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The post below was published on Monday, December 20th, 2010 at 9:08 AM.

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Certified Conflict, Question: Termination of Parental Rights

Death is different, or so the saying goes. It bears out in this termination of parental rights decision, where the Second District certified conflict with another district and certified the following to the state supreme court as a question of great public importance:

WHERE THE STATE PROVES BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT A PARENT HAS COMMITTED ANY OF THE ACTS SET FORTH IN SECTION 39.806(1)(H), FLORIDA STATUTES (2008), MUST THE STATE ALSO PROVE THAT THE PARENT POSES A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF SIGNIFICANT HARM TO THE OTHER CHILDREN WHO ARE THE SUBJECT OF A PETITION FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS?

The case involved two parents, one whom the trial court found to have caused a child’s death, and the other whom the trial court found to have helped protect the father. The Second District held that, to terminate a parent’s rights to one child where a parent has murdered another child, the state need not prove a substantial risk of significant harm to the present child or that the parent would not benefit from court-ordered services.

















































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