IN RE: VERE C. and Another

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Family Court, Kings County, New York.

IN RE: VERE C. and Another, Children Alleged to be Neglected. Vere C., Respondent.

Decided: July 16, 1999

Michael D. Hess, Corporation Counsel of New York City (Craig Ramseur of counsel), for petitioner. Phillip J. Devereaux, Law Guardian. Kenneth Jaffe, for respondent.

Petitioner's motion for summary judgment in this child protective proceeding (see Suffolk County DSS v. James M., 83 N.Y.2d 178, 630 N.E.2d 636, 608 N.Y.S.2d 940 (1994)) against respondent, the father of the subject children, is granted.   Respondent is the convicted murderer of the children's mother and is now serving a prison term of 25 years to life for that crime.   When respondent murdered the children's mother, he deprived them of a parent, left them without a home and, thereby, indisputably impaired their emotional health.   Accordingly, without the necessity of a hearing and notwithstanding that petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the murder occurred in the children's presence, this court finds that respondent neglected the children as a matter of law.   Family Court Act § 1012(f);  cf.   State ex rel. Children, Youth & Families Dept. v. Joe R., 123 N.M. 711, 945 P.2d 76 (1997) (holding that conviction and incarceration of a parent for the murder of the other parent is prima facie evidence of neglect);  accord In re C.M.J., 278 Ill.App.3d 885, 215 Ill.Dec. 487, 663 N.E.2d 498 (Ill.App.Ct.1996).   A fact-finding order (Family Court Act § 1051(a)) shall enter forthwith.

PHILIP C. SEGAL, J.