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Court Decides Neglect Case Filed Against Father


On January 19, 2005 a King’s County man filed a petition with the Kings County Family Court seeking custody of the two children that he believes to be his that were born to a woman with whom he has lived for a number of years including the years that she was pregnant and the children. The father requested sole custody of the children because he claimed that since he has not been living with the children and their mother, they have shown up with burns and other injuries from accidents with their mother. Due to the allegations that the children are in harm, Judge Emily Olshansky of Family Court Kings County ordered an emergency investigation into the matters at the home.

The mother in this case filed a family offense petition on the very same day in Kings County Family Court seeking an order of protection against the father for her and the children. Her petition states that the father of the children has hit her and elbowed her in the face in front of the children causing them to be considered neglected by him. She claims that he uses drugs and is armed or has access to a knife and guns. The mother also seeks sole custody of these children.

On January 21, 2005, the court requested that an attorney from the Administration for Children’s Services be present. They consulted with the Administration for Children’s Services Attorney and then the court issued a temporary order of protection for the mother from the father. The court also refused to allow the father to have his requested visitation with the children. On January 25, the Administration for Children’s Services filed a neglect petition against the mother stating that the children did not have sufficient supervision. In order to protect the children pending the outcome of the hearings, the children were placed with the maternal grandmother. The mother was also living in the home with the grandmother and the children. On January 28th the grandmother filed a custody petition for both of the children.

On February 1, 2005, the Administration of Children’s Services filed a petition of neglect against the father for the acts of domestic violence that he had perpetrated against the mother of the children while in the presence of the children. The case was postponed until April 8th . On April 8th, the father told the court that he wanted to drop his petition for custody and wanted to have a paternity test. The paternity genetic test was so ordered by the court with everyone consenting.

On September 15, 2005, the mother appeared before the court on the charges of neglect based on her inadequate supervision of the children. She was placed under the supervision of Administration of Children’s Services for twelve months to comply with some services that the agency deemed appropriate. A final court order of custody was granted to the maternal grandmother.

On March 9, 2006, the father was produced in Family Court since he was in jail pending charges from an unrelated arrest in November of 2005. The father refused to take the earlier agreed upon paternity test and then moved that Family Court was no longer needed in this situation because custody had been awarded to the maternal grandmother. The Family Court denied his motion stating that it was not in the course of justice for him to retract his allegations against the mother and refuse to test for paternity in an attempt to avoid being convicted of neglecting the children. The court ruled that even if in the case of these children the court found that no “new” remedies were necessary to protect the children, the court would at least proceed with the original charges that brought then into this family in the first place. Thus the father should not be allowed to avoid liability for domestic violence just because he broke up with the mother of the children.

The father finally admitted to the neglect charges and admitted that he had committed acts of domestic violence against the mother of these children and that these acts of domestic violence occurred in their presence. Adequate research has been done to show the state and families in the state that children of domestic violence demonstrate detrimental physical and emotional effects, at least potentially. The father has not cooperated with any domestic violence accountability programs or availed himself of any of the Administration for Children’s Services programs to assist the father in understanding the needs of his children. The court maintains that the mother has availed herself of these services and that there no longer exists a danger present or future for neglect from her. The record shows that the father cannot demonstrate that same level of protection. That being said, the court ordered the paternity test which showed that the father had more than a 99% probability that he was the biological father of both children.

The court is concerned that if the father of these children is allowed to avoid prosecution for neglect of these children by simply not legally establishing themselves as the father of the children that it would undermine the entire Family Court Act and would not “serve the best interests of children who are born out of wedlock” (2006 NY Slip Op 26312) The court is concerned that in this case, the father has not demonstrated that he has been rehabilitated or that the underlying reason for the neglect charge, the domestic violence, has been eliminated.

Ultimately, this court decided that since a dispositional hearing was not held prior to the Family Court issuing a dispositional remedy, it would be in the best interests of the children to put off the application until after a dispositional hearing has been held.

In many cases, it is difficult for a person to understand that incidents that occur within hearing of a child constitute neglect. A parent who threatens to kill the other parent is in effect neglecting the mental wellbeing of the child. Any act of outright domestic violence, hitting, slapping, pinching, verbal abuse, all constitute a criminal act. If they are done in front of a child then it constitutes neglect.

If you find yourself in a position that may be considered domestic violence or child neglect based on an incident of domestic violence, contact Steven Bilkis and Associates. At Steven Bilkis and Associates there are attorneys who are available to assist you, no matter what your case. Steven Bilkis and associates are qualified to handle any domestic violence needs.

Issues of law are constantly changing. A person who is not specifically trained in the law cannot begin to know what all of their rights are without the assistance of a professional. Here at Steven Bilkis and Associates, we provide New York Order of Protection Attorneys, New York Domestic Violence Lawyers, New York Assault Attorneys, and New York Criminal lawyers. New York Family Lawyers will stand by you and ensure that your rights are protected. New York Personal Injury Attorneys can argue your side and make sure that you and your loved ones are considered. We make sure that you are rightfully awarded compensation for your suffering.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its Domestic Violence Lawyers has convenient offices throughout the New York Metropolitan area including Corona, New York. Our Personal Injury Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations. Without a Domestic Violence Lawyer you could lose precious compensation to help with your medical bills and the trauma to you and your loved ones following such a frightening experience. This is true even if the Attorney for the assailant has not adequately made their case. In addition to Personal Injury Law, Stephen Bilkis and Associates can recommend Criminal Lawyers who will protect your rights if you are ever arrested.

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