BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX35) - A case in Brevard county could cause Florida’s new grandparent visitation law to be ruled unconstitutional. The measure, which became law over the summer, says that if one or both parents are deceased, missing or in a persistent vegetative state and a surviving parent has been convicted of a felony grandparents can ask the court for visitation.
Stan and Margo Linder filed suit under the new law in August. They would like to be able to visit their granddaughter, Hope. The Linders’ daughter, Christa, lived with them before and after Hope was born.
The girl went to live with her father when Christa died in 2014.
The attorney for the girl’s father — who is identified in the lawsuit as Paul Volland — responded by asking the court to declare the new Florida statute unconstitutional, because it interferes with the fundamental right of a parent to rear his child and the law, as it’s written, is vague and overly broad. A hearing is scheduled for December 7.
If the judge decides that the law is constitutional there will be another set of hearings to decide whether or not the Linders have a right to see Hope.
The Linders submitted paperwork to the court that shows Volland pled guilty to purchasing cocaine in 1999.
Court records show he was placed on probation and did community service.
While Volland pleaded guilty, the attorney argues he is not a convicted felon in the eyes of the law.