Florida Senate - 2018 CS for SB 1002 By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senators Passidomo and Bean 576-03576-18 20181002c1 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 the 7 Office of Public and Professional Guardians to be 8 provided to the office or its designee upon that 9 office’s request; amending s. 744.368, F.S.; 10 authorizing the clerk of the court to conduct audits 11 and cause the initial and annual guardianship reports 12 to be audited under certain circumstances; requiring 13 the clerk to advise the court of the results of any 14 such audit; prohibiting any fee or cost incurred by 15 the guardian in responding to the review or audit from 16 being paid or reimbursed by the ward’s assets if there 17 is a finding of wrongdoing by the court; amending s. 18 744.3701, F.S.; authorizing the clerk to disclose 19 confidential information to the Department of Children 20 and Families or law enforcement agencies for certain 21 purposes as provided by court order; amending s. 22 744.444, F.S.; authorizing certain guardians of 23 property to provide confidential information about a 24 ward which is related to an investigation arising 25 under specified provisions to a clerk or to an Office 26 of Public and Professional Guardians investigator 27 conducting such an investigation; providing that any 28 such clerk or Office of Public and Professional 29 Guardians investigator has a duty to maintain the 30 confidentiality of such information; providing an 31 effective date. 32 33 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 34 35 Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 744.2104, Florida 36 Statutes, is amended to read: 37 744.2104 Access to records by the Office of Public and 38 Professional Guardians; confidentiality.— 39 (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the 40 contrary, any medical, financial, or mental health records held 41 by an agency, or the court and its agencies, or financial audits 42 prepared by the clerk of the court pursuant to s. 744.368 and 43 held by the court, which are necessary as part of an 44 investigation of a guardian as a result of a complaint filed 45 with the Office of Public and Professional Guardians to evaluate 46 the public guardianship system, to assess the need for 47 additional public guardianship, or to develop required reports, 48 shall be provided to the Office of Public and Professional 49 Guardians or its designee upon that office’s request. Any 50 confidential or exempt information provided to the Office of 51 Public and Professional Guardians shall continue to be held 52 confidential or exempt as otherwise provided by law. 53 Section 2. Subsection (5) of section 744.368, Florida 54 Statutes, is amended to read: 55 744.368 Responsibilities of the clerk of the circuit 56 court.— 57 (5) If the clerk has reason to believe further review is 58 appropriate, the clerk may request and review records and 59 documents that reasonably impact guardianship assets, including, 60 but not limited to, the beginning inventory balance and any fees 61 charged to the guardianship. As a part of this review, the clerk 62 may conduct audits and may cause the initial and annual 63 guardianship reports to be audited. The clerk shall advise the 64 court of the results of any such audit. Any fee or cost incurred 65 by the guardian in responding to the review or audit may not be 66 paid or reimbursed by the ward’s assets if there is a finding of 67 wrongdoing by the court. 68 Section 3. Subsection (4) is added to section 744.3701, 69 Florida Statutes, to read: 70 744.3701 Confidentiality.— 71 (4) The clerk may disclose confidential information to the 72 Department of Children and Families or law enforcement agencies 73 for other purposes as provided by court order. 74 Section 4. Subsection (17) of section 744.444, Florida 75 Statutes, is amended to read: 76 744.444 Power of guardian without court approval.—Without 77 obtaining court approval, a plenary guardian of the property, or 78 a limited guardian of the property within the powers granted by 79 the order appointing the guardian or an approved annual or 80 amended guardianship report, may: 81 (17) Provide confidential information about a ward which 82
thatis related to an investigation arising under s. 744.368 to 83 the clerk, part II of this chapter to an Office of Public and 84 Professional Guardians investigator, or part I of chapter 400 to 85 a local or state ombudsman council member conducting such an 86 investigation. Any such clerk, Office of Public and Professional 87 Guardians investigator, or ombudsman shall have a duty to 88 maintain the confidentiality of such information. 89 Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.