This is such a weird and tortuous case, being that it evolved from the Family Courts of two abutting counties, that I’m going to treat it as a Part 1 and a Part 2. Part 1 begins in Tompkins County Family Court and Part 2 ends in Schuyler County Family Court. Nevertheless, the same judge presides over all matters in each county.
I wouldn’t normally write a blog post this way, but I have a thing for both the alphabetical order of decisions and attributing decisions to specific counties.
Case #626 #514860/515061
Matter of Victoria XX.
Schuyler Family-Sherman Key Issue: Physical abuse of children results in placement Affirmed
The parties are the aunt and uncle of a niece and nephew “who had previously been freed for adoption after they were adjudged to be permanently neglected by their parents.” The children were then placed by the Tompkins County Family Court in the care of their aunt and uncle in anticipation of the aunt and uncle adopting them.
Of course, things did not exactly go as planned.
After the niece and nephew were placed with the aunt and uncle, the aunt’s and uncle’s own daughter made an admission to her school counselor that “the uncle had physically abused her as well as the nephew.” After an investigation, DSS brought a neglect petition in Schuyler County Family Court against the aunt and uncle with regard to their daughter and the nephew.
Meanwhile, the attorney for the children for the niece and nephew brought a motion in Tompkins County Family Court, to modify the permanency hearing order and permanency plan to return the niece and nephew back into the care of DSS. The motion was granted and the niece and nephew were then placed with foster parents.
Thereafter, all matters before both courts were consolidated and heard in the Schuyler County Family Court. However, after the fact-finding hearing, the Court found only the nephew to have been neglected – not the niece – and transferred the matter back to Tompkins County Family Court for a dispositional hearing. The Court then ordered the nephew back into the care and custody of DSS pending placement for adoption with other adoptive parents.
The aunt and uncle appealed.
Whether you are or not, you will have to wait for the conclusion of this tale in Part 2, in blog post #730.
Should you need your case appealed, remember to file your Notice of Appeal IMMEDIATELY! If you have any questions about filing a Notice of Appeal, then CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY!
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