ACS Unable to Prove Educational Neglect by Mother

father's rights advocatesJudge Steven Mostofsky sitting in a Family Court Part in Kings County had an action brought before him by the Administration of Children’s Services (hereinafter referred to as “ACS”). The petition by ACS stated that the mother, Malikah, had committed educational neglect with regard to her 16 year old daughter, Betthi. Betthi had been in foster care since June 2011. She was placed in foster care because Malikah was in jail at the time.

ACS’ petition had more than one allegation against Malikah. In addition, they alleged Malikah failed to maintain the mental health of her daughter Betthi.

Judge Mostofsky found ACS did not prove Malikah’s behavior was abnormal or psychotic. He also didn’t find her behavior had placed her daughter’s mental health at risk. Judge Mostofsky found ACS had not obtained information with regard to Betthi’s schooling or her test scores while she was attending school in South Carolina between 2005 and 2010. They also didn’t obtain financial educational information while she was in foster care in North Carolina. Judge Mostofsky held a hearing. Testimony was taken and evidence was submitted. At the end of the hearing, he ruled ACS had failed to establish a case of either educational neglect or mental health neglect against the mother.

In his decision, the judge pointed out Betthi graduated high school. Since she had graduated high school, the claims her mother had impaired her ability or had a negative impact on her future could not be proven. The judge therefore dismissed the petition of ACS.

What Troubles the Author

In this case, ACS had removed a child from her mother’s care for years. Years later the mother finally gets a trial after not having custody of her daughter for a considerable period of time, and the courts finds the initial allegations made by ACS years earlier were invalid! The problem in this case, from the author’s point of view, is the hearing should have taken place years earlier. Making a decision years after a child is removed from her mother’s care, based on faulty allegations, does not do justice for the mother. This reaffirms my concerns that the legal system regarding ACS cases doesn’t work properly!legal assistance when dealing with CPS or ACS

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.