IN RE: MARTIQUE S.C. (Anonymous). SCO Family of Services

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IN RE: MARTIQUE S.C. (Anonymous). SCO Family of Services, et al., respondents; Sharika C. (Anonymous), appellant.

Decided: December 26, 2012

DANIEL D. ANGIOLILLO, J.P., THOMAS A. DICKERSON, L. PRISCILLA HALL, and LEONARD B. AUSTIN, JJ. Peter Dailey, New York, N.Y., for appellant. Carrieri & Carrieri, P.C., Mineola, N.Y. (Ralph Carrieri of counsel), for respondent SCO Family of Services. Geanine Towers, Brooklyn, N.Y., attorney for the child.

In a proceeding pursuant to Social Services Law § 384–b to terminate the mother's parental rights on the ground of permanent neglect, the mother appeals from an order of the Family Court, Kings County (Weinstein, J.), dated December 19, 2011, which denied her motion to vacate an order of fact-finding and disposition of the same court dated July 15, 2011, which, upon her default in appearing at the fact-finding and dispositional hearings, terminated her parental rights and transferred guardianship and custody of the child to the Commissioner of Social Services of the City of New York and the petitioner SCO Family of Services, for the purpose of adoption.

ORDERED that the order dated December 19, 2011, is affirmed, without costs or disbursements.

“A parent seeking to vacate an order entered upon his or her default in a termination of parental rights proceeding must establish that there was a reasonable excuse for the default and a potentially meritorious defense to the relief sought in the petition” (Matter of Daniel Marcus Y. [Marilyn Y.], 77 AD3d 843, 843; see CPLR 5015[a][1]; Matter of David John D., 38 AD3d 661, 662; Matter of Miguel M.-R.B., 36 AD3d 613, 614). “The determination of whether to relieve a party of a default is within the sound discretion of the Family Court” (Matter of Daniel Marcus Y. [Marilyn Y.], 77 AD3d at 843; see Matter of Princess M., 58 AD3d 854, 854; Matter of Capri Alexis R., 48 AD3d 821, 822). Here, the mother established neither a reasonable excuse for the default nor a potentially meritorious defense to the relief sought in the petition. Accordingly, the Family Court properly denied the mother's motion to vacate the order of fact-finding and disposition entered on her default in appearing at the fact-finding and dispositional hearings (see Matter of Andrea C.B.B. [Tyshawn B.], 95 AD3d 1308, 1309; Matter of Daniel Marcus Y. [Marilyn Y.], 77 AD3d at 843–844).

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