Steiner v. Steiner, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D559 (Fla. 2d DCA March 4, 2015)
The son and daughter filed petitions to determine that their parents were incapacitated. Although the petitions were brought in good faith, the court appointed examining committee found that the parents were not incapacitated. As a result, the trial court dismissed the petitions and ordered the parents to pay fees to their court appointed attorneys. The appellate court reversed based upon a prior decision in which it “determined that chapter 744 [Florida Statutes] does not require the alleged incapacitated person to pay fees and costs where the petition to determine guardianship and incapacity is brought in good faith but incapacity is not found and guardianship is not established.” The court lamented that its holding left court appointed attorneys “with a right without a remedy;” Although court appointed attorneys are entitled to fees, under the court’s holding, no one is responsible to pay them. The court “urge[d] the legislature to address the statutory gap by clarifying which party is responsible for paying the attorney’s fees in this situation.”
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