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Appellate court reverses family court neglect finding against father

In a brief but unanimous decision the Appellate Division, First Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York has reversed a determination by New York County Family Court Judge, Jody Adams, that found a father had neglected his child by not seeking immediate medical attention for a bump on the child's head. Following the neglect determination in March of 2012, custody of the child was granted to the mother. In its decision, the appellate court stated, "Although the issue is not preserved, we conclude the court improperly based its determination on claims of medical neglect not raised in the petition, without affording appellant father a reasonable opportunity to prepare to answer this claim."

The court also said in its decision that the child's injury was not significant and the Administration for Children's Services of New York City "failed to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the child was impaired or at risk of impairment by the father's failure to seek immediate medical attention..."

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