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This entry was published on 2016-02-19
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SECTION 1051
Sustaining or dismissing petition
Family Court Act (FCT) CHAPTER 686, ARTICLE 10, PART 5
§ 1051. Sustaining or dismissing petition. (a) If facts sufficient to
sustain the petition are established in accord with part four of this
article, or if all parties and the attorney for the child consent, the
court shall, subject to the provisions of subdivision (c) of this
section, enter an order finding that the child is an abused child or a
neglected child and shall state the grounds for the finding.

(b) If the proof does not conform to the specific allegations of the
petition, the court may amend the allegations to conform to the proof;
provided, however, that in such case the respondent shall be given
reasonable time to prepare to answer the amended allegations.

(c) If facts sufficient to sustain the petition under this article are
not established, or if, in a case of alleged neglect, the court
concludes that its aid is not required on the record before it, the
court shall dismiss the petition and shall state on the record the
grounds for the dismissal.

(d) If the court makes a finding of abuse or neglect, it shall
determine, based upon the facts adduced during the fact-finding hearing
and any other additional facts presented to it, whether a preliminary
order pursuant to section one thousand twenty-seven is required to
protect the child's interests pending a final order of disposition. The
court shall state the grounds for its determination. In addition, a
child found to be abused or neglected may be removed and remanded to a
place approved for such purpose by the local social services department
or be placed in the custody of a suitable person, pending a final order
of disposition, if the court finds that there is a substantial
probability that the final order of disposition will be an order of
placement under section one thousand fifty-five. In determining whether
substantial probability exists, the court shall consider the
requirements of subdivision (b) of section one thousand fifty-two.

(e) If the court makes a finding of abuse, it shall specify the
paragraph or paragraphs of subdivision (e) of section one thousand
twelve of this act which it finds have been established. If the court
makes a finding of abuse as defined in paragraph (iii) of subdivision
(e) of section one thousand twelve of this act, it shall make a further
finding of the specific sex offense as defined in article one hundred
thirty of the penal law. In addition to a finding of abuse, the court
may enter a finding of severe abuse or repeated abuse, as defined in
subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of paragraph (a) or subparagraphs (i)
and (ii) of paragraph (b) of subdivision eight of section three hundred
eighty-four-b of the social services law, which shall be admissible in a
proceeding to terminate parental rights pursuant to paragraph (e) of
subdivision four of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social
services law; provided, however, that a finding of severe or repeated
abuse under this section may be made against any respondent as defined
in subdivision (a) of section one thousand twelve of this act. If the
court makes such additional finding of severe abuse or repeated abuse,
the court shall state the grounds for its determination, which shall be
based upon clear and convincing evidence.

(f) Prior to accepting an admission to an allegation or permitting a
respondent to consent to a finding of neglect or abuse, the court shall
inform the respondent that such an admission or consent will result in
the court making a fact-finding order of neglect or abuse, as the case
may be, and shall further inform the respondent of the potential
consequences of such order, including but not limited to the following:

(i) that the court will have the power to make an order of
disposition, which may include an order placing the subject child or
children in foster care until completion of the initial permanency
hearing scheduled pursuant to section one thousand eighty-nine of this
act and subject to successive extensions of placement at any subsequent
permanency hearings;

(ii) that the placement of the children in foster care may, if the
parent fails to maintain contact with or plan for the future of the
child, lead to proceedings for the termination of parental rights and to
the possibility of adoption of the child if the child remains in foster
care for fifteen of the most recent twenty-two months, the agency may be
required by law to file a petition to terminate parental rights;

(iii) that the report made to the state central register of child
abuse and maltreatment upon which the petition is based will remain on
file until ten years after the eighteenth birthday of the youngest child
named in such report, that the respondent will be unable to obtain
expungement of such report, and that the existence of such report may be
made known to employers seeking to screen employee applicants in the
field of child care, and to child care agencies if the respondent
applies to become a foster parent or adoptive parent.

Any finding upon such an admission or consent made without such notice
being given by the court shall be vacated upon motion of any party. In
no event shall a person other than the respondent, either in person or
in writing, make an admission or consent to a finding of neglect or
abuse.