How do I presscharges for false allegations to DCF?

My ex has called DCF on me the first time for neglect, blaming him developing diabetes on me when Type 1 is suppose to be auto-immune disorder. The second time she called after I took her to court because he was not allowing me overnight visitation with my son and was limiting me to a few hours every couple weekends. She claimed neglect and abuse to both her and my son and substance abuse. All allegations have been unfounded. From text messages sent to me it is obvious that she is mad and pissed off about the mediation agreement and has been telling me she is going to get me straight. Continues to say that I have caused my son harm. I want to press charges or possibly file a petition to modify timesharing. Can I do this and what do I need to prove this was done to gain custody?

Miami, FL -

Attorney Answers (2)

Richard James Mockler III

Richard James Mockler III

Family Law Attorney - Tampa, FL
Answered

The prior answer is correct in that you cannot initiate criminal charges for false reports to DCF or the abuse hotline. Under sections 39.205 and 39.206, Florida Statutes, a person who files false reports is subject to criminal charges and administrative remedies (up to $10,000 fine). The problem is that DCF rarely ever pursues such charges. One of my clients was recently subject to several false reports, and he could not get DCF to take any action on his own.

I had to contact the Regional Counsel and client service coordinator to get anyone even to review the reports for purposes of whether the mother violated sections 39.205 or 39.206.

One of the potential remedies is that DCF can send a warning letter about false or unfounded allegations and threaten to take administrative action against the mother. But, this is rare.

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Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Family Law Attorney - Winter Park, FL
Answered

You can't. The only one who can pursue criminal charges for false allegations is DCF. You can complain to DCF, and if you have independent evidence that rises to the level of defamation, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit. Filing to modify timesharing is a separate issue

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