2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title V JUDICIAL BRANCH
Chapter 39 PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN
SECTION 506Arraignment hearings.
39.506 Arraignment hearings.—
(1) When a child has been sheltered by order of the court, an arraignment hearing must be held no later than 28 days after the shelter hearing, or within 7 days after the date of filing of the dependency petition if a demand for early filing has been made by any party, for the parent or legal custodian to admit, deny, or consent to findings of dependency alleged in the petition. If the parent or legal custodian admits or consents to the findings in the petition, the court shall conduct a disposition hearing within 15 days after the arraignment hearing. However, if the parent or legal custodian denies any of the allegations of the petition, the court shall hold an adjudicatory hearing within 30 days after the date of the arraignment hearing unless a continuance is granted pursuant to this chapter.
(2) When a child is in the custody of the parent or legal custodian, upon the filing of a petition the clerk shall set a date for an arraignment hearing within a reasonable time after the date of the filing. If the parent or legal custodian admits or consents to an adjudication, the court shall conduct a disposition hearing within 15 days after the arraignment hearing. However, if the parent or legal custodian denies any of the allegations of dependency, the court shall hold an adjudicatory hearing within 30 days after the date of the arraignment hearing.
(3) Failure of a person served with notice to appear at the arraignment hearing constitutes the person’s consent to a dependency adjudication. The document containing the notice to respond or appear must contain, in type at least as large as the balance of the document, the following or substantially similar language: “FAILURE TO APPEAR AT THE ARRAIGNMENT HEARING CONSTITUTES CONSENT TO THE ADJUDICATION OF THIS CHILD (OR CHILDREN) AS A DEPENDENT CHILD (OR CHILDREN) AND MAY ULTIMATELY RESULT IN LOSS OF CUSTODY OF THIS CHILD (OR CHILDREN).” If a person appears for the arraignment hearing and the court orders that person to appear, either physically or through audio-video communication technology, at the adjudicatory hearing for dependency, stating the date, time, place, and, if applicable, the instructions for appearance through audio-video communication technology, of the adjudicatory hearing, then that person’s failure to appear for the scheduled adjudicatory hearing constitutes consent to a dependency adjudication.
(4) At the arraignment hearing, each party shall provide to the court a permanent mailing address and a primary e-mail address. The court shall advise each party that these addresses will be used by the court and the petitioner for notice purposes unless and until the party notifies the court and the petitioner in writing of a new mailing or e-mail address. The court may excuse a party from the requirement to provide an e-mail address for good cause shown. The court must excuse a party who is incarcerated and not represented by an attorney from the requirement to provide an e-mail address.
(5) If at the arraignment hearing the parent or legal custodian consents or admits to the allegations in the petition, the court shall proceed to hold a disposition hearing no more than 15 days after the date of the arraignment hearing unless a continuance is necessary.
(6) At any arraignment hearing, if the child is in an out-of-home placement, the court shall order visitation rights absent a clear and convincing showing that visitation is not in the best interest of the child. Any order for visitation or other contact must conform to the provisions of s. 39.0139.
(7) The court shall review whether the department has made a reasonable effort to prevent or eliminate the need for removal or continued removal of the child from the home. If the court determines that the department has not made such an effort, the court shall order the department to provide appropriate and available services to assure the protection of the child in the home when such services are necessary for the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health and safety.
(8) At the arraignment hearing, the court shall review the necessity for the child’s continued placement in the shelter. The court shall also make a written determination regarding the child’s continued placement in shelter within 24 hours after any violation of the time requirements for the filing of a petition or prior to the court’s granting any continuance as specified in subsection (5).
(9) At the conclusion of the arraignment hearing, all parties and the relatives who are providing out-of-home care for the child shall be notified in writing by the court of the date, time, and location for the next scheduled hearing.
History.—s. 9, ch. 84-311; s. 12, ch. 94-164; s. 10, ch. 98-280; s. 67, ch. 98-403; s. 29, ch. 99-193; s. 3, ch. 2002-216; s. 3, ch. 2007-109; s. 9, ch. 2009-43; s. 5, ch. 2023-302.
Note.—Former s. 39.408(1).