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NEW YORK FAMILY COURT
FCT

Last update: 2011-11-11


  • Article 1. Family Court Established
    • Part 1. Applicability of Act and Creation of Court 111 - 120
    • Part 2. Number, Appointment, Term and Compensation of Judges Within the City of New York 121 - 126
    • Part 3. Number, Election, Term and Compensation of Judges Not Within the City of New York 131 - 138
    • Part 4. Family Court Judges 141 - 146
    • Part 5. General Powers 151 - 158
    • Part 6. General Provisions Concerning Hearings 161 - 168
    • Part 7. Proceeding in Counties other than Original County 171 - 176
  • Article 2. Administration, Medical Examinations, Attorneys for Children, Auxiliary Services
    • Part 1. Administration 211 - 217
    • Part 2. Support Bureau; Duties to Cooperate 221 - 229
    • Part 3. Medical Examinations and Treatment 231 - 236
    • Part 4. Attorneys for Children 241 - 249-B
    • Part 5. Auxiliary Services 251 - 256
    • Part 6. Counsel for Indigent Adults in Family Court Proceedings 261 - 262
  • Article 3. Juvenile Delinquency
    • Part 1. Jurisdiction and Preliminary Procedures 301.1 - 315.3
    • Part 2. Initial Appearance and Probable Cause Hearing 320.1 - 325.3
    • Part 3. Discovery 330.1 - 335.2
    • Part 4. The Fact-finding Hearing 340.1 - 347.1
    • Part 5. The Dispositional Hearing 350.1 - 355.5
    • Part 6. Post-dispositional Procedures 360.1 - 365.3
    • Part 7. Securing Testimony and Records 370.1 - 375.3
    • Part 8. General Provisions 380.1 - 385.2
  • Article 4. Support Proceedings
    • Part 1. Jurisdiction and Duties of Support 411 - 418
    • Part 2. Venue and Preliminary Procedure 421 - 430
    • Part 3. Hearing 431 - 439-A
    • Part 4. Orders 440 - 449
    • Part 5. Compliance With Orders 451 - 460
    • Part 6. Effect of Action for Separation, Divorce or Annulment 461 - 469
    • Part 7. Undertaking 471 - 479
  • Article 5. Paternity Proceedings
    • Part 1. Jurisdiction and Duties to Support 511 - 519
    • Part 2. Venue and Preliminary Procedure 521 - 528
    • Part 3. Hearings 531 - 536
    • Part 4. Orders 541 - 551
    • Part 5. Related Proceedings 561 - 565
  • Article 5-A. Special Provisions Relating to Enforcement of Support and Establishment of Paternity 571
  • Article 5-B. Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
    • Part 1. General Provisions. 580-101 - 580-103
    • Part 2.A. Extended Personal Jurisdiction. 580-201 - 580-202
    • Part 2.B. Proceedings Involving Two or More States. 580-203 - 580-206
    • Part 2.C. Reconciliation of Multiple Orders. 580-207 - 580-209
    • Part 3. Civil Provisions of General Application. 580-301 - 580-319
    • Part 4. Establishment of Support Order. 580-401
    • Part 5. Enforcement of Order of Another State Without Registration. 580-501 - 580-507
    • Part 6.A. Registration and Enforcement of Support Order. 580-601 - 580-604
    • Part 6.B. Contest of Validity or Enforcement. 580-605 - 580-608
    • Part 6.C. Registration and Modification of Child Support Order. 580-609 - 580-614
    • Part 7. Determination of Parentage. 580-701
    • Part 8. Interstate Rendition. 580-801 - 580-802
    • Part 9. Miscellaneous Provisions. 580-901 - 580-905
  • Article 6. Permanent Termination of Parental Rights, Adoption, Guardianship and Custody
    • Part 1. Permanent Termination of Parental Custody by Reason of Permanent Neglect 611 - 634
    • Part 1-A. Modification of Disposition; Restoration of Parental Rights 635 - 637
    • Part 2. Adoption 641 - 642
    • Part 3. Custody 651 - 657
    • Part 4. Guardianship 661 - 664
    • Part 5. Warrant 671
  • Article 7. Proceedings Concerning Whether a Person Is in Need of Supervision
    • Part 1. Jurisdiction 711 - 718
    • Part 2. Custody and Detention 720 - 729
    • Part 3. Preliminary Procedure 732 - 740
    • Part 4. Hearings 741 - 750
    • Part 5. Orders 751 - 760
    • Part 6. New Hearing and Reconsideration of Orders 761 - 768
    • Part 7. Compliance With Orders 771 - 780
    • Part 8. Effect of Proceedings 781 - 784
  • Article 8. Family Offenses Proceedings
    • Part 1. Jurisdiction 812 - 818
    • Part 2. Preliminary Procedure 821 - 828
    • Part 3. Hearing 832 - 838
    • Part 4. Orders 841 - 847
  • Article 9. Conciliation Proceedings
    • Part 1. Purpose and Jurisdiction 911 - 915
    • Part 2. Procedure 921 - 926
  • Article 10. Child Protective Proceedings
    • Part 1. Jurisdiction 1011 - 1018
    • Part 2. Temporary Removal and Preliminary Orders 1021 - 1030
    • Part 3. Preliminary Procedure 1031 - 1040
    • Part 4. Hearings 1041 - 1049
    • Part 5. Orders 1051 - 1059
    • Part 6. New Hearing and Reconsideration of Orders 1061 - 1069
    • Part 7. Compliance With Orders 1071 - 1075
    • Part 8. Visitation of Minors in Foster Care 1081 - 1085
  • Article 10-A. Permanency Hearings for Children Placed Out of Their Homes 1086 - 1090
  • Article 10-B. Former Foster Care Youth Re-entry Proceedings 1091
  • Article 11. Appeals 1111 - 1121
  • Article 12. Separability 1211

Article 1
Family Court Established

Part 1
Applicability of Act and Creation of Court

Section 111. Title of act.

The title of this act is "the family court act of the state of New York." It may be cited as "The Family Court Act."

Section 112. Applicability.

The family court act applies in all counties of the state of New York.

Section 113. Establishment of court.

The family court of the state of New York is established in each county of the state as part of the unified court system for the state.

Section 114. "Exclusive original jurisdiction".

When used in this act, "exclusive original jurisdiction" means that the proceedings over which the family court is given such jurisdiction must be originated in the family court in the manner prescribed by this act. The provisions of this act shall in no way limit or impair the jurisdiction of the supreme court as set forth in section seven of article six of the constitution of the state of New York.

Section 115. Jurisdiction of family court.

(a) The family court has exclusive original jurisdiction over

(i) abuse and neglect proceedings, as set forth in article ten;

(ii) support proceedings, as set forth in article four;

(iii) proceedings to determine paternity and for the support of children born out-of-wedlock, as set forth in article five;

(iv) proceedings to permanently terminate parental rights to guardianship and custody of a child: (A) by reason of permanent neglect, as set forth in part one of article six of this act and paragraph (d) of subdivision four of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, (B) by reason of mental illness, mental retardation and severe or repeated child abuse, as set forth in paragraphs (c) and (e) of subdivision four of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, and (C) by reason of the death of one or both parents, where no guardian of the person of the child has been lawfully appointed, or by reason of abandonment of the child for a period of six months immediately prior to the filing of the petition, where a child is under the jurisdiction of the family court as a result of a placement in foster care by the family court pursuant to article ten or ten-A of this act or section three hundred fifty-eight-a of the social services law, unless the court declines jurisdiction pursuant to section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law;

(v) proceedings concerning whether a person is in need of supervision, as set forth in article seven; and

(vi) proceedings concerning juvenile delinquency as set forth in article three.

(b) The family court has such other jurisdiction as is set forth in this act, including jurisdiction over habeas corpus proceedings and over applications for support, maintenance, a distribution of marital property and custody in matrimonial actions when referred to the family court by the supreme court, conciliation proceedings, and proceedings concerning physically handicapped and mentally defective or retarded children.

(c) The family court has such other jurisdiction as is provided by law, including but not limited to: proceedings concerning adoption and custody of children, as set forth in parts two and three of article six of this act; proceedings concerning the uniform interstate family support act, as set forth in article five-B of this act; proceedings concerning children in foster care and care and custody of children, as set forth in sections three hundred fifty-eight-a and three hundred eighty-four-a of the social services law and article ten-A of this act; proceedings concerning guardianship and custody of children by reason of the death of, or abandonment or surrender by, the parent or parents, as set forth in sections three hundred eighty-three-c, three hundred eighty-four and paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision four of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law; proceedings concerning standby guardianship and guardianship of the person as set forth in part four of article six of this act and article seventeen of the surrogate's court procedure act; and proceedings concerning the interstate compact on juveniles as set forth in chapter one hundred fifty-five of the laws of nineteen hundred fifty-five, as amended, the interstate compact on the placement of children, as set forth in section three hundred seventy-four-a of the social services law, and the uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act, as set forth in article five-A of the domestic relations law.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) through (c) of this section, jurisdiction of the family court and tribal courts of Indian tribes designated by the Secretary of the Interior over those child custody proceedings provided for in articles three, seven, ten and ten-A of this act and sections three hundred fifty-eight-a and three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law involving Indian children as defined in subdivision thirty-six of section two of the social services law shall be subject to the terms and conditions set forth in applicable sections of title twenty-five of the United States code; provided that tribal courts of Indian tribes designated as such by the state of New York shall have jurisdiction over such child custody proceedings involving Indian children to the same extent as federally designated Indian tribes upon the approval of the state office of children and family services pursuant to section thirty-nine of the social services law.

(e) The family court has concurrent jurisdiction with the criminal court over all family offenses as defined in article eight of this act.

(f) The family court has jurisdiction to direct the commencement of proceedings to suspend the driving privileges, recreational licenses and permits, and license, permit, registration or authority to practice of persons who are delinquent in their child or combined child and spousal support obligations or persons who have failed, after receiving appropriate notice, to comply with summonses, subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity and child support proceedings as set forth in sections four hundred fifty-eight-a, four hundred fifty-eight-b, four hundred fifty-eight-c, five hundred forty-eight-a, five hundred forty-eight-b, and five forty-eight-c of this act. Such jurisdiction shall include jurisdiction over all boards, departments, authorities or offices of the state for the purposes of implementing such section.

Section 116. Religion of custodial persons and agencies.

(a) Whenever a child is remanded or committed by the court to any duly authorized association, agency, society or institution, other than an institution supported and controlled by the state or a subdivision thereof, such commitment must be made, when practicable, to a duly authorized association, agency, society or institution under the control of persons of the same religious faith or persuasion as that of the child.

(b) Whenever any child thus committed is placed by any such association, agency, society or institution in a family, or in the home, or in the custody, of any person other than that of its birth or adopted parent or parents, or when so placed or paroled directly by the court, such placement or parole must, when practicable, be with or in the custody of a person or persons of the same religious faith or persuasion as that of the child.

(c) In appointing guardians of children, except guardians ad litem, and in granting orders of adoption of children, the court must, when practicable, appoint only as such guardians, and only give custody through adoption to, persons of the same religious faith or persuasion as that of the child.

(d) The provisions of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this section shall be interpreted literally, so as to assure that in the care, protection, guardianship, discipline or control of any child his religious faith shall be preserved and protected by the court. But this section shall not be construed so as to prevent the remanding of a child, during the pendency of a proceeding, to a place of detention designated by rules of court nor to the placing of a child in a hospital or similar institution for necessary treatment.

(e) The words "when practicable" as used in this section shall be interpreted as being without force or effect if there is a proper or suitable person of the same religous faith or persuasion as that of the child available for appointment as guardian, or to be designated as custodian, or to whom control may be given, or to whom orders of adoption may be granted; or if there is a duly authorized association, agency, society or institution under the control of persons of the same religious faith or persuasion as that of the child, at the time available and willing to assume the responsibility for the custody of or control over any such child.

(f) If a child is placed in the custody, or under the supervision or control, of a person or of persons of a religious faith or persuasion different from that of the child, or if a guardian of a child is appointed whose religious faith or persuasion is different from that of the child, or if orders of adoption are granted to a person or persons whose religious faith is different from that of the child adopted, or if a child is remanded or committed to a duly authorized association, agency, society or institution, or to any other place, which is under the control of persons of a religious faith or persuasion different from that of the child, the court shall state or recite the facts which impel it to make such disposition and such statement shall be made a part of the minutes of the proceeding.

(g) The provisions of subdivisions (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) of this section shall, so far as consistent with the best interests of the child, and where practicable, be applied so as to give effect to the religious wishes of the birth mother, if the child is born out-of-wedlock, or if born in-wedlock, the religious wishes of the birth parents of the child, or if only one of the birth parents of an in-wedlock child is then living, the religious wishes of the birth parent then living. Religious wishes of a birth parent shall include wishes that the child be placed in the same religion as the birth parent or in a different religion from the birth parent or with indifference to religion or with religion a subordinate consideration. Expressed religious wishes of a birth parent shall mean those which have been set forth in a writing signed by the birth parent, except that, in a non-agency adoption, such writing shall be an affidavit of the birth parent. In the absence of expressed religious wishes, as defined in this subdivision, determination of the religious wishes, if any, of the birth parent, shall be made upon the other facts of the particular case, and, if there is no evidence to the contrary, it shall be presumed that the birth parent wishes the child to be reared in the religion of the birth parent.

Section 117. Parts of court.

(a) There is hereby established in the family court a "child abuse part". Such part shall be held separate from all other proceedings of the court, and shall have jurisdiction over all proceedings in the family court involving abused children, and shall be charged with the immediate protection of these children. All cases involving abuse shall be originated in or be transferred to this part from other parts as they are made known to the court unless there is or was before the court a proceeding involving any members of the same family or household, in which event the judge who heard said proceeding may hear the case involving abuse. Consistent with its primary purpose, nothing in this section is intended to prevent the child abuse part from hearing other cases.

(b) For every juvenile delinquency proceeding under article three involving an allegation of an act committed by a person which, if done by an adult, would be a crime (i) defined in sections 125.27 (murder in the first degree); 125.25 (murder in the second degree); 135.25 (kidnapping in the first degree); or 150.20 (arson in the first degree) of the penal law committed by a person thirteen, fourteen or fifteen years of age; or such conduct committed as a sexually motivated felony, where authorized pursuant to section 130.91 of the penal law; (ii) defined in sections 120.10 (assault in the first degree); 125.20 (manslaughter in the first degree); 130.35 (rape in the first degree); 130.50 (criminal sexual act in the first degree); 135.20 (kidnapping in the second degree), but only where the abduction involved the use or threat of use of deadly physical force; 150.15 (arson in the second degree); or 160.15 (robbery in the first degree) of the penal law committed by a person thirteen, fourteen or fifteen years of age; or such conduct committed as a sexually motivated felony, where authorized pursuant to section 130.91 of the penal law; (iii) defined in the penal law as an attempt to commit murder in the first or second degree or kidnapping in the first degree committed by a person thirteen, fourteen or fifteen years of age; or such conduct committed as a sexually motivated felony, where authorized pursuant to section 130.91 of the penal law; (iv) defined in section 140.30 (burglary in the first degree); subdivision one of section 140.25 (burglary in the second degree); subdivision two of section 160.10 (robbery in the second degree) of the penal law; or section 265.03 of the penal law, where such machine gun or such firearm is possessed on school grounds, as that phrase is defined in subdivision fourteen of section 220.00 of the penal law committed by a person fourteen or fifteen years of age; or such conduct committed as a sexually motivated felony, where authorized pursuant to section 130.91 of the penal law; (v) defined in section 120.05 (assault in the second degree) or 160.10 (robbery in the second degree) of the penal law committed by a person fourteen or fifteen years of age but only where there has been a prior finding by a court that such person has previously committed an act which, if committed by an adult, would be the crime of assault in the second degree, robbery in the second degree or any designated felony act specified in clause (i), (ii) or (iii) of this subdivision regardless of the age of such person at the time of the commission of the prior act; or (vi) other than a misdemeanor, committed by a person at least seven but less than sixteen years of age, but only where there has been two prior findings by the court that such person has committed a prior act which, if committed by an adult would be a felony:

(i) There is hereby established in the family court in the city of New York at least one "designated felony act part." Such part or parts shall be held separate from all other proceedings of the court, and shall have jurisdiction over all proceedings involving such an allegation. All such proceedings shall be originated in or be transferred to this part from other parts as they are made known to the court.

(ii) Outside the city of New York, all proceedings involving such an allegation shall have a hearing preference over every other proceeding in the court, except proceedings under article ten.

(c) The chief administrator of the courts may establish one or more separate support parts in each family court for the purpose of expediting support proceedings instituted pursuant to articles four, five and five-A of this act. Where such separate support parts are established, all such proceedings shall be originated in or be transferred to this part or parts as they are made known to the court and shall be heard by support magistrates in accordance with section four hundred thirty-nine of this act.

(d) The appellate division of the supreme court in each department may provide, in accordance with the standards and policies established by the administrative board of the judicial conference, that the family court in counties within its department shall or may be organized into such other parts, if any, as may be appropriate.

Section 118. Seal.

The seal of the family court consists of an engraving of the arms of the state of New York and the words "Family Court of the State of New York" followed by the name of the county in which the family court using the seal is located.

Section 119. Definitions.

When used in this act and unless the specific context indicates otherwise:

(a) "Duly authorized association, agency, society or institution" means any institution supported or controlled by the state or by a subdivision thereof; any social services official of this state; or an association, agency, society, or institution, duly empowered to care for children, which

(i) is incorporated under the laws of this state;

(ii) actually has its place of business or home within the state; and

(iii) is approved, visited, inspected and supervised by the department of family assistance, or which shall submit and consent to the approval, visitation, inspection and supervision of the department of family assistance.

(b) "Person legally responsible for the child's care" includes the child's custodian, guardian or any other person responsible for the child's care at the relevant time.

(c) The term "infant" or "minor" means a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years.

Section 120. Expenses of the court.

(a) All salaries of the judicial and non-judicial personnel of the court and all other expenses of the court whatsoever, except as provided in subdivision (b), shall within the city of New York, be a city charge and in the counties outside the city of New York, a county charge; provided however, that the final determination of the itemized estimates of the annual financial needs of the court shall be made by the appropriate governing bodies of such counties and the city of New York in the manner provided in article seven-a of the judiciary law, and section twenty-nine of article six of the constitution.

(b) Salaries of support magistrates appointed in proceedings to compel support pursuant to section four hundred thirty-nine of this act shall be a state charge payable out of funds appropriated to the office of court administration for that purpose.

Part 2
Number, Appointment, Term and Compensation of Judges Within the City of New York

Section 121. Number of judges.

The family court within the city of New York shall consist of forty-four judges and, as of July first, nineteen hundred ninety, shall consist of forty-five judges and, as of April first, nineteen hundred ninety-one, shall consist of forty-seven judges. At least one of the persons appointed to the office of judge of the family court created by this section, shall be a resident of the county of Richmond and hereafter there shall be at least one family court judge resident in each county of the city of New York. The amount of compensation for such new family court judges shall be equal to the compensation payable to existing family court judges in the city of New York.

Section 122. Continuance in office.

The justices of the domestic relations court of the city of New York in office on the effective date of this act, shall for the remainder of the term of their appointment continue in office as judges of the family court in the county within the city of New York in which they reside.