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NYC Child Welfare Workers Charged with Negligent Homicide

In March of 2011, two former New York City child care workers were charged with negligent homicide related to a girl’s death. The girl was four years old at the time of her death. The child care workers had a responsibility to monitor her family’s situation. Damon Adams was a child welfare worker who worked for the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). He had a responsibility to visit the home of Marchella Pierce. He was supposed to be conducting his visits during the three month period prior to Marchella’s death. Damon Adam’s supervisor was Chereece Bell. She was supposed to provide oversight for Mr. Adams. She has also been charged related to Marchella Pierce’s death. Damon Adams falsely reported that he had been visiting Marchella’s home to check up on her. His failure to follow up and supervise her home situation contributed to her death.

Carlotta Pierce caused Marchella’s Death

Marchella’s mother is named Carlotta Pierce. She had been beating Marchella with household items. She refused to provide Marchella with food and water. She force-fed Marchella antihistamines. Marchella weighed only eighteen pounds at the time of her death. Marchella was a premature baby. She had undeveloped lungs. She had a twin sister who died at birth. Marchella had been in and out of hospitals her entire life. At the time of her release from the hospital in February of 2010, she had a tracheal tube inserted to assist her in breathing.

Administration for Children’s Services had been monitoring the family since November of 2009. Her mother was found to be a drug abuser. Mr. Adams and Chereece Bell are the first two workers working for the Administration for Children Services to be charged with negligent homicide. Anthony Rells, a union representative for the accused child welfare workers, stated, “it is unprecedented and outrageous that workers doing their jobs are being blamed for the deaths of children.”

Mr. Adams faces a potential sentence of seven years in prison and Ms. Bell faces up to four years in prison if they are convicted. The mother, Ms. Brett, faces a term of twenty-five years to life in prison if she is convicted of second degree murder.

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Criminal Attorneys

Our law office represents individuals charged with juvenile defenses, assault and battery, misdemeanors, felonies, domestic violence, drug offenses, driving while intoxicated (DWI), weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes and violent crimes. We also help our clients obtain bail. We’ve been representing individuals charged in criminal matters throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 30 years. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

President Obama Focuses on Women’s Rights Issues

President Obama has recently spoken with regard to women’s rights issues. Women today are more likely to graduate from college than men. Statistics show that they still earn less money, on average, than men. Studies also show that the financial circumstances of women are generally not up to the same standards as that of men.

The President recently stated, “achieving equality and opportunity for women isn’t just important to me as president, it’s something I care about deeply as the father of two daughters who want to see his girls grow up in a world where there are no limits to what they can achieve.”

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Gender Discrimination

When President Obama was first elected, he signed legislation allowing women who have been discriminated against concerning salaries from their employers to have access to the courts for legal redress. When the United States Senate blocked action on a proposal to treat gender discrimination involving salaries in the same manner as racial, disability and age discrimination, President Obama indicated he was sadly disappointed.

The President said, “at a time when folks across the country are struggling to make ends meet – and many families are just trying to get by on one paycheck after a job loss – it’s a reminder that achieving equal pay for equal work isn’t just a woman’s issue, it’s a family issue.”

Paycheck Fairness Act

Republicans and various business groups oppose the Paycheck Fairness Act. They claim it would cause employers to face more litigation by removing limits concerning punitive damages and monetary damage awards.

Fathers’ Rights in the Family Court

In the Family Court in the state of New York, the laws are gender neutral. Both men and women are supposed to be treated equally. However, my experience is that sometimes there is an unequal treatment of men and women. Men are sometimes treated unfairly in the Family Court and in the Supreme Court concerning divorce related issues. Our law office has been protecting fathers’ rights for more than thirty years. We litigate issues involving Child Protective Services and Administration for Children’s Services problems. We deal with child abuse and child neglect proceedings, spousal maintenance issues, child support, paternity, child custodyvisitation with children, orders of protection and all other divorce and Family Court issues. We take fathers’ rights seriously! Call us for a free consultation.

Orders of Protection

When one party to a relationship appears in the Family Court and requests an order of protection, there is a tendency for judges to grant these requests. The initial order of protection, given on an ex parte basis (without the other party having his or her day in court), is called a temporary order of protection. Unfortunately for the fathers, a large majority of temporary orders of protection are given to mothers. This can cause the father to be completely cut off from his family. This means he may not communicate, see, or visit with his children. This can also result in the father being immediately thrown out of his home or apartment. To obtain his clothing and personal possessions, he needs a police escort and he can only take on that occasion what he can carry with him. Imagine, one day, being part of a warm and loving family and, the next day, being on the street with no communication with your wife or your children. What’s more is that you cannot return to your home. Although there are many valid situations for granting an order or protection, my experience is that if a woman comes into court and sheds a few tears and claims she’s afraid of her husband, most family court judges will grant an order of protection. Often no hearing of any type is held. A woman makes a series of general allegations, she receives a temporary order of protection and the father’s world is rocked!

Orders of Protection Affecting Children

Children have two parents, a father and a mother. They want to love both of their parents. In cases where they have relationships with both parents and one parent is abruptly removed from their life, it causes the children to be confused and upset.

Sometimes after the father is removed from the home the mother engages in parental alienation syndrome (bad-mouthing of the father to the children). When one parent bad mouths the other to the children and that parent is out of the children’s lives, the children are subject to what is referred to as parental alienation syndrome. This causes the loss of respect, love, admiration and feelings for the other parent. It turns the children against the other parent.

Family Court Judges

Family Court Judges are placed in a difficult positions. When they are unsure as to whether a woman truly needs an order of protection, they generally err on the side of caution and grant a temporary order of protection. Men should receive a hearing within a short period of time upon being thrown out of their homes. Unfortunately, due to the large number of cases pending before the Family Courts, the quick hearing doesn’t take place for many months. The man is removed from his home and then returns months later when it’s found out there was no real basis for the order of protection. This has an extremely negative effect on the man’s life. Men need to be protected in these situations!

New York Fathers’ Rights Attorneys

We are the fathers’ rights lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We have represented fathers in all types of litigation, before the Family Court and Supreme Court, for well over thirty years. We represent fathers in divorce proceedings. We litigate child support issues, child custody matters, spousal maintenance issues and downward modifications of child support proceedings.

We represent fathers in relocation proceedings, child abuse and child neglect proceedings. We negociate separation agreements on behalf of our clients. We defend fathers when there are allegations of child abuse and child neglect by either Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) or Child Protective Services (CPS). We also assist fathers in high net worth cases and with regard to the equitable distribution of assets in divorces. Feel free to call us for a free consultation a 1-800-344-6431, 516- 561-6645 and 718-350-2802.

Father of Six Seeks Downward Modification of Child Support

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In the matter of “Demetrius D. v. Loti T.”, reported in the New York Law Journal on January 27, 2011, a father sought a downward modification of his child support obligations. The lawsuit was brought in Clinton County, New York, before Family Court Judge Lawliss.

The father in this case was ordered to pay child support for his son, Isiah. At the time of the proceeding, the court was aware that the father was paying child support for three other children. Demetrius was a very active fellow! After the proceeding, in which Judge Lawliss ordered Demetrius to pay child support for Isiah, he was then forced to pay child support for another daughter and subsequently thereafter for another after born son.

Demetrius’s life was a mess! I assume he was not familiar with the concept of birth control.

Downward Modification Proceeding of Child Support for Isiah

Demetrius petitioned Judge Lawliss. He claimed that he had changed jobs and had received a reduction in his wages. He asked the court to reduce his child support obligations regarding his son Isiah.

There had been a ruling by a support magistrate. The support magistrate found that Demetrius voluntarily changed jobs and that the new job paid him less than the prior job. She found that Demetrius voluntarily engaged in sexual acts leading to his having an additional son and he was aware of the financial consequences of having more children. The support magistrate denied Demetrius application. Demetrius appealed this decision to Judge Lawliss in the Family Court of Clinton County.

Judge Lawliss ruled that Demetrius did not successfully prove he was entitled to a downward modification of child support. Judge Lawliss’s written opinion states that Demetrius did not show that the reduction in his wages was cause by actions other than his own decision to change jobs. Therefore, Demetrius’s objections to the support magistrate’s denial of his reduction of child support were without merit and Demetrius lost the case.

New York Fathers’ Rights

If you are a father and find yourself engaged in divorce proceedings or Family Court proceedings, we are the law firm to level the playing field. The law in New York is gender neutral concerning the rights and privileges of fathers and mothers. However, the reality of the practical application of this law in many courts is that fathers get the short end of the stick. Our job is to level this playing field.

We represent fathers concerning orders of protection, child custody, visitation with children, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony), as well as child abuse and child neglect proceedings brought on by Child Protective Services (CPS) and Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).

We also represent fathers regarding parental alienation issues. This is caused by one parent taking inappropriate action to create a negative relationship between the child or children and the other parent. Call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350- 2802 for a free consultation.

Murder for Hire – Not a Good Way to End a Marriage

Susan Williams of Garden City, New York, was recently sentenced by Nassau County judge Norman St. George to serve 8 to 25 years in prison for hiring a hit man to murder her husband.

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Divorce by Murder

Judge St. George stated, “She wanted a divorce by murder.” He further stated upon sentencing that “The court will show the same leniency to the defendant that she afforded to her husband.”

Susan Williams hired a hit man to kill her husband, Peter Williams. She was having marital difficulties with her husband. Instead of getting a divorce, she decided to murder him and collect his life insurance.

Unfortunately for Susan Williams, the man she hired and gave a five-hundred dollar deposit on a twenty thousand dollar murder-for-hire arrangement was an undercover police officer. This was her way of short cutting the divorce process.

One Million Dollar Life Insurance Policy

Ms. Williams had forged her husband’s signature to a one million dollar life insurance policy in 2009. At the time of her sentencing, her children begged the court for mercy for their mother. On a surveillance video tape, Ms. Susan Williams passed on several chances to let her husband live. She stated on the video tape, “I would do it myself if I could.” The Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Williams should have thought about her children when she planned to murder their father. Kathleen Rice stated, “She knew what she was doing was going to destroy their lives, and she did it anyway.” Kathleen Rice further stated, after Williams was sentenced, “The tears she’s crying now are for herself.”

New York Divorce Attorneys

rights-150x150A divorce in New York is not so difficult to accomplish. For more than thirty-three years, our law office has been assisting our clients in obtaining divorces. We represent our clients and help them obtain spousal maintenance (alimony) and child support for their children. We help fathers and mothers in issues involving child custody and visitation. We litigate fathers’ rights issues involving orders of protection concerning Child Protective Services (CPS) and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). We are available to represent our clients concerning issues involving paternity and child abuse. Should you have questions, feel free to contact us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Child Abuse Charge Against Father Dismissed

custody-150x1501Judge Gilbetz, sitting in the Family Court in Bronx County, was recently presented with a case of child abuse against a father. The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) is the agency in the City of New York charged with investigating and making presentations in court concerning allegations of child abuse.

In the case before Judge Gilbetz, out of court statements were made by a four year old that her father had sexually abused her. ACS brought a petition against the father claiming that the out of court statements were sufficiently corroborated to require an abuse finding by the court against the father. The court ruled against ACS. It held that they failed to sufficiently prove there was corroboration of the child’s out of court statements.

ACS had obtained the testimony of a “validator” named Dr. Lewitts. At the fact-finding hearing, they attempted to get into evidence corroboration through Dr. Lewitts. He testified that, with a reasonable degree of psychological certainty, the child’s statements were consistent with those of other children who were found to be sexually abused.

The father introduced testimony of his own expert. The father’s expert’s presentation was that Dr. Lewitts violated standard methodologies in the manner in which he questioned the child. During the course of questioning the child, he had the mother present for the interviews.

The court found that Dr. Lewitt’s opinion could not be given credibility. The court’s ruling was that the validator did not corroborate the child’s testimony. The validator simply substituted his credibility for the child’s credibility. This did not meet the legal criteria for a finding of child abuse. The court’s decision went on to state that, due to the inappropriate interviews and the incorrect methodology utilized by Dr. Lewitts, his opinion could not be considered of evidentiary value in the case. The court therefore dismissed the petition of child abuse against the father.

Fathers’ Rights Lawyers

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has been litigating fathers’ rights cases for more than thirty years. We have represented fathers accused of child abuse and child neglect in courts through out the Metropolitan New York area. The Long Island and New York City child abuse defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have an excellent record of successfully representing fathers in child abuse cases.

The fathers’ rights lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have also represented grandparents in grandparents’ rights cases. We have represented fathers in parental alienation cases and have a long history of identifying parental alienation syndrome in children.

Should you, a family member or friend be involved in a Family Court proceeding, call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. We can help you.

Four-year-old Dies From Child Abuse

childabuse-150x150Mother Charged With A Homicide
Marchella Pierce lived to the ripe old age of four. At the time of her death, she weighed 18 pounds. She had toxic levels of antihistamines in her body. Her mother has been charged with a homicide related to her death.

Child Abuse Syndrome

The chief medical examiner’s office has stated that Marchella Pierce died of “child abuse syndrome with acute drug poisoning, blunt impact injuries, malnutrition and dehydration”.
The term child abuse syndrome indicates that the abuse of this young child took place over a considerable period of time. She was found dead in her mother’s apartment on September 2, 2010. Her mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, has been charged with second degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful imprisonment and reckless endangerment. Due to the child’s death, it is anticipated that the criminal charges will be increased.

History of Abuse

This young child had several physical and health problems since her birth on April 30, 2006. She spent a significant portion of her life in hospitals. It has been alleged in the criminal complaint that her mother struck her with a belt and a video box. A witness has indicated that the mother latched the girl to bed with twine and forced her to take sleeping pills.
A grand jury has been formed to investigate this case. The grand jury is also looking into the actions of the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). They are the agency charged with investigating child abuse in the City of New York. They should have been monitoring this girls family due to her numerous hospitalizations.
In testimony before the New York City Council, John B. Mattingly, the Child Services Commissioner, has stated that the case “reveals systematic problems in the agency that persisted even after reforms instituted following the 2006 beating of a seven-year-old girl, Nixmary Brown”. The agency claimed they are addressing the issues raised by this case and hopefully they will be able to prevent future situations of this nature.
This seems to this writer to be an outrageous failure by ACS to fulfill its obligations to protect children.

About Our Firm

Our law firm has been representing father’s and mother’s involved with all types of problems, including neglect proceedings, child abuse proceedings, ACS and CPS proceedings for more than 30 years. In addition, we handle cases involving fathers’ rights, divorce proceedings, orders of protection, child custody, visitation, child support, support modifications and paternity proceedings. We represent individuals in all aspect of domestic relations and family law in the Supreme Courts and the Family Courts throughout the New York metropolitan area. We specifically represent individuals in Nassau, Kings and Queen counties involving divorce related matters.
Should you, a friend or family member be in the need for an experienced, diligent lawyer, feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2892.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore

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