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In re K.A.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District
880 So.2d 705 (2004)


Facts

K.A. and S.A. (the couple) (defendants) were the parents of an infant and two other young children. Two weeks after the infant suffered serious injuries, the couple took the infant to a hospital. Hospital personnel found evidence of abuse and alerted Florida's Department of Children and Family Services (plaintiff). The department petitioned a court to terminate the couple's parental rights. Trial evidence showed the infant had been physically abused on numerous occasions. The couple implied that their oldest child caused the infant's injuries; however, the most credible evidence established that one of the parents abused the child and the other parent took no steps to prevent that abuse. The infant's injuries must have been immediately obvious to the parents, but they waited two weeks before seeking medical attention for the most recent injuries. Other evidence showed the older children were well treated. No evidence indicated that termination of the couple's parental rights was the least restrictive way to protect the older children's best interests. The children's guardian ad litem opposed terminating any of the couple's parental rights. Nevertheless, the judge terminated the couple's parental rights to all three children. The couple appealed to the District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Altenbernd, C.J.)

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