By now you know that the Florida law against using the term “child” in the child-friendly language “childless adult” is unconstitutional.
But it’s worth a quick refresher about the law, because there’s an interesting twist to it: It’s not a law that would affect everyone.
But that’s what’s being argued in a lawsuit filed by the parents of a 12-year-old boy who uses the term in his legal documents.
The boy’s attorney, Michael Rochford, has argued that the law is not meant to apply to anyone, because it’s not really about what is legal or not legal.
That argument has drawn support from other parents, who have argued that using the word “child,” as it is used in court documents, should be legal.
“The childless adult uses the word ‘child’ in court papers, and that’s not illegal,” Rochffs attorney, Thomas F. Sullivan, told NBC News.
“It’s perfectly legal.
If the parents want to use it, fine.”
In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Rochfson argues that using a childless-adult title in court proceedings is not a valid use of the word because it implies that the childless adults in those documents are not legally competent to decide on matters of child custody.
“It’s clearly an attempt to confuse the court, which would be inappropriate,” Sullivan said.
The lawyer for the boy’s parents has countered that the use of a child-less adult title in legal documents should be understood as a legal formality.
“The court should not take a position that the court is not aware of the validity of using the child,” said Rochbank, who added that he believes the judge in this case was simply looking for an excuse to stop the use.
Sullivan told ABC News that Rochnson is “skeptical” that the judge is looking to stop using the title in this particular case because it is not the “legal formality” that would prevent it from being used.
The lawsuit also contends that the word could be misinterpreted as a term of endearment or as a form of abuse, which is not illegal under the Florida Constitution.
“You can use a child, but you can’t use a term that’s meant to offend the child or to be offensive,” Sullivan told ABC.
Rochford added that the boy was being asked to “use words in a court of law that he shouldn’t be using in court.”
The Florida case, which was filed in U.C.F.L. v.
Florida Department of Children and Families, also challenges other aspects of the law.
It was originally filed in 2010, and was settled in 2012 after the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional.
In that case, the boy and his parents argued that Florida’s law against childless individuals in state-run foster care was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits racial discrimination on the basis of race.
But the court ruled in 2012 that the statute was constitutional.
That ruling is now under appeal.
The law in question is Florida’s Child Support Enforcement Law, which has been in effect since the 1980s.
In 2011, the U of C.F.-FLS Research Center published a study that found that using childless or childless persons as a title in state documents violates the Constitution.
“This statute does not provide that a child may not be referred to as ‘childless’ or ‘child,’ or as ‘parentless’ and ‘parent,’ but instead, ‘adult,'” the report said.
The law is now on the books, but it is up for review by the Florida Supreme Court, which must issue a decision on the constitutionality of the statute by May 25.