New York State Law

Family Court Law

Consolidated Laws of NY's FCA code

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Part 1 - Article 2 - Family Court

ADMINISTRATION

Section Description
211 Administration and operation of family court.
212 Rules of court.
213 Reports to administrative board, legislature and governor.
214 Chief administrator to prescribe forms; electronic filing in family court.
215 Continuance in office of non-judicial personnel.
216-A Clerk of court.
216-B Petition forms.
216-C Preparation of petitions.
217 Orders; filing and service.
  S 211. Administration   and   operation   of   family  court.  The
  administration and operation of the family court shall be in accord with
  article seven-a of the judiciary law.

  S 212. Rules  of court. (a) The administrative board of the judicial
  conference shall prepare rules of court when required by  this  act  and
  may  prepare  rules  of court when authorized by this act. To the extent
  practicable, any rule of court  prepared  under  this  act  shall  apply
  uniformly throughout the state of New York.
    (b)  In  exercising  its  responsibilities  under  paragraph  (a), the
  administrative board may designate a committee of judges of  the  family
  court and of such consultants as it deems appropriate to draft rules for
  approval by the administrative board.

  S 213. Reports to administrative board, legislature and governor. (a)
  In addition to any reports required by the administrative board  of  the
  judicial  conference  under  article  seven-a  of the judiciary law, the
  administrative board shall, as soon as practicable, require  the  family
  court  in  each  county  to include in its reports to the administrative
  board and the administrative board shall include in its annual report to
  the legislature information, by county, showing:
    (i) the number of  children  temporarily  removed  under  section  one
  thousand  twenty-two  before  the  filing  of  a petition, the number of
  children temporarily removed  without  court  order  under  section  ten
  hundred  twenty-four  of  this  act, and the period of time between such
  removal and the filing of a petition;
    (ii) the number of children  temporarily  removed  under  section  one
  thousand  twenty-seven  after the filing of a petition and the period of
  time that passed after such removal until its termination;
    (iii) the number of placements under section one thousand fifty-two by
  person, agency or institution in which the placement is  made,  and  the
  number of orders extending the period of placement;
    (iv)  the  number  of  children released and the number detained under
  sections seven hundred twenty-eight and 307.4;
    (v) the number of alleged juvenile delinquents released and the number
  detained under section 320.5 and the number of alleged persons  in  need
  of  supervision  released  and  detained  under  section  seven  hundred
  thirty-nine, and the duration of the detention in both groups;
    (vi) the number  of  adjudicated  juvenile  delinquents  placed  under
  section  353.3  and  the  number  of  adjudicated  persons  in  need  of
  supervision placed under section  seven  hundred  fifty-six  by  person,
  agency  or institution in which the placement is made, and the number of
  orders extending the period of placement;
    (vii) the number of adjudicated juvenile delinquents put on  probation
  under  section  353.2  and  the number of adjudicated persons in need of
  supervision put on probation under section seven hundred fifty-seven and
  the duration of such probation;
    (viii) the number, nature and disposition  of  cases  involving  child
  abuse  under  article  ten  of  this  act, including total number of new
  cases, their nature, whether heard by the child abuse part, the age  and
  sex  of  the  children  involved,  the type of petitioner, the number of
  children temporarily removed both before  and  after  the  filing  of  a
  petition,  the  length  of  time  and number of adjournments between the
  filing of a petition and the fact-finding hearing, the number  of  cases
  that  are dismissed, withdrawn, sustained and admitted to, the length of
  time and number of adjournments between the fact-finding hearing and the
  dispositional hearing, and the final disposition of such cases.
    (b) Rules of court shall as soon as practicable implement this section
  by prescribing appropriate  forms  for  reports  and  may  require  such
  additional  information  as may be appropriate. The administrative board
  of  the  judicial  conference  may  request  the  state  department   of
  corrections and community supervision and the state department of social
  welfare  to assist it in the preparation and processing of reports under
  this section, and those departments, when  so  requested,  shall  render
  such assistance as is possible.

  * S 214. Chief administrator to prescribe forms; electronic filing in
  family court. (a) The chief administrator of the courts shall promulgate
  a uniform, statewide petition for adoption and may prescribe such  other
  forms as may be proper for the efficient and just administration of this
  act,  including  forms  for  petitions,  summons,  warrants,  subpoenas,
  undertakings, and orders authorized by this act.
    (b)  (i)  Notwithstanding  any  other  provision  of  law,  the  chief
  administrator,  with  the  approval  of  the administrative board of the
  courts, may promulgate  rules  authorizing  a  program  in  the  use  of
  electronic   means  ("e-filing")  in  the  family  court  for:  (1)  the
  origination of proceedings in such court, and (2) the filing and service
  of papers in pending proceedings.
    (ii) (1) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, participation
  in this program shall be strictly voluntary and  will  take  place  only
  upon  consent of all parties in the proceeding; except that failure of a
  party or other person who is entitled to notice of  the  proceedings  to
  consent  to  participation shall not bar any other party from filing and
  serving papers by electronic means upon the court or any other party  or
  person  entitled  to receive notice of such proceeding who has consented
  to participation. Filing a petition with the court by  electronic  means
  for  the  purpose  of  originating  a  proceeding  shall not require the
  consent of any other party; provided, however, that upon such filing,  a
  party  to  such  proceeding  and  any  attorney for such person shall be
  permitted to immediately review and obtain copies of such documents  and
  papers  if  such person or attorney would have been authorized by law to
  review or obtain copies of such documents and papers if  they  had  been
  filed with the court in paper form.
    No party shall be compelled, directly or indirectly, to participate in
  e-filing.  All  parties  shall  be  notified clearly, in plain language,
  about their options to participate in e-filing. Where  a  party  is  not
  represented by counsel, the clerk shall explain such party's options for
  electronic  filing in plain language, including the option for expedited
  processing, and shall inquire whether he or she wishes  to  participate,
  provided  however  the  unrepresented  litigant  may  participate in the
  program only upon his or her request, which shall be documented  in  the
  case   file,  after  said  party  has  been  presented  with  sufficient
  information in plain language concerning the program.
    (2) In the  rules  promulgated  pursuant  to  paragraph  (i)  of  this
  subdivision,  the  chief  administrator may eliminate the requirement of
  consent to participation in this program in family courts  of  not  more
  than six counties for:
    (A)  the  filing  with  the court of a petition originating a juvenile
  delinquency proceeding under article three of this act by a  presentment
  agency as defined in section 301.2 of such act;
    (B)  the  filing  with  the  court  of  a  petition  originating  in a
  proceeding to determine abuse or neglect pursuant to article ten of this
  act by a child protective agency, as defined  in  section  one  thousand
  twelve of such act; and
    (C)  the  filing  and  service  of  papers in proceedings specified in
  clauses (A) and  (B)  of  this  subparagraph  where,  pursuant  to  such
  clauses,  such  proceedings  were  originated in the court by electronic
  filing.
    Notwithstanding the  foregoing,  the  chief  administrator  shall  not
  eliminate  the  requirement  of  consent  to  participation  without the
  consent of each authorized presentment agency, child  protective  agency
  of  an affected county, the family court bar providing representation to
  parents, and the family court bar providing representation  to  children
  (as  represented  by  the  head  of  each  legal  services  organization
  representing parents and/or children, the head of each  public  defender
  organization,  and president of the local bar association as applicable)
  in any county in which such elimination shall apply.
    Notwithstanding   the  foregoing,  the  chief  administrator  may  not
  eliminate the requirement  of  consent  to  participation  in  a  county
  hereunder   until   he  or  she  shall  have  provided  all  persons  or
  organizations, or their representative or representatives, who regularly
  appear in proceedings in the family  court  of  such  county,  in  which
  proceedings  the  requirement  of  consent  is  to  be  eliminated, with
  reasonable notice and an opportunity to  submit  comments  with  respect
  thereto and shall have given due consideration to all such comments, nor
  until  he  or  she shall have consulted with the members of the advisory
  committee continued pursuant to subparagraph (vi) of  paragraph  (t)  of
  subdivision two of section two hundred twelve of the judiciary law.
    (c)  Where  the  chief  administrator  eliminates  the  requirement of
  consent as provided in subparagraph two of paragraph (ii) of subdivision
  (b) of this section, he or she shall afford counsel the  opportunity  to
  opt  out  of  the  program,  via presentation of a prescribed form to be
  filed with the clerk of the court where the proceeding is pending.  Said
  form shall permit an attorney to opt out of participation in the program
  under any of the following circumstances, in which event, he or she will
  not be compelled to participate:
    (i)  Where  the  attorney certifies in good faith that he or she lacks
  the computer hardware and/or connection to the internet  and/or  scanner
  or  other  device  by  which documents may be converted to an electronic
  format; or
    (ii) Where the attorney certifies in good faith that he or  she  lacks
  the  requisite  knowledge  in  the  operation  of  such computers and/or
  scanners necessary to participate. For the purposes of  this  paragraph,
  the  knowledge  of  any  employee of an attorney, or any employee of the
  attorney's  law  firm,  office  or  business  who  is  subject  to  such
  attorney's direction, shall be imputed to the attorney.
    Notwithstanding  the foregoing provisions of this paragraph: (A) where
  a party or a person  entitled  to  notice  of  the  proceedings  is  not
  represented by counsel, the court shall explain such party's options for
  electronic  filing in plain language, including the option for expedited
  processing, and shall inquire whether he or she wishes  to  participate,
  provided  however,  the  unrepresented  litigant  may participate in the
  program only upon his or her request, which shall be documented  in  the
  case   file,  after  said  party  has  been  presented  with  sufficient
  information in plain language concerning the program; (B) a party who is
  not represented by counsel who has chosen to participate in the  program
  shall  be  afforded  the  opportunity  to opt out of the program for any
  reason via presentation of a prescribed form to be filed with the  clerk
  of the court where the proceeding is pending; and (C) a court may exempt
  any  attorney  from  being  required  to participate in the program upon
  application for such exemption, showing good cause therefor.
    (d) For purposes of this  section,  "electronic  means"  shall  be  as
  defined in subdivision (f) of rule twenty-one hundred three of the civil
  practice law and rules.
    (e)  Notwithstanding  any  provision  of  this  chapter,  no  paper or
  document that is filed by electronic means in  a  proceeding  in  family
  court  shall  be available for public inspection on-line. Subject to the
  provisions of existing laws governing the sealing and confidentiality of
  court records, nothing herein shall prevent  the  unified  court  system
  from sharing statistical information that does not include any papers or
  documents filed with the action.
    (f)  Nothing  in this section shall affect or change any existing laws
  governing the sealing and confidentiality of  court  records  in  family
  court  proceedings  or  access  to  court records by the parties to such
  proceedings, nor shall this section be construed to compel  a  party  to
  file a sealed document by electronic means.
    (g)  Nothing  in  this  section  shall  affect or change existing laws
  governing service of process, nor shall this  section  be  construed  to
  abrogate existing personal service requirements as set forth in this act
  and the civil practice law and rules.
    * NB Effective until September 1, 2019
    * S   214.   State   administrator   to  prescribe  forms.  The  state
  administrator  shall  promulgate  a  uniform,  statewide  petition   for
  adoption  and  may  prescribe  such other forms as may be proper for the
  efficient and just administration  of  this  act,  including  forms  for
  petitions,   summons,  warrants,  subpoenas,  undertakings,  and  orders
  authorized by this act.
    * NB Effective September 1, 2019

  S 215. Continuance in office of non-judicial personnel. (a) Officers
  and employees of the domestic relations court of the city  of  New  York
  shall,  to the extent practicable, be transferred to the family court in
  counties within the city of New York in accord with article  seven-a  of
  the  judiciary  law.  To  the  extent  practicable,  those assigned to a
  division of the domestic relations court located in a particular  county
  shall be assigned to the family court in that county.
    (b)  Officers  and  employees  of  the children's court in each county
  outside the city of New  York  shall,  to  the  extent  practicable,  be
  transferred  to  the family court in their respective counties in accord
  with article seven-a of the judiciary law.

  S 216-A. Clerk  of  court.  There  shall be a clerk of court for the
  family court in each county. The clerk of court  shall  keep  the  court
  records and seal and have such other responsibilities as may be provided
  in accord with article seven-a of the judiciary law.

  S 216-B. Petition  forms. The clerk of the court shall give petition
  forms to any person requesting them.

  S 216-C Preparation  of petitions. (a) Whenever a petitioner is not
  represented by counsel, any person who assists in the preparation  of  a
  petition shall include all allegations presented by the petitioner.
    (b)  No clerk of the court or probation officer may prevent any person
  who wishes to file a petition from having such petition filed  with  the
  court immediately.
    (c)  If  there is a question regarding whether or not the family court
  has jurisdiction of the matter, the petition shall be prepared  and  the
  clerk  shall  file  the petition and refer the petition to the court for
  determination of all issues including the jurisdictional question.
    (d) This section shall  not  be  applicable  to  juvenile  delinquency
  proceedings.

  S 217. Orders; filing and service. 1. An order shall be in writing and
  signed  with the judge's signature or initials by the judge who made it.
  The form of such order shall be promulgated by the  chief  administrator
  of the courts pursuant to section two hundred fourteen of this article.
    2.  The  original  of an order of the family court shall be filed with
  the clerk of the family court in the county in which  the  family  court
  making the order is located.
    3. The court shall file or direct the filing of an order within twenty
  days  of the decision of the court. If the court directs that such order
  be settled on notice, such twenty day period shall commence on the  date
  on which such order is settled.
    4.  The  court  shall direct service of a copy of an order in whatever
  manner it deems appropriate.  If  the  court  makes  no  direction,  the
  applicable  provisions  of the civil practice law and rules shall apply.
  Where the clerk of the court is directed to serve such order, the  clerk
  shall  note  in  the court record the manner and date of service and the
  person to whom such order was served.

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