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2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Definitions of terms used in ss. 415.101-415.113.
Definitions of terms used in ss. 415.101-415.113.
415.102 Definitions of terms used in ss. 415.101-415.113.—As used in ss. 415.101-415.113, the term:
(1) “Abuse” means any willful act or threatened act by a relative, caregiver, or household member which causes or is likely to cause significant impairment to a vulnerable adult’s physical, mental, or emotional health. Abuse includes acts and omissions.
(2) “Activities of daily living” means functions and tasks for self-care, including ambulation, bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, toileting, and other similar tasks.
(3) “Alleged perpetrator” means a person who has been named by a reporter as the person responsible for abusing, neglecting, or exploiting a vulnerable adult.
(4) “Capacity to consent” means that a vulnerable adult has sufficient understanding to make and communicate responsible decisions regarding the vulnerable adult’s person or property, including whether or not to accept protective services offered by the department.
(5) “Caregiver” means a person who has been entrusted with or has assumed the responsibility for frequent and regular care of or services to a vulnerable adult on a temporary or permanent basis and who has a commitment, agreement, or understanding with that person or that person’s guardian that a caregiver role exists. “Caregiver” includes, but is not limited to, relatives, household members, guardians, neighbors, and employees and volunteers of facilities as defined in subsection (9). For the purpose of departmental investigative jurisdiction, the term “caregiver” does not include law enforcement officers or employees of municipal or county detention facilities or the Department of Corrections while acting in an official capacity.
(6) “Deception” means a misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact relating to services rendered, disposition of property, or the use of property intended to benefit a vulnerable adult.
(7) “Department” means the Department of Children and Families.
(8)(a) “Exploitation” means a person who:
1. Stands in a position of trust and confidence with a vulnerable adult and knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, a vulnerable adult’s funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive a vulnerable adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property for the benefit of someone other than the vulnerable adult; or
2. Knows or should know that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent, and obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the vulnerable adult’s funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the vulnerable adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property for the benefit of someone other than the vulnerable adult.
(b) “Exploitation” may include, but is not limited to:
1. Breaches of fiduciary relationships, such as the misuse of a power of attorney or the abuse of guardianship duties, resulting in the unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of property;
2. Unauthorized taking of personal assets;
3. Misappropriation, misuse, or transfer of moneys belonging to a vulnerable adult from a personal or joint account; or
4. Intentional or negligent failure to effectively use a vulnerable adult’s income and assets for the necessities required for that person’s support and maintenance.
(9) “Facility” means any location providing day or residential care or treatment for vulnerable adults. The term “facility” may include, but is not limited to, any hospital, state institution, nursing home, assisted living facility, adult family-care home, adult day care center, residential facility licensed under chapter 393, adult day training center, or mental health treatment center.
(10) “False report” means a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult to the central abuse hotline which is not true and is maliciously made for the purpose of:
(a) Harassing, embarrassing, or harming another person;
(b) Personal financial gain for the reporting person;
(c) Acquiring custody of a vulnerable adult; or
(d) Personal benefit for the reporting person in any other private dispute involving a vulnerable adult.
The term “false report” does not include a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult which is made in good faith to the central abuse hotline.
(11) “Fiduciary relationship” means a relationship based upon the trust and confidence of the vulnerable adult in the caregiver, relative, household member, or other person entrusted with the use or management of the property or assets of the vulnerable adult. The relationship exists where there is a special confidence reposed in one who in equity and good conscience is bound to act in good faith and with due regard to the interests of the vulnerable adult. For the purposes of this part, a fiduciary relationship may be formed by an informal agreement between the vulnerable adult and the other person and does not require a formal declaration or court order for its existence. A fiduciary relationship includes, but is not limited to, court-appointed or voluntary guardians, trustees, attorneys, or conservators of a vulnerable adult’s assets or property.
(12) “Guardian” means a person who has been appointed by a court to act on behalf of a person; a preneed guardian, as provided in chapter 744; or a health care surrogate expressly designated as provided in chapter 765.
(13) “In-home services” means the provision of nursing, personal care, supervision, or other services to vulnerable adults in their own homes.
(14) “Intimidation” means the communication by word or act to a vulnerable adult that that person will be deprived of food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, medical services, money, or financial support or will suffer physical violence.
(15) “Lacks capacity to consent” means a mental impairment that causes a vulnerable adult to lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning person or property, including whether or not to accept protective services.
(16) “Neglect” means the failure or omission on the part of the caregiver or vulnerable adult to provide the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of the vulnerable adult, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, and medical services, which a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of a vulnerable adult. The term “neglect” also means the failure of a caregiver or vulnerable adult to make a reasonable effort to protect a vulnerable adult from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by others. “Neglect” is repeated conduct or a single incident of carelessness which produces or could reasonably be expected to result in serious physical or psychological injury or a substantial risk of death.
(17) “Obtains or uses” means any manner of:
(a) Taking or exercising control over property;
(b) Making any use, disposition, or transfer of property;
(c) Obtaining property by fraud, willful misrepresentation of a future act, or false promise; or
(d)1. Conduct otherwise known as stealing; larceny; purloining; abstracting; embezzlement; misapplication; misappropriation; conversion; or obtaining money or property by false pretenses, fraud, or deception; or
2. Other conduct similar in nature.
(18) “Office” has the same meaning as in s. 400.0060.
(19) “Position of trust and confidence” with respect to a vulnerable adult means the position of a person who:
(a) Is a parent, spouse, adult child, or other relative by blood or marriage;
(b) Is a joint tenant or tenant in common;
(c) Has a legal or fiduciary relationship, including, but not limited to, a court-appointed or voluntary guardian, trustee, attorney, or conservator; or
(d) Is a caregiver or any other person who has been entrusted with or has assumed responsibility for the use or management of the vulnerable adult’s funds, assets, or property.
(20) “Protective investigation” means acceptance of a report from the central abuse hotline alleging abuse, neglect, or exploitation as defined in this section; investigation of the report; determination as to whether action by the court is warranted; and referral of the vulnerable adult to another public or private agency when appropriate.
(21) “Protective investigator” means an authorized agent of the department who receives and investigates reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults.
(22) “Protective services” means services to protect a vulnerable adult from further occurrences of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Such services may include, but are not limited to, protective supervision, placement, and in-home and community-based services.
(23) “Protective supervision” means those services arranged for or implemented by the department to protect vulnerable adults from further occurrences of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
(24) “Psychological injury” means an injury to the intellectual functioning or emotional state of a vulnerable adult as evidenced by an observable or measurable reduction in the vulnerable adult’s ability to function within that person’s customary range of performance and that person’s behavior.
(25) “Records” means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, videotapes, or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to a protective investigation.
(26) “Sexual abuse” means acts of a sexual nature committed in the presence of a vulnerable adult without that person’s informed consent. “Sexual abuse” includes, but is not limited to, the acts defined in s. 794.011(1)(h), fondling, exposure of a vulnerable adult’s sexual organs, or the use of a vulnerable adult to solicit for or engage in prostitution or sexual performance. “Sexual abuse” does not include any act intended for a valid medical purpose or any act that may reasonably be construed to be normal caregiving action or appropriate display of affection.
(27) “Victim” means any vulnerable adult named in a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
(28) “Vulnerable adult” means a person 18 years of age or older whose ability to perform the normal activities of daily living or to provide for his or her own care or protection is impaired due to a mental, emotional, sensory, long-term physical, or developmental disability or dysfunction, or brain damage, or the infirmities of aging.
(29) “Vulnerable adult in need of services” means a vulnerable adult who has been determined by a protective investigator to be suffering from the ill effects of neglect not caused by a second party perpetrator and is in need of protective services or other services to prevent further harm.
History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, ch. 73-176; s. 1, ch. 77-174; ss. 3, 5, ch. 79-287; s. 15, ch. 79-298; s. 1, ch. 80-293; s. 1, ch. 83-82; s. 28, ch. 86-220; s. 29, ch. 87-238; s. 26, ch. 89-294; s. 1, ch. 90-50; s. 44, ch. 90-306; s. 1, ch. 91-57; s. 35, ch. 95-210; s. 94, ch. 95-418; s. 9, ch. 97-98; s. 127, ch. 97-101; s. 41, ch. 97-264; s. 1, ch. 98-182; s. 68, ch. 2000-153; s. 26, ch. 2000-349; s. 4, ch. 2003-57; s. 1, ch. 2006-131; s. 57, ch. 2006-227; s. 2, ch. 2010-31; s. 234, ch. 2014-19; s. 28, ch. 2015-31.