In the Matter of Aidin. (Anonymous).
Giorgio V. (Anonymous), respondent. Suffolk County Department of Social Services, appellant; Docket No. N-17500-14
by the petitioner from an order of the Family Court, Suffolk
County (Richard Hoffmann, J.), dated July 22, 2016. The order
granted the father's motion to compel the petitioner to
produce certain discovery material in paper format or by any
other means acceptable to the father, and directed the
petitioner to produce paper copies of discovery material, if
requested in writing by the receiving counsel, in any matter
before that court.
M. Brown, County Attorney, Central Islip, NY (James G. Bernet
of counsel), for appellant.
Gucciardo, Northport, NY, for respondent.
Laurette Mulry, Central Islip, NY (John B. Belmonte of
counsel), attorney for the child.
REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., CHERYL E. CHAMBERS, COLLEEN D.
DUFFY, BETSY BARROS, JJ.
DECISION & ORDER
by the father to dismiss the appeal on the ground that it has
been rendered academic. By decision and order on motion of
this Court dated December 30, 2016, the motion was held in
abeyance and referred to the panel of Justices hearing the
appeal for determination upon the argument or submission
the papers filed in support of the motion and the papers
filed in opposition thereto, and upon the submission of the
appeal, it is
that the motion to dismiss the appeal is granted to the
extent that the appeal from so much of the order as granted
the father's motion to compel the petitioner to produce
certain discovery material in paper format or by any other
means acceptable to the father is dismissed as academic,
without costs or disbursements, and the motion is otherwise
denied; and it is further, ORDERED that the order is reversed
insofar as reviewed, on the law, without costs or
order of fact-finding and disposition dated November 3, 2014,
the Family Court determined that the father had neglected the
subject child by misusing drugs. The court placed the father
under the supervision of the Suffolk County Department of
Social Services (hereinafter DSS) for a period of one year
upon the conditions, inter alia, that, at the DSS's
direction, he attend and participate in a substance abuse
rehabilitation program and follow all recommended treatment,
including drug testing. In a separate order of protection
issued on the same date, the court directed the father to
refrain from using illegal drugs and alcohol. Prior to the
expiration of both orders, the period of supervision and the
conditions of the order of protection requiring the father to
refrain from using illegal drugs or alcohol were extended for
an additional period of 12 months.
March 2016, the DSS filed two petitions against the father,
alleging that he had violated the terms and conditions of
supervision and the order of protection by testing positive
for illegal substances. In response to the father's
request for discovery, the DSS provided him with a compact
disc containing certain documents. The father moved in the
Family Court to compel the DSS to provide him with paper
copies of these documents. The court granted the father's
motion and directed the DSS to produce the requested
documents in paper format or by any other means acceptable to
the father. The Family Court further held that, "in any
matter before the Court, " documents may be provided
electronically via compact disc or otherwise, but "
must be provided in paper format if specifically
requested in writing by receiving counsel." The DSS
the DSS has provided the father with the requested documents
in paper format, the appeal from so much of the order as
granted the father's motion to compel the DSS to produce
the documents to him in paper format has been rendered
academic (see Matter of Bajrovic v Jeff Anders
Trucking, 52 A.D.3d 553, 553; Schmidt v
Maiorino, 209 A.D.2d 683, 684). Moreover, this issue
does not warrant invocation of the exception to the mootness
doctrine (see Matter of Hearst Corp. v Clyne, 50
N.Y.2d 707, 714-715; Matter of Karlee JJ. [Jessica
J.J.], 105 A.D.3d 1304, 1305; Matter of Niagara
Mohawk Power Corp. v New York State Dept. of Envtl.
Conservation, 169 A.D.2d 943). Accordingly, we grant the
father's motion to dismiss the appeal to the extent of
dismissing, as academic, the appeal from so much of the order
as directed the DSS to produce certain documents in paper
format or by any other means acceptable to the father.
the appeal from so much of the order as directed the DSS to
produce paper copies of discovery material in any matter
before the court if requested in writing by receiving counsel
has not been rendered academic. The Family Court exceeded its
authority in directing the DSS to produce discovery in a
certain format in matters other than the instant matter
(see generally Matter of John H. 56 A.D.3d 1024),
and therefore improperly directed the ...