Weekly Round-up: February 21st, 2014

Child Welfare

  • Mayor de Blasio announced that 400 children and their families will be removed from two of the city’s homeless shelters, the Auburn Family Shelter and the Catherine Street shelter. The conditions at Auburn were chronicled in the New York Times “Invisible Child” series which explored the life of a young New York City girl named Dasani whose family previously lived at Auburn. The conditions in these shelters were often cited as deplorable and now the City is working on the transfer of all families with children. For more information, please click here.  (Politicker)

Domestic Violence

  • It was recently ruled by the Integrated Domestic Violence Part in Westchester County that Criminal Court Orders of Protection cannot be modified by the Family Court except in matters of child custody and visitation. In the instant case an initial order of protection excluded the respondent from the marital home but allowed access to the separate but connected basement apartment. A violation of the initial order led to a criminal order of protection that did not address access to the separate apartment. An Order to Show Cause was brought to amend the Criminal order to allow access to the separate apartment. The court cited Matter of Brianna L. which stated that Family Courts are “uniquely situated to issue orders that are consistent with the best interests of the children before it.” The court found that since access to the apartment does not involve custody and visitation the Family Court does not have the authority to amend the criminal order of protection. Troilo v. Troilo, 0-11722-13/13A
  • A radio broadcast from NPR’s All Things Considered discusses a recent revision to the Violence Against Women Act that will allow American Indian Tribal Courts to prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence who are not members of the tribe in some instances. This legislative revision of the VAWA was necessary to overcome the 1978 Supreme Court decision, Oliphant v. Suquamish, which ruled that American Indian Tribal Courts may not assert criminal jurisdiction over people who are not American Indians unless specifically authorized to do so by Congress. With this new revision in place, American Indian Tribal Courts, for participating tribes, will be able to offer protection to victims of domestic violence within their tribe by issuing orders of protection that are executed and enforced under the Tribal Government.


  • Recently, Governor Cuomo appointed a Common Core Implementation Panel to address rising concerns over New York’s roll out of the Common Core Curriculum. The Common Core Curriculum is a federal initiative aimed at creating consistent education standards across the United States. Some parents and educators have become concerned with the curriculum and protested across the state prompting Cuomo to institute this panel. The Panel recently held its first meeting on February 19th. Please click here for a link to the Panel’s website.