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Child Removal Proceedings by Child Protective Services – Part II

family lawyer New YorkLevels of Proof

In proceedings brought in the Family Court by CPS, the level of proof necessary to establish child abuse or child neglect is minimal.  The formal rules of evidence which apply in other courts do not apply here.  CPS workers can present hearsay evidence from third parties.  They can present statements from three year olds or four year olds who have no clue as to what they are talking about.  The exercise of power by CPS in abuse and neglect proceedings can be abusive and inappropriate.  Allegations by CPS workers the parents failed to use appropriate standards of care concerning their children are extremely general and are difficult to defend against.

Children’s Injuries

In the normal course of their lives, children may be injured.  They will fall.  They will get knocked down by their friends or while playing.  They will be bruised.  They will have bumps.  Sometimes they will require stitches.  Sometimes children will break bones.  None of these events specifically is indicative of a parent being abusive or neglectful.  These injuries and maladies which children suffer are indications they are living fulfilling lives, playing and participating in sports, social and other recreational activities.  Children do not live in foam, rubber worlds where they don’t receive nicks and injuries.

Allegations by CPS are difficult to deal with.  Should you be contacted by CPS workers who are investigating allegations of child abuse or child neglect, you should immediately contact an attorney familiar with handing these types of cases.  Be very careful what you say to CPS workers.  Be advised that without a search warrant CPS workers do not have a right to enter your home.  The fourth amendment to the United State Constitution prevents the unreasonable search of parent’s homes.  If the CPS worker comes to your door and says they are there to investigate you, you can tell them you wish to seek consult with your attorney before meeting with them or discussing anything with them.  They may tell you you do not have a right to an attorney.  They are lying to you if they say this.  You have an absolute right to be represented by counsel in these proceedings.

Obtain Competent Legal Counsel

Getting involved in CPS proceedings without the appropriate legal representation puts you at great risk of saying something that can be misinterpreted and later used against you in an administrative proceeding involving your children.

family law attorney Elliot S. Schlissel is an attorney who has written numerous articles about CPS and ACS cases.  He represents individuals being investigated or charged with child abuse and child neglect throughout the Metropolitan New York area.  Elliot and his associates have been representing family members regarding CPS and ACS matters for more than 35 years.

Woman Seeks To Set Aside Divorce

Watch today’s video blog where we discuss an unusual case divorce case in Kings County New York:

Elliot S. Schlissel is a divorce attorney who has been representing clients in the Metropolitan New York area for more than 35 years. Elliot and his associates handle cases in all aspects of matrimonial law. He can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, 1-800-344-6431 or by email to

Biological Mother Can’t Argue Ex-Same Sex Partner Not Be Considered a Child’s Parent

family law attorneysIn April of 2013, Judge Theresa Whelan, sitting in the Family Court in Suffolk County, was presented with a same sex visitation case. The non-biological parent brought a petition for custody and/or visitation regarding a child born to her former same-sex partner. The respondent in the case, the biological parent, claimed the same-sex partner could not be considered a “parent” for purposes of a visitation or custody proceeding pursuant to the New York Family Court Act, Article 6. She claimed pursuant to this law, the same-sex partner was not a parent under the purview of the statute.

Previous Child Support Proceeding

The respondent, who claimed her former same-sex partner was not an appropriate parent to receive visitation, under New York Law, had previously brought a petition for child support in the Family Court. In that petition, she claimed her former same sex partner should be declared a parent for purposes of establishing she was responsible for paying child support. Now the biological parent asserts the opposite position.

Judge Whelan found the inconsistent positions would not be countenanced by the court. She found under the theory of judicial estoppel (a theory that prevents someone from making inconsistent bad-faith arguments) the biological parent could not take one position in the child support proceeding and an opposing position in the custody proceeding. Therefore, Judge Whelan ruled the application for visitation from the non-biological former same-sex partner could move forward.

Paying Child Support and Visitation

It must be pointed out judicial rulings causing one parent to pay child support to another parent does not necessarily guarantee they will be successful in visitation proceedings with the child or children. There are a variety of other factors which are considered by courts, such as parenting skills of the petitioner, the best interest of the children, any previous instances of child abuse or child neglect, among other factors that are considered in child visitation proceedings. Child support proceedings in the Family Court in New York are presided over by Support Magistrates. Custody and visitation proceedings in Family Court in New York are presided over by Family Court Judges.


family law advocateThis case is an example of a Family Court Judge protecting the visitation rights of the non-biological parent in a same sex relationship.

Nursing Home Expenses are Rising

nursing-150x150It now costs more than $400 a day to stay in a semi-private room in a nursing home in the Metropolitan New York area. The cost of nursing home care in the state of New York is rising at a fast pace. It is estimated that in ten years the rates for a semi-private room in a nursing home will be in excess of $600 a day.

High Cost of Nursing Home Care

An annual stay in a nursing home in a semi-private room on Long Island costs approximately $150,000. The cost of living in a one bedroom assisted living facility would be $52,000. Living in your home and having a health care aid for approximately 40 hours a week would cost approximately $50,000. With these high costs and anticipated higher costs in the future, Americans can’t afford to grow old unless they can take care of themselves.

Stay At Home

Although nursing homes try hard to provide comfortable living conditions for their residents, it is strongly recommended that you stay in your home and avoid nursing homes, if at all possible. Men and women feel more comfortable at their residences. Living in ones home provides a sense of security and self worth. Sometimes when men and women move into nursing homes, they become depressed at the loss of their freedom.

Medicaid and Nursing Homes

The large majority of men and women in nursing homes can’t afford to pay ten to twelve thousand dollars a month for their own care. The rely on medicaid to pay for the expenses of staying in a nursing home. Qualifying for medicaid is no longer simple.

Medicaid Planning

I am a member of the National Academy of Elder Law attorneys. I meet with men and women and their children on a regular basis to discuss long term planning. Unfortunately, many families come to me right on the eve of one of their parents requiring nursing home care. They are under the mistaken impression they can immediately transfer all of their assets out of their parents’ names and put one of their parents in a nursing home. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is a five year look back rule in medicaid. This means the asset has to be completely out of the parents name for a period of five years prior to submitting a medicaid application. If the medicaid application is submitted during this five year period, the person requiring the medicaid benefits is subject to a penalty period in which the individual must self-pay for his or her nursing home care.

Estate Law – Wills & Trusts Lawyer

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has been assisting senior Americans regarding wills and trusts issuesfor more than thirty years. We draft wills and trusts. We probate wills. We litigate will contests. We draft special needs trusts for special needs children.

Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He handles elder care planning related to Medicare, Medicaid and nursing home issues. Call us for a free consultation.

Child Support and College Expenses

child-150x150The Child Support Standards Act provides a formula for child support payments. A non-residential custodial parent pays child support of 17% of gross wages, less FICA and less New York City taxes (where applicable), when there is one child receiving support. The figure goes up to 25% for two children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children and 35% for five children.

What happens to the child support when the he or she attends college?

The main expenses in college involve tuition and room and board if the child is not living at home. Recent cases hold that a parent paying child support should receive a dollar for dollar credit for all monies paid by the parent for room and board while the child is attending an out of town college.

Issues with regard to payments of tuition are more complicated. Some courts have held that parents should pay tuition up to the cost of a state university of New York college education based on the earnings of each parent. An example of this would be if one parent made $70,000 a year and the other parent made $30,000 a year. The parent making the $70,000 a year would pay 70% of the tuition costs and the parent making $30,000 would pay 30% of the tuition costs. This only works if the parents have the financial ability to make these payments.

College funding gets more complicated when there is more than one child receiving child support. Since most divorce cases are settled, the issues of college expenses, whether they be room and board, transportation or tuition, should be clearly delinated in the stipulation of settlement or settlement agreement entered into between the parties. These agreements are quite technical in nature and should only be drafted by qualified attorneys with extensive experience in handling matrimonial and family law matters.

If you are involved in a divorce or negotiating a separation agreement, it is important to consider the interaction between college expenses and child support at the time the agreement is being negotiated.

Fathers’ Rights Attorneys

If you’re a father with matrimonial and family law problems, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you. For 34 years, we have aggressively litigated all types of issues on behalf of the fathers we have represented. We have an expertise in dealing with child abuse and child neglect situations. We litigatepaternitychild supportchild custodychild visitationspousal maintenance (alimony), and we bring proceedings for the downward modification of child support on behalf of our clients.

We advise our clients with regard to all types of issues in divorce proceedings. We assist our clients in obtaining divorces on the basis of irreconcilable differences under the new New York No Fault Divorce Statute. We litigate equitable distribution of property in divorce proceedings. When the mother relocates, we bring relocation litigation to bring the child back to New York or change custody to the father. Should the mother turn the child against the father, we litigate issues involving parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome. In addition, we assist grandparents with grandparents’ rights cases. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

Roughed-up at the Welfare Office

security-150x150Ayala works for the Human Resources Administration. He is a security officer. He is currently under investigation for physically assaulting individuals in two separate incidents during a three week period. William Broady went to the welfare office on September 22, 2010. He was applying for Medicaid. He waited for hours and hours and, in the end, he was told to come back the next day.

William was unhappy. He went back in and sat down in the welfare office. He stated, “I’m not leaving until you help me”. He was approached by Wilfredo Ayala. Wilfredo grabbed him by the collar and dragged him into the hallway. He then threw him on the floor. He hit him in the eye with his flashlight. He then hit him in the nose with his flashlight. William was now in pain. He begged to leave; however, Wilfredo was not done. He put him in a choke hold. He then took him to the HRA locker room. He charged him with a felony assault and resisting arrest. When the police were called to the scene, William was taken to the hospital.


On the date of Ebony’s incident, Ebony was fourteen weeks pregnant. On that date, at approximately 4:20 p.m., her case was too complicated to be handled by one of the clerks at the welfare office. He told her that she should leave and come back the next day. She advised the clerk how unhappy she was with him. She asked that a supervisor intervene to help her.

She claims thereafter that a man in shorts suddenly came up behind her husband. He started yelling something and then grabbed her husband around the neck. He then slammed her husband’s head on the desk and then onto the floor. A second security officer, under Wilfredo’s direction, grabbed her and dropped her to the floor. Thereafter, both she and her husband were handcuffed and given summonses for harassment. She started to bleed and was taken to the hospital and released ten hours later. As a result of the incident, she suffered a miscarriage.

Wilfredo Ayala’s actions were uncalled for, irresponsible and criminal. He should be charged with committing an assault. The individuals beaten by him should sue both him and the Human Resources Administration related to his assaulting of people coming to their office seeking help.

Personal Injury Attorneys

If you are assaulted and receive injuries, we can help you. No one has the right to attack you. Our office has represented individuals in all types of personal injury matters for more than thirty years. We assist our clients with injuries received in car accidents, truck accidents and slip and fall accidents. We represent families whose loved ones have been involved in a wrongful death situation.

Should you be assaulted, the individual assaulting you should be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. For help with legal matters, call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Medical Marijuana Approved in Arizona

joint-150x1501Arizona recently voted to approve a ballot measure that will legalize sales of medical marijuana. In a very close referendum, 4300 votes carried this measure.

The purpose of medical marijuana is to allow patients who suffer from cancer, aids and other illnesses to utilize marijuana. Patients receive a prescription from their doctor to deal with their pain and suffering. The Medical Marijuana Project has made the following statement: “Voters in Arizona have sided with science and compassion while dealing yet another blow to our nations cruel and irrational prohibition on marijuana. Arizona now reflects the main stream of public opinion that seriously ill people should not be treated like criminals if marijuana can provide them relief, and that doctors should be able to recommend marijuana to patients if they believe it can alleviate their suffering.”

Since 1966, fourteen states and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana laws. The Arizona proposition will allow the state to create 120 regulated clinics to dispense marijuana. Individuals who live in excess of twenty-five miles from a clinic will be given permission to grow their own marijuana. Although fourteen states and the District of Columbia have approved medical marijuana laws, the federal government still takes a very harsh view with regard to individuals utilizing marijuana for any purpose. There is now a conflict between the federal government and state governments concerning medical marijuana laws. Hopefully this conflict will be resolved in the near future.

About our Firm

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has assisted clients in the preparation of wills and trusts for more than three decades. We probate wills and we assist our clients in contested wills and estate proceedings. We draft revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts for our clients and assist our clients in all aspects of elder care planning. Should you, a friend or loved one need assistance, feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Violent Assault on Priest Related to Sexual Abuse

priests-150x150Approximately thirty-five years ago, William Lynch and his brother were sexually abused by a Jesuit priest. During the past thirty-five years, he has dealt with issues involving depression, nightmares and suicide. He had lived with anger and pain for more than three decades.

A Priest Rapes And Molests Five and Seven-year-olds

William was five-years-old and his brother was seven when they were raped and forced to have oral sex with each other by Father Lindner. Father Lindner, a Jesuit priest, forced them to do these sexual acts, then watched them for his own amusement.

Father Linder, now sixty-five years of age, has been accused by a dozen people of sexual abuse. Among those he abused were his sister, nieces and nephews.

Payment of $625,000 in Damages in 1998

In 1998, Mr. Lynch and his brother settled a lawsuit brought for sexual abuse against Father Lindner and the Jesuit Roman Catholic Order. They received a $625,000 settlement related to Father Lindner abusing them in 1975 during a weekend camping trip in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Father Lindner has also been named in two additional lawsuits involving sexual abuse. These cases involved in a $660 million dollar settlement struck between the Catholic Church and approximately 550 sexually-abused individuals in 2007.

Anger Boils Over

Mr. Lynch let his anger and depression get to him in May of 2010. On May 2010, Mr. Lynch drove himself to the Jesuit Sacred Heart retirement home in Los Gatos, California. He confronted Father Lindner. He brutally beat him on the face and body.

Mr. Linder was charged with criminal assault. His attorney has plead not guilty and the case is currently pending. Mr. Lynch said “I wanted to exorcise all of the rage and anger and bitterness he put into me. You can’t put into words what this guy did to me. He stole my innocence and destroyed my life”.

I question whether any jury will find Mr. Lynch guilty of taking his revenge for the insidious, incredible and outrageous actions of Father Linder.

About Our Law Firm

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo is a full-service law firm. We have a staff of five lawyers and an equally dedicated support staff to assist us in representing individuals. We handle all types of criminal cases. We represent individuals charged with drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, juvenile defenses, shoplifting, burglary, driving while intoxicated, weapons possession and other types of misdemeanors and felonies.

We represent individuals charged in sex crimes, white collar crimes, violent crimes and we also can handle traffic tickets. We assist our clients by making bail arrangements to have them released from jail. Should you and friend or family member be charged with criminal matter feel free to contact us at 1-800-344-6431, 718-350-2802 or 516-561-6645.

We are aggressive and experienced criminal defense lawyers.

3-year-old Chokes on a Carrot at a Day Care Center

daycare-150x150On March 17, 2009, Lisa’s beautiful 2-year-old daughter, Olivia, choked on a carrot while she was attending The Carousel Day Care School in Hicksville, New York. She died as a result.

Lisa Raspanti entrusted her daughter to the Carousel Day Care School. She thought the school was licensed; they were not!

The owner of The Carousel Day Care School, Eugene Formica, was recently convicted and sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to second degree reckless endangerment. Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor in the state of New York.

The Carousel Day Care School was not licensed. At the time of his sentencing, Eugene Formica turned directly to Lisa Respanti and said, “not a day goes by that I don’t think of Olivia and I pray for her and her family.”

Judge James McCormick, the judge handling the case, commented that although Mr. Formica remorse was genuine, it was much too late.

Kathleen Rice’s office, the Nassau County District Attorney, commented that The Carousel Day Care School employed too few teachers. The teachers there employed were undertrained. There are too many children in this facility. The children were not properly supervised. This a recipe for tragedy!

Olivia took a carrot from her teacher’s bag. This, in and of itself, was a violation of New York state law. The property of day care employees is supposed to be maintained in a safe area. She choked while trying to eat the carrot.

When interviewed after the court proceeding, Stacey stated, “we hope our legislature will see fit to change the laws that contributed to Carousel’s belief that they can circumvent the system”. Hopefully the New York State legislature will take the appropriate action to close the loop holes in the state law that allow illegal, unlicensed day care facilities to operate. The State should also aggressively enforce the laws that currently exist concerning day-care centers.

Legal Services Provided by our Firm

Our office represents individuals charged with all types of criminal matters. We represent individuals charged with driving while intoxicated, weapons possession, juvenile defenses, shoplifting and domestic violence matters. In addition, we assist our clients with the prosecution of all personal injury cases.

Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Senior Citizens Filing Bankruptcy

CreditCard.bmpMany seniors no longer have sufficient assets to maintain their lifestyles. There is a tendency in these situations to go into debt. Seniors use credit cards to finance routine purchases with the hope that they will be able to pay their credit cards back at some point in the future.

In some instances, they are unable to accomplish this goal. Most seniors will not ask family, friends or charities for help. This is true even in cases where seniors have previously helped other family members. Most senior citizens are too proud to ask for help!

The credit card debt that seniors are maintaining has been growing. Seniors also require more medical treatment than younger Americans. In situations where the medical treatment is not covered by insurance, seniors find themselves in debt.

The average age of individuals filing bankruptcy has been rising for the past few years. The group with the largest increase in bankruptcy filings are Americans older than 55 years of age.

The primary reason for seniors filing bankruptcy has to do with their inability to pay credit card debt. The medium credit card debt for seniors filing bankruptcy is over $27,000. Medical expenses are the second largest cause for seniors to file bankruptcy.

In addition to problems involving credit card debt and medical expenses, more and more seniors in their late-fifties and sixties are still carrying mortgages on their principle place of residence. Today, 63% of all Americans in their late-fifties and sixties are still making mortgage payments. This is up significantly from the 49% of individuals in this category that were carrying mortgages in 1989. These figures were obtained from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

About Our Law Firm

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represents individuals filing for Chapters 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. We are also involved in the preparation of wills and trusts. We probate wills and we represent individuals in contested will cases and estate proceedings.

Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and has been assisting New York seniors in dealing with all types of legal problems for over 20 years. Our phones are answered 24 hours-per-day, 7 days-per-week. Our phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. You may also contact us by email.

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