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

IN RE: SIMEON F., Alleged to be a Neglected Child. St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services, Respondent; Ahshella G., Appellant.  (Proceeding No. 1.) In the Matter of Simeon F., Alleged to be a Neglected Child. St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services, Respondent; Lawrence F., Appellant.  (Proceeding No. 2.)

Decided: January 29, 2009

Before:  CARDONA, P.J., MERCURE, LAHTINEN, MALONE JR. and STEIN, JJ. John A. Cirando, Syracuse, for Ahshella G., appellant. Livingston L. Hatch, Plattsburgh, for Lawrence F., appellant. David W. Willer, St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services, Canton, for respondent. Jeffrey E. McMorris, Law Guardian, Glens Falls.

Appeals from two orders of the Family Court of St. Lawrence County (Potter, J.), entered June 21, 2007, which, among other things, granted petitioner's applications, in two proceedings pursuant to Family Ct. Act article 10, to adjudicate respondents' child to be neglected.

Respondents, Ahshella G. (hereinafter the mother) and Lawrence F. (hereinafter the father), are the parents of two children, the younger of whom (born in 2005) is the subject of these neglect proceedings.   The petitions alleged that both respondents have histories of mental illness, including hospitalizations and a lack of cooperation with treatment and taking medication as prescribed, as well as histories of homelessness and transient living.   Indeed, the mother was an inpatient at a hospital mental health unit throughout the majority of her pregnancy and at the time of the child's birth.   Following fact-finding and dispositional hearings, Family Court found the child to be neglected by both respondents within the meaning of Family Ct. Act § 1012, and ordered that the child's placement with petitioner continue.

Respondents separately appeal,1 and both have since voluntarily surrendered their parental rights.   Respondents have not filed notices of appeal in connection with their surrender of parental rights;  indeed, no challenges to the voluntariness of those surrenders have been brought to our attention.   Accordingly, these appeals are moot (see Matter of Vivian OO., 44 A.D.3d 1104, 1105, 844 N.Y.S.2d 143 [2007];  Matter of Raychael L.W., 298 A.D.2d 829, 829, 748 N.Y.S.2d 310 [2002], lv. denied 99 N.Y.2d 504, 754 N.Y.S.2d 203, 784 N.E.2d 76 [2002];  Matter of Gerrod BB., 284 A.D.2d 584, 585 n., 725 N.Y.S.2d 742 [2001];  cf. Matter of Matthew C., 227 A.D.2d 679, 680-681, 641 N.Y.S.2d 753 [1996] ), and we are unpersuaded that the exception to the mootness doctrine applies under the circumstances presented here (see Matter of Vivian OO., 34 A.D.3d 1084, 1085, 826 N.Y.S.2d 762 [2006];  Matter of Norbert YY., 28 A.D.3d 815, 815, 811 N.Y.S.2d 597 [2006];  cf. Matter of Melinda D., 31 A.D.3d 24, 27-28, 815 N.Y.S.2d 644 [2006] ).

ORDERED that the appeals are dismissed, as moot, without costs.


1.   Although the mother's notice of appeal is misdated, we treat it as valid in the interest of justice (see CPLR 5520[c] ).



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