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Guardianship in Florida Courts

Guardianship in Florida Courts

Guardianship in Florida Courts

Guardianship in Florida Courts

Florida Electronic Fingerprinting Services is a veteran-founded livescan fingerprinting center offering services in Hillsborough County, Florida. It provides a seamless and convenient experience with its FDLE-approved Level 2 fingerprinting facility. 

Before you are appointed as a guardian, you must have your fingerprints taken electronically by an authorized agency. These service providers will help you obtain a criminal history report by submitting your prints to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is one of the required documents you must present in court. 

Your criminal history report, both federal and state, will be forwarded by FDLE to the clerk of the circuit court. These reports are then examined, and your guardianship application is reviewed and evaluated to determine whether or not it should be approved.

What Is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal proceeding in Florida circuit courts designed to protect and exercise the legal rights of an incapacitated individual. Incapacitation means that some functional limitations prevent a person from being able to make their own decisions. 

When the court takes away the rights of an individual to order their affairs, the courts have an accompanying duty to protect them as well. This is done by appointing a guardian. Whether you are applying for the guardianship of an adult or a minor, you must follow a fixed two-part legal process. It includes a complete criminal background check through livescan fingerprinting.

Guardianship Process in Florida

If you want to become an individual’s guardian, you will have to follow a two-step process. First, a petition will be filed in court to determine an individual’s capacity. When the person has been deemed incapacitated by the court, a guardian would be appointed after due diligence.

Filing a Petition to Determine Capacity

To start the application process for guardianship, a third person will have to file a petition to determine an individual’s capacity in a circuit court. It can be filed by a loved one or by the representatives of various county agencies. Once the petition is successfully filed, the court appoints an examining committee to speak to the person deemed incompetent.

A three-person committee reviews the petition, meets the individual, and interviews their family members. A detailed report is made and then submitted to the circuit court. The court then holds an incapacity hearing within 14 days of the report submission. After hearing the testimonies, the court determines if the said individual is competent or not.

Appointing a Guardian

After the court hearing, if the judge determines that the individual is incompetent, they appoint a guardian. The guardian needs to be at least 18 years of age and should ideally be a Florida resident. Before the court hears the guardianship petition, you must do due diligence. 

A person, who wants to be the guardian, would have to get a complete national and state criminal background checked. They will have to submit their fingerprints to an FDLE-approved service. FEFPS is a veteran-founded family business that provides high-quality fingerprinting at an affordable price.

We at FEFPS submit your fingerprints the same day to the FDLE. However, generating a report may take up to 3 working days. The report, when created, is forwarded to the circuit court, where they will evaluate your application. Once the court finds the guardian fit, they are appointed, and their decision-making capabilities are clearly defined in the order.

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