BILL NO A07189B
05/07/2013 referred to judiciary
05/23/2013 amend (t) and recommit to judiciary
05/23/2013 print number 7189a
01/08/2014 referred to judiciary
04/29/2014 amend (t) and recommit to judiciary
04/29/2014 print number 7189b
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7189B
SPONSOR: Rozic (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the domestic relations law and the
family court act, in relation to the standing of certain relatives in
custody and guardianship proceedings
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to afford close relatives of
children the opportunity to petition the court for custody or guardian-
ship of a minor child when extraordinary circumstances exist.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section I of the bill amends Domestic Relations Law section 72(2)(a) to
provide certain relatives to a parent of a minor child with the same
right as the child's grandparents, which is to petition the court for
custody when an extraordinary circumstance exists. These relatives must
reside within the state and be within the second degree of consanguinity
or affinity to one of the minor child's parents.
Section I also amends Domestic Relations Law section 72(2)(b) to provide
that when a parent proves by a preponderance of the evidence that acts
of domestic violence committed against that parent contributed to his or
her relinquishment of care and control of the minor child, the court
shall find that no extraordinary circumstances exist.
Section II of the bill amends Family Court Act section 651 (b) and (d)
to include petitions for custody of a minor child pursuant to Domestic
Relations Law section 72 made by relatives of the minor child who are
within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to one of the
minor child's parents within the Family Court's jurisdiction and when a
relative's petition is for the custody of a minor child who has been
placed in care pursuant to Family Court Act Article 10, to require
service of the petition upon the social services official having care
and custody of such child, and the child's attorney.
Section III provides the effective date.
EXISTING LAW: Domestic Relations Law section 72(b) currently allows
the grandparents of a minor child to seek custody or guardianship of the
child when extraordinary circumstances exist.
JUSTIFICATION: : Too often in our current system, children are placed
in foster care even though there may be relatives whose homes are avail-
able for placement. At this time, the Domestic Relations Law allows only
the grandparents of a child whose parents have failed to provide for his
or her care due to extraordinary circumstances to petition for custody
of the child. This bill would expand Domestic Relations Law section 72
to allow the close relatives of a child whose parents have failed to
provide care for his or her child due to extraordinary circumstances to
petition for custody.
Petitioning for custody of a child is an affirmative act that is being
undertaken by those who care about the child's well-being. Providing a
child's relatives with the opportunity to petition for, and be granted,
custody of the child is in the best interest of the child. A child who
resides in the home of a relative will be afforded the opportunity to
feel safe and loved, and a sense of permanence.
These children have a void in their lives from their parents' absence.
They deserve the chance to remain with and to experience life with rela-
tives who want to be a part of their lives and care for them.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: A10218A (N.Rivera) - Judiciary
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS TO THE STATE: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
May 7, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. ROZIC, CLARK, COOK, CRESPO, MOYA, RIVERA,
ROBERTS, RODRIGUEZ, RYAN, SCARBOROUGH, WEPRIN, ROSA, AUBRY, MILLER,
LAVINE, FAHY, COLTON, ROBINSON, LUPARDO, MAYER, BENEDETTO, KELLNER,
ROSENTHAL, GANTT -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. ARROYO, BRENNAN,
HEASTIE, HOOPER, KAVANAGH, MARKEY, MONTESANO, MOSLEY, PEOPLES-STOKES,
PERRY, RAMOS, SEPULVEDA, SIMOTAS, SKARTADOS, TITONE, TITUS -- read
once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary -- committee
discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Judiciary in
accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill
amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
AN ACT to amend the domestic relations law and the family court act, in
relation to the standing of certain relatives in custody and guardian-
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 72 of the domestic relations law,
2 as added by chapter 657 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as
4 2. (a) Where a grandparent or the grandparents of a minor child,
5 residing within this state, or relative who is related to a parent with-
6 in the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, residing in this
7 state can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court the existence of
8 extraordinary circumstances, such grandparent [or], grandparents or
9 relative of such child may apply to the supreme court by commencing a
10 special proceeding or for a writ of habeas corpus to have such child
11 brought before such court, or may apply to family court pursuant to
12 subdivision (b) of section six hundred fifty-one or section six hundred
13 sixty-one of the family court act; and on the return thereof, the court,
14 by order, after due notice to the parent or any other person or party
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 7189--B 2
1 having the care, custody, and control of such child, to be given in such
2 manner as the court shall prescribe, may make such directions as the
3 best interests of the child may require, for custody rights for such
4 grandparent [or], grandparents or relative in respect to such child. An
5 extended disruption of custody, as such term is defined in this section,
6 shall constitute an extraordinary circumstance.
7 (b) For the purposes of this section "extended disruption of custody"
8 shall include, but not be limited to, a prolonged separation of the
9 respondent parent and the child for at least twenty-four continuous
10 months, during which time the parent voluntarily relinquished care and
11 control of the child and the child resided in the household of the peti-
12 tioner grandparent [or], grandparents or relative, provided, however,
13 that the court may find that extraordinary circumstances exist should
14 the prolonged separation have lasted for less than twenty-four months
15 and provided that where the parent proves by preponderance of the
16 evidence that an act or acts of domestic violence committed against the
17 parent contributed to the relinquishment of care and control, the court
18 shall find no extraordinary circumstances exist.
19 (c) Nothing in this section shall limit the ability of parties to
20 enter into consensual custody agreements absent the existence of
21 extraordinary circumstances.
22 § 2. Subdivisions (b) and (d) of section 651 of the family court act,
23 subdivision (b) as amended by chapter 657 of the laws of 2003 and subdi-
24 vision (d) as amended by chapter 41 of the laws of 2010, are amended to
25 read as follows:
26 (b) When initiated in the family court, the family court has jurisdic-
27 tion to determine, in accordance with subdivision one of section two
28 hundred forty of the domestic relations law and with the same powers
29 possessed by the supreme court in addition to its own powers, habeas
30 corpus proceedings and proceedings brought by petition and order to show
31 cause, for the determination of the custody or visitation of minors,
32 including applications by a grandparent or grandparents for visitation
33 or custody rights pursuant to section seventy-two or two hundred forty
34 of the domestic relations law , or by a relative who is related to a
35 parent of a child in the second degree of consanguinity or affinity for
36 custody rights pursuant to section seventy-two of the domestic relations
38 (d) With respect to applications by a grandparent or grandparents for
39 visitation or custody rights, made pursuant to section seventy-two or
40 two hundred forty of the domestic relations law, or by a relative who is
41 related to a parent of a child in the second degree of consanguinity or
42 affinity for custody rights pursuant to section seventy-two of the
43 domestic relations law, with a child remanded or placed in the care of a
44 person, official, agency or institution pursuant to the provisions of
45 article ten of this act, the applicant, in such manner as the court
46 shall prescribe, shall serve a copy of the application upon the social
47 services official having care and custody of such child, and the child's
48 attorney, who shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard thereon.
49 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.