A Broward circuit judge ruled Monday that the Broward Sheriff’s Office must release a critically ill woman in the hospital from their custody, allowing her mother to visit her again.
Lucy Moss, 48, had fought for days to be able to visit her daughter Kristin Carare, who is in intensive care at Broward Health North after she unexpectedly fell ill in the county jail. Carare had been arrested on charges of drug possession in September 2016, and had been jailed since she was arrested a second time on similar charges in March.
The order allows Moss to visit her daughter as any loved one would be able to do at the hospital, said Assistant Public Defender Adam Goldberg. The order also means that the sheriff’s office is no longer responsible for paying for Carare’s medical care.
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“Mom will be permitted full visitation” once the order is processed, Goldberg said. When the Broward Public Defender’s Office contacted the sheriff’s office to say it would seek Carare’s release from custody, “they said they would not have any objections.”
Goldberg added that he is unaware of who will continue to pay for Carare’s medical care: “I think that’s between the family and the hospital.”
Moss, who lives in Ohio, first heard that her 26-year-old daughter was “on life support” and near death on Wednesday night, when a Cleveland police officer knocked on her door and told her to call the Broward hospital. She borrowed money from relatives to fly to Fort Lauderdale and had two brief visits with Carare before sheriff’s deputies told her she was not allowed to return for a third visit.
Moss turned to her daughter’s public defenders, who went to a circuit court judge Sunday for an emergency order that would grant the mother visitation rights again.
The judge signed off, but the Broward Sheriff’s Office told Moss they would not heed the order, citing security reasons.
Moss’ public defenders returned to court Monday asking for Carare to be released from custody outright, which would give Moss the rights and privileges of any other patient’s family member at Broward Health North. Broward Circuit Judge Barbara Duffy agreed to the request for release.
The new order means Moss can see Carare again, but it also means that Carare could have a drug relapse if she is released from the hospital, said Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein in an email.
“I fear this is just the beginning of a trail of tears. I sure hope not,” Finkelstein wrote. “Mom can be with daughter, but keeping daughter away from the drugs that are killing her is another matter.”
BSO spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said Monday that the decision to release Carare from custody had always been in the court’s purview, not BSO’s
“Frankly, I don’t know why [the court] didn’t sign off on releasing her sooner,” she said. “That’s on them.”
Carare is scheduled for a status hearing Wednesday in Duffy’s courtroom.