718.864.2011 Request a Consultation

ACS Family Court Defense and Administrative Appeals in Brooklyn, NY

Family Court Attorney

Have you been found “indicated” in an ACS report?  Are you currently in Family Court fighting abuse or neglect allegations? Written by Brooklyn based NYC ACS Defense Lawyer. CALL 718-864-2011

We are lawyers located in Brooklyn, New York City and we have defended parents, foster care parents,  doctors, teachers, social workers and other childcare professionals accused of abuse or neglect by the Administration for Children's Services (ACS).   For families, a Court case or an indicated report made by ACS could mean aggressive ACS involvement in your family life for an extended period of time.  For the above-named professionals, an indicated report will damage your reputation and cause possible loss of employment and prevent you from working around children.

An ACS case often  begins with a surprise knock on your door in the middle of the night. Sometimes accompanied by a police officer, an ACS worker will demand to see your children. At times, these workers don’t even show ID to prove they are from ACS. Sometimes they won’t even let you know what the charges are against you. At this point you have a decision to make. Should I let them in? What happens if I don’t let them in?

The question of whether to let them in it’s not an easy one to answer. First of all, you have the right not to let them in if they do not have a court order. However if you do not let them in they can go to court and seek an order requesting that you produce the children. Furthermore, if they go to Court and show that the child is in imminent risk, they possibly can obtain an order to have the children removed. Some parents, in order to avoid problems, let ACS in even if the allegations are false. These parents will say they simply have nothing to hide. If you let them in and ACS begins an investigation on your case, they will investigate you for 60 days and make visits to your home once every two weeks. If after a case opens and the facts and circumstances of this case  are presented to an ACS agency attorney, ACS may file a petition requiring that you appear in court. Some people choose to force ACS to go to court and get a court order to get in. The reasoning behind this is that a judge may determine that the facts and circumstances are not sufficient enough to prove that the children are in any danger and the judge won’t issue a court order. Just because ACS can’t get a court order does not mean that your administrative case is closed. 

if you have an ACS case that is in investigation, called this office at  718 864 2011 to see your options regarding representation.

If ACS does not go to court, and you cooperate with the investigation, as stated above,  it will last 60 days. At the beginning of the investigation you are entitled to a letter notifying you that a case has opened. This letter will contain your case ID as well as other details. After the 60 days is up, ACS needs to send you a letter showing you the results of the investigation. If you do not get either of these letters, you need to demand one in writing from your Caseworker. The allegations will  either be unsubstantiated or indicated. If you have an indicated report you have 90 days to appeal. This office handles ACS case appeals and has done so for the past 18 years.

if your case goes to court, it will be much longer than 60 days. It is required that you get served with a Petition. If your children were taken from you, you have the right to request a 1028 hearing to get them back. You only get one chance to do this, so it’s best to listen to your attorney as to the timing of this motion. If your children are with you, ACS will supervise you until the termination of the case. You can settle your case with an ACD or a 1051a. With an ACD your case will be dismissed within a specific time frame generally six months to a year. If you agree to a 1051A, a dispositional hearing will be held and the court will order that you take certain services and do certain things. Generally the supervision on a 1051A is also for about a year. if your child is not with you, ACS will recommend that you take certain services and recommend a visitation schedule with your child. If ACS removes the child from your home the child will be placed in foster care. ACS is supposed to search for family members or even friends that can take your child prior to placing the child in the home of a stranger. ACS is required to make reasonable efforts to return your children to you.

You also have the right to fight the case, at a fact-finding hearing. The standard of proof in a fact-finding is the preponderance of evidence. It is not like criminal trials which is beyond a reasonable doubt. This distinction is important because ACS has to prove a lot less to get a finding of abuse or neglect than they would in a criminal proceeding. If you win the fact-finding hearing, your case will be dismissed and ACS and the Court  will have no  jurisdiction over you. If you lose the fact-finding hearing,  the court will hold a dispositional hearing to determine what services you take and the course of contact you will have with your child (if your child is not in your care when you have the fact finding).

if the court determines that your child will be in danger if placed back in your home, then it will hold permanency hearings until the child is returned every six months. 

 Finally, you have to remember that there are two types of ACS cases. I discussed both above. One is an administrative case which involves no Court. This case, as stated above,  lasts 60 days. It begins with a letter and ends with a letter. After the investigation period is over, ACS may recommend preventative services  but these services are voluntary. They may threaten to take you to court if you do not take preventative services. Remember that if they wanted to take you  to court they would’ve done so in the beginning of the case. Also I tell my clients not to do the preventative services if they already are in services of their own. They do not have to use the service providers recommended by ACS and I would recommend against using a service provider recommended by ACS if you have other resources. 

 

As your Attorney, we will do the following on your behalf,

  1. We will do a full consultation with you and get all of the details of your case.  We will look at all of the pertinent information from your files and records regarding your case.
  2. We will request a copy of your records from ACS.
  3. We  will appeal your case and request that the finding against you be changed to unfounded and that all records pertaining to the report be expunged.
  4. We will review the records sent to my office from ACS that serve as a basis for their initial determination.
  5. If whave a legal basis to do so, we will submit a legal brief detailing why the record is insufficient to justify an indicated report.
  6. If necessary, we will represent you as your Attorney at a Fair Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Children and Family Services and advocate for the dismissal of the case against you and the sealing or expunging of your records.
  7. If the Administrative Hearing does not go your way, we will represent you in the filing of Article 78 proceeding to appeal the Administrative determination. We have successfully defended parents, professionals and childcare workers in the past. 
  8. If your case is in court, we will represent you at every  court appearance. We will zealously represent you and fight to have your case dismissed.
  9. If your child was removed we will do everything in our power to have  your child returned  to home.
  10. if you are guilty of neglect, we will make sure that you are treated fairly and maintain focus on the reunification of the family.

Related Services and Blogs on Child Protective Issues:

Has ACS accused you of abuse or Neglect?

Brooklyn ACS Attorney fights child abuse allegations!

Battle false ACS Reports

Get your children back, fight ACS for Reunification

Appeal Indicated ACS case now!

 




© 2021 The Gilmer Law Firm, PLLC. | Attorney Advertising
42 West Street, Suite 2/36c, Brooklyn, NY 11222
| Phone: 718-864-2011

Filing a Family Law Case | Family Law Overview | Family Court | Divorce | Cohabitation Agreements | Child Support Modifications | Maintenance | Child Custody | Paternity Petitions | Order of Protection | Family Law Mediation | Order of Protection Defense | Temporary Emergency Custody | Visitation | | Other Services | Bankruptcy | ACS Cases | Immigration | Uncontested Divorce

FacebookGoogle+TwitterLinked-In PersonalYouTubeBlog RSS

Attorney Web Design by
Omnizant