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The Florida Statutes

The 2020 Florida Statutes

Title XLIII
DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 744
GUARDIANSHIP
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F.S. 744.2004
744.2004 Complaints; disciplinary proceedings; penalties; enforcement.
(1) By October 1, 2016, the Office of Public and Professional Guardians shall establish procedures to:
(a) Review and, if determined legally sufficient, investigate any complaint that a professional guardian has violated the standards of practice established by the Office of Public and Professional Guardians governing the conduct of professional guardians. A complaint is legally sufficient if it contains ultimate facts that show a violation of a standard of practice by a professional guardian has occurred.
(b) Initiate an investigation no later than 10 business days after the Office of Public and Professional Guardians receives a complaint.
(c) Complete and provide initial investigative findings and recommendations, if any, to the professional guardian and the person who filed the complaint within 60 days after receipt.
(d) Obtain supporting information or documentation to determine the legal sufficiency of a complaint.
(e) Interview a ward, family member, or interested party to determine the legal sufficiency of a complaint.
(f) Dismiss any complaint if, at any time after legal sufficiency is determined, it is found there is insufficient evidence to support the allegations contained in the complaint.
(g) Coordinate, to the greatest extent possible, with the clerks of court to avoid duplication of duties with regard to the financial audits prepared by the clerks pursuant to s. 744.368.
(2) The Office of Public and Professional Guardians shall establish disciplinary proceedings, conduct hearings, and take administrative action pursuant to chapter 120. Disciplinary actions may include, but are not limited to, requiring a professional guardian to participate in additional educational courses provided or approved by the Office of Public and Professional Guardians, imposing additional monitoring by the office of the guardianships to which the professional guardian is appointed, and suspension or revocation of a professional guardian’s registration.
(3) In any disciplinary proceeding that may result in the suspension or revocation of a professional guardian’s registration, the Department of Elderly Affairs shall provide the professional guardian and the person who filed the complaint:
(a) A written explanation of how an administrative complaint is resolved by the disciplinary process.
(b) A written explanation of how and when the person may participate in the disciplinary process.
(c) A written notice of any hearing before the Division of Administrative Hearings at which final agency action may be taken.
(4) If the office makes a final determination to suspend or revoke the professional guardian’s registration, it must provide such determination to the court of competent jurisdiction for any guardianship case to which the professional guardian is currently appointed.
(5) If the office determines or has reasonable cause to suspect that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited as a result of a filed complaint or during the course of an investigation of a complaint, it shall immediately report such determination or suspicion to the central abuse hotline established and maintained by the Department of Children and Families pursuant to s. 415.103.
(6) By October 1, 2016, the Department of Elderly Affairs shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section.
History.s. 11, ch. 2016-40.