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Mother Accused of Neglect During Divorce Proceedings

A New York Family Lawyer said in two related proceedings pursuant to Family Court Act, the mother appeals, as limited by her brief, from so much of an order of fact-finding and disposition of the Family Court, Kings County, as, after a fact-finding hearing, found that she neglected the subject children and placed them in the custody of the Commissioner of Social Services of Kings County until the completion of the next permanency hearing.

A New York Custody Lawyer said the order is modified by deleting the provision thereof placing the subject children in the custody of the Commissioner of Social Services of Kings County, the order is affirmed as appealed from without costs or disbursements, and the matter is remitted to the Family Court for a dispositional hearing and a new disposition thereafter.

The findings of neglect as to the subject children were supported by a preponderance of the evidence. The mother’s contention that the Family Court deprived her of due process by limiting her testimony as to the skin condition of one of the children is unpreserved for appellate review, as it was not raised before the Family Court, and, in any event, is without merit.

A Long Island Family Lawyer said that since a fact-finding hearing was held, under the circumstances, the mother’s claim that the Family Court erred by refusing to hold a hearing under Family Court Act is academic. The Family Court erred, however, in not conducting a dispositional hearing, and, therefore, as the mother, the attorney for the children, and the Administration for Children’s Services agree, the matters must be remitted to the Family Court, Kings County, for a dispositional hearing and a new disposition thereafter.

In another family offense proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act, the petitioner appeals from an order of the Family Court which denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding. The order is reversed with costs, the petition is reinstated, and the matter is remitted to the Family Court for further proceedings in accordance herewith.

Family Court Act confers the right to the assistance of counsel upon parties in proceedings brought pursuant to Family Court Act. A party, however, may waive the right to counsel, provided that the waiver is knowing, voluntary, and intelligent. To determine whether a party is validly waiving the right to counsel, the court must conduct a searching inquiry of the party who wishes to waive that right and thus proceed pro se.

A Long Island Custody Lawyer said when such person first appears in court, the judge shall advise such person before proceeding that he or she has the right to be represented by counsel of his or her own choosing, of the right to have an adjournment to confer with counsel, and of the right to have counsel assigned by the court in any case where he or she is financially unable to obtain the same.

Here, the petitioner was entitled to be represented by counsel, as she was a petitioner in a proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act. The record, however, is inadequate to demonstrate that the petitioner validly waived her right to counsel. Accordingly, the order must be reversed, the petition reinstated, and the matter remitted to the Family Court, Kings County, for a proper inquiry into whether the petitioner understands the consequences of self representation. Thereafter, as the petitioner’s allegations stated a cause of action constituting a family offense pursuant to Family Court Act, a fact-finding hearing must be held on the matter.

A proceeding under this article is originated by the filing of a petition containing the allegation that the respondent assaulted or attempted to assault his or her spouse, or former spouse, parent, child or other member of the same family or household or engaged in disorderly conduct, harassment, stalking, menacing or reckless endangerment toward any such person; and the relationship of the alleged offender to the petitioner. The petition must also contain the name of each and every child in the family or household and the relationship of the child, if any, to the petitioner and to the respondent. It is also necessary that a request for an order of protection or the use of the court’s conciliation procedures and an allegation as to whether any accusatory instrument alleging an act has been verified with respect to the same act alleged in the petition.
Parents should take good care and provide for their children under any circumstances. If you want to appeal a court order a family court decision, seek the legal help of the Kings County Family Lawyer together with the Kings County Custody Attorney or the Kings County Child Custody Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis and Associates.

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