Florida

This page provides a breakdown of all major developments and right to counsel law that the NCCRC knows for this state, sorted by subject area. Click on either tab below to see the aspect it describes.

Color Key Explanation
Categorical Right To Counsel There is a right to counsel without qualification for all indigent individuals in this type of case (except that the individual may be required to request counsel).
Discretionary Appointment Of Counsel Courts are permitted but not required to appoint counsel for any indigent individual in this type of case. A request may be required.
Right Or Appointment Is Qualified The established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including: the only authority comes from a lower/intermediate court decision or a city government, not a high court or state legislature; a case has cast doubt on prior authority; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all individuals or proceedings within that type of case.
No Such Proceeding This state has no law creating a judicial proceeding of this type.
None While this state does not provide for or require appointment of counsel with respect to the given subject area, it does have something (such as a report or bar policy) that supports the right to or appointment of counsel for this subject area.
Other Because the "Other subject areas” category can include developments from different subject areas that do not work the same way as each other, a blanket categorization of this category is not possible.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Florida guarantees counsel for indigent defendant parents at all stages of dependency cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Right to counsel

The Florida Supreme Court has held that indigent parents in dependency proceedings are entitled to counsel in certain circumstances.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Florida constitutional amendment would have guaranteed counsel for dependent children

01/20/2018

A proposed constitutional amendment would have guaranteed counsel for all Florida dependent children, but it did not make it out of committee.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon

The NCCRC was listed as a supporter of the proposed amendment.

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Key_development Question_mark

Florida Legislature establishes right to counsel for certain dependent children

04/30/2014

A new Florida law provides a right to counsel for particularly vulnerable children in dependency proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC provided some input on the language of the bill.

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Adult Protective Proceedings - Proposed Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for respondents in adult protective proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A court must appoint counsel upon request for a minor who seeks to judicially bypass the parental notification requirement for an abortion.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Florida Supreme Court found a due process right to counsel in proceedings for a minor to bypass parental consent to abortion.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Florida requires appointment of counsel for respondents in a variety of involuntary commitment scenarios.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Florida Supreme Court has found a due process right to counsel in involuntary commitments.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Custody Disputes - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for a child in a dissolution proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A court must appoint counsel if a petition is filed to determine incapacity (a precursor to guardianship).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Immigration

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel - unaccompanied minor

Florida provides a right for unaccompanied minors to have petitions for special status filed on their behalf.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Involuntary Medical Treatment

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Counsel must be appointed for those subjected to involuntary outpatient placement.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Quarantine/Inoculation

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent persons being isolated or hospitalized due to tuberculosis.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent persons being committed as sexually violent predators.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Florida legislature establishes right to counsel for certain dependent children

04/30/2014

A new Florida law provides a right to counsel for particularly vulnerable children in termination proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC provided some input on the language in the bill.

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

An appellate court found a due process right to counsel for indigent parents in contested adoption cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Florida guarantees counsel for indigent parents in all stages of termination of parental rights proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Florida SCT: right to counsel in termination proceedings survived SCOTUS opinion

07/09/2015

The Florida Supreme Court upheld the due process right to counsel for indigent parents in termination proceedings, rejecting SCOTUS precedent.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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