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What is the statute of limitations on Florida Statute 772.11?

Gainesville, FL |

I adopted a child out of foster care. I was court ordered to put money that she had in a trust with the State of Florida into a custodial account pursuant the Florida Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. At what age is she entitled to that money? If she chooses to sue me based on Florida Statute 772.11, "Civil Remedy for Theft or Exploitation," is there a time limit for her to make the claim? I have not had contact with her since she turned 18 and she is now 23. Has her time run out for her to make a civil claim against me?

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

1. The answer to your limitations question is in the 772.17
772.17 Limitation of actions.–Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a civil action or proceeding under this chapter may be commenced at any time within 5 years after the conduct in violation of a provision of this act terminates or the cause of action accrues. If a criminal prosecution or civil action or other proceeding is brought or intervened in by the state or by the United States to punish, prevent, or restrain any criminal activity or criminal conduct which forms the basis for a civil action under this chapter, the running of the period of limitations prescribed by this section shall be suspended during the pendency of such prosecution, action, or proceeding and for 2 years following its termination.
2. The balance of your question is confusing and not easily answered. If you took the child's money and did not do as the Court ordered, you could be guilty of a violation of the statue and you could be guilty of a crime. The minor becomes an adult at the age of 18 and the statute likely beings to run at that age.
Seek legal help if the issues are not resolved. You could be in contempt of the Court Order and other sanctions could be imposed by the Court.

The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual written documentation or having a conference to more fully explore the issues, this short answer has only limited application. Make sure to seek legal counsel and provide all documentation to get assistance in making informed legal choices. Bstein@dcfsz.com, 305 377 1505

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your response. To clarify, I was court ordered to put the money into a custodial account pursuant to the Florida Uniform Transfers to Minors Act when she was 17. She moved out at age 18 and never made a claim for the money. I removed the money from the custodial account a month before she turned 21. She is now over the age of 23 and retained a lawyer and is trying to make a civil claim for the money. If the 5 year statute of limitations is true, then she has no legal claim to the money now, correct?

Barry A. Stein

Barry A. Stein

Posted

Your court ordered obligation does not have an expiration on it. She could move for contempt in the original court which directed you to do what you were to do. She would have to know about the funds and the improper transfer for you to get to take advantage of the 5 year statute of limitations. I would seek legal help on this rather than continuing to try and figure it out through this site. You have a problem and need to address it. How much was involved? Do you have the funds? I think there are certain sets of facts underwhich she has a continuing claim that did not expire on her 23 rd bday.

Asker

Posted

Thank you again for your quick and helpful response. My daughter went with me to the bank when she was 17 to open up a FLUTMA account in her name listing me as custodian, so not only was she aware of the account, but I did open the account per my court order. My court order says, I am "directed to establish a cusotidal account in the amount of (dollar amount) for (my daughter) pursuant to the Florida Uniform Transfers to Minors Act" which I did. I was the custodian of her account with her name on it. She moved out at age 18 and made no claim for the money. I withdrew the funds a month before she turned 21, which she was also made aware of by the bank, but she still made no claim. Now at age 23+, she decided to get a lawyer and try to make a civil theft claim against me for the money. That is where I wondered if the statute of limitations come into play. I had the money up until about a year ago, and now I do not. It was approximately $13,000. Some of it is loaned out and some was used to pay for debt incurred during the time we got custody/adopted her.

Barry A. Stein

Barry A. Stein

Posted

The issue of statute of limitations is a question of fact for the trier of fact in any case which may be filed. You have some facts that help and a major fact that does not. You dont have a compelling argument as the funds were never yours. I would try and work something out OR potentially have suit filed when you will lose. What you used the money for is irrelevant. Hire an attorney to protect your rights and admit to nothing without seeking counsel.