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Appellate Victory

In another litigation victory, the appellate court reversed a family court decision that had unreasonably limited a mother’s parental rights.

In that decision, the family court granted the child’s paternal grandparents visitation after the child’s father passed away. The child’s mother sought to modify the order by reducing the grandparents visitation with the child. The grandparents subsequently filed a petition to increase their amount of visitation with the child. Further, in August 2015, the child’s paternal aunt filed a petition seeking visitation. In a January 2016 order, the family court granted more visitation time to the paternal grandparents and also awarded the aunt visitation rights.

The appellate court ruled that the family court erred in granting the aunt visitation with the child over the mother’s objections. The appellate court agreed that the aunt lacked standing to obtain the relief requested and dismissed her petition. The appellate court also explained that the family court’s determination to award the grandparents increased visitation lacked a sound and substantial basis in the record. The appellate court therefore remitted the matters for a hearing to determine the best interests of the child.

Albany, NY lawyer, Brian M. Quinn, Esq., briefed and argued the appeal.