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This private placement adoption action presents a number of intertwined legal issues that highlight the shortcomings of the private placement adoption statutes in New York State. The infant who is the subject of the case has now been in the home of the petitioners since February 21, 1998 without the benefit of a valid adoption consent from the parents or a currently valid pre-adoption certification order. The adoption agency that originally accepted custody of the child is no longer supervising this placement because it was not licensed in the state where the child was born. Additionally, the fees charges by the principals involved may not be entirely allowable under New York State law.

Background This petition was filed in Kings County Family Court by Mrs. M and Mr. M. on June 10, 1999 seeking adoption of a male child born 2/19/98 in Biddeford, Maine to Mrs. P. Mr. P is listed as the child’s father. The petition alleges that the child has been in the care of the petitioners since 2/21/98.

A review of documents filed supplementing the adoption petition indicates that while petitioners were found to be qualified adoptive parents pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 115-d by order of Kings County Surrogate’s Court dated 1/13/94, at the time this petition was filed in the Family Court on June 10, 1999 the petitioners were no longer certified as qualified adoptive parents. Surrogate’s Court extended the original certification order until 2/1/96 when it lapsed. Apparently, the Surrogate permitted Mr. and Mrs. M. to apply for “recertification” and issued a one-year order on January 5, 1998 that continued until January 5, 1999.

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2017 Slip Op. 01705

Decision

This is an appeal for parts of the judgment of divorce from Nassau County Superior Court. The decision failed to award maintenance fees to the plaintiff, but did award the plaintiff’s counsel the amount of $87,000.

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This case involves the enforcement of a sister-state divorce judgment, with respect to arrears in alimony and support payments, pursuant to the ‘Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act’ (article 54 of the CPLR) brought before the Supreme Court, Special Term.

Sometime in Junuary 1973, the plaintiff-wife commenced an action for divorce in the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut where she was then living and has continued to reside with her two minor children. On 16 April 1973, while the action was pending, the parties executed a separation agreement – semimonthly payments to the plaintiff for alimony and child support, among others. Thereafter, the plaintiff was granted a judgment of absolute divorce by the Connecticut court, specifically incorporating the terms of the separation agreement, the agreement surviving and not merging into the decree.

Defendant resided in Manhattan when the separation agreement was executed, and in Brooklyn when the divorce judgment was granted. There is no question of the defendant appearing in and being represented by counsel in the divorce action. Defendant currently lives in Brooklyn and is a practicing veterinarian.

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NY Slip Op 2017 00651

February 1, 2017

This is a guardianship proceeding held pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law Article 81. In this case, Dimitrios Spanos a successor guardian for Yolanda TM sought to settle his account. He is appealing from and Order of the Supreme Court entered on 12/12/13 in Queens County. This ruling awarded him commissions for his guardianship (SCPA 2307(1) in the amount of $14, 496 and attorney’s fees in the amount of $1,823.

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