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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXX
SOCIAL WELFARE
Chapter 415
ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES
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F.S. 415.1051
415.1051 Protective services interventions when capacity to consent is lacking; nonemergencies; emergencies; orders; limitations.
(1) NONEMERGENCY PROTECTIVE SERVICES INTERVENTIONS.If the department has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult or a vulnerable adult in need of services is being abused, neglected, or exploited and is in need of protective services but lacks the capacity to consent to protective services, the department shall petition the court for an order authorizing the provision of protective services.
(a) Nonemergency protective services petition.The petition must state the name, age, and address of the vulnerable adult, allege specific facts sufficient to show that the vulnerable adult is in need of protective services and lacks the capacity to consent to them, and indicate the services needed.
(b) Notice.Notice of the filing of the petition and a copy of the petition must be given to the vulnerable adult, to that person’s spouse, guardian, and legal counsel, and, when known, to the adult children or next of kin of the vulnerable adult. Such notice must be given at least 5 days before the hearing.
(c) Hearing.
1. The court shall set the case for hearing within 14 days after the filing of the petition. The vulnerable adult and any person given notice of the filing of the petition have the right to be present at the hearing. The department must make reasonable efforts to ensure the presence of the vulnerable adult at the hearing.
2. The vulnerable adult has the right to be represented by legal counsel at the hearing. The court shall appoint legal counsel to represent a vulnerable adult who is without legal representation.
3. The court shall determine whether:
a. Protective services, including in-home services, are necessary.
b. The vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to the provision of such services.
(d) Hearing findings.If at the hearing the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the vulnerable adult is in need of protective services and lacks the capacity to consent, the court may issue an order authorizing the provision of protective services. If an order for protective services is issued, it must include a statement of the services to be provided and designate an individual or agency to be responsible for performing or obtaining the essential services on behalf of the vulnerable adult or otherwise consenting to protective services on behalf of the vulnerable adult.
(e) Continued protective services.
1. No more than 60 days after the date of the order authorizing the provision of protective services, the department shall petition the court to determine whether:
a. Protective services will be continued with the consent of the vulnerable adult pursuant to this subsection;
b. Protective services will be continued for the vulnerable adult who lacks capacity;
c. Protective services will be discontinued; or
d. A petition for guardianship should be filed pursuant to chapter 744.
2. If the court determines that a petition for guardianship should be filed pursuant to chapter 744, the court, for good cause shown, may order continued protective services until it makes a determination regarding capacity.
3. If the department has a good faith belief that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to protective services, the petition to determine incapacity under s. 744.3201 may be filed by the department. Once the petition is filed, the department may not be appointed guardian and may not provide legal counsel for the guardian.
(f) Costs.The costs of services ordered under this section must be paid by the perpetrator if the perpetrator is financially able to do so; or by third-party reimbursement, if available. If the vulnerable adult is unable to pay for guardianship, application may be made to the public guardian for public guardianship services, if available.
(2) EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE SERVICES INTERVENTION.If the department has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult is suffering from abuse or neglect that presents a risk of death or serious physical injury to the vulnerable adult and that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to emergency protective services, the department may take action under this subsection. If the vulnerable adult has the capacity to consent and refuses consent to emergency protective services, emergency protective services may not be provided.
(a) Emergency entry of premises.If, upon arrival at the scene of the incident, consent is not obtained for access to the alleged victim for purposes of conducting a protective investigation under this subsection and the department has reason to believe that the situation presents a risk of death or serious physical injury, a representative of the department and a law enforcement officer may forcibly enter the premises. If, after obtaining access to the alleged victim, it is determined through a personal assessment of the situation that no emergency exists and there is no basis for emergency protective services intervention under this subsection, the department shall terminate the emergency entry.
(b) Emergency removal from premises.If it appears that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to emergency protective services and that the vulnerable adult, from the personal observations of the representative of the department and specified medical personnel or law enforcement officers, is likely to incur a risk of death or serious physical injury if such person is not immediately removed from the premises, then the representative of the department shall transport or arrange for the transportation of the vulnerable adult to an appropriate medical or protective services facility in order to provide emergency protective services. Law enforcement personnel have a duty to transport when medical transportation is not available or needed and the vulnerable adult presents a threat of injury to self or others. If the vulnerable adult’s caregiver or guardian is present, the protective investigator must seek the caregiver’s or guardian’s consent pursuant to subsection (4) before the vulnerable adult may be removed from the premises, unless the protective investigator suspects that the vulnerable adult’s caregiver or guardian has caused the abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The department shall, within 24 hours after providing or arranging for emergency removal of the vulnerable adult, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, petition the court for an order authorizing emergency protective services.
(c) Emergency medical treatment.If, upon admission to a medical facility, it is the opinion of the medical staff that immediate medical treatment is necessary to prevent serious physical injury or death, and that such treatment does not violate a known health care advance directive prepared by the vulnerable adult, the medical facility may proceed with treatment to the vulnerable adult. If a person with legal authority to give consent for the provision of medical treatment to a vulnerable adult has not given or has refused to give such consent, examination and treatment must be limited to reasonable examination of the patient to determine the medical condition of the patient and treatment reasonably necessary to alleviate the emergency medical condition or to stabilize the patient pending court determination of the department’s petition authorizing emergency protective services. Any person may seek an expedited judicial intervention under rule 5.900 of the Florida Probate Rules concerning medical treatment procedures.
(d) Emergency protective services petition.A petition filed under this subsection must state the name, age, and address of the vulnerable adult and allege the facts constituting the emergency protective services intervention and subsequent removal of the vulnerable adult or provision of in-home services, the facts relating to the capacity of the vulnerable adult to consent to services, the efforts of the department to obtain consent, and the services needed or delivered.
(e) Notice.Notice of the filing of the emergency protective services petition and a copy of the petition must be given to the vulnerable adult, to that person’s spouse, to that person’s guardian, if any, to legal counsel representing the vulnerable adult, and, when known, to adult children or next of kin of the vulnerable adult. Such notice must be given at least 24 hours before any hearing on the petition for emergency protective services.
(f) Hearing.When emergency removal has occurred under this subsection, a hearing must be held within 4 days after the filing of the emergency protective services petition, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays, to establish reasonable cause for grounds to continue emergency protective services.
1. The court shall determine, by clear and convincing evidence, whether an emergency existed which justified the emergency protective services intervention, whether the vulnerable adult is in need of emergency protective services, whether the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to emergency protective services, and whether:
a. Emergency protective services will continue with the consent of the vulnerable adult;
b. Emergency protective services will continue without the consent of the vulnerable adult; or
c. Emergency protective services will be discontinued.
2. The vulnerable adult has the right to be represented by legal counsel at the hearing. The court shall appoint legal counsel to represent a vulnerable adult who is without legal representation.
3. The department must make reasonable efforts to ensure the presence of the vulnerable adult at the hearing.
4. If an order to continue emergency protective services is issued, it must state the services to be provided and designate an individual or agency to be responsible for performing or obtaining the essential services, or otherwise consenting to protective services on behalf of the vulnerable adult.
(g) Continued emergency protective services.
1. Not more than 60 days after the date of the order authorizing the provision of emergency protective services, the department shall petition the court to determine whether:
a. Emergency protective services will be continued with the consent of the vulnerable adult;
b. Emergency protective services will be continued for the vulnerable adult who lacks capacity;
c. Emergency protective services will be discontinued; or
d. A petition should be filed under chapter 744.
2. If it is decided to file a petition under chapter 744, for good cause shown, the court may order continued emergency protective services until a determination is made by the court.
3. If the department has a good faith belief that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to protective services, the petition to determine incapacity under s. 744.3201 may be filed by the department. Once the petition is filed, the department may not be appointed guardian and may not provide legal counsel for the guardian.
(h) Costs.The costs of services ordered under this section must be paid by the perpetrator if the perpetrator is financially able to do so, or by third-party reimbursement, if available.
(3) PROTECTIVE SERVICES ORDER.In ordering any protective services under this section, the court shall adhere to the following limitations:
(a) Only such protective services as are necessary to ameliorate the conditions creating the abuse, neglect, or exploitation may be ordered, and the court shall specifically designate the approved services in the order of the court.
(b) Protective services ordered may not include a change of residence, unless the court specifically finds such action is necessary to ameliorate the conditions creating the abuse, neglect, or exploitation and the court gives specific approval for such action in the order. Placement may be made to such facilities as adult family-care homes, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes, or to other appropriate facilities. Placement may not be made to facilities for the acutely mentally ill, except as provided in chapter 394.
(c) If an order to continue emergency protective services is issued, it must include the designation of an individual or agency to be responsible for performing or obtaining the essential services on behalf of the vulnerable adult or otherwise consenting to protective services on behalf of the vulnerable adult.
(4) PROTECTIVE SERVICES INTERVENTIONS WITH CAREGIVER OR GUARDIAN PRESENT.
(a) When a vulnerable adult who lacks the capacity to consent has been identified as the victim, the protective investigator must first request consent from the caregiver or guardian, if present, before providing protective services or protective supervision, unless the protective investigator suspects that the caregiver or guardian has caused the abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
(b) If the caregiver or guardian agrees to engage or provide services designed to prevent further abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the department may provide protective supervision.
(c) If the caregiver or guardian refuses to give consent or later withdraws consent to agreed-upon services, or otherwise fails to provide needed care and supervision, the department may provide emergency protective services as provided in subsection (2). If emergency protective services are so provided, the department must then petition the court for an order to provide emergency protective services under subsection (3).
(5) INTERFERENCE WITH COURT-ORDERED PROTECTIVE SERVICES.When a court order exists authorizing protective services for a vulnerable adult who lacks capacity to consent and any person interferes with the provision of such court-ordered protective services, the appropriate law enforcement agency shall enforce the order of the court.
(6) LIMITATIONS.This section does not limit in any way the authority of the court or a criminal justice officer, or any other duly appointed official, to intervene in emergency circumstances under existing statutes. This section does not limit the authority of any person to file a petition for guardianship under chapter 744.
History.s. 101, ch. 95-418; s. 11, ch. 97-98; s. 34, ch. 2000-349; s. 2, ch. 2006-131; s. 4, ch. 2010-31.