Father by Court order remains Father after Death of Child

Glover v. Miller. 947 So.2d 1254 (Fla. 4th DCA January 31, 2007)

After a 16-year-old child was killed by a police officer, two separate men claimed they were his father and asserted the right to be appointed personal representative of the child’s estate for purposes of pursuing a wrongful death action. One man had been declared the decedent’s father in a paternity action 12 years previously and had been required to pay child support. Post-death DNA testing showed a 99% likelihood that the other man actually was the decedent’s natural father. The appellate court affirmed a trial court’s determination that the man previously declared to be the father was entitled to priority in appointment and that absent having the judgment of paternity vacated and a new determination of paternity entered, the man previously deemed the father was, for purposes of appointment of personal representative, the decedent’s “father in the eyes of the law, regardless of the results of DNA testing.”

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