Press Release: Leon County Board of County Commissioners
Leon County Domestic Partnership Registry to Open May 1
Leon County’s domestic partnership registry will open for business May 1, 2013. Approved by the Leon County Board of County Commissioners in March 2013, the registry will be available to couples who are unmarried under Florida law.
An opening day celebration will be held on Wednesday, May 1 at 8 a.m., in the plaza area that leads into the Leon County Clerk of Courts’ Official Records Office, 313 S. Calhoun Street. Immediately following the opening events, the Clerk of Courts’ Official Records Office will begin registering domestic partnerships. Additional information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available from Leon County’s website at www.LeonCountyFL.gov/DPR .
The following summarizes rights that are extended to Leon County registered domestic partners:
• Visit each other in the hospital or in a correctional facility in Leon County
• Make health care decisions for a partner who is incapacitated
• Be notified as a family member in an emergency or other situations affecting their partner
• Oversee funeral and burial arrangements for each other
• Take part in the education of a partner’s child in Leon County
• Have the right to be designated as a preneed guardian and serve in that capacity if their partner becomes incapacitated
The registry is open to couples who are 18 or older, who consider themselves as a member of their partner’s immediate family, and who are not related by blood, not married under Florida law, and not in a domestic partnership or civil union with someone else.
To register, couples must go in person to the Clerk of Courts’ Official Records Office, located at 313 S. Calhoun Street, #101 (across the street from the Leon County Courthouse). Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Upon arrival, couples will complete a Domestic Partnership Registration Affidavit, show evidence of their identity, such as a driver’s license or other state-issued identification, sign the affidavit under oath, and pay a $50 registration fee. The Clerk of Courts’ Official Records Office will sign and seal the affidavit, record it in the Official Records of Leon County, and provide the partners with a certificate of registration and laminated cards recognizing their registered domestic partnership. A searchable database of domestic partnership registration records will be accessible from the Clerk of Courts’ website at www.clerk.leon.fl.us .
The registry is not limited to Leon County residents. For example, an unmarried couple who visits regularly or who seeks health care services here, could sign up and be afforded the rights of registered domestic partners while they are in Leon County. Because the registry affidavit includes designations of the other partner as their health care surrogate and agent for making funeral and burial arrangements, it may supersede some provisions of other legal designations or living wills that were executed earlier. In the same way, any living will or other designation properly executed after the partners sign the domestic partnership registration affidavit would supersede the affidavit. As a result, couples may want to seek independent legal counsel on issues regarding living wills and similar designations.
For more information regarding how to register, please contact the Leon County Clerk of Courts at (850) 577-4000. For more information regarding the opening day celebration, please contact Leon County Community and Media Relations at (850) 606-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org .