Articles Posted in Staten Island

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In this family case, the parties were married in August 1973. The wife is presently 52 years of age and the husband is presently 56 years of age. On the date of their marriage, plaintiff was 22 years of age and a college graduate. Defendant was then 18 years of age and a high school graduate. During the course of the marriage, four children were born to the parties, to wit: the eldest daughter, age 32; the eldest son, age 26; the youngest son, age 20; and the youngest daughter, age 13. The two youngest children, the youngest son (presently age 20) and the youngest daughter, remain unemancipated. During the course of the litigation the youngest son resided in Israel or was a resident student at A university.

The husband commenced this action in December 2004 after the wife withdrew an action commenced in November 2004. The parties litigated in Family Court from November 10, 2004, through January 31, 2005. The husband also brought a writ of habeas corpus under a separate index number against the wife and her mother which was dismissed. The Family Court action was consolidated into the Supreme Court action, on consent. The husband was granted a divorce, on consent, after proof, on June 10, 2005, on the grounds of constructive abandonment and shortly thereafter the husband gave the wife a Jewish divorce. A law guardian, was appointed for the youngest daughter, and a neutral forensic evaluator was appointed by the court.

Thereafter, the day set for trial on the issue of custody, all issues of custody and visitation were resolved by stipulation on the record. The agreement inter alia provided that the parties would share joint decision making of the youngest daughter, age 13, that the wife would have physical custody, there would be a parent coordinator and that the husband, the wife and child would separately enroll in therapy. The wife voluntarily, without prejudice, withdrew her request for a temporary order of protection and same was vacated, on consent. The agreement further provided for supervised visitation and a mechanism for the child and father to re-establish their relationship.

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This is a contested matrimonial action before the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

On 6 January 2010, the plaintiff, the husband moved by order to show cause and prayed for an order directing the return of their two children, A, age 7, and M, age 4, to New York State, for an order awarding the him temporary custody of their children, and for an order awarding the defendant, the wife, reasonable visitation with the minor children within the State of New York.

On 9 April 2010, the wife opposed the husband’s application and cross moved by order to show cause and prayed for an order dismissing the husband’s application on the basis that New York is not the home state pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and for permission for her to commence a custody proceeding in California, and for an order directing her husband to pay all costs associated with Court appearances, including but not limited to, transportation costs including airfare, car rentals, hotel costs, and daycare.

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On October 2, 2007, New York City Children’s Services (hereinafter NYCCS) filed a petition against respondent mother alleging that her son’s physical, mental or emotional condition had been impaired or was in imminent danger of becoming impaired, as a result of her failure to exercise a minimum degree of care in supplying him with an adequate education in accordance with the provisions of part I of article 65 of the Education Law. Specifically, the petition alleges that the son missed 44 days of school during the 2006-2007 school year and 18 days during the 2007-2008 school year.

On the day the petition was filed, the son was paroled to respondent under NYCCS supervision on the condition that she ensure that he attend school daily absent a medical excuse. Issue was joined on October 19, 2007.

The fact-finding hearing was conducted on July 29, 2008, November 17, 2008 and January 7, 2009. NYCCS called one witness, a caseworker, on its direct case. She testified that the original oral report transmission (hereinafter ORT) was received from the Children’s Aid Society on June 14, 2007. That day, NYCCS convened a case conference. Respondent attended that conference and initially rejected NYCCS’s offer of services since she did not believe that they would be effective.

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In this contested probate proceeding, the proponent, MP, moves for an order granting summary judgment pursuant to CPLR 3212, dismissing the objections filed by the objectant, RP, and admitting the propounded instrument to probate. RP opposes the motion on the ground that material issues of fact exist.

RP cross-moves for an order: (1) pursuant to SCPA 205, dismissing the probate proceeding on the ground that the decedent was not a domiciliary of Nassau County at the time of his death; (2) pursuant to Article 45 of the CPLR, prohibiting MP from introducing into evidence certain DVDs that MP alleges to be recordings of the decedent; and (3) pursuant to CPLR 4519, prohibiting MP and EP, who is the decedent’s ex-wife and the mother of MP and RP, from testifying at trial as to any statements allegedly made by the decedent. MP opposes the relief requested by RP.

The decedent, SP, died on June 27, 2005, survived by his wife, BP, and two sons from a former marriage, RP and MP.

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In this proceeding under Family Court Act article 10, the New York City Corporation Counsel, on behalf of the Administration for Children’s Services, seeks leave of the court to allow the respondent’s placement with the Commissioner of Social Services [CSS] to lapse, in light of the respondent’s placement with the New York State Division for Youth [DFY].

This court placed the respondent, now fourteen years old, with CSS on October 22, 1991. The Commissioner of Social Services brought a neglect proceeding against the respondent’s father, after the father left respondent in the care of a girlfriend without making any provision for the child’s care. Respondent’s mother died in 1987. CSS worked with the father for the respondent’s return to his care for four years, during which time the father intermittently was incarcerated. In the summer of 1995, the 13 year old respondent ran away from foster care and took up residence with his father.

In September 28, 1995 the respondent’s father took the respondent with him to steal an automobile from the parking lot of a Nassau County station of the Long Island Railroad. Both were arrested. The father was convicted of grand larceny and remains incarcerated. A delinquency petition filed against the respondent resulted in an admission to unauthorized use of an automobile [Penal Law 165.05[1]]. The Family Court of Nassau County transferred the delinquency proceeding to this court for disposition.

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The petitioner/landlord, commenced this holdover proceeding to recover possession of the Section 8 leasehold premises from respondent/tenant, seeking to terminate the month-to-month tenancy. Tenant moves to dismiss the petition in lieu of answering upon grounds that the notice to terminate and petition are legally insufficient and that petitioner’s acceptance of rent after the notice to terminate was sent nullified the effect of the notice. Landlord opposes the motion to dismiss and maintains that it is untimely pursuant to Justice Court Act §1002.

The parties entered into a lease under the Section 8 Tenant Based Assistance Housing Choice Voucher Program, which was executed in October of 2003. Under paragraph 6 of Part A of the lease, the initial term ended on October 31, 2004, at which time the lease automatically renewed on a month-to-month basis. The lease provides that all notices made by owner or tenant must be in writing and makes no reference to landlord’s attorney or agent.

The litigants are known to this Court for more than a year as parties to several holdover and non-payment summary proceedings. In each prior proceeding, landlord’s counsel represented the petitioner landlord, and the respondent appeared pro se. Each prior proceeding was resolved and the tenancy continued.

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In this case, respondent mother is the mother of the four subject children. The father is the father of these children and a person legally responsible for them, resides in Grenada where the children resided with a maternal aunt and visited with their father until the summer of 2005. During the years that the twins resided in Grenada, they had telephone contact with respondent mother, however, they rarely saw her.

On January 4, 2007, New York City Children’s Services (hereinafter, “NYCCS”) filed abuse and neglect petitions against respondent mother and respondent father in Kings County Family Court. The petitions alleged that respondent father committed a sex offense against the child. The above incidents were alleged to be in violation of article 130 of Penal Law, including but not limited to §§ 130.20 (sexual misconduct),1 130.65 (sexual abuse in the second degree),2 and 260.10 (endangering the welfare of a minor).

The petitions further alleged that respondent mother knew or should have known of the sex abuse being perpetrated against the child and failed to take adequate steps to protect her or the other children and allowed the abuse to continue. The petitions alleged that in the summer 2006, the child told her mother about the sex abuse being perpetuated by respondent father against the child and respondent mother ignored her, did not believe her and told her, “Shhh … don’t worry about it.” The petitions also alleged that respondent mother told the NYCCS caseworker that she did not believe that the child was abused by respondent father.

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The Attorney General brings this action under the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (“NPCL”) and Article 8 of the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law to obtain injunctive relief against respondent Long Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (“LISPCC”) and its officers and directors.

The Long Island SPCC was incorporated as a non-profit corporation under NPCL § 1403. SPCCs have an unusual status under the law. Although they are not governmental agencies, they are given some quasi-governmental powers in order to effectuate the corporate purpose of protecting children from abuse or neglect. For example, the Long Island SPCC may initiate and participate in court proceedings involving child abuse or neglect (NPCL § 1403(b)(1), Family Court Act § 1032 and Judiciary Law §§ 478 and 484), take children who are the victims of abuse and neglect into protective custody (Social Services Law § 417, Family Court Act § 1024), be appointed guardian of the person of a minor or receive or retain, at its own expense, abused or neglected children pursuant to court order [NPCL § 1403(b)(3) ]. Also, the officers and agents of the Long Island [163 Misc.2d 656] SPCC are peace officers who may acquire handguns and make arrests, providing they are acting in furtherance of the SPCC’s child protective mandate (Criminal Procedure Law §§ 2.10 [7-A], 2.20 and 140.25). However, the agents of the SPCCs are not permitted to represent themselves as police officers.

In 1991, the Attorney General conducted an investigation in which it was discovered that the LISPCC misrepresented that it was a state agency by (1) issuing identification cards to its members which described the LISPCC as a “New York State” agency; (2) using a letterhead which described the LISPCC as a “State Chartered Child Protective Not-for-Profit Organization;” (3) using a letterhead which contained a replica of the New York State seal. In addition, the agents of the LISPCC were using titles such as “detective.”

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This action to vacate a deed or, in the alternative, impress a constructive trust, was originally commenced by the executor in Supreme Court, Nassau County, and was transferred to this court by order of Hon. Thomas P. Phelan dated October 21, 2005. RM, executor of the estate of MM, now moves for summary judgment. The respondent, CS, has cross-moved for summary judgment for a declaration that the transfer was a valid gift.

MM died on July 12, 2004 leaving a will dated May 29, 1987 which was admitted to probate by decree dated March 14, 2005. Letters testamentary issued to RM, the petitioner herein. In addition to RM and Catherine, MM was survived by three other children, Thomas, James and William.

Prior to entering an assisted living facility, the decedent resided at 18 Marden Avenue, Sea Cliff, New York (hereinafter “the premises”). Pursuant to the subject October 28, 1998 deed, MM purportedly transferred her interest in the premises to CS and reserved a life estate. In addition, the deed provided as follows:

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In two matrimonial actions, the husband appeals from (1) an order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County, entered January 31, 1989, in Action No. 1, which directed a joint trial of the actions in Westchester County and granted the wife leave to enter a money judgment in the sum of $21,150, representing arrears in maintenance, and (2) an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County, dated February 10, 1989, which, based upon the order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County, entered January 31, 1989, referred Action No. 2 to the Supreme Court, Westchester County.

The wife instituted Action No. 1 in the Supreme Court, Westchester County, in 1986, seeking a judgment declaring null and void a Connecticut divorce judgment obtained by the husband in 1985, and ancillary relief. By order entered May 6, 1986, the Connecticut divorce judgment was held a nullity due to lack of jurisdiction. By order dated June 27, 1986, the husband’s counterclaim for divorce in Action No. 1 was dismissed and he was directed to pay the wife permanent maintenance in the amount of $225 per week. It was uncontradicted that the husband unilaterally ceased payment of that maintenance in February 1987.

The husband commenced Action No. 2 for a divorce and ancillary relief in the Supreme Court, Nassau County, by service of summons and complaint dated October 13, 1988. By order to show cause dated October 14, 1988, the husband then moved in the Supreme Court, Nassau County, to stay enforcement of the order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County, dated June 27, 1986. That motion was denied. The wife then moved in the Supreme Court, Westchester County, inter alia, for leave to enter a money judgment for the arrears in maintenance, for an upward modification of maintenance, and for a joint trial of her motion for economic relief in Action No. 1 with Action No. 2. The husband then simultaneously (1) cross-moved, in the Supreme Court, Westchester County, inter alia, to designate the Supreme Court, Nassau County, as the venue for the joint trial, and (2) moved in the Supreme Court, Nassau County, for that same relief. He failed to advise the Supreme Court, Nassau County, that an application for identical relief was pending in Westchester County.

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