The Administration for Children’s Services (hereinafter referred to as “ACS”) had filed a petition against a mother, Simone S. They claimed she had neglected her child, Xavier. The matter was heard by Justice Valerie Pels in a Family Court in New York County. ACS took the position Simone did not provide adequate supervision and guardianship for Xavier. They also alleged she suffered from a mental illness which made Xavier’s continued supervision by the mother not to be in his best interest.
ACS sought to submit evidence to show after Xavier’s birth the hospital staff noted and reported to ACS that Simone had no connection with Xavier. Xavier was left unattended and Simone did not take care of Xavier’s basic needs.
ACS Failed to Prove Their Case
A hearing was held before Justice Valerie Pels. Justice Pels found ACS failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence Simone had neglected her child. Simone did not testify at the hearing. The fact she didn’t testify allowed Judge Pels to take a negative inference against Simone. However this was not sufficient to make a ruling in favor of ACS. Justice Pels found ACS did not submit appropriate affirmative evidence with regard to supporting their allegations of inadequate supervision and guardianship.
Judge Pels stayed her decision for five days. The purpose of this was to give ACS sufficient time to obtain further evidence to prove their case. Justice Pels stated in her decision ACS should evaluate whether they should bring a new petition for inadequate supervision and guardianship. She requested ACS look into whether there was new information available concerning this case and they should look into Simone and Xavier’s current living circumstances.
Here is a case where a woman who allegedly is not taking care of her child, doesn’t even testify, and ACS still cannot prove their case against her. This is an example of how poorly organized ACS is and how they can’t prove their cases even if they are unopposed.