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In re Dominique M.

NEW YORK SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT


May 14, 2009

IN RE DOMINIQUE M., A DEPENDENT CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS, ETC., AND BERNADETTE M., RESPONDENT-APPELLANT,
v.
LEAKE & WATTS SERVICES, INC., PETITIONER-RESPONDENT.

Order of disposition, Family Court, Bronx County (Carol A. Stokinger, J.), entered on or about July 17, 2007, which, upon a finding of mental illness, terminated respondent mother's parental rights to the subject child, and committed custody and guardianship of the child to petitioner agency and the Commissioner of Social Services for the purpose of adoption, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

Mazzarelli, J.P., Saxe, Nardelli, Renwick, Freedman, JJ.

The finding that respondent was mentally ill and that she is, by reason of such illness, presently and for the foreseeable future, unable to properly and adequately care for the child, was supported by clear and convincing evidence, which included medical records and unrebutted expert testimony (see Matter of Hime Y., 52 NY2d 242 [1981]; Matter of Mitchell Randell K., 41 AD3d 119 [2007]; Social Services Law § 384-b[4][c]; [6][a]). That the psychologist had not seen respondent for six months prior to the fact-finding hearing does not require a different result as he provided detailed testimony to support his conclusions and had considered respondent's long mental health history (see Matter of Robert K., 56 AD3d 353 [2008]).

Respondent's claim, raised for the first time on appeal, that the appointment of a guardian ad litem was necessary during the proceedings, is unavailing. There is no indication that she did not understand the nature of the proceedings or was "incapable of adequately prosecuting or defending [her] rights" (CPLR 1201; see Matter of Philip R., 293 AD2d 547, 548 [2002]).

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.

20090514

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