IN RE: Jallah J. (Anonymous).  Administration for Children's Services

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

IN RE: Jallah J. (Anonymous).  Administration for Children's Services, respondent;  George J. (Anonymous), appellant.  (Proceeding No. 1) In the Matter of Tah–Asia J. (Anonymous).  Administration for Children's Services, respondent;  George J. (Anonymous), appellant.  (Proceeding No. 2) In the Matter of Taheen J. (Anonymous).  Administration of Children's Services, respondent;  George J. (Anonymous), appellant.  (Proceeding No. 3)

2013–02200 (Docket Nos. N–3215–11, N–3216–11, N–3217–11)

Decided: June 25, 2014

CHERYL E. CHAMBERS, J.P. LEONARD B. AUSTIN SYLVIA O. HINDS–RADIX COLLEEN D. DUFFY, JJ. Scott M. Schwartz, Staten Island, N.Y., for appellant. Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel, New York, N.Y. (Pamela Seider Dolgow and Suzanne K. Colt of counsel), for respondent.

Submitted—May 13, 2014

DECISION & ORDER

Angela Conti, Staten Island, N.Y., attorney for the child Jallah J.

Scott A. Rosenberg, New York, N.Y. (Tamara A. Steckler and Amy Hausknecht of counsel), attorney for the children Tah–Asia J. and Taheen J.

In related child protective proceedings pursuant to Family Court Act article 10, George J. appeals from an order of fact-finding of the Family Court, Richmond County (Wolff, J.), dated January 29, 2013, which, after a fact-finding hearing, found that he neglected the child Taheen J. and derivatively neglected the children Jallah J. and Tah–Asia J.

ORDERED that the order of fact-finding is affirmed, without costs or disbursements.

After a fact-finding hearing pursuant to Family Court Act article 10, any finding that a child is abused or neglected must be based on a preponderance of the evidence (see Family Ct Act § 1046[b];  Matter of Nicole V., 71 N.Y.2d 112, 117;  Matter of Yanni D. [Hope J.], 95 AD3d 1313, 1313).   Neglect may be established by even a single incident of excessive corporal punishment (see Matter of Joseph O'D. [Denise O'D.], 102 AD3d 874, 875;  Matter of Yanni D. [Hope J.], 95 AD3d at 1313;  Matter of Padmine M. [Sandra M.], 84 AD3d 806, 807).   The Family Court's assessment of the credibility of witnesses is entitled to considerable deference (see Matter of Irene O., 38 N.Y.2d 776, 777;  Matter of Yanni D. [Hope J.], 95 AD3d at 1313).

Here, contrary to the appellant's contention, the Family Court's finding of neglect with respect to the child Taheen J., based on excessive corporal punishment, was supported by a preponderance of the evidence (see Family Ct Act § 1012[f][i][B] ).  Taheen's out-of-court statements that the appellant choked and scratched his neck were sufficiently corroborated by testimony from a caseworker regarding her observations of Taheen's injuries, as well as by photographs of the injuries to his neck (see Matter of Amerriah S. [Kadiatou Y.], 100 AD3d 1006, 1007;  Matter of Isaiah S., 63 AD3d 948, 949;  Matter of Nicholas L., 50 AD3d 1141, 1142).

The evidence also supported the derivative finding of neglect as to the children Jallah J. and Tah–Asia J. (see Family Ct Act § 1046[a][i];  Matter of Jacob P. [Sasha R.], 107 AD3d 719, 720;  Matter of Delehia J. [Tameka J.], 93 AD3d 668, 669;  Matter of James S. [Kathleen S.], 88 AD3d 1006, 1006–1007).

CHAMBERS, J.P., AUSTIN, HINDS–RADIX and DUFFY, JJ., concur.

ENTER:

Aprilanne Agostino

Clerk of the Court

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