The Latest on Florida’s Vulnerable Adult Statute

Vulnerable Adult

Traditionally, the vulnerable population has been depicted as the elderly. But that’s not always the case. Florida’s senate recently passed legislation redefining who is included in this community. Here’s what you should know about it and how we can assist you with guardianship.

While you may view only the elderly as the more vulnerable individuals in our community, there are other populations who are equally at risk. Recently, Florida’s’ legislators passed a petition for injunction for protection against exploitation of a vulnerable adult under section 825.1035, Florida Statutes.

The Florida Senate has two pertinent definitions clarifying who is considered a vulnerable adult and when they are in need of services.

“Vulnerable adult” means a person 18 years of age or older whose ability to perform the normal activities of daily living or to provide for his or her own care or protection is impaired due to a mental, emotional, sensory, long-term physical, or developmental disability or dysfunction, or brain damage, or the infirmities of aging.

“Vulnerable adult in need of services” means a vulnerable adult who has been determined by a protective investigator to be suffering from the ill effects of neglect not caused by a second party perpetrator and is in need of protective services or other services to prevent further harm.

Vulnerable Adult 2

The Basics of the Recent Petition for Injunction

The following is an overview Florida’s recent Vulnerable Adult Statute provided by where you can click to view the full petition at length.


The legislation provides amendments to the Florida Probate Rules- Vulnerable Adults. The Committee proposes the addition of new rule 5.920 (Forms Related to Injunction for Protection Against Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult) to the Florida Probate Rules. The proposal is in response to the 2018 enactment of section 825.1035, Florida Statutes (2019), which established an injunction process for vulnerable adults. Seech. 2018-100, § 2, Laws of Fla. The Committee and the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar unanimously approved the proposed new rule.

The Court hereby adopts new rule 5.920 as proposed by the Committee. Subdivision (a) (Petition for Injunction) contains a form petition for injunction against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Subdivisions (b) (Temporary Protective Injunction Against Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult), (c) (Order Denying Injunction and Notice of Hearing), and (d) (Final Protective Injunction) contain form orders for use by a court in ruling on petitions for injunction against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Accordingly, new rule 5.920, as reflected in the appendix to this opinion, is added to the Florida Probate Rules. The new rule shall become effective immediately upon the release of this opinion. It is so ordered. CANADY, C.J., and POLSTON, LABARGA, LAWSON, MUÑIZ, and COURIEL, JJ., concur. GROSSHANS, J., did not participate. THE FILING OF A MOTION FOR REHEARING SHALL NOT ALTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THESE AMENDMENTS. Original Proceeding– The Florida Probate Rules Committee.

Do You Know a Vulnerable Adult Who Needs Help?

Having to make decisions about an individual in the vulnerable adult community can be challenging--especially if that person is in need of services. At the Law Office of Audra Simovitch, our areas of expertise include:

  • Guardianship
  • Probate and Probate Litigation
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Estate Planning and Asset Protection

Navigating Florida law can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you today.

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