Florida Senate - 2018 PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE Bill No. SB 1002 Ì799584]Î799584 576-03014-18 Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations (Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice) 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to guardianship; amending s. 744.2104, 3 F.S.; requiring certain medical, financial, or mental 4 health records or financial audits that are necessary 5 as part of an investigation of a guardian as a result 6 of a complaint filed for certain purposes with a 7 designee of the Office of Public and Professional 8 Guardians to be provided to the Office of Public and 9 Professional Guardians upon that office’s request; 10 amending s. 744.368, F.S.; authorizing the clerk of 11 the court to conduct audits and cause the initial and 12 annual guardianship reports to be audited under 13 certain circumstances; requiring the clerk to advise 14 the court of the results of any such audit; 15 prohibiting any fee or cost incurred by the guardian 16 in responding to the review or audit from being paid 17 or reimbursed by the ward’s assets if there is a 18 finding of wrongdoing by the court; amending s. 19 744.3701, F.S.; authorizing the clerk to disclose 20 confidential information to the Department of Children 21 and Families or law enforcement agencies for certain 22 purposes as provided by court order; amending s. 23 744.444, F.S.; authorizing certain guardians of 24 property to provide confidential information about a 25 ward which is related to an investigation arising 26 under specified provisions to a clerk or to an Office 27 of Public and Professional Guardians investigator 28 conducting such an investigation; providing that any 29 such clerk or Office of Public and Professional 30 Guardians investigator has a duty to maintain the 31 confidentiality of such information; providing an 32 effective date. 33 34 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 35 36 Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 744.2104, Florida 37 Statutes, is amended to read: 38 744.2104 Access to records by the Office of Public and 39 Professional Guardians; confidentiality.— 40 (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the 41 contrary, any medical, financial, or mental health records held 42 by an agency, or the court and its agencies, or financial audits 43 prepared by the clerk of the court pursuant to s. 744.368 and 44 held by the court, which are necessary as part of an 45 investigation of a guardian as a result of a complaint filed 46 with the Office of Public and Professional Guardians or its 47 designee to evaluate the public guardianship system, to assess 48 the need for additional public guardianship, or to develop 49 required reports, shall be provided to the Office of Public and 50 Professional Guardians upon that office’s request. Any 51 confidential or exempt information provided to the Office of 52 Public and Professional Guardians shall continue to be held 53 confidential or exempt as otherwise provided by law. 54 Section 2. Subsection (5) of section 744.368, Florida 55 Statutes, is amended to read: 56 744.368 Responsibilities of the clerk of the circuit 57 court.— 58 (5) If the clerk has reason to believe further review is 59 appropriate, the clerk may request and review records and 60 documents that reasonably impact guardianship assets, including, 61 but not limited to, the beginning inventory balance and any fees 62 charged to the guardianship. As a part of this review, the clerk 63 may conduct audits and may cause the initial and annual 64 guardianship reports to be audited. The clerk shall advise the 65 court of the results of any such audit. Any fee or cost incurred 66 by the guardian in responding to the review or audit may not be 67 paid or reimbursed by the ward’s assets if there is a finding of 68 wrongdoing by the court. 69 Section 3. Subsection (4) is added to section 744.3701, 70 Florida Statutes, to read: 71 744.3701 Confidentiality.— 72 (4) The clerk may disclose confidential information to the 73 Department of Children and Families or law enforcement agencies 74 for other purposes as provided by court order. 75 Section 4. Subsection (17) of section 744.444, Florida 76 Statutes, is amended to read: 77 744.444 Power of guardian without court approval.—Without 78 obtaining court approval, a plenary guardian of the property, or 79 a limited guardian of the property within the powers granted by 80 the order appointing the guardian or an approved annual or 81 amended guardianship report, may: 82 (17) Provide confidential information about a ward which 83
thatis related to an investigation arising under s. 744.368 to 84 the clerk, part II of this chapter to an Office of Public and 85 Professional Guardians investigator, or part I of chapter 400 to 86 a local or state ombudsman council member conducting such an 87 investigation. Any such clerk, Office of Public and Professional 88 Guardians investigator, or ombudsman shall have a duty to 89 maintain the confidentiality of such information. 90 Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.