Florida Father’s Parental Rights Terminated Without Actual Notice and Son is Severely Abused in Foster Care

Florida Father’s parental rights to Son are terminated, without his knowledge.

Because Father’s name is common, DCF doesn’t try very hard to find him and notify him, which is required by law.

The only notification that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) gives him is through a notice published in the legal classifieds section of the newspaper.

Son goes into foster care, along with his half-sister.

Father brings claim against DCF for wrongfully “restraining” Son in foster care, where he is abused by his foster parents. Father loses.

Father appeals. Father also loses appeal, for lack of reversible error, because there is no “abuse of discretion”.

But appeals court nonetheless takes DCF to task for not trying harder to locate Father before terminating his parental rights and comments that “[d]ue process of law should never be disregarded” and that parental rights are constitutionally protected.

Eventually, Son’s foster parents are convicted of aggravated child abuse of Son and his half-sister.

Now Son sues DCF for the abuse he suffered because of DCF’s negligence.

And Father also sues DCF, alleging that the agency violated his civil rights. Father’s case largely rests on the appellate court ruling in his previous case.

Read more in this Tampa Tribune: Hernando Today article – Father Follows Son In Suing DCF.