

e. Asphyxiation, suffocation, or drowning.

f. Injury resulting from the use of a deadly weapon.

g. Burns or scalding.

h. Cuts, lacerations, punctures, or bites.

i. Permanent or temporary disfigurement.

j. Permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a body part or function.

As used in this subparagraph, the term “willful” refers to the intent to perform an action, not to the intent to achieve a result or to cause an injury.

2. Purposely giving a child poison, alcohol, drugs, or other substances that substantially affect the child’s behavior, motor coordination, or judgment or that result in sickness or internal injury. For the purposes of this subparagraph, the term “drugs” means prescription drugs not prescribed for the child or not administered as prescribed, and controlled substances as outlined in Schedule I or Schedule II of s. 893.03.

3. Leaving a child without adult supervision or arrangement appropriate for the child’s age or mental or physical condition, so that the child is unable to care for the child’s own needs or another’s basic needs or is unable to exercise good judgment in responding to any kind of physical or emotional crisis.

4. Inappropriate or excessively harsh disciplinary action that is likely to result in physical injury, mental injury as defined in this section, or emotional injury. The significance of any injury must be evaluated in light of the following factors: the age of the child; any prior history of injuries to the child; the location of the injury on the body of the child; the multiplicity of the injury; and the type of trauma inflicted. Corporal discipline may be considered excessive or abusive when it results in any of the following or other similar injuries:

a. Sprains, dislocations, or cartilage damage.

b. Bone or skull fractures.

c. Brain or spinal cord damage.

d. Intracranial hemorrhage or injury to other internal organs.

e. Asphyxiation, suffocation, or drowning.

f. Injury resulting from the use of a deadly weapon.

g. Burns or scalding.

h. Cuts, lacerations, punctures, or bites.

i. Permanent or temporary disfigurement.

j. Permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a body part or function.

k. Significant bruises or welts.

(b) Commits, or allows to be committed, sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794, or lewd or lascivious acts, as defined in chapter 800, against the child.

(c) Allows, encourages, or forces the sexual exploitation of a child, which includes allowing, encouraging, or forcing a child to:

1. Solicit for or engage in prostitution; or

2. Engage in a sexual performance, as defined by chapter 827.

(d) Exploits a child, or allows a child to be exploited, as provided in s. 450.151.

(e) Abandons the child. Within the context of the definition of “harm,” the term “abandoned the child” or “abandonment of the child” means a situation in which the parent or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a parent or legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able, has made no significant contribution to the child’s care and maintenance or has failed to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with the child, or both. For purposes of this paragraph, “establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship” includes, but is not limited to, frequent and regular contact with the child through frequent and regular visitation or frequent and regular communication to or with the child, and the exercise of parental rights and responsibilities. Marginal efforts and incidental or token visits or communications are not sufficient to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with a child. The term “abandoned” does not include a surrendered newborn infant as described in s. 383.50, a child in need of services as defined in chapter 984, or a family in need of services as defined in chapter 984. The incarceration, repeated incarceration, or extended incarceration of a parent, legal custodian, or caregiver responsible for a child’s welfare may support a finding of abandonment.

(f) Neglects the child. Within the context of the definition of “harm,” the term “neglects the child” means that the parent or other person responsible for the child’s welfare fails to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or health care, although financially able to do so or although offered financial or other means to do so. However, a parent or legal custodian who, by reason of the legitimate practice of religious beliefs, does not provide specified medical treatment for a child may not be considered abusive or neglectful for that reason alone, but such an exception does not:

1. Eliminate the requirement that such a case be reported to the department;

2. Prevent the department from investigating such a case; or

3. Preclude a court from ordering, when the health of the child requires it, the provision of medical services by a physician, as defined in this section, or treatment by a duly accredited practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a well-recognized church or religious organization.

(g) Exposes a child to a controlled substance or alcohol. Exposure to a controlled substance or alcohol is established by:

1. A test, administered at birth, which indicated that the child’s blood, urine, or meconium contained any amount of alcohol or a controlled substance or metabolites of such substances, the presence of which was not the result of medical treatment administered to the mother or the newborn infant; or

2. Evidence of extensive, abusive, and chronic use of a controlled substance or alcohol by a parent when the child is demonstrably adversely affected by such usage.

As used in this paragraph, the term “controlled substance” means prescription drugs not prescribed for the parent or not administered as prescribed and controlled substances as outlined in Schedule I or Schedule II of s. 893.03.

(h) Uses mechanical devices, unreasonable restraints, or extended periods of isolation to control a child.

(i) Engages in violent behavior that demonstrates a wanton disregard for the presence of a child and could reasonably result in serious injury to the child.

(j) Negligently fails to protect a child in his or her care from inflicted physical, mental, or sexual injury caused by the acts of another.

(k) Has allowed a child’s sibling to die as a result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

(l) Makes the child unavailable for the purpose of impeding or avoiding a protective investigation unless the court determines that the parent, legal custodian, or caregiver was fleeing from a situation involving domestic violence.

(31) “Impending danger” means a situation in which family behaviors, attitudes, motives, emotions, or situations pose a threat that may not be currently active but that can be anticipated to become active and to have severe effects on a child at any time.

(32) “Institutional child abuse or neglect” means situations of known or suspected child abuse or neglect in which the person allegedly perpetrating the child abuse or neglect is an employee of a private school, public or private day care center, residential home, institution, facility, or agency or any other person at such institution responsible for the child’s care as defined in subsection (47).

(33) “Judge” means the circuit judge exercising jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter.

(34) “Legal custody” means a legal status created by a court which vests in a custodian of the person or guardian, whether an agency or an individual, the right to have physical custody of the child and the right and duty to protect, nurture, guide, and discipline the child and to provide him or her with food, shelter, education, and ordinary medical, dental, psychiatric, and psychological care.

(35) “Licensed child-caring agency” means a person, society, association, or agency licensed by the department to care for, receive, and board children.

(36) “Licensed child-placing agency” means a person, society, association, or institution licensed by the department to care for, receive, or board children and to place children in a licensed child-caring institution or a foster or adoptive home.

(37) “Licensed health care professional” means a physician licensed under chapter 458, an osteopathic physician licensed under chapter 459, a nurse licensed under part I of chapter 464, a physician assistant licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, or a dentist licensed under chapter 466.

(38) “Likely to injure oneself” means that, as evidenced by violent or other actively self-destructive behavior, it is more likely than not that within a 24-hour period the child will attempt to commit suicide or inflict serious bodily harm on himself or herself.

(39) “Likely to injure others” means that it is more likely than not that within a 24-hour period the child will inflict serious and unjustified bodily harm on another person.

(40) “Mediation” means a process whereby a neutral third person called a mediator acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. It is an informal and non-adversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. The role of the mediator includes, but is not limited to, assisting the parties in identifying issues, fostering joint problem solving, and exploring settlement alternatives.

(41) “Medical neglect” means the failure to provide or the failure to allow needed care as recommended by a health care practitioner for a physical injury, illness, medical condition, or impairment, or the failure to seek timely and appropriate medical care for a serious health problem that a reasonable person would have recognized as requiring professional medical attention. Medical neglect does not occur if the parent or legal guardian of the child has made reasonable attempts to obtain necessary health care services or the immediate health condition giving rise to the allegation of neglect is a known and expected complication of the child’s diagnosis or treatment and:

(a) The recommended care offers limited net benefit to the child and the morbidity or other side effects of the treatment may be considered to be greater than the anticipated benefit; or

(b) The parent or legal guardian received conflicting medical recommendations for treatment from multiple practitioners and did not follow all recommendations.

(42) “Mental injury” means an injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child as evidenced by a discernible and substantial impairment in the ability to function within the normal range of performance and behavior.

(43) “Necessary medical treatment” means care which is necessary within a reasonable degree of medical certainty to prevent the deterioration of a child’s condition or to alleviate immediate pain of a child.

(44) “Neglect” occurs when a child is deprived of, or is allowed to be deprived of, necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment or a child is permitted to live in an environment when such deprivation or environment causes the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired or to be in danger of being significantly impaired. The foregoing circumstances shall not be considered neglect if caused primarily by financial inability unless actual services for relief have been offered to and rejected by such person. A parent or legal custodian legitimately practicing religious beliefs in accordance with a recognized church or religious organization who thereby does not provide specific medical treatment for a child may not, for that reason alone, be considered a negligent parent or legal custodian; however, such an exception does not preclude a court from ordering the following services to be provided, when the health of the child so requires:

(a) Medical services from a licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatric physician, or other qualified health care provider; or

(b) Treatment by a duly accredited practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a well-recognized church or religious organization.

Neglect of a child includes acts or omissions.

(45) “Next of kin” means an adult relative of a child who is the child’s brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or first cousin.

(46) “Office” means the Office of Adoption and Child Protection within the Executive Office of the Governor.

(47) “Other person responsible for a child’s welfare” includes the child’s legal guardian or foster parent; an employee of any school, public or private child day care center, residential home, institution, facility, or agency; a law enforcement officer employed in any facility, service, or program for children that is operated or contracted by the Department of Juvenile Justice; or any other person legally responsible for the child’s welfare in a residential setting; and also includes an adult sitter or relative entrusted with a child’s care. For the purpose of departmental investigative jurisdiction, this definition does not include the following persons when they are acting in an official capacity: law enforcement officers, except as otherwise provided in this subsection; employees of municipal or county detention facilities; or employees of the Department of Corrections.

(48) “Out-of-home” means a placement outside of the home of the parents or a parent.

(49) “Parent” means a woman who gives birth to a child and a man whose consent to the adoption of the child would be required under s. 63.062(1). If a child has been legally adopted, the term “parent” means the adoptive mother or father of the child. The term does not include an individual whose parental relationship to the child has been legally terminated, or an alleged or prospective parent, unless the parental status falls within the terms of s. 39.503(1) or s. 63.062(1). For purposes of this chapter only, when the phrase “parent or legal custodian” is used, it refers to rights or responsibilities of the parent and, only if there is no living parent with intact parental rights, to the rights or responsibilities of the legal custodian who has assumed the role of the parent.

(50) “Participant,” for purposes of a shelter proceeding, dependency proceeding, or termination of parental rights proceeding, means any person who is not a party but who should receive notice of hearings involving the child, including the actual custodian of the child, the foster parents or the legal custodian of the child, identified prospective parents, and any other person whose participation may be in the best interest of the child. A community-based agency under contract with the department to provide protective services may be designated as a participant at the discretion of the court. Participants may be granted leave by the court to be heard without the necessity of filing a motion to intervene.

(51) “Party” means the parent or parents of the child, the petitioner, the department, the guardian ad litem or the representative of the guardian ad litem program when the program has been appointed, and the child. The presence of the child may be excused by order of the court when presence would not be in the child’s best interest. Notice to the child may be excused by order of the court when the age, capacity, or other condition of the child is such that the notice would be meaningless or detrimental to the child.

(52) “Permanency goal” means the living arrangement identified for the child to return to or identified as the permanent living arrangement of the child. Permanency goals applicable under this chapter, listed in order of preference, are:

(a) Reunification;

(b) Adoption when a petition for termination of parental rights has been or will be filed;

(c) Permanent guardianship of a dependent child under s. 39.6221;

(d) Permanent placement with a fit and willing relative under s. 39.6231; or

(e) Placement in another planned permanent living arrangement under s. 39.6241.

The permanency goal is also the case plan goal. If concurrent case planning is being used, reunification may be pursued at the same time that another permanency goal is pursued.

(53) “Permanency plan” means the plan that establishes the placement intended to serve as the child’s permanent home.

(54) “Permanent guardian” means the relative or other adult in a permanent guardianship of a dependent child under s. 39.6221.

(55) “Permanent guardianship of a dependent child” means a legal relationship that a court creates under s. 39.6221 between a child and a relative or other adult approved by the court which is intended to be permanent and self-sustaining through the transfer of parental rights with respect to the child relating to protection, education, care and control of the person, custody of the person, and decision-making on behalf of the child.

(56) “Physical injury” means death, permanent or temporary disfigurement, or impairment of any bodily part.

(57) “Physician” means any licensed physician, dentist, podiatric physician, or optometrist and includes any intern or resident.

(58) “Preliminary screening” means the gathering of preliminary information to be used in determining a child’s need for further evaluation or assessment or for referral for other substance abuse services through means such as psychosocial interviews; urine and breathalyzer screenings; and reviews of available educational, delinquency, and dependency records of the child.

(59) “Present danger” means a significant and clearly observable family condition that is occurring at the current moment and is already endangering or threatening to endanger the child. Present danger threats are conspicuous and require that an immediate protective action be taken to ensure the child’s safety.

(60) “Preventive services” means social services and other supportive and rehabilitative services provided to the parent or legal custodian of the child and to the child for the purpose of averting the removal of the child from the home or disruption of a family which will or could result in the placement of a child in foster care. Social services and other supportive and rehabilitative services shall promote the child’s developmental needs and need for physical, mental, and emotional health and a safe, stable, living environment; shall promote family autonomy; and shall strengthen family life, whenever possible.

(61) “Prospective parent” means a person who claims to be, or has been identified as, a person who may be a mother or a father of a child.

(62) “Protective investigation” means the acceptance of a report alleging child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, as defined in this chapter, by the central abuse hotline or the acceptance of a report of other dependency by the department; the investigation of each report; the determination of whether action by the court is warranted; the determination of the disposition of each report without court or public agency action when appropriate; and the referral of a child to another public or private agency when appropriate.

(63) “Protective investigator” means an authorized agent of the department who receives and investigates reports of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect; who, as a result of the investigation, may recommend that a dependency petition be filed for the child; and who performs other duties necessary to carry out the required actions of the protective investigation function.

(64) “Protective supervision” means a legal status in dependency cases which permits the child to remain safely in his or her own home or other nonlicensed placement under the supervision of an agent of the department and which must be reviewed by the court during the period of supervision.

(65) “Relative” means a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, niece, or nephew, whether related by the whole or half blood, by affinity, or by adoption. The term does not include a stepparent.

(66) “Reunification services” means social services and other supportive and rehabilitative services provided to the parent of the child, to the child, and, where appropriate, to the relative placement, nonrelative placement, or foster parents of the child, for the purpose of enabling a child who has been placed in out-of-home care to safely return to his or her parent at the earliest possible time. The health and safety of the child shall be the paramount goal of social services and other supportive and rehabilitative services. The services shall promote the child’s need for physical, developmental, mental, and emotional health and a safe, stable, living environment; shall promote family autonomy; and shall strengthen family life, whenever possible.

(67) “Safety plan” means a plan created to control present or impending danger using the least intrusive means appropriate to protect a child when a parent, caregiver, or legal custodian is unavailable, unwilling, or unable to do so.

(68) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Children and Families.

(69) “Sexual abuse of a child” for purposes of finding a child to be dependent means one or more of the following acts:

(a) Any penetration, however slight, of the vagina or anal opening of one person by the penis of another person, whether or not there is the emission of semen.

(b) Any sexual contact between the genitals or anal opening of one person and the mouth or tongue of another person.

(c) Any intrusion by one person into the genitals or anal opening of another person, including the use of any object for this purpose, except that this does not include any act intended for a valid medical purpose.

(d) The intentional touching of the genitals or intimate parts, including the breasts, genital area, groin, inner thighs, and buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of either the child or the perpetrator, except that this does not include:

1. Any act which may reasonably be construed to be a normal caregiver responsibility, any interaction with, or affection for a child; or

2. Any act intended for a valid medical purpose.

(e) The intentional masturbation of the perpetrator’s genitals in the presence of a child.

(f) The intentional exposure of the perpetrator’s genitals in the presence of a child, or any other sexual act intentionally perpetrated in the presence of a child, if such exposure or sexual act is for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, aggression, degradation, or other similar purpose.

(g) The sexual exploitation of a child, which includes the act of a child offering to engage in or engaging in prostitution, provided that the child is not under arrest or is not being prosecuted in a delinquency or criminal proceeding for a violation of any offense in chapter 796 based on such behavior; or allowing, encouraging, or forcing a child to:

1. Solicit for or engage in prostitution;

2. Engage in a sexual performance, as defined by chapter 827; or

3. Participate in the trade of human trafficking as provided in s. 787.06(3)(g).

(70) “Shelter” means a placement with a relative or a nonrelative, or in a licensed home or facility, for the temporary care of a child who is alleged to be or who has been found to be dependent, pending court disposition before or after adjudication.

(71) “Shelter hearing” means a hearing in which the court determines whether probable cause exists to keep a child in shelter status pending further investigation of the case.

(72) “Sibling” means:

(a) A child who shares a birth parent or legal parent with one or more other children; or

(b) A child who has lived together in a family with one or more other children whom he or she identifies as siblings.

(73) “Social service agency” means the department, a licensed child-caring agency, or a licensed child-placing agency.

(74) “Social worker” means any person who has a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in social work.

(75) “Substance abuse” means using, without medical reason, any psychoactive or mood-altering drug, including alcohol, in such a manner as to induce impairment resulting in dysfunctional social behavior.

(76) “Substantial compliance” means that the circumstances which caused the creation of the case plan have been significantly remedied to the extent that the well-being and safety of the child will not be endangered upon the child’s remaining with or being returned to the child’s parent.

(77) “Taken into custody” means the status of a child immediately when temporary physical control over the child is attained by a person authorized by law, pending the child’s release or placement.

(78) “Temporary legal custody” means the relationship that a court creates between a child and an adult relative of the child, legal custodian, agency, or other person approved by the court until a more permanent arrangement is ordered. Temporary legal custody confers upon the custodian the right to have temporary physical custody of the child and the right and duty to protect, nurture, guide, and discipline the child and to provide the child with food, shelter, and education, and ordinary medical, dental, psychiatric, and psychological care, unless these rights and duties are otherwise enlarged or limited by the court order establishing the temporary legal custody relationship.

(79) “Victim” means any child who has sustained or is threatened with physical, mental, or emotional injury identified in a report involving child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, or child-on-child sexual abuse.

History.—s. 1, ch. 26880, 1951; ss. 1, 2, ch. 67-585; s. 3, ch. 69-353; s. 4, ch. 69-365; ss. 19, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 71-117; s. 1, ch. 71-130; s. 10, ch. 71-355; ss. 4, 5, ch. 72-179; ss. 19, 30, ch. 72-404; ss. 2, 23, ch. 73-231; s. 1, ch. 74-368; ss. 15, 27, 28, ch. 75-48; s. 4, ch. 77-147; s. 2, ch. 78-414; s. 9, ch. 79-164; s. 2, ch. 79-203; s. 1, ch. 80-290; ss. 1, 17, ch. 81-218; ss. 4, 15, ch. 84-311; s. 4, ch. 85-80; s. 2, ch. 85-206; ss. 73, 78, ch. 86-220; s. 1, ch. 87-133; s. 1, ch. 87-289; s. 12, ch. 87-397; s. 1, ch. 88-319; s. 10, ch. 88-337; s. 2, ch. 90-53; s. 3, ch. 90-208; s. 3, ch. 90-306; s. 2, ch. 90-309; s. 69, ch. 91-45; s. 1, ch. 91-183; s. 1, ch. 92-158; s. 1, ch. 92-170; ss. 1, 4(1st), 14, ch. 92-287; s. 13, ch. 93-39; s. 6, ch. 93-230; s. 1, ch. 94-164; s. 11, ch. 94-209; s. 50, ch. 94-232; s. 1333, ch. 95-147; s. 8, ch. 95-152; s. 1, ch. 95-212; s. 4, ch. 95-228; s. 1, ch. 95-266; ss. 3, 43, ch. 95-267; s. 3, ch. 96-369; s. 2, ch. 96-398; s. 20, ch. 96-402; s. 23, ch. 97-96; s. 158, ch. 97-101; s. 44, ch. 97-190; s. 4, ch. 97-234; s. 111, ch. 97-238; s. 1, ch. 97-276; s. 1, ch. 98-49; s. 176, ch. 98-166; s. 7, ch. 98-280; s. 20, ch. 98-403; s. 15, ch. 99-2; s. 3, ch. 99-168; s. 2, ch. 99-186; s. 4, ch. 99-193; s. 15, ch. 2000-139; s. 2, ch. 2000-188; s. 82, ch. 2000-318; s. 9, ch. 2000-320; s. 14, ch. 2002-1; s. 2, ch. 2006-62; s. 1, ch. 2006-86; s. 4, ch. 2006-194; s. 4, ch. 2007-124; s. 1, ch. 2008-90; s. 1, ch. 2008-154; s. 1, ch. 2008-245; s. 1, ch. 2009-21; s. 3, ch. 2012-105; s. 1, ch. 2012-178; s. 11, ch. 2014-19; s. 14, ch. 2014-160; s. 3, ch. 2014-224; s. 2, ch. 2015-34.

http://m.flsenate.gov/Statutes/39.201

Title VJUDICIAL BRANCH

Chapter 39 PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN

SECTION 201

Mandatory reports of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect; mandatory reports of death; central abuse hotline.

39.201 Mandatory reports of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect; mandatory reports of death; central abuse hotline.—

(1)(a) Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, as defined in this chapter, or that a child is in need of supervision and care and has no parent, legal custodian, or responsible adult relative immediately known and available to provide supervision and care shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the department in the manner prescribed in subsection (2).

(b) Any person who knows, or who has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused by an adult other than a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, as defined in this chapter, shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the department in the manner prescribed in subsection (2).

(c) Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is the victim of childhood sexual abuse or the victim of a known or suspected juvenile sexual offender, as defined in this chapter, shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the department in the manner prescribed in subsection (2).

(d) Reporters in the following occupation categories are required to provide their names to the hotline staff:

1. Physician, osteopathic physician, medical examiner, chiropractic physician, nurse, or hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons;

2. Health or mental health professional other than one listed in subparagraph 1.;

3. Practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing;

4. School teacher or other school official or personnel;

5. Social worker, day care center worker, or other professional child care, foster care, residential, or institutional worker;

6. Law enforcement officer; or

7. Judge.

The names of reporters shall be entered into the record of the report, but shall be held confidential and exempt as provided in s. 39.202.

(e) A professional who is hired by or enters into a contract with the department for the purpose of treating or counseling any person, as a result of a report of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, is not required to again report to the central abuse hotline the abuse, abandonment, or neglect that was the subject of the referral for treatment.

(f) An officer or employee of the judicial branch is not required to again provide notice of reasonable cause to suspect child abuse, abandonment, or neglect when that child is currently being investigated by the department, there is an existing dependency case, or the matter has previously been reported to the department, provided there is reasonable cause to believe the information is already known to the department. This paragraph applies only when the information has been provided to the officer or employee in the course of carrying out his or her official duties.

(g) Nothing in this chapter or in the contracting with community-based care providers for foster care and related services as specified in s. 409.987  shall be construed to remove or reduce the duty and responsibility of any person, including any employee of the community-based care provider, to report a suspected or actual case of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect or the sexual abuse of a child to the department’s central abuse hotline.

(h) An officer or employee of a law enforcement agency is not required to provide notice to the department of reasonable cause to suspect child abuse by an adult other than a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare when the incident under investigation by the law enforcement agency was reported to law enforcement by the Central Abuse Hotline through the electronic transfer of the report or call. The department’s Central Abuse Hotline is not required to electronically transfer calls and reports received pursuant to paragraph (2)(b) to the county sheriff’s office if the matter was initially reported to the department by the county sheriff’s office or another law enforcement agency. This paragraph applies only when the information related to the alleged child abuse has been provided to the officer or employee of a law enforcement agency or Central Abuse Hotline employee in the course of carrying out his or her official duties.

(2)(a) Each report of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare as defined in this chapter, except those solely under s. 827.04 (3), and each report that a child is in need of supervision and care and has no parent, legal custodian, or responsible adult relative immediately known and available to provide supervision and care shall be made immediately to the department’s central abuse hotline. Such reports may be made on the single statewide toll-free telephone number or via fax, web-based chat, or web-based report. Personnel at the department’s central abuse hotline shall determine if the report received meets the statutory definition of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Any report meeting one of these definitions shall be accepted for the protective investigation pursuant to part III of this chapter. Any call received from a parent or legal custodian seeking assistance for himself or herself which does not meet the criteria for being a report of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect may be accepted by the hotline for response to ameliorate a potential future risk of harm to a child. If it is determined by a child welfare professional that a need for community services exists, the department shall refer the parent or legal custodian for appropriate voluntary community services.

(b) Each report of known or suspected child abuse by an adult other than a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, as defined in this chapter, shall be made immediately to the department’s central abuse hotline. Such reports may be made on the single statewide toll-free telephone number or via fax, web-based chat, or web-based report. Such reports or calls shall be immediately electronically transferred to the appropriate county sheriff’s office by the central abuse hotline.

(c) Reports involving juvenile sexual abuse or a child who has exhibited inappropriate sexual behavior shall be made and received by the department. An alleged incident of juvenile sexual abuse involving a child who is in the custody of or protective supervision of the department shall be reported to the department’s central abuse hotline.

1. The central abuse hotline shall immediately electronically transfer the report or call to the county sheriff’s office. The department shall conduct an assessment and assist the family in receiving appropriate services pursuant to s. 39.307, and send a written report of the allegation to the appropriate county sheriff’s office within 48 hours after the initial report is made to the central abuse hotline.

2. The department shall ensure that the facts and results of any investigation of child sexual abuse involving a child in the custody of or under the protective supervision of the department are made known to the court at the next hearing or included in the next report to the court concerning the child.

(d) If the report is of an instance of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect that occurred out of state and the alleged perpetrator and the child alleged to be a victim live out of state, the central abuse hotline shall not accept the report or call for investigation, but shall transfer the information on the report to the appropriate state.

(e) If the report is of an instance of known or suspected child abuse involving impregnation of a child under 16 years of age by a person 21 years of age or older solely under s. 827.04(3), the report shall be made immediately to the appropriate county sheriff’s office or other appropriate law enforcement agency. If the report is of an instance of known or suspected child abuse solely under s. 827.04(3), the reporting provisions of this subsection do not apply to health care professionals or other persons who provide medical or counseling services to pregnant children when such reporting would interfere with the provision of medical services.

(f) Reports involving known or suspected institutional child abuse or neglect shall be made and received in the same manner as all other reports made pursuant to this section.

(g) Reports involving surrendered newborn infants as described in s. 383.50 shall be made and received by the department.

1. If the report is of a surrendered newborn infant as described in s. 383.50 and there is no indication of abuse, neglect, or abandonment other than that necessarily entailed in the infant having been left at a hospital, emergency medical services station, or fire station, the department shall provide to the caller the name of a licensed child-placing agency on a rotating basis from a list of licensed child-placing agencies eligible and required to accept physical custody of and to place newborn infants left at a hospital, emergency medical services station, or fire station. The report shall not be considered a report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment solely because the infant has been left at a hospital, emergency medical services station, or fire station pursuant to s. 383.50.

2. If the call, fax, web-based chat, or web-based report includes indications of abuse or neglect beyond that necessarily entailed in the infant having been left at a hospital, emergency medical services station, or fire station, the report shall be considered as a report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment and shall be subject to the requirements of s. 39.395 and all other relevant provisions of this chapter, notwithstanding any provisions of chapter 383.

(h) Hotline counselors shall receive periodic training in encouraging reporters to provide their names when reporting abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Callers shall be advised of the confidentiality provisions of s. 39.202. The department shall secure and install electronic equipment that automatically provides to the hotline the number from which the call or fax is placed or the Internet protocol (IP) address from which the report is received. This number shall be entered into the report of abuse, abandonment, or neglect and become a part of the record of the report, but shall enjoy the same confidentiality as provided to the identity of the reporter pursuant to s. 39.202.

(i) The department shall voice-record all incoming or outgoing calls that are received or placed by the central abuse hotline which relate to suspected or known child abuse, neglect, or abandonment. The department shall maintain an electronic copy of each fax and web-based report. The recording or electronic copy of each fax and web-based report shall become a part of the record of the report but, notwithstanding s. 39.202, shall be released in full only to law enforcement agencies and state attorneys for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting criminal charges pursuant to s. 39.205, or to employees of the department for the purpose of investigating and seeking administrative penalties pursuant to s. 39.206. Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit the use of the recordings, the electronic copies of faxes, and web-based reports by hotline staff for quality assurance and training.

(j)1. The department shall update the web form used for reporting child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to:

a. Include qualifying questions in order to obtain necessary information required to assess need and a response.

b. Indicate which fields are required to submit the report.

c. Allow a reporter to save his or her report and return to it at a later time.

2. The report shall be made available to the counselors in its entirety as needed to update the Florida Safe Families Network or other similar systems.

(k) The department shall conduct a study to determine the feasibility of using text and short message service formats to receive and process reports of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the central abuse hotline.

(3) Any person required to report or investigate cases of suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child died as a result of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect shall report his or her suspicion to the appropriate medical examiner. The medical examiner shall accept the report for investigation and shall report his or her findings, in writing, to the local law enforcement agency, the appropriate state attorney, and the department. Autopsy reports maintained by the medical examiner are not subject to the confidentiality requirements provided for in s. 39.202.

(4) The department shall operate and maintain a central abuse hotline to receive all reports made pursuant to this section in writing, via fax, via web-based reporting, via web-based chat, or through a single statewide toll-free telephone number, which any person may use to report known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect at any hour of the day or night, any day of the week. The department shall promote public awareness of the central abuse hotline through community-based partner organizations and public service campaigns. The central abuse hotline is the first step in the safety assessment and investigation process. The central abuse hotline shall be operated in such a manner as to enable the department to:

(a) Immediately identify and locate prior reports or cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect through utilization of the department’s automated tracking system.

(b) Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the department’s program for reporting and investigating suspected abuse, abandonment, or neglect of children through the development and analysis of statistical and other information.

(c) Track critical steps in the investigative process to ensure compliance with all requirements for any report of abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

(d) Maintain and produce aggregate statistical reports monitoring patterns of child abuse, child abandonment, and child neglect. The department shall collect and analyze child-on-child sexual abuse reports and include the information in aggregate statistical reports. The department shall collect and analyze, in separate statistical reports, those reports of child abuse and sexual abuse which are reported from or occurred on the campus of any Florida College System institution, state university, or nonpublic college, university, or school, as defined in s. 1000.21 or s. 1005.02.

(e) Serve as a resource for the evaluation, management, and planning of preventive and remedial services for children who have been subject to abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

(f) Initiate and enter into agreements with other states for the purpose of gathering and sharing information contained in reports on child maltreatment to further enhance programs for the protection of children.

(5) The department shall be capable of receiving and investigating, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, reports of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect and reports that a child is in need of supervision and care and has no parent, legal custodian, or responsible adult relative immediately known and available to provide supervision and care. If it appears that the immediate safety or well-being of a child is endangered, that the family may flee or the child will be unavailable for purposes of conducting a child protective investigation, or that the facts otherwise so warrant, the department shall commence an investigation immediately, regardless of the time of day or night. In all other child abuse, abandonment, or neglect cases, a child protective investigation shall be commenced within 24 hours after receipt of the report. In an institutional investigation, the alleged perpetrator may be represented by an attorney, at his or her own expense, or accompanied by another person, if the person or the attorney executes an affidavit of understanding with the department and agrees to comply with the confidentiality provisions of s. 39.202. The absence of an attorney or other person does not prevent the department from proceeding with other aspects of the investigation, including interviews with other persons. In institutional child abuse cases when the institution is not operating and the child cannot otherwise be located, the investigation shall commence immediately upon the resumption of operation. If requested by a state attorney or local law enforcement agency, the department shall furnish all investigative reports to that agency.

(6) Information in the central abuse hotline may not be used for employment screening, except as provided in s. 39.202(2)(a) and (h) or s. 402.302(15). Information in the central abuse hotline and the department’s automated abuse information system may be used by the department, its authorized agents or contract providers, the Department of Health, or county agencies as part of the licensure or registration process pursuant to ss. 402.301-402.319 and ss. 409.175-409.176. Pursuant to s. 39.202(2)(q), the information in the central abuse hotline may also be used by the Department of Education for purposes of educator certification discipline and review.

(7) On an ongoing basis, the department’s quality assurance program shall review calls, fax reports, and web-based reports to the hotline involving three or more unaccepted reports on a single child, where jurisdiction applies, in order to detect such things as harassment and situations that warrant an investigation because of the frequency or variety of the source of the reports. A component of the quality assurance program shall analyze unaccepted reports to the hotline by identified relatives as a part of the review of screened out calls. The Program Director for Family Safety may refer a case for investigation when it is determined, as a result of this review, that an investigation may be warranted.

History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 63-24; s. 941, ch. 71-136; ss. 1, 1A, ch. 71-97; s. 32, ch. 73-334; s. 65, ch. 74-383; s. 1, ch. 75-101; s. 1, ch. 75-185; s. 4, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 3, ch. 77-429; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-322; s. 3, ch. 78-326; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 181, ch. 79-164; s. 1, ch. 79-203; s. 7, ch. 84-226; s. 37, ch. 85-54; s. 68, ch. 86-163; s. 34, ch. 87-238; s. 21, ch. 88-337; s. 33, ch. 89-294; s. 6, ch. 90-50; s. 51, ch. 90-306; s. 7, ch. 91-57; s. 17, ch. 91-71; s. 6, ch. 93-25; s. 59, ch. 94-164; ss. 22, 44, ch. 95-228; s. 9, ch. 95-266; s. 51, ch. 95-267; s. 133, ch. 95-418; s. 1, ch. 96-215; s. 14, ch. 96-268; s. 14, ch. 96-402; s. 271, ch. 96-406; s. 1041, ch. 97-103; s. 43, ch. 97-264; s. 257, ch. 98-166; s. 31, ch. 98-403; s. 4, ch. 99-168; s. 10, ch. 99-193; s. 41, ch. 2000-139; s. 3, ch. 2000-188; s. 1, ch. 2000-217; s. 1, ch. 2001-53; s. 1, ch. 2003-127; s. 7, ch. 2006-86; s. 2, ch. 2008-90; s. 5, ch. 2008-245; s. 3, ch. 2009-43; s. 1, ch. 2012-155; s. 4, ch. 2012-178; s. 6, ch. 2013-15; s. 4, ch. 2013-219; ss. 5, 50, ch. 2014-224; s. 1, ch. 2016-58; s. 1, ch. 2016-238.

Note.—Former ss. 828.041, 827.07(3), (4), (9), (13); s. 415.504.

Title VI CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURES

Chapter 61 DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE; SUPPORT; TIME-SHARING

SECTION 503

DEFINITIONS

http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/61.503

61.503 Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:

(1) “Abandoned” means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.

(2) “Child” means an individual who has not attained 18 years of age.

(3) “Child custody determination” means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, residential care, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.

(4) “Child custody proceeding” means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, residential care, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear. The term does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under ss. 61.524-61.540.

(5) “Commencement” means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

(6) “Court” means an entity authorized under the laws of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination.

(7) “Home state” means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least 6 consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding. In the case of a child younger than 6 months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.

(8) “Initial determination” means the first child custody determination concerning a particular child.

(9) “Issuing court” means the court that makes a child custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this part.

(10) “Issuing state” means the state in which a child custody determination is made.

(11) “Modification” means a child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, regardless of whether it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

(12) “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, or government; governmental subdivision, agency, instrumentality, or public corporation; or any other legal or commercial entity.

(13) “Person acting as a parent” means a person, other than a parent, who:

(a) Has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of 6 consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within 1 year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding; and

(b) Has been awarded a child-custody determination by a court or claims a right to a child-custody determination under the laws of this state.

(14) “Physical custody” means the physical care and supervision of a child.

(15) “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(16) “Tribe” means an Indian tribe, or band, or Alaskan Native village that is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.

(17) “Warrant” means an order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

727-312-7470  English Line

813-517-9257  Spanish Line

Se habla Español.

LifeAnew Resources, LLC

5510 River Rd., Suite 119, New Port Richey, FL  34652

©2018 by LifeAnewResources

ONLINE Registration closes 24 hours prior to class!!

If you are having trouble registering, call us.