Legal Aid's Juvenile Rights Practice Wins A Series Favorable Appellate Rulings For Clients

In the past few weeks, the Juvenile Rights Appeals Unit has obtained three important decisions benefitting our clients.

In the Matter of Rayshawn P., (1st Department, 11/29/12), the First Department put a stop to the improper practice of Family Court Judges who have been revoking or detaining juveniles on probation without following the procedural and due process safeguards that the Legislature has set forth in the Family Court Act.

Meanwhile, in the Matter of Jefry H., (2nd Dept. 11/21/12), the Second Department clarified that the statute allowing children who have left foster care to re-enter it applies to all children in foster care. The decision reversed a Family Court Judge who had denied our client in a Person In Need of Supervision proceeding the opportunity to return to foster care, opining that the statute could only apply to children who were placed in foster care by virtue of abuse or neglect proceedings. Claire Merkine was the appellate attorney on both these cases. Rebecca Stegman was the trial attorney for Rayshawn P. and Shannon Kahle was the trial attorney for Jefry H.

In another recent decision issued by the Second Department, Matter of Teriyana A. Mc., (2nd Dept. 11/21/12), the appellate court reversed the Family Court decision placing our client on probation and ordered instead an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD). The appellate court noted that our client was 15 years old, had never before committed a criminal act, there was no indication that she ever used drugs or alcohol or was affiliated with a gang, and that, under an ACD, the Family Court could have required probation to monitor her school attendance. Shannon Kahle was also the trial attorney in this case and Patricia Colella was the appellate attorney.