In the Matter of Anastasia E. Mc. (Anonymous). Suffolk County Department of Social Services, respondent; Troy Mc. (Anonymous), Jr., appellant. Docket No. B-13329-14
Heather A. Fig, Bayport, NY, for appellant.
M. Brown, County Attorney, Central Islip, NY (Randall J.
Ratje of counsel), for respondent.
Siano, Merrick, NY, attorney for the child.
REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., JEFFREY A. COHEN, ROBERT J. MILLER,
VALERIE BRATHWAITE NELSON, JJ.
DECISION & ORDER
by the father from (1) an order of fact-finding of the Family
Court, Suffolk County (Theresa Whelan, J.), dated September
25, 2015, and (2) an order of disposition of that court dated
November 5, 2015. The order of fact-finding, after a hearing,
found that the father permanently neglected the child. The
order of disposition, after a dispositional hearing, and upon
the father's default in appearing at the hearing,
terminated the father's parental rights and transferred
guardianship and custody of the child to the Suffolk County
Department of Social Services for the purpose of adoption.
that the appeal from the order of fact-finding is dismissed,
without costs or disbursements, as the order of fact-finding
was superseded by the order of disposition and is brought up
for review on the appeal from the order of disposition; and
it is further, ORDERED that the appeal from so much of the
order of disposition as terminated the father's parental
rights and freed the child for adoption upon his default in
appearing at the dispositional hearing is dismissed, without
cost or disbursements; and it is further, ORDERED that the
order of disposition is affirmed insofar as reviewed, without
costs or disbursements.
father failed to appear at the dispositional hearing, and his
attorney did not participate in his absence. Therefore, the
dispositional portions of the order dated November 5, 2015,
which terminated his parental rights and freed the child for
adoption, were entered upon his default and are not
appealable (see CPLR 5511; Matter of Amber Megan
D., 54 A.D.3d 338, 338; Matter of Miguel
M.-R.B., 36 A.D.3d 613, 613-614; Matter of Vanessa
M., 263 A.D.2d 542, 543).
to the father's contentions, the Family Court properly
took judicial notice of the orders and proceedings under a
prior neglect docket (see Matter of Anjoulic J., 18
A.D.3d 984, 986; Matter of Terrance L., 276 A.D.2d
699, 700; Matter of Claudina Paradise Damaris B.,
227 A.D.2d 135).
to the father's contentions, the Family Court's
finding that he permanently neglected the child was supported
by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner made
diligent efforts to strengthen the parental relationship
(see Social Services Law § 384-b[a], [f];
Matter of Star Leslie W., 63 N.Y.2d 136, 142;
Matter of Mahaadai D.H. [Rhonda L.H.], 110 A.D.3d
878, 880; Matter of Victoria C. [Cassandra C.], 106
A.D.3d 1084, 1084-1085). These efforts included facilitating
visitation, referring the father to a parenting program,
referring the father to a substance abuse treatment program,
and providing the father with a schedule of the child's
medical appointments (see Matter of Star Leslie W.,
63 N.Y.2d at 142; Matter of Shamika K.L.N. [Melvin
S.L.], 101 A.D.3d 729, 730; Matter of Elijah P.
[C.I.P.], 76 A.D.3d 631, 632; Matter of Jada
Ta-Toneiyia L., 66 A.D.3d 901, 902). His contention that
the petitioner was required to do more is unavailing. The
evidence demonstrated the father's lack of cooperation
and initiative to address the underlying concerns which led
to the child's placement with the petitioner (see
Matter of Jamie M., 63 N.Y.2d 388, 393). The evidence at
the hearing further demonstrated that, for a period of one
year following the child's placement with the petitioner,
the father failed to plan for the future of the child
(see Social Services Law § 384-b[a];
Matter of Tatiana E. [Mariya S.], 121 A.D.3d 682,
683; Matter of Mahaadai D.H. [Rhonda L.H.], 110
A.D.3d at 880; Matter of Victoria C. [Cassandra C.],
106 A.D.3d at 1085; Matter of Jada Ta-Toneyia L., 66
A.D.3d at 902). Thus, the court properly found that the
father permanently neglected the child.
to the father's contention, he received the effective
assistance of counsel (see People v Baldi, 54 N.Y.2d
137; Matter of Amber Megan D., 54 ...