Family Court Law
New York Law
New York State Consolidated Laws
Part 4 - Article 7 - Family Court
S 741. Notice of rights; general provision. (a) At the initial
appearance of a respondent in a proceeding and at the commencement of
any hearing under this article, the respondent and his or her parent or
other person legally responsible for his or her care shall be advised of
the respondent's right to remain silent and of the respondent's right to
be represented by counsel chosen by him or her or his or her parent or
other person legally responsible for his or her care, or by an attorney
assigned by the court under part four of article two. Provided, however,
that in the event of the failure of the respondent's parent or other
person legally responsible for his or her care to appear, after
reasonable and substantial effort has been made to notify such parent or
responsible person of the commencement of the proceeding and such
initial appearance, the court shall appoint an attorney for the
respondent and shall, unless inappropriate also appoint a guardian ad
litem for such respondent, and in such event, shall inform the
respondent of such rights in the presence of such attorney and any
guardian ad litem.
(b) The general public may be excluded from any hearing under this
article and only such persons and the representatives of authorized
agencies admitted thereto as have a direct interest in the case.
(c) At any hearing under this article, the court shall not be
prevented from proceeding by the absence of the respondent's parent or
other person responsible for his or her care if reasonable and
substantial effort has been made to notify such parent or responsible
person of the occurrence of the hearing and if the respondent and his or
her attorney are present. The court shall, unless inappropriate, also
appoint a guardian ad litem who shall be present at such hearing and any
S 741-A. Notice and right to be heard. The foster parent caring for
the child or any pre-adoptive parent or relative providing care for the
respondent shall be provided with notice of any permanency hearing held
pursuant to this article by the social services official. Such foster
parent, pre-adoptive parent or relative shall have the right to be heard
at any such hearing; provided, however, no such foster parent,
pre-adoptive parent or relative shall be construed to be a party to the
hearing solely on the basis of such notice and right to be heard. The
failure of the foster parent, pre-adoptive parent, or relative caring
for the child to appear at a permanency hearing shall constitute a
waiver of the right to be heard and such failure to appear shall not
cause a delay of the permanency hearing nor shall such failure to appear
be a ground for the invalidation of any order issued by the court
pursuant to this section.
S 742. Diversion attempts. (a) Whenever a petition is filed pursuant
to this article, the lead agency designated pursuant to section seven
hundred thirty-five of this article shall file a written report with the
court indicating any previous actions it has taken with respect to the
(b) At the initial appearance of the respondent, the court shall
review any termination of diversion services pursuant to such section,
and the documentation of diligent attempts to provide appropriate
services and determine whether such efforts or services provided are
sufficient and may, subject to the provisions of section seven hundred
forty-eight of this article, order that additional diversion attempts be
undertaken by the designated lead agency. The court may order the youth
and the parent or other person legally responsible for the youth to
participate in diversion services. If the designated lead agency
thereafter determines that the case has been successfully resolved, it
shall so notify the court, and the court shall dismiss the petition.
S 744. Evidence in fact-finding hearings; required quantum. (a) Only
evidence that is competent, material and relevant may be admitted in a
(b) Any determination at the conclusion of a fact-finding hearing that
a respondent did an act or acts must be based on proof beyond a
reasonable doubt. For this purpose, an uncorroborated confession made
out of court by a respondent is not sufficient.
S 745. Evidence in dispositional hearings; required quantum of proof.
(a) Only evidence that is material and relevant may be admitted during a
(b) An adjudication at the conclusion of a dispositional hearing must
be based on a preponderance of the evidence.
S 746. Sequence of hearings. Upon completion of the fact-finding
hearing the dispositional hearing may commence immediately after the
required findings are made.
S 747. Time of fact-finding hearing. A fact-finding hearing shall
commence not more than three days after the filing of a petition under
this article if the respondent is in detention.
S 748. Adjournment of fact-finding hearing. (a) If the respondent is
in detention, the court may adjourn a fact-finding hearing
(i) on its own motion or on motion of the petitioner for good cause
shown for not more than three days;
(ii) on motion on behalf of the respondent or by his parent or other
person legally responsible for his care for good cause shown, for a
reasonable period of time.
(b) Successive motions to adjourn a fact-finding hearing may be
granted only under special circumstances.
(c) The court shall state on the record the reason for any
adjournment of the fact-finding hearing.
S 749. Adjournment after fact-finding hearing or during dispositional
hearing. (a) (i) Upon or after a fact-finding hearing, the court may,
upon its own motion or upon a motion of a party to the proceeding, order
that the proceeding be "adjourned in contemplation of dismissal". An
adjournment in contemplation of dismissal is an adjournment of the
proceeding, for a period not to exceed six months with a view to
ultimate dismissal of the petition in furtherance of justice. Upon
issuing such an order, upon such permissible terms and conditions as the
rules of court shall define, the court must release the individual.
(ii) The court may, as a condition of an adjournment in contemplation
of dismissal order: (A) in cases where the record indicates that the
consumption of alcohol may have been a contributing factor, require the
respondent to attend and complete an alcohol awareness program
established pursuant to section 19.25 of the mental hygiene law; or (B)
in cases where the record indicates that cyberbullying or sexting was
the basis of the petition, require an eligible person to complete an
education reform program in accordance with section four hundred
fifty-eight-l of the social services law.
(iii) Upon application of the petitioner, or upon the court's own
motion, made at any time during the duration of the order, the court may
restore the matter to the calendar. If the proceeding is not so
restored, the petition is at the expiration of the order, deemed to have
been dismissed by the court in furtherance of justice.
(b) On its own motion, the court may adjourn the proceedings on
conclusion of a fact-finding hearing or during a dispositional hearing
to enable it to make inquiry into the surroundings, conditions and
capacities of the respondent. An adjournment on the court's motion may
not be for a period of more than ten days if the respondent is detained,
in which case not more than a total of two such adjournments may be
granted in the absence of special circumstances. If the respondent is
not detained, an adjournment may be for a reasonable time, but the total
number of adjourned days may not exceed two months.
(c) On motion on behalf of the respondent or by his parent or other
person legally responsible for his care, the court may adjourn the
proceedings on conclusion of a fact finding hearing or during a
dispositional hearing for a reasonable period of time.
S 750. Probation reports; probation investigation and diagnostic
assessment. 1. All reports or memoranda prepared or obtained by the
probation service shall be deemed confidential information furnished to
the court and shall be subject to disclosure solely in accordance with
this section or as otherwise provided for by law. Except as provided in
section seven hundred thirty-five of this article, such reports or
memoranda shall not be furnished to the court prior to the completion of
the fact-finding hearing and the making of the required findings.
2. After the completion of the fact-finding hearing and the making of
the required findings and prior to the dispositional hearing, the
reports or memoranda prepared or obtained by the probation service and
furnished to the court shall be made available by the court for
examination and copying by the child's counsel or by the respondent if
he or she is not represented by counsel. All diagnostic assessments and
probation investigation reports shall be submitted to the court at least
five court days prior to the commencement of the dispositional hearing.
In its discretion the court may except from disclosure a part or parts
of the reports or memoranda which are not relevant to a proper
disposition, or sources of information which have been obtained on a
promise of confidentiality, or any other portion thereof, disclosure of
which would not be in the interest of justice. In all cases where a part
or parts of the reports or memoranda are not disclosed, the court shall
state for the record that a part or parts of the reports or memoranda
have been excepted and the reasons for its action. The action of the
court excepting information from disclosure shall be subject to review
on any appeal from the order of disposition. If such reports or
memoranda are made available to the respondent or his or her counsel,
they shall also be made available to the counsel presenting the petition
pursuant to section two hundred fifty-four and, in the court's
discretion, to any other attorney representing the petitioner.
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