Fighting for Families and Youth
Changing the System
Appellate decisions can have an immediate effect on one family but can also have more far-reaching effects by changing the child welfare system itself. CFR’s appeals team—or legal firms doing pro bono work for CFR—have worked on the cases described briefly here; follow the links below to read more about these decisions.
In re Elizabeth C.
This case clarified that a parent is entitled to an emergency hearing when they are excluded from the home where the child resides. The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court held that “Since an exclusionary order of protection compromises the parent-child relationship in the same manner as the relocation of the child would, it must be governed by the same legal standards as are provided for removal of a child in Family Court Act §§ 1027 and 1028. Due process demands nothing less.” Read more about this case.
In re Tai-Gi K. Q.-N. B.
In this case, the appellate division reversed a family court order and restored a mother’s parental rights, noting that during the trial discharge the foster care agency “did not provide any assistance with regard to transferring the child to a school closer” to the mother’s home, “did not provide any assistance with the child’s transportation to and from his school…and did not provide other appropriate services to the family.” The court also found that the agency had not met its burden of proving that the mother failed to plan for her child’s future. Read more about this case.
In re Jayvien E.
CFR represented Marisol T. in an appeal from a family court order that found the mother had neglected her infant son as a result of her mental condition. The appellate division reversed the family court’s order. The appellate court noted that the allegations against Marisol were based in part on the ACS caseworker’s misunderstanding of hospital records and concluded that ACS had not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Marisol suffered from a mental illness that impaired her ability to care for her son. Read more about this case.
In re Aaliyah J. (Tameia J.)
CFR successfully defended against an appeal by ACS from a family court order that allowed our client, Tameia, to have overnight visits with her infant—supervised by her sister—while a case was pending against Tameia in family court. This allowed our client to bond with her baby during the months the case was pending. The case against Tameia was ultimately dismissed. Read more about this case.
In re Jaurelious G.
In this case, CFR defended against another ACS appeal from the family court’s dismissal of a neglect petition against our client, Gwendolyn. The allegations in the petition were based solely on the fact that our client had a mental illness. The appellate division upheld the dismissal, noting that “[t]he evidence showed that the children were healthy and well cared for by the mother.” Read more about the case.