Weekly Round-up: November 22nd, 2013

Child Welfare

~In Matter of Justus G. (Suffolk County Family Court), a mother was found to be neglectful when, among other things, while serving as a corrections officer she engaged in sexual relations with an inmate on death row with the intent to conceive a child with him. The court found that because the child was conceived during the commission of a federal crime which would likely lead to the mother’s incarceration, the mother knew or should have known that neither parent would be able to care for the child, which illustrated the mother’s “faulty understanding of what parenting actually is.” (New York Law Journal Subscription may be required)

Guardianship

~The Parent-Guardians of an incapacitated child asked for an order to reimburse themselves from their daughter’s guardianship account for more than $30,000 for a Bat Mitzvah and trip to Israel for the child.  The child had received a large settlement from a medical malpractice suit filed on her behalf.  The guardianship trust account was created to fund the medical and educational needs of the child.  This case discusses Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law and the fiduciary duties of guardians towards an incapacitated child. Matter of Sigal M. (Justia.com)

Public Health

~This past Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg signed a bill  raising the tobacco-purchasing age from 18 to 21. This law will take effect in New York City six months from now.  Once the law comes into effect, those under the age of 21 will be unable to purchase tobacco.  See the law and legislative history here.

Women’s Rights

~Here is a segment from NPR’s Fresh Air discussing the Personhood movement, a campaign fighting to afford a fertilized egg, embryo, and fetus equal rights under the United States Constitution; and whether granting these rights would sacrifice the Constitutional rights of the woman carrying the child.