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J.S. v. Florida Dept. of Children and Families

Florida Court of Appeal, First District

December 5, 2011

J.S., Mother of G.R.Z. a Minor Child, Appellant,
v.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, Appellee.

An appeal from the Circuit Court for Escambia County, Edward P. Nickinson, III, Judge.

Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, Crystal McBee Frusciante of Crystal McBee Law Firm, P.A., Jupiter, for Appellant.

Page 809

Ward L. Metzger, Appellate Counsel, for Appellee Department of Children and Families, Jacksonville.

Kelley Schaeffer, Appellate Counsel, for Guardian ad Litem Program, Tavares, and Travis R. Johnson of Meador & Vigodsky, P.A., Pensacola, for Father G.Z.

PER CURIAM.

In this child dependency case, Appellant, the Mother, seeks review of a non-final order denying her motion for reunification and placing the child in the custody of his father, as well as a partial final order terminating protective services supervision based on the child's placement. We reverse and remand for further proceedings because, as the Department of Children and Families and the Guardian Ad Litem properly concede, the trial court erred in terminating protective services at a status hearing for which the Mother was not given notice that termination of services would be considered. See T.S. v. Guardian Ad Litem, 49 So.3d 341 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010).

In light of this disposition, we decline to address the merits of the order denying the Mother's motion for reunification and placing the child with his father at this time. The Mother did not timely seek review of this order, [1] and although we could have reviewed the order as part of our review of the termination order,[2] we conclude that the better course in light of our reversal of the termination order is to defer review of the reunification order until the trial court enters an order fully disposing of the custody and visitations issues.

REVERSED and REMANDED for further ...


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