Supreme Court wrestles with Kayla McKean Act

first_imgSupreme Court wrestles with Kayla McKean Act August 1, 2000 Regular News Supreme Court wrestles with Kayla McKean Act The Florida Supreme Court has declined to accept a recommendation that judges be subject to discipline if they fail to report a possible case of child abuse, abandonment or neglect they learn of in the course of their official duties. In an opinion released July 13, the court, however, invited further comments from the Ad Hoc Committee on Implementation of the Kayla McKean Act and other interested parties. The ad hoc committee, which was directed to examine the act and its effect on separation of powers, ex parte communications with judges and how it would affect the impartiality of judges, made the recommendation to the court. Its proposals were advertised in the January 15 Bar News and the court heard oral arguments on May 8. The court noted the proposal drew opposition from the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee and the Family Law Rules Committee, and that the legislature has also amended the act. “While we appreciate the concerns expressed at oral arguments of the co-chairs of the ad hoc committee, we are also mindful of the competing concerns voiced by those who spoke in opposition regarding the impartiality of the judiciary and its proper role in protecting the best interests of children,” the opinion said. “We therefore decline to adopt the proposed rules at this time. We welcome any suggestions from all interested parties including the rules of Judicial Administration Committee, the Family Law Rules Committee, and the ad hoc committee as to whether this issue should be studied further and any alternative approaches considered.” The opinion came in Amendments to the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration 2.050, 2.075, and 2.160, and Form of Judicial Administration 2.901, case no. SC99-162. It can be found on the court’s website at

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