Florida Senate - 2020                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 604
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Judiciary (Bean) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 39.01, Florida
    6  Statutes, is amended to read:
    7         39.01 Definitions.—When used in this chapter, unless the
    8  context otherwise requires:
    9         (1) “Abandoned” or “abandonment” means a situation in which
   10  the parent or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a
   11  parent or legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able, has
   12  made no significant contribution to the child’s care and
   13  maintenance or has failed to establish or maintain a substantial
   14  and positive relationship with the child, or both. For purposes
   15  of this subsection, “establish or maintain a substantial and
   16  positive relationship” includes, but is not limited to, frequent
   17  and regular contact with the child through frequent and regular
   18  visitation or frequent and regular communication to or with the
   19  child, and the exercise of parental rights and responsibilities.
   20  Marginal efforts and incidental or token visits or
   21  communications are not sufficient to establish or maintain a
   22  substantial and positive relationship with a child. A man’s
   23  acknowledgment of paternity of the child does not limit the
   24  period of time considered in determining whether the child was
   25  abandoned. The term does not include a surrendered newborn
   26  infant as described in s. 383.50, a “child in need of services”
   27  as defined in chapter 984, or a “family in need of services” as
   28  defined in chapter 984. The absence of a parent, legal
   29  custodian, or caregiver responsible for a child’s welfare, who
   30  is a servicemember, by reason of deployment or anticipated
   31  deployment as defined in 50 U.S.C. s. 3938(e), may not be
   32  considered or used as a factor in determining abandonment. The
   33  incarceration, repeated incarceration, or extended incarceration
   34  of a parent, legal custodian, or caregiver responsible for a
   35  child’s welfare may support a finding of abandonment.
   36         Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 39.0137, Florida
   37  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (3) is added to that
   38  section, to read:
   39         39.0137 Federal law; rulemaking authority.—
   40         (1) This chapter does not supersede the requirements of the
   41  Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. ss. 1901 et seq., or the
   42  Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994, Pub. L. No. 103-382, as
   43  amended, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. ss. 3901
   44  et seq., or the implementing regulations for such acts.
   45         (3)The department shall ensure that the Servicemembers
   46  Civil Relief Act is observed in cases where a parent, legal
   47  custodian, or caregiver responsible for a child’s welfare, by
   48  virtue of his or her service, is unable to take custody of his
   49  or her child or appear before the court in person.
   50         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.
   52  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   53  And the title is amended as follows:
   54         Delete everything before the enacting clause
   55  and insert:
   56                        A bill to be entitled                      
   57         An act relating to the Servicemembers Civil Relief
   58         Act; amending s. 39.01, F.S.; revising the definition
   59         of the terms “abandoned” or “abandonment”; amending s.
   60         39.0137, F.S.; providing that certain state laws
   61         relating to children do not supersede the
   62         Servicemembers Civil Relief Act; requiring the
   63         Department of Children and Families to ensure that the
   64         act is observed in certain cases; providing an
   65         effective date.