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DRAFT
05/09/12 2
 
ORDINANCE NO. 2012-___
 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY

COMMISSIONERS OF ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA, TO  

BE KNOWN AS THE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND LIFE

PROTECTIONS (“HELP”) ORDINANCE; EXPANDING ON

A COUNTYWIDE BASIS THE CITY OF ORLANDO’S

DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY; PROVIDING  

FOR DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR THE RIGHTS AND

DUTIES OF SUPPORT PERSONS; PROVIDING FOR  

ALTERNATE MEANS OF DESIGNATING SUPPORT

PERSONS; PROVIDING FOR TERMINATION OR  

REVOCATION OF DESIGNATION OF SUPPORT

PERSON; PROVIDING FOR MAINTENANCE OF  

RECORDS AND FILING FEES; PROVIDING FOR

LIMITED EFFECT; PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT;  

PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING

FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

 

WHEREAS, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (“the Board”),

acknowledges that the City of Orlando has adopted and enacted an ordinance entitled “Domestic

Partnership Registry,” at Chapter 57, Article 6 (Sections 57.80-57.86); and  


WHEREAS, it is the intent of the Board in enacting this Ordinance, to recognize,

protect, safeguard and facilitate the right of all adult persons in Orange County to designate  

persons to make, if necessary, healthcare decisions, funeral/burial decisions, preneed guardian

designations, and to designate persons to have access to educational records and be involved in

the myriad of proceedings and decisions related to the education of a minor child and to

designate persons to be notified in emergencies; and

 

WHEREAS, the Board also intends to recognize, protect, safeguard and facilitate the

right of all adult persons in Orange County to designate persons who should be allowed

visitation rights, where appropriate, in healthcare and correctional facilities; and

WHEREAS, the Board intends to recognize, protect, safeguard and facilitate the above-

mentioned rights to all adult persons in Orange County regardless of whether they choose to

register under the Domestic Partnership Registry; and

 

WHEREAS, the Board intends to afford judicial remedies for all adult persons in Orange

County who are denied the rights set forth herein; and

 

WHEREAS, the Board does not intend to supersede any federal, state, or other county

laws or regulations, or any existing contractual right, in enacting this Ordinance, and the Board

does not intend that this Ordinance be construed as recognizing or treating domestic partnerships,

as defined in the Domestic Partnership Registry, as a marriage.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY

COMMISSIONERS OF ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA:

 

Section 1. Definitions. For purposes of this Ordinance, the terms below shall have

the following meaning:

A. “Designating Person” means an adult person in Orange

County who has chosen to designate another person to

make healthcare decisions, funeral/burial decisions, and/or

educational decisions, and/or to have visitation rights in

healthcare and/or correctional facilities, and to be notified

in case of emergency, or any combination thereof,

concerning the Designating Person and/or the Designating

Persons’ legal dependents.

B. “Support Person” means the adult person designated by the

Designating Person to make healthcare decisions,

funeral/burial decisions, and/or educational decisions,

and/or to have visitation rights in healthcare and/or

correctional facilities, and to be notified in case of

emergency, or any combination thereof, concerning the

Designating Person and/or the Designating Person’s

dependents. Only one person can be designated as a

Support Person.

C. “Health Care Facility” includes, but is not limited to,

hospitals, nursing homes, hospice care facilities,

convalescent facilities, walk-in clinics, doctors’ offices,

mental health care facilities and any other short-term or

long-term health care facilities located within Orange

County.

D. “Correctional Facility” means holding cells, jails, and

juvenile correction centers of any kind, located within or

under the jurisdiction of Orange County.

E. “City of Orlando Domestic Partnership Registry

Ordinance” shall mean and refer to Chapter 57, Article VI,

Sections 57.80 through 57.86 inclusive, as enacted in 2011

by the City Commission for the City of Orlando.

F. “Domestic Partnership Registry” shall refer to the

Domestic Partnership Registry established by the City of

Orlando in facilitation of the City of Orlando Domestic

Partnership Registry Ordinance.

G. “Registered Domestic Partnership” shall refer to the

relationship created by compliance with the City of

Orlando Domestic Partnership Registry Ordinance.

H. “Registered Domestic Partners” shall refer to each and both

applicants who register effectively with the Domestic 92

Partnership Registry.

I. “Orange County’s Human Rights Ordinance” shall refer to

and mean Orange County Code Chapter 22, entitled

“Human Rights.”

J. “Comptroller” shall mean the Comptroller of Orange

County, Florida, and the Office of the Comptroller for

Orange County, Florida.


Section 2. Rights and Duties of Support Persons. To the extent not superseded by

federal, state or other county law or ordinance, and to the extent not contrary to rights conferred

by contract or separate legal instrument, a Designating Person who has designated a Support

Person in accordance with Section 3, below, shall be deemed to have conferred upon the Support Person the following rights with respect to the Designating Person, unless the Designating

Person indicates otherwise under Section 3B, below:

 

A. Health Care Facility Visitation.

 1. All Health Care Facilities operating within Orange County shall allow the Support Person visitation as provided under federal law.

 2. All Health Care Facilities operating within Orange County shall also allow visitation as provided under federal law to dependents of those Support Persons who are also Registered Domestic Partners.


B. Health Care Decisions. A Designating Person’s designation of a Support

Person should be sufficient to recognize the Support Person as the Designating Person’s health

care surrogate as provided in Chapter 765, Florida Statutes, and otherwise as provided by Federal

law.


C. Funeral/Burial Decisions. A Designating Person’s designation of a

Support Person under this Ordinance shall be considered to be the written inter vivos

authorization and direction to have his or her Support Person direct the disposition of the

Designating Person’s body for funeral and burial purposes as provided in Chapters 406, 497 and

732, Florida Statutes, unless the Designating Person had otherwise provided conflicting written

inter vivos authorization and directions that are dated after the date of the designation by the

Designating Person of the Support Person pursuant to this Ordinance, in which case the later

dated authorization and direction shall control.


D. Correctional Facility Visitation Rights.

 1. Any Support Person designated by a Designating Person under this

Ordinance shall be entitled to visit the Designating Person, if the Designating Person is an inmate

of a correctional facility located within Orange County, upon the same terms and conditions

under which visitation is afforded to spouses, dependents, or parents of inmates.

 2. Support Persons and Designating Persons who are also Registered

Domestic Partners will also be entitled to visit or be visited by family members of the Support

Person or Designating Person upon the same terms and conditions under which visitation is

afforded to spouses, dependents, or parents of inmates.


E. Emergency Notification. In any situation providing for mandatory or

permissible notification, including but not limited to notification in an emergency, or when

permission is granted to correctional facility inmates to contact family members, notification

shall include Support Persons, so long as adequate contact information for the Support Person is

provided by the Designating Person.


F. Preneed Guardian Designation. The person who has been designated as a

Support Person pursuant to this Ordinance shall have the same right as any other individual to be

designated as a Preneed Guardian pursuant to Chapter 744, Florida Statutes, and to serve in such

capacity in the event of the Designating Person’s incapacity.

 

G. Participation in Education. To the extent allowed by federal and state

law, a Support Person as defined by this Ordinance shall have the same rights as would a parent

of the child to access educational records and to be involved in the myriad of proceedings and

decisions related to the education of a minor child or children who are the dependents of a

Designated Person in all educational facilities located within or under the jurisdiction of Orange

County. However, if a parent of a minor dependant of the Designating Person, whose parental

rights have not been terminated, objects to the participation of a Support Person who is not a parent of the Designating Person’s dependent, only the participation of the parent shall be

allowed.

 

 Section 3. Alternative Methods of Designating Support Persons.

 

 A. Any adult person in Orange County may choose to use the registration

provisions of the City of Orlando Domestic Partnership Registry Ordinance. Any adult person in

Orange County who has already registered under the Domestic Partnership Registry will be

deemed to have made the designation of Support Person under this Ordinance as of the Effective

Date hereof. As to each of any pair of persons who submit or have submitted an affidavit

together and who register or have registered under The Domestic Partnership Registry, each

person will be deemed a Support Person, under this Ordinance, in relation to the other affiant,

who will also be deemed the Designating Person under this Ordinance.

 

 B. Alternatively, any adult person in Orange County who chooses not to

register under the City of Orlando Domestic Partnership Registry may nevertheless designate a

Support Person by signing a written document, provided by the Comptroller, designating the

Support Person, and the Designating Person shall indicate the express functions and rights which

the Support Person will have with respect to the Designating Person, identifying healthcare

surrogate status, healthcare facility visitation rights, authority to make funeral/burial decisions,

correctional facility visitation rights, right to notification in the event of an emergency, preneed

guardian designation, and/or the right to have access to educational records and be involved in

the myriad of proceedings and decisions related to the education of a minor child who is the

Designating Person’s dependent. The written designation shall be signed by the Designating

Person in the presence of two subscribing adult witnesses, at least one of whom shall be neither

the Designating Person’s spouse nor blood relative. If the Designating Person is unable to sign

the instrument, the Designating Person, in the presence of two adult witnesses, one of which

shall be neither of the Designating Person’s spouse nor blood relative, may direct that another

person sign the Designating Person’s name. The Designating Person shall provide an exact copy

of the instrument to the Support Person.

 

Section 4. Termination or Revocation of Designating Person’s Designation of

Support Person Under This Ordinance. In addition to any other laws or regulations or contract

rights providing for termination or revocation of rights concerning the relationship between a

Designating Person and a Support Person, and to the extent not inconsistent with any such other

law, regulation or contract, a Designating Person may terminate or revoke the designation of a

Support Person by completing a Notice of Termination and Revocation of Designation as

prepared by the Comptroller. However, to the extent the relationship between the Designating

Person and the Support Person has been terminated without the provision of a Notice of

Termination and Revocation as provided for in this section, no person relying upon the

information established and recorded by this Ordinance shall be liable under this Ordinance by

relying upon the information maintained by the Comptroller in the public records pursuant to this

Ordinance.

 

Section 5. Maintenance of Records; Filing Fees.

 A. The Comptroller shall prepare all forms necessary for the implementation

of this Ordinance, including all forms to be completed by Support Persons and Designating

Persons. The Comptroller shall maintain a record of all forms filed pursuant to this Ordinance.

 

 B. The Comptroller shall collect appropriate fees as allowed by law for the

filing of any forms required by this Ordinance. Any fees under this Section shall be

commensurate with the actual costs of administering the provisions of this Ordinance.

 

 C. The Comptroller is authorized and requested to take all actions necessary

to implement the provisions of this Section within forty-five (45) days after this Ordinance is

enacted.

 

 D. The Comptroller may collaborate with the City Clerk of the City of

Orlando to coordinate the maintenance of records between Orange County and the City of

Orlando regarding this Ordinance and the City of Orlando’s Domestic Partnership Registry

Ordinance.

 

Section 6. Limited Effect.

 A. Nothing in this Ordinance shall be interpreted to alter, affect, or

contravene county, state, or federal law, or any existing contract or legal right.

 

 B. Nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed as recognizing or treating the

relationship between a Designating Person and a Support Person, or a Registered Domestic

Partnership under the Domestic Partnership Registry Ordinance, as a marriage.

 

 C. No other rights are created nor implied under this Ordinance, and no

private right of action is created unless specified herein.

 

Section 7. Enforcement.

 A. Any Designating Person or Support Person may enforce their rights by

filing a private judicial action against any person or entity denying those rights in any court of

competent jurisdiction for declaratory relief, injunctive relief, or any other relief a court may

deem appropriate.

 

Section 8. Severability. Pursuant to and consistent with Orange County Code

Section 1-11, if any section, sub-section, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance is

for any reason held or declared to be unconstitutional, inoperative or void, such holding of 220

invalidity shall not affect the remaining portion of this Ordinance, and it shall be construed to have been the legislative

intent to pass this Ordinance without such unconstitutional, invalid or

inoperative part therein, and the remainder of this Ordinance after the exclusion of such part or

parts shall be deemed and held to be valid as if such part or parts had not been included herein.

If this Ordinance or any provision thereof shall be held inapplicable to any person, group of

persons, property or kind of property, or circumstances or set of circumstances, such holding

shall not affect the applicability hereof to any other person, property or circumstance.

 

Section 9. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall become effective on July 6, 2012.

 

 ADOPTED THIS ___ DAY OF __________________, 2012.

 

 ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA

 

 By: Board of County Commissioners

 

 By:______________________________

 

 Teresa Jacobs, County Mayor


ATTEST: Martha O. Haynie, County Comptroller 

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