New York State Law

Family Court Law

Consolidated Laws of NY's FCA code

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Part 3 - Article 5 - Family Court

HEARINGS

Section Description
531 Hearing.
531-A Testimony by telephone, audio-visual means or other electronic means.
532 Genetic marker and DNA tests; admissibility of records or reports of test results; costs of tests.
533 Adjournment on application of party.
534 Adjournment on motion of court.
535 Counsel for social services commissioner.
536 Counsel fees.
  S 531. Hearing. The trial shall be by the court without a jury. The
  mother or the alleged father shall  be  competent  to  testify  but  the
  respondent  shall  not be compelled to testify. If the mother is married
  both she and her husband may testify to  nonaccess.  If  the  respondent
  shall  offer  testimony of access by others at or about the time charged
  in the complaint, such testimony shall not be competent or admissible in
  evidence except when  corroborated  by  other  facts  and  circumstances
  tending  to  prove such access. The court may exclude the general public
  from the room where the proceedings are heard and may admit only persons
  directly interested in the case, including officers  of  the  court  and
  witnesses.

  S 531-a. Testimony  by  telephone,  audio-visual  means  or  other
  electronic means. (a) In any proceeding under this  article,  the  court
  may  permit  a  party  or  a  witness  to  be  deposed  or to testify by
  telephone, audio-visual means, or other electronic means at a designated
  family court or other location:
    (i) where such party or witness resides in a county other than that of
  the family court where the case is pending and that  of  any  contiguous
  county;  provided,  however,  that for the purposes of this section, the
  five counties of New York city shall be treated as one county;
    (ii) where such party or witness is presently incarcerated and will be
  incarcerated on the date on which the hearing or deposition is scheduled
  and is not expected to be released within a reasonable  period  of  time
  after the date on which the hearing is scheduled; or
    (iii)  where  the  court determines that it would be an undue hardship
  for such party or witness to testify or to  be  deposed  at  the  family
  court where the case is pending.
    (b)  Any such deposition or testimony taken by telephone, audio-visual
  means or other electronic means in accordance with  subdivision  (a)  of
  this  section shall be recorded and preserved for transcription. Where a
  party or witness is deposed or testifies by telephone,  audio-visual  or
  other  electronic  means  pursuant to this section, documentary evidence
  referred to by a party or witness or the court  may  be  transmitted  by
  facsimile, telecopier, or other electronic means and may not be excluded
  from  evidence  by  reason  of  an  objection  based  on  the  means  of
  transmission. The chief administrator of  the  courts  shall  promulgate
  rules  to  facilitate the taking of testimony by telephone, audio-visual
  means or other electronic means.

  S 532. Genetic  marker  and  DNA  tests; admissibility of records or
  reports of test results; costs of tests.  (a) The court shall advise the
  parties of their right to one or more genetic marker tests or DNA  tests
  and,  on  the court's own motion or the motion of any party, shall order
  the mother, her child and the alleged father to submit to  one  or  more
  genetic marker or DNA tests of a type generally acknowledged as reliable
  by  an  accreditation  body  designated  by the secretary of the federal
  department of health and human services and performed  by  a  laboratory
  approved by such an accreditation body and by the commissioner of health
  or  by a duly qualified physician to aid in the determination of whether
  the alleged father is or is not the father of the child.  No  such  test
  shall  be  ordered, however, upon a written finding by the court that it
  is not in the best interests of the child on the basis of res  judicata,
  equitable  estoppel, or the presumption of legitimacy of a child born to
  a married woman. The record or report of the results of any such genetic
  marker or DNA test ordered pursuant  to  this  section  or  pursuant  to
  section  one  hundred  eleven-k  of  the  social  services  law shall be
  received in evidence by the court pursuant to subdivision  (e)  of  rule
  forty-five hundred eighteen of the civil practice law and rules where no
  timely  objection  in  writing  has  been  made thereto and that if such
  timely objections are not made, they shall be deemed  waived  and  shall
  not be heard by the court. If the record or report of the results of any
  such genetic marker or DNA test or tests indicate at least a ninety-five
  percent probability of paternity, the admission of such record or report
  shall create a rebuttable presumption of paternity, and shall establish,
  if unrebutted, the paternity of and liability for the support of a child
  pursuant to this article and article four of this act.
    (b)  Whenever  the court directs a genetic marker or DNA test pursuant
  to this section, a report made as provided in subdivision  (a)  of  this
  section  may be received in evidence pursuant to rule forty-five hundred
  eighteen of the civil practice law and rules if offered by any party.
    (c) The cost of any test ordered pursuant to subdivision (a)  of  this
  section  shall  be,  in the first instance, paid by the moving party. If
  the moving party is financially unable to pay such cost, the  court  may
  direct  any  qualified  public  health  officer to conduct such test, if
  practicable; otherwise, the court may direct payment from the  funds  of
  the  appropriate  local  social  services  district.  In  its  order  of
  disposition, however, the court may direct that the  cost  of  any  such
  test  be  apportioned  between the parties according to their respective
  abilities to pay or be assessed against the party who does  not  prevail
  on  the  issue  of paternity, unless such party is financially unable to
  pay.

  S 533. Adjournment on application of party. The court, on application
  of either party, may for good cause shown grant such adjournments as may
  be necessary. If an adjournment is granted upon the  request  of  either
  party,  the  court may require the respondent to give an undertaking for
  appearance.

  S 534. Adjournment  on motion of court. On its own motion, the court
  may adjourn the hearing after it has made  a  finding  of  paternity  to
  enable  it  to  make  inquiry  into  the  surroundings,  conditions  and
  capacities  of   the   child,   into   the   financial   abilities   and
  responsibilities of both parents or for other proper cause. If the court
  so  adjourns  the  hearing,  it  may  require  the respondent to give an
  undertaking to appear.

  S 535. Counsel for social services commissioner. (a) The corporation
  counsel of the city of New York  shall  represent  the  social  services
  commissioner of such city in all proceedings under this article in which
  the commissioner is the petitioner.
    (b) In any county outside the city of New York in which attorneys have
  been appointed pursuant to section sixty-six of the social services law,
  such  attorneys  may  represent the social services commissioner of such
  county in all proceedings under this article in which  the  commissioner
  is the petitioner.
    (c)  Except  as  provided  in  subdivision (b) of this section, in any
  county outside the city of New York, the county attorney, or an attorney
  designated by the county executive, if there be one,  otherwise  by  the
  board  of  supervisors, shall represent the social services commissioner
  of the county in  all  proceedings  under  this  article  in  which  the
  commissioner is the petitioner.

  S 536. Counsel fees. Once an order of filiation is made, the court in
  its discretion may allow counsel fees to the attorney for the prevailing
  party, if he or she is unable to pay such counsel  fees.  Representation
  by  an attorney pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision nine of section
  one hundred eleven-b of the social services law shall  not  preclude  an
  award  of  counsel fees to an applicant which would otherwise be allowed
  under this section.

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