Children with Certain Special Needs Attorney Registry

Effective July 1, 2015, the Children with Special Needs registry will be managed by each circuit’s Chief Judge, similar to all other court-appointed registries.

The 2015 General Appropriation Act proviso language (section 789 - contracted services for Children with Special Needs from General Revenue Fund) provides that

the implementation of registries, as well as the appointment and compensation of private attorneys appointed to represent dependent children with disabilities in, or being considered for placement in, skilled nursing facilities and dependent children with certain special needs as specified in section 39.01305, Florida Statutes, shall be governed by the provisions of sections 27.40 and 27.5304, Florida Statutes. Florida Statutes

If you have questions regarding the Children with Special Needs attorney registry for circuits in which you wish to accept cases, please contact the Registry Clerk in the circuit(s).

Attorneys approved for a circuit registry will execute the same JAC Contract for Attorney Services executed by other registry counsel. In order to receive compensation for this type of appointment, the order of appointment must reflect that the child meets one of the criteria specified in s. 39.01305, F.S. See sample order below. The authority of the court to appoint compensated counsel is limited to the five categories set forth in the statute.

Before appointing an attorney for compensation, the court must appoint a pro bono attorney who is willing to represent the child without additional compensation, if one is available. The appointing court is required to consult with the GAL in attempting to locate a pro bono attorney. If a pro bono attorney cannot be located or a recommendation is not provided with 15 days, the court is authorized to appoint compensated counsel. The order of appointment must reflect that the court was unable to appoint a pro bono attorney.

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My JAC (Log in to JAC’s secure website for circuits, court-appointed attorneys and associated due process vendors).