IN RE: Guardianship

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

IN RE: Guardianship, etc., LATOYA P., A Child Under the Age of Eighteen Years, etc., William P., Respondent-Appellant, Robin S., Respondent, Administration for Children's Services, Petitioner-Respondent.

Decided: September 25, 2003

SAXE, J.P., ROSENBERGER, WILLIAMS, LERNER and FRIEDMAN, JJ. Diane Pazar, for Latoya P. Kenneth M. Tuccillo, for Respondent-Appellant. Norman Corenthal, for Petitioner-Respondent.

Order of disposition, Family Court, Bronx County (Carol Stokinger, J.), entered on or about September 26, 2001, terminating respondent-appellant's parental rights upon a finding of abandonment, and transferring the subject child's custody and guardianship to petitioner Commissioner of Administration for Children's Services for the purposes of adoption, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

The finding of abandonment is supported by clear and convincing evidence, including petitioner's progress notes and respondent's testimony showing insubstantial contact with the child notwithstanding that he knew her address and telephone number and was not discouraged from visiting or communicating with her.   Notably, respondent's contacts with the child were even less than the “sporadic and minimal” contacts that warranted the termination of co-respondent mother's parental rights in an order that was the result of the same fact-finding hearing (305 A.D.2d 263, 758 N.Y.S.2d 804, lv. denied 100 N.Y.2d 508, 764 N.Y.S.2d 385, 796 N.E.2d 477).   Respondent did not request a suspended judgment in Family Court, which, in any event, is unwarranted given no real relationship between respondent and the child (see Matter of Joseph Jerome H., 224 A.D.2d 224, 225, 637 N.Y.S.2d 401).