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Florida clerks launch task force in effort to improve guardianships

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Florida Clerks of CourtThe Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers have formed a task force to study the status of current guardianships and offer “positive legislative recommendations” leading up to 2022 Legislative Session.

“Clerks of Court have a significant responsibility to ensure our services effectively support the guardianship process,” said Tara. S. Green, FCCC president and Clay County Clerk of Court. “As part of our commitment to residents, we are constantly reviewing ways to improve upon our practices, and we look forward to joining our partners on the Guardianship Improvement Task Force to review improvements across the entire system.”

Pinellas County Clerk Ken Burke will chair the task force and said the guardianship process is instrumental in ensuring the protection of the vulnerable in communities throughout the state.

“With the Guardianship Improvement Task Force, we are looking at opportunities to address gaps and promote recommendations based on expert feedback, so the system works more effectively for those it’s meant to protect,” Burke said.

The first meeting of the task force is set for July 7 at the Epicenter at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater.

Members of the task force include:

• Ken Burke, Pinellas County Clerk of Court and Comptroller – Chair

• Crystal Kinzel, Collier County Clerk of Court and Comptroller

• JD Peacock II, Okaloosa County Clerk of Court and Comptroller

• Sen. Jennifer Bradley, R-Orange Park

• Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland

• Sean Cadigan, General Magistrate, 13th Circuit

• Retired Circuit Court Judge Jose R. Rodriguez

• Representative from the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section

• Shannon Miller, Elder Law Section

• Anthony Palmieri, Statewide Investigation Alliance

• Gina Rossi-Scheiman, executive director, Florida State Guardianship Association

• Viviana Bonilla Lopez, Equal Justice Fellow (Disability Rights Florida)

• Hillary Hogue, Ward Advocate

• Zayne Smith, associate state director of Advocacy, AARP

• Dennis Moore, interim director, Guardian Ad Litem Program

• Mike Donovan, community development attorney, Legal Services of North Florida, Florida Legal Aid Association

• Richard Prudom, secretary, Florida Department of Elder Affairs

• Representative from the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs

• Judge Michelle T. Morley of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, (advisory role)

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