Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ARLS Visitor Question.

FROM: "A Family Guide to the Florida Marchman Act - LINK - On Tuesday, March 23, 2010:

Chuck asked: "As the petitioner of a Marchman Act on my son who is now in treatment, what is the procedure to lift the Act should I decide to move my son to a different county or state for treatment in a different facility."

ARLS Answer: Understand, due to ethical considerations, I cannot give you specific legal advice due to the fact that I do not know the details of your son's case, you are not my client, and, I do not know if any extra conditions currently exist that a Judge may have imposed in your matter.

However, that being said, let me speak about a case I handled that was quite similar to your GENERAL scenario. In that matter, a "Treatment Petition" was filed by a Petitioner (a father) and granted by a Circuit Court Judge. An Order was put into place for the Respondent (his daughter) to complete 60 days of treatment. After about 30 days in the Petitioner wanted to take his daughter out of state to place her in another program. He asked me: What should I do? My advice to him was to simply take the girl to the other state for treatment and allow the 60 day period to lapse naturally without advising the court of anything. Clearly, the Petitioner had brought the case. There were no other court hearings scheduled following the 60 day Order being put into place. The only reason a court hearing would be necessary would be if his daughter violated the court Order by refusing to go to treatment. The girl would be attending another program (which, her father, the Petitioner, was happy with). So, my advice, let the Order lapse naturally and end following the passing of 60 days. Also, by doing this (keeping the Order in place), if the girl goes out of state and then changes her mind and refuses to comply with treatment, the Order still exists. This left the father with a legal remedy. He could ask the court to enforce treatment and the Order, as long as the child could be returned to the Jurisdiction where the Petition was filed.

NOTE: I did advise this father, however, to ask the current treatment facility to RECOMMEND in their ongoing assessment that they were aware of the father's intentions to go out of state...and, they agreed (or, did not object) to his decision to do so.

Excellent question.

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