Daniel Weaver reports:
In a decision posted yesterday, Kings County Family Court Judge, Jeanette Ruiz, refused to grant the Administration for Children’s services permission to enter the home of J. Smith. Children’s Services had applied for a pre-petition ex-parte court order as part of an ongoing investigation which began when someone anonymously called the State Central Register hotline on J. Smith in July of 2009.
“No objective basis has been presented to the Court to show the CPS worker’s investigation cannot be completed because she needs to examine the home environment in order to make an adequate determination that the children are safe. Instead, on multiple occasions the CPS worker confirmed that the children were appropriately groomed and dressed and appeared well. They were attending summer camp and attending school with no reports or concerns raised by any of the mandated reporters who interacted with the children on an almost daily basis and who the CPS worker spoke to during the course of her investigation.
Moreover, the family’s refusal to permit the CPS worker into the home cannot be the sole basis for an order of entry into the home. The intent of the amendments to FCA 1034 as well as the plain language of the statute is to provide child protective investigators the tools they need to complete investigations where there is reason to believe a child’s life or health is in immediate danger, or where probable cause exists that a neglected or abused child may be found in the home and an assessment of the home environment is necessary to make an adequate determination that the child is safe. Here, petitioner’s application does not involve children who have not been seen or located, or where there is any reason to believe their life of health are in immediate danger, or any reason offered for the necessity to assess the home environment to determine their safety.”
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