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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 1034
Power to order investigations
Family Court Act (FCT) CHAPTER 686, ARTICLE 10, PART 3
§ 1034. Power to order investigations. 1. A family court judge may
order the child protective service of the appropriate social services
district to conduct a child protective investigation as described by the
social services law and report its findings to the court:

(a) in any proceedings under this article, or

(b) in order to determine whether a proceeding under this article
should be initiated.

2. (a)(i) Before a petition is filed and where there is reasonable
cause to suspect that a child or children's life or health may be in
danger, child protective services may seek a court order based upon:

(A) a report of suspected abuse or maltreatment under title six of
article six of the social services law as well as any additional
information that a child protective investigator has learned in the
investigation; and

(B) the fact that the investigator has been unable to locate the child
named in the report or any other children in the household or has been
denied access to the child or children in the household sufficient to
determine their safety; and

(C) the fact that the investigator has advised the parent or other
persons legally responsible for the child or children that, when denied
sufficient access to the child or other children in the household, the
child protective investigator may consider seeking an immediate court
order to gain access to the child or children without further notice to
the parent or other persons legally responsible.

(ii) Where a court order has been requested pursuant to this paragraph
the court may issue an order under this section requiring that the
parent or other persons legally responsible for the child or children
produce the child or children at a particular location which may include
a child advocacy center, or to a particular person for an interview of
the child or children, and for observation of the condition of the
child, outside of the presence of the parent or other person
responsible.

(b)(i) Before a petition is filed and where there is probable cause to
believe that an abused or neglected child may be found on the premises,
child protective services may seek a court order based upon:

(A) a report of suspected abuse or maltreatment under title six of
article six of the social services law as well as any additional
information that a child protective investigator has learned in the
investigation; and

(B) the fact that the investigator has been denied access to the home
of the child or children in order to evaluate the home environment; and

(C) the fact that the investigator has advised the parent or other
person legally responsible for the child or children that, when denied
access to the home environment, the child protective investigator may
consider seeking an immediate court order to gain access to the home
environment without further notice to the parent or other person legally
responsible.

(ii) Where a court order has been requested pursuant to this paragraph
the court may issue an order under this section authorizing the person
conducting the child protective investigation to enter the home in order
to determine whether such child or children are present and/or to
conduct a home visit and evaluate the home environment of the child or
children.

(c) The procedure for granting an order pursuant to this subdivision
shall be the same as for a search warrant under article six hundred
ninety of the criminal procedure law. If an order is issued in
accordance with this subdivision the court shall specify which action
may be taken and by whom in the order.

(d) In determining if such orders shall be made, the court shall
consider all relevant information, including but not limited to:

(i) the nature and seriousness of the allegations made in the report;

(ii) the age and vulnerability of the child or children;

(iii) the potential harm to the child or children if a full
investigation is not completed;

(iv) the relationship of the source of the report to the family,
including the source's ability to observe that which has been alleged;
and

(v) the child protective or criminal history, if any, of the family
and any other relevant information that the investigation has already
obtained.

(e) The court shall assess which actions are necessary in light of the
child or children's safety, provided, however, that such actions shall
be the least intrusive to the family.

(f) The court shall be available at all hours to hear such requests by
the social services district which shall be permitted to make such
requests either in writing or orally, pursuant to section 690.36 of the
criminal procedure law, in person to the family court during hours that
the court is open and orally by telephone or in person, pursuant to
section 690.36 of the criminal procedure law, to a family court judge
when the court is not open. While the request is being made, law
enforcement shall remain where the child or children are or are believed
to be present if the child protective services investigator has
requested law enforcement assistance. Provided, however, that law
enforcement may not enter the premises where the child or children are
believed to be present without a search warrant or another
constitutional basis for such entry.

(g) Where the court issues an order under this section, the child
protective investigator shall within three business days prepare a
report to the court detailing his or her findings and any other actions
that have been taken pertaining to the child named in the report and any
other children in the household.

(h) Nothing in this section shall limit the court's authority to issue
any appropriate order in accordance with the provisions of this article
after a petition has been filed.