October 01, 2020
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HB 0991

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to adult protective services; amending s.
3415.102, F.S.; redefining "neglect" to include actions of
4a vulnerable adult against himself or herself; amending s.
5415.1051, F.S.; providing that the Department of Children
6and Family Services may petition the court for an order
7authorizing protective services for a vulnerable adult in
8need of services; providing an effective date.
10Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
12     Section 1.  Subsection (15) of section 415.102, Florida
13Statutes, is amended to read:
14     415.102  Definitions of terms used in ss. 415.101-
15415.113.--As used in ss. 415.101-415.113, the term:
16     (15)  "Neglect" means the failure or omission on the part
17of the caregiver or vulnerable adult to provide the care,
18supervision, and services necessary to maintain the physical and
19mental health of the vulnerable adult, including, but not
20limited to, food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, and
21medical services, that a prudent person would consider essential
22for the well-being of a vulnerable adult. The term "neglect"
23also means the failure of a caregiver or vulnerable adult to
24make a reasonable effort to protect a vulnerable adult from
25abuse, neglect, or exploitation by others. "Neglect" is repeated
26conduct or a single incident of carelessness which produces or
27could reasonably be expected to result in serious physical or
28psychological injury or a substantial risk of death.
29     Section 2.  Subsection (1) of section 415.1051, Florida
30Statutes, is amended to read:
31     415.1051  Protective services interventions when capacity
32to consent is lacking; nonemergencies; emergencies; orders;
35the department has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable
36adult or vulnerable adult in need of services is being abused,
37neglected, or exploited and is in need of protective services
38but lacks the capacity to consent to protective services, the
39department shall petition the court for an order authorizing the
40provision of protective services.
41     (a)  Nonemergency protective services petition.--The
42petition must state the name, age, and address of the vulnerable
43adult, allege specific facts sufficient to show that the
44vulnerable adult is in need of protective services and lacks the
45capacity to consent to them, and indicate the services needed.
46     (b)  Notice.--Notice of the filing of the petition and a
47copy of the petition must be given to the vulnerable adult, to
48that person's spouse, guardian, and legal counsel, and, when
49known, to the adult children or next of kin of the vulnerable
50adult. Such notice must be given at least 5 days before the
52     (c)  Hearing.--
53     1.  The court shall set the case for hearing within 14 days
54after the filing of the petition. The vulnerable adult and any
55person given notice of the filing of the petition have the right
56to be present at the hearing. The department must make
57reasonable efforts to ensure the presence of the vulnerable
58adult at the hearing.
59     2.  The vulnerable adult has the right to be represented by
60legal counsel at the hearing. The court shall appoint legal
61counsel to represent a vulnerable adult who is without legal
63     3.  The court shall determine whether:
64     a.  Protective services, including in-home services, are
66     b.  The vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to
67the provision of such services.
68     (d)  Hearing findings.--If at the hearing the court finds
69by clear and convincing evidence that the vulnerable adult is in
70need of protective services and lacks the capacity to consent,
71the court may issue an order authorizing the provision of
72protective services. If an order for protective services is
73issued, it must include a statement of the services to be
74provided and designate an individual or agency to be responsible
75for performing or obtaining the essential services on behalf of
76the vulnerable adult or otherwise consenting to protective
77services on behalf of the vulnerable adult.
78     (e)  Continued protective services.--
79     1.  No more than 60 days after the date of the order
80authorizing the provision of protective services, the department
81shall petition the court to determine whether:
82     a.  Protective services will be continued with the consent
83of the vulnerable adult pursuant to subsection (1);
84     b.  Protective services will be continued for the
85vulnerable adult who lacks capacity;
86     c.  Protective services will be discontinued; or
87     d.  A petition for guardianship should be filed pursuant to
88chapter 744.
89     2.  If the court determines that a petition for
90guardianship should be filed pursuant to chapter 744, the court,
91for good cause shown, may order continued protective services
92until it makes a determination regarding capacity.
93     (f)  Costs.--The costs of services ordered under this
94section must be paid by the perpetrator if the perpetrator is
95financially able to do so; or by third-party reimbursement, if
96available. If the vulnerable adult is unable to pay for
97guardianship, application may be made to the public guardian for
98public guardianship services, if available.
99     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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