Dependency, Guardianship & Probate Forms
Dependency Proceedings: Attorneys, General Expectations, Judicial Review / Probate Forms / Guardianship Proceedings / Guardianship Forms
I. Dependency Proceedings
A. Expectations - Attorneys - All Evidentiary Hearings
- The attorneys shall be prepared.
- No later than 5:00 p.m. five (5) business days before any evidentiary hearing or trial, counsel shall email the court and all attorneys of record any memoranda of law or cases relied upon.
- Any motion, notice of hearing or final draft of a proposed order shall be emailed not only to the court and all counsel of record but shall also be emailed [or if no email, then mailed] to each parent, foster parent and custodian, the case manager, the volunteer guardian ad litem and any literate children.
- Attorneys shall not submit inaccurate, incomplete, or perjurious affidavits to the court.
- By 5:00 p.m. five (5) business days before any trial or hearing at which evidence is expected to be taken, the attorneys shall provide each other, the clerk and the court with their witness and exhibit lists. The witness lists shall include a summary of each witness' testimony. Expert witnesses shall be identified; each party is limited to one expert per specialty, and the expert's resume or curriculum vital shall accompany the witness list. Counsel shall exchange exhibits before the evidentiary hearing/trial; exhibits should be premarked.
- In hearings/trials, counsel shall state only the legal basis for objections; there shall be no speaking objections.
B. General Expectations - Parents, Case Managers, Supervisors and Therapists
- All persons shall treat each other with respect. No one shall disparage, insult or be rude to any other person involved in the case, and no one shall disparage any parent within earshot of the children.
- The parents and case managers shall promptly notify each other and the respective attorneys of record and the court clerk of any change in address, telephone numbers, fax number and email. Telephone calls, text messages and emails are expected to be responded to within 24 hours.
- If a parent encounters difficulties, including those relating to transportation, the parent shall promptly notify the case manager as well as the parent's attorney.
- When reunification is the goal, everyone shall cooperatively work together to facilitate the parent's completion of their tasks in a timely manner consistent with the safety and well being of the children.
- When the case plan tasks include a task of stable income, and the parent has difficulty locating a job, the case manager should work with the parent to facilitate the parent's successful completion of the task.
C. At Judicial Review Hearings Case Plan Compliances' Possible Court Inquiries
- Are there services needed to assist the parent(s) for compliance? Has the assistance needed been requested? Has the requested assistance been provided?
- Are there communication issues?
- Is all contact information available, including email addresses?
- Are there any additional referrals needed to facilitate reunification?
- Is child in day care? School? What grade? Are records attached? Tutoring or other services needed? Development on track? Have health issues/needs identified? Are identified services in place?
- Visitation - what needs to happen before current level restrictions are eased [i.e. if current level is supervised, then what remains before transition to unsupervised]?
- Reunification - are there impediments or obstacles? What services can eliminate or reduce the impediments or obstacles?
- Children in Court
- Does child wish to be present? Has child been given information about court? Is "the team" [including therapists and case managers] working together to help child understand court and minimize court-related anxiety?
- If therapists or others are advocating against the Child being in Court as not being in the child's best interest, what training and knowledge does that person have about the child's right to be present, and how the child will participate?
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II. Probate Proceedings
» Formal Administration Checklist for Opening Estate
» Formal Administration Checklist for Closing Estate
» Affidavit of Heirs
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III. Guardianship Proceedings
- Beginning February 1, 2012, the Court will set a case management conference within 60 days of the filing of a petition for any type of guardianship, pursuant to Chapter 744, Florida Statutes, including but not limited to plenary and limited guardianships of the person and property, veterans guardianships and guardianships relating to settlements of minors claims.
- If a guardian has been appointed, the guardian shall be present at the hearing with the attorney for the guardian; if the petition for appointment of the guardian is pending, the applicant for guardian shall be present with the guardian' s attorney.
- The ward has the right to be present as well, but is not required to be present with his or her attorney.
Master Audit Checklist
- The attorney for the guardian shall submit a completed master audit checklist form [attached] within 60 days of the date the Letters of Guardianship are signed.
Petition for Fees & Costs
- Any petition for fees and costs for the guardian or attorney shall contain the information required by section 744.108, Florida Statutes. No order awarding fees or costs will be entered if the petition lacks the required information including, but not limited to, the information in § 744.108(2)(e), Florida Statutes and the amounts required by § 744.108(7), Florida Statutes. The petition should also contain information describing the benefit the Ward received from the services for which compensation is sought.
- Any petition for discharge of the guardian must be accompanied by the guardianship closing checklist [attached], completed by counsel and the petition must contain information reflecting disposition made of the Ward's property.
Motion to Withdraw
- If the attorney for the guardian wishes to withdraw, there must be a substitution of counsel first submitted, signed by successor counsel as well as withdrawing counsel. Judicial Administration Rule 2.505(f). If no successor counsel can be found, the motion to withdraw shall be set for hearing, and the attorney is responsible to secure the presence of the guardian at the hearing with a witness subpoena duly served.
- Any legal memorandum or authority shall be submitted no later than the business day prior to hearing.
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» Order Appointing Examining Committee
» Report of the Examining Committee Member
» Emergency Temporary Guardianship Checklist
» Master Audit Checklist
» Guardianship Closing Checklist
» Petition for Payment of Examining Committee
» Order for Payment of Examining Committee
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