Pursuant to Florida Statute 39.701, Senior Judges and/or General Magistrates may be assigned to juvenile court to address complex issues and assist the court in statutory-mandated judicial reviews. The goal of the judicial reviews is to help the parties attain permanency in dependency cases. In the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Magistrates and Judges preside over the dependency judicial reviews. In compliance with statutory and DCF mandates and requirements, expeditious methods of completing detailed judicial review orders have been developed and implemented in the Circuit. As a result, children and families have the opportunity to progress through the dependency system without unnecessary delay.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Judicial Review?
- The court shall review the status of a child under its jurisdiction in Dependency cases at least every 6 months until the child reaches permanency status (adopted or permanently placed).
- Are all cases in Juvenile Court required to have a Judicial Review?
- Only Dependency cases.
- Who attends the Judicial Review?
- This may vary depending on the status of the case. Always in attendance is the attorney for the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or contractual staff. In certain cases the parents, their attorneys, a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, a Guardian ad Litem Attorney, the child(ren), counselors and various others related to the case may also attend.
- How often are Judicial Reviews held?
- Judicial reviews are required by law to be held every six months.
- Does the parent have to attend Judicial Review?
- That depends on the case status. If the parent's rights have been terminated, no. In some circumstances the parent is excused from attending
- Do children attend these hearings?
- A child's attendance depends on the case status, age of the child, and other variables.
Judette N. Fanelli