IN RE: Jason Severino RITZ

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

IN RE: Jason Severino RITZ, respondent, v. Jessica A. OTERO, appellant.

Decided: October 25, 1999

CORNELIUS J. O'BRIEN, J.P., FRED T. SANTUCCI, MYRIAM J. ALTMAN and GABRIEL M. KRAUSMAN, JJ. Peter A. Wilner, Jamaica, N.Y., for appellant. Yasmin Daley Duncan, Brooklyn, N.Y., for respondent.

In a child visitation proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 6, the mother appeals from an order of the Family Court, Richmond County (Clark, J.), dated December 13, 1996, as amended December 20, 1996, which granted the father's petition for unsupervised visitation with the child.

ORDERED that the order, as amended, is affirmed, without costs or disbursements.

 The natural right of visitation jointly enjoyed by the noncustodial parent and the child is more precious than any property right (see, Resnick v. Zoldan, 134 A.D.2d 246, 520 N.Y.S.2d 434;  Biamby v. Biamby, 114 A.D.2d 830, 494 N.Y.S.2d 741), and it may not be denied absent a showing of exceptional circumstances (see, Kozak v. Kozak, 111 A.D.2d 842, 490 N.Y.S.2d 583;  Daghir v. Daghir, 82 A.D.2d 191, 441 N.Y.S.2d 494).  There is no evidence that the father is an abusive or unfit parent whose visitation must be supervised.   Therefore, the order of the Family Court appears to be in the best interests of the child and should not be disturbed.

The mother's remaining contentions are without merit.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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