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Florida law will make court cases easier for abused, neglected children

Sometimes kids are involved in multiple cases in different jurisdictions. The new law streamlines the process.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis will help abused and neglected children in court, state officials say.

The Guardian ad Litem for Children program said Senate Bill 124/House Bill 115 will streamline the legal process for kids involved in multiple court cases.

There about 1,000 so-called "crossover kids," whose cases may be taking place in multiple counties or court circuits, officials said.

The measure amends state law to allow a guardianship petition for a child to be filed either where the child resides or in the county with jurisdiction over the dependency case.  For children with dependency and delinquency cases, it requires the Department of Juvenile Justice to notify the court and the parties in a dependency case of certain events; for example, if the child is transferred from one juvenile justice facility to another. 

It also allows delinquency court judges to receive and consider information provided by the Guardian ad Litem Program and the child's attorney ad litem if the child is under the jurisdiction of the dependency court.

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