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House Bill 773 will amend Florida law to allow a law enforcement officer, a duly authorized person, or any other officer of the court or the state to take a child into custody if they believe there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of that child. The government agent is not required to have probable cause to believe that the child has been abused, neglected, or abandoned, is suffering or is in imminent danger of illness or injury as a result of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
Currently under Florida law a child can only be taken into custody by sworn testimony or by a law enforcement officer or authorized agent who has probable cause that the child has been abused, neglected, or abandoned, is suffering or is in imminent danger of illness or injury as a result of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
House Bill 773 will also establish a citizen review panel. In all hearings or trials on petition for termination of parental rights, the court shall consider, assisted by a report and a recommended order from a citizen review panel, the elements required for termination.
House Bill 773 will also require that all hearings or trials involving termination of parental rights are open to the public, except upon the written motion to the court by the parents or guardian of the child or children who are the subject of the hearing or trial that it be made confidential and closed.
2/15/2011 (House) Filed
3/03/2011 (House) Referred to Health and Human services; Civil Justice Subcommittee; Health and Human Services Access Subcommittee
3/08/2011 (House) 1st Reading
5/07/2011 (House) Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration
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