What is Florida Statute 744.3215? Did you know that if you are deemed incapacitated in Florida, certain rights may be taken away from you? Can all of my rights be taken away from me? What rights will I still have if I am a Ward? How can my guardianship lawyer help me to understand my rights? Florida Statute 744.3215 is the relevant statute. It lists the rights that a person retains when determined incapacitated and the rights that may be removed.
Florida Statute 744.3215: Rights of persons determined incapacitated.—
(1) A person who has been determined to be incapacitated retains the right:
(a) To have an annual review of the guardianship report and plan.
(b) To have continuing review of the need for restriction of his or her rights.
(c) To be restored to capacity at the earliest possible time.
(d) To be treated humanely, with dignity and respect, and to be protected against abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
(e) To have a qualified guardian.
(f) To remain as independent as possible, including having his or her preference as to place and standard of living honored, either as he or she expressed or demonstrated his or her preference prior to the determination of his or her incapacity or as he or she currently expresses his or her preference, insofar as such request is reasonable.
(g) To be properly educated.
(h) To receive prudent financial management for his or her property and to be informed how his or her property is being managed, if he or she has lost the right to manage property.
(i) To receive services and rehabilitation necessary to maximize the quality of life.
(j) To be free from discrimination because of his or her incapacity.
(k) To have access to the courts.
(l) To counsel.
(m) To receive visitors and communicate with others.
(n) To notice of all proceedings related to determination of capacity and guardianship, unless the court finds the incapacitated person lacks the ability to comprehend the notice.
(o) To privacy.
(2) Rights that may be removed from a person by an order determining incapacity but not delegated to a guardian include the right:
(a) To marry. If the right to enter into a contract has been removed, the right to marry is subject to court approval.
(b) To vote.
(c) To personally apply for government benefits.
(d) To have a driver license.
(e) To travel.
(f) To seek or retain employment.
(3) Rights that may be removed from a person by an order determining incapacity and which may be delegated to the guardian include the right:
(a) To contract.
(b) To sue and defend lawsuits.
(c) To apply for government benefits.
(d) To manage property or to make any gift or disposition of property.
(e) To determine his or her residence.
(f) To consent to medical and mental health treatment.
(g) To make decisions about his or her social environment or other social aspects of his or her life.
(4) Without first obtaining specific authority from the court, as described in s. 744.3725, a guardian may not:
(a) Commit the ward to a facility, institution, or licensed service provider without formal placement proceeding, pursuant to chapter 393, chapter 394, or chapter 397.
(b) Consent on behalf of the ward to the performance on the ward of any experimental biomedical or behavioral procedure or to the participation by the ward in any biomedical or behavioral experiment. The court may permit such performance or participation only if:
1. It is of direct benefit to, and is intended to preserve the life of or prevent serious impairment to the mental or physical health of the ward; or
2. It is intended to assist the ward to develop or regain his or her abilities.
(c) Initiate a petition for dissolution of marriage for the ward.
(d) Consent on behalf of the ward to termination of the ward’s parental rights.
(e) Consent on behalf of the ward to the performance of a sterilization or abortion procedure on the ward.