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Benicia Baker-Livors
Benicia Baker-Livors, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36
Experience:  Managing member at Family Law Group
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I had my parental rights terminated last month want no if

Customer Question

I had my parental rights terminated last month want no if its worth doing an appeal, my private attorney says her office doesn't do appeals and she won't do the letter for an appeal , my deadline is 15th of this month. My case I'm adoptive mother who have 2 boys one of them had behavioral problems, running away stealing, I call police couple times boy was missing an he was diagnosis with ADHD and Depression, my other child is disabled, that child was injured and my other son denied doing it causing chemical burn to his body, children in state custody, courts getting me for abuse an neglect an parental rights terminated 9/15/15 and accusing me of doing the injuries to the child in which I didn't do, my older daughter want the kids but judge prefer the foster mother
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Benicia Baker-Livors replied 1 year ago.

This site is aimed for helping people with basic legal questions. There is no doubt that you need to hire a lawyer. I am NOT licensed in the State of Florida. That being said, I am an attorney who handles a lot of appeals and adoptions in Missouri. The laws are NOT the same in Missouri. However, parental rights are rooted in federal constitutional principals. Your question is a bit confusing and I have some questions:

  • You say that your parental rights were terminated on 09/15/2015 for abuse and neglect.
  • Did you go to trial or did you consent to the termination?
  • How many children were terminated?
  • how old were they?
  • you also said that you were an adoptive mother? Can you clarify? Did you adopt the children who were later terminated or did your adoptive children harm your bio children?
  • Usually when children are taken out of a home for behavior issues like you describe, the parents are given reunification plan to follow. Were you given one? Did you follow it and complete it? If you didn't complete it, what did you fail to complete?
  • You said you have a private attorney, did the county or state pay for her or did you pay for her?
Expert:  Benicia Baker-Livors replied 1 year ago.

I just did some research on Florida law and it appears that you have the right to appointed counsel in Florida for termination of parental rights cases at all stages. Here is the information. I suggest you ask your private attorney to file a motion with the appellate court to appoint an attorney for you in the appeal under Florida statute 39.013. See the information I have cut and pasted below...


Fla. Stat. Ann. § 39.013

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 39.807

Right to appointed counsel at all stages of proceedings

Right to appointed counsel for termination of parental rights

39.013(1) “All procedures, including petitions, pleadings, subpoenas, summonses, and hearings, in this chapter shall be conducted according to the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure unless otherwise provided by law. Parents must be informed by the court of their right to counsel in dependency proceedings at each stage of the dependency proceedings. Parents who are unable to afford counsel must be appointed counsel.

39.013(9)(a) “At each stage of the proceedings under this chapter, the court shall advise the parents of the right to counsel. The court shall appoint counsel for indigent parents. The court shall ascertain whether the right to counsel is understood. When right to counsel is waived, the court shall determine whether the waiver is knowing and intelligent.”

39.807(1)(a) “At each stage of the proceeding under this part [Part XI: Termination of Parental Rights], the court shall advise the parent of the right to have counsel present. The court shall appoint counsel for indigent parents.”

Expert:  Benicia Baker-Livors replied 1 year ago.

If this was helpful, please rate my response. Thank you.