- posted: Sep. 30, 2020
Under Florida Statute §428.29, adult living facilities are required to provide at least forty-five (45) days of Notice of Relocation or Termination of Residency. See Florida Statute §428.29(k).
Recently, we were asked by a client to assist with a situation where a non-compliant resident of an ALF was eloping from this facility, which was not secured, and then refusing to be tested for Covid. He was therefore, not only a danger to himself, but the other residents as well. Florida Statute §428.29(k) provides that if a resident is certified by a physician to require an emergency relocation to a facility providing a more skilled level of care, the facility can petition the court for an order terminating residency in less than the 45 day time usually required by statute. Of course, in such situations, it is imperative to have the ability to actually transfer the resident, and certainly, no court is going to allow the termination of residency without an admitting facility waiting to receive the resident. Through Herculean efforts of the facility staff, we were able to locate a receiving facility willing to accept this resident. We were also able to obtain an affidavit from the resident’s physician attesting to the fact that the resident needed a more skilled level of care than the facility was able to provide, and required immediate transfer. We petitioned the Circuit Court an emergency relocation of the resident, which was granted after a hearing where the judge heard the testimony of the facility administrator. Luckily, the resident agreed to be Covid tested at the last minute, and therefore, that was not an additional issue that needed to be addressed in the petition or by the court. This probably would have been an extremely novel situation for both court and the facility had it been an ongoing issue.
Through the combined efforts of the attorneys and staff, and management at the facility, a good result was obtained, however, it is imperative to game-plan for these eventualities or a facility can be stuck and expose itself and its residents to possible harm.