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In re Beautisha B. (Anonymous)

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

March 19, 2014

In the Matter of Beautisha B. (Anonymous).
v.
(Anonymous). Suffolk County Department of Social Services, respondent; Suffolk County Department of Social Services, respondent; and Racquirine A. (Anonymous), appellant. (Proceeding No. 1) In the Matter of Sterling B. (Anonymous). Suffolk County Department of Social Services, respondent; and Racquirine A. (Anonymous), appellant. (Proceeding No. 2) In the Matter of Inbunique and Racquirine A. (Anonymous), appellant. (Proceeding No. 3) Docket Nos. N-2014-12, N-2015-12, N-2927-12

Robert M. Garcia, Central Islip, N.Y., for appellant.

Dennis M. Brown, County Attorney, Central Islip, N.Y. (Randall J. Ratje of counsel), for respondent.

Robert C. Mitchell, Central Islip, N.Y. (John B. Belmonte of counsel), attorney for the children.

MARK C. DILLON, J.P., L. PRISCILLA HALL, LEONARD B. AUSTIN, SANDRA L. SGROI, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

In three related child neglect proceedings pursuant to Family Court Act article 10, the mother appeals from a fact-finding order of the Family Court, Suffolk County (Loguercio, J.), dated June 21, 2012, which, after a hearing, found that she had neglected the child Inbunique V. and derivatively neglected the children Beautisha B. and Sterling B.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, without costs or disbursements.

After a fact-finding hearing pursuant to Family Court Act article 10, any determination that the child is neglected must be based on a preponderance of the evidence (see Family Ct Act § 1046[b]; Matter of Nicole V., 71 N.Y.2d 112, 117). To establish a fact by a preponderance of the evidence means to prove that the fact is more likely than not to have occurred (see Matter of Tammie Z., 66 N.Y.2d 1).

The finding of neglect with respect to Inbunique V. was supported by a preponderance of the evidence, which demonstrated that the mother's failure to obtain psychiatric treatment for the subject child placed the child's mental and emotional condition "in imminent danger of becoming impaired" (Family Ct Act § 1012[f][i]; see Matter of Deanna R.G. [Rajkumare B.], 83 A.D.3d 1064; Matter of LeVonn G., 20 A.D.3d 530; Matter of Krewsean S., 273 A.D.2d at 393-394).

In addition, since the mother's unwillingness to pursue a recommended course of psychiatric treatment for Inbunique demonstrated a fundamental defect in her understanding of parental duties relating to the care of children, there was sufficient evidence for the Family Court to make a finding of derivative neglect with respect to Beautisha B. and Sterling B. (see Matter of James S. [Kathleen S.], 88 A.D.3d 1006, 1006-1007; Matter of Perry S., 22 A.D.3d 234, 235).

DILLON, J.P., HALL, AUSTIN and SGROI, JJ., concur.


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