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Suffolk County Child Neglect Lawyers

Protect Your Right to Be a Parent to Your Child

When a parent is accused of mistreating a child, the consequences are almost always severe. If you have been accused of neglect or some other crime, you need to get the help of a Suffolk County divorce lawyer right away. The Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco has over 20 years of experience protecting the rights of parents. Call us today for a free consultation to get started on your case.

Dial (631) 801-0007 or contact the Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco online now. We serve Islip and Long Island.

Child Protective Services (CPS) is a New York State governmental agency which was created by the Child Protective Services Act of 1973 in order to promote a more thorough reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. The agency investigates reports and provides rehabilitative services. CPS maintains a 24-hour hotline to assist in the reporting of any alleged child abuse and maltreatment.

When Abuse Is Reported

If an alleged mistreatment is reported, a caseworker is assigned to investigate. This includes interviewing the reporter, visiting the home, and reaching out to third parties in order to gather more accurate information. If the caseworker feels immediate action is necessary, the child may be removed from the home. If you are implicated in a CPS case, you could lose custody of your child or face criminal charges.

If the caseworker finds evidence supporting the alleged abuse, the report is termed to be “indicated.” The worker will create a plan to help the child and family remedy the situation. The caseworker can petition the Family Court to mandate remedies as well.

Protecting Yourself from Allegations

If you are “indicated” in a CPS case, you will receive a letter from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Bureau. You have the right to seek to have the finding overturned. Further, you have the right to a hearing. You have the right to hire a family law attorney in Suffolk County and Nassau County to represent you at the hearing.

At the hearing, both sides will present evidence, and an administrative law judge will decide which side has evidence that outweighs the other. If you lose in the hearing, you have the right under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules to file a lawsuit against the investigating agency within four months of the decision. If you receive any communication from CPS, contact the Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco, P.C. to see how one of their attorneys can assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find more information about protecting yourself from harsh allegations. In all cases, it is advisable to get the help of an experienced legal professional. The Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco offers free consultations, so you have nothing to lose by contacting us today.

Why was I requested to appear in court?

If you receive a notice to appear, it is because you are considered an appellant and are to learn more about your situation. Your initial hearing will be where you find out when to appear at a hearing. If you were notified that you should appear for a full hearing, read below.

How should I prepare for my hearing?

At this point, you need to prepare to defend yourself. At your hearing, you will need a copy of the letter requesting you to appear. If you have documents to be considered as evidence, bring three copies of each. If you have witnesses who will testify on your behalf, this would be the time to have them join you.

Am I allowed an attorney at my hearing?

Yes. It is advisable that you have the representation of a legal professional.

The date of the hearing won’t work for me. Can it be changed?

You may request an adjournment by making a written request to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) five or more days prior to the hearing date. You should state the reason for adjournment and show evidence proving why the change must be made.

What I don’t show up for my hearing?

Failure to appear will mark you as in default, and a report will be made by the State Central Register about whether or not you abused the child in question as alleged. This report will be in effect until 10 years following the child’s 18th birthday and will be available for inquiry.

What happens at a hearing?

Your hearing will be when the court determines whether or not the alleged abuse or maltreatment actually occurred. It is important to present evidence at this time demonstrating your innocence. Having a Suffolk County child neglect lawyer on your side is crucial.

What evidence will the investigating agency show against me?

At your hearing, the investigating agency will present witness testimony along with supporting documents in support of their case. You are entitled to a copy of all these documents once your hearing has started.

You will receive a State Central Register packet. This will show you what information of yours has been filed. You can seek to have this information amended.

What if the evidence against me is inappropriate or untrue?

You will be allowed to object to documents you deem inappropriate. You will also be allowed to cross-examine witnesses during their testimony.

How do I make my case?

Proving your innocence is a delicate process. You can testify in your own favor. You can also provide documents, photographs, audio recordings, and video recordings to contest the charges. The court will need a copy of all submitted evidence.

How should I have witnesses testify on my behalf?

Witnesses on your behalf should testify specifically about the findings in the evidence, such as whether it is relevant or whether you are a capable parent. If they cannot appear, they can submit notarized statements, sworn affidavits, or letters on your behalf. Keep in mind, however, that anything less than testimony could be given less importance.

Will my testimony be recorded?

Yes. The hearing will be recorded. You should make every effort to speak clearly and audibly. The recording will not pick up hand gestures, so keep them to a minimum.

How will I find out about the outcome of my hearing?

You and your attorney will receive a written notice of the hearing decision. If you win the hearing, the allegations against you will be amended and kept confidential. If you lose, reports made against you will stay in effect.

If you wish to overturn the decision, you must file a lawsuit within four months of the decision date.

Call the Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco today by dialing (631) 801-0007.

  • Thanks from our hearts.

    “You were there when we felt our world was torn apart.”

    Matthew

  • Robert, I want you to know you are a blessing! AND THANK YOU!!!

    “You are so knowledgeable and took so much time with me… for that I am so thankful!!!!”

    Lynn M.

  • Robert is not a stranger to arguing a motion. An added benefit that helped with my selection of Robert was his prior background as a Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney.

    “Although I am not an attorney, I deal with a lot of contact, intellectual capital and real-estate attorneys regularly and I’m a pretty good judge of character. Robert’s representation of me was outstanding!”

    Robert D.

  • He's as good as they come, no one will fight harder for you!!

    “If you're going through a divorce do yourself a favor and see this guy!!! He's as good as they come, no one will fight harder for you!!”

    John

  • Robert did everything in his power to ensure the best come for me, my kids and my future. Thanks

    “Robert did a great job on finalizing my divorce with a very difficult X Wife.”

    Rob

  • With Robert’s talent and experience, we never had to go to court.

    “I would definitely recommend Robert Montefusco. Thanks for all that you did for me.”

    Bob

  • His passion for his work is unparalleled.

    “He fought for me every step of the way.”

    Genie

  • Robert and his firm were professional effective and did not take any “BS” from the opposite side.

    “I hired Robert Montefusco not one time but two times to represent me for custody of my child Each time I was represented with a favorable outcome. Robert and his firm were professional effective and did not take any “BS” from the opposite side. In a biased court system where the fathers are immediately the underdog , Robert was able to get me a better outcome than most fathers get. For that I highly recommend the Montefusco Law firm.”

    Rob

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