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Mother Appeals Neglect Charges


Matter of CW

2018 NY Slip Op 06546

October 3, 2018



This is a child neglect proceeding that was held pursuant to Family Court article 10. The mother filed this appeal from an order dated August 10, 2017. Her application was denied.

The Administration of Child Services started this case against the mother alleging neglect of her daughter. The child was removed for an “imminent risk evaluation.” The mental health examiner determined that the mother needed immediate mental health services and the child was at risk in her custody. The child was subsequently placed in foster care. The mother requested the return of her child pursuant to Family Court Act 1028. Her application was denied. The mother appealed.

The court said that pursuant to Family Court act 1028(a), and application to return a child must be granted unless there is an imminent danger to the child (Matter of Audrey L. 147 AD3d 838, 839). The Family Court must weigh the circumstances in light of the current facts, whether there is an imminent risk to the child, and whether the risks can be mitigated by taking reasonable efforts (Matter of Julissa B. 128 AD3d 690, 691). The court must balance the risk of harm that the separation may cause and must determine if it is in the child’s best interests. On appeal, the court must assess whether the record illustrates a sound basis to support the family court’s decision (Matter of Alexa AE 103 AD3d 721).

The court said that here, the record provides an adequate basis for the Family Court’s denial. The mother has no source of income and has refused to apply for public assistance, she has refused to enroll the child in school, or arrange for medical insurance.

The mother has refused to address any of the circumstances that led to the removal of the child.

The court argues that returning the child to the mother’s custody would pose an immediate risk of harm (Matter of Romeo O. 163 AD3d 574, Matter of Solomon 50 AD3d 912).

In New York, child neglect and abuse cases are considered civil in nature and are filed by an authorized agency against parents of a neglected child. All neglect hearings are brought to the court pursuant to Article 10 of the Family Court Act. These proceedings are most commonly filed by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). If the neglect is particularly egregious, criminal charges can be filed against the parents as well.

If you or a loved one has a family court matter, such as a neglect hearing, divorce or custody dispute, it is important to obtain the guidance of a skilled lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. Speak with the law offices of Stephen Bilkis and Associates for guidance and a free consultation. They have offices to serve you in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County. Call them today to schedule a free consultation at 1-800-NYNYLAW.

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