Petition for Certiorari Review of Order from the Circuit
Court for Volusia County, A. Kathleen McNeilly, Judge.
F. Baseman, of Felix, Felix & Baseman, Tampa, for
Loach, of J.D. Loach, Attorney at Law, Inc., Daytona Beach,
for Respondent, J.F.
M. Fazio, Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional
Counsel, Daytona Beach, for Respondent, K.S.
L. Metzger, Children's Legal Services, Jacksonville, for
Respondent, Florida Department of Children and Families.
Thomasina F. Moore and Sara Elizabeth Goldfarb, of Guardian
ad Litem Office, Tallahassee, Respondent, for Guardian ad
Appearance for Other Respondent.
and Steven Clingerman, foster parents of J.S. (Child), a
minor, petition for a writ of certiorari. They seek to quash
an order granting a motion to transfer custody away from them
to J.S.'s maternal aunt, Belinda Hendrix, as well as an
order striking certain of their filings for lack of standing.
Because the trial court departed from the essential
requirements of the law when it determined that the
Clingermans lacked standing to file a motion for rehearing
related to the court's May 6, 2019 change of placement
order, we grant the petition. In all other respects, the
petition is denied.
was sheltered shortly after birth and immediately placed in
foster care with the Clingermans. Child has remained in the
Clingermans' care his entire life. In February 2019,
the Department of Children and Families filed a petition for
involuntary termination of the rights of both natural parents
and, soon thereafter, the natural mother moved to change
Child's placement from the Clingermans to the maternal
aunt. The trial court granted the motion.
in part, on the fact that they were not provided adequate
notice or given an opportunity to be heard at the hearing on
the motion for change of placement, the Clingermans moved for
rehearing. However, the trial court determined that the
Clingermans lacked standing and struck their motion. Because
the motion for rehearing sought to assert the
Clingermans' clear statutory right to notice and an
opportunity to be heard, it was error to strike the motion.
See § 39.502(17), Fla. Stat. (2018).
The parent or legal custodian of the child, the attorney for
the department, the guardian ad litem, the foster or
preadoptive parents, and all other parties and
participants shall be given reasonable notice of all
proceedings and hearings provided for under this part.
All foster or preadoptive parents must be provided with
at least 72 hours' notice, verbally or in writing, of all
proceedings or hearings relating to children in their
care or children they are seeking to adopt to ensure the
ability to provide input to the court.
(Emphasis added). Applying the plain language of the statute,
the Clingermans had a statutory right to seventy-two-hours
notice of the hearing underlying the May 6, 2019 change of
placement order. As such, they had standing to assert a
violation of their right to adequate notice in this case, and
the trial court departed from clearly established law when it
decided otherwise. We, therefore, quash the order under
review striking the motion for rehearing and ...