A Review of Recent Appellate Opinions
Statute of Limitations Issue
D.H. v. Adept Community Services; 43 Fla. L. Weekly S533a
Supreme Court of Florida; November 1, 2018
A mentally disabled woman hired the defendant to provide live-in support for herself and her children. In April 2006, pursuant to an anonymous complaint of abuse, the sheriff’s office removed the children from their mother’s custody, and took them to their grandparents’ home. A dependency petition was then filed, and the Guardian Ad Litem Program was appointed to represent the children in that matter. In April 2007, the grandparents were appointed as the children’s guardians. In November 2010, the grandparents sued the defendant for failing to prevent their daughter from abusing the children. Did the trial court err in granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the four-year statute of limitations had expired?
The answer is :
Yes. Florida law tolls the statute of limitations for a minor’s tort claim when the child lacks a parent, guardian, or a guardian ad litem who is not adverse to the minor. The children lacked a parent who was not adverse. The guardian ad litem program was appointed for the dependency matter and, therefore, it had no authority to bring a tort claim on behalf of the children. The children’s grandparents were not appointed as permanent guardians until April 2007 and, therefore, the statute of limitations did not begin to run for them until then.
Attorney Samuel A. Walker is a partner at CPLS, P.A., and focuses his practice on civil and criminal appeals. If you are unhappy with the judge’s decision in your case, contact Attorney Walker today at email@example.com to discuss an appeal.