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ACS Fails To Prove Mother Neglected Her Children

ACS Fails To Prove Mother Neglected Her Children In a case before Judge Jacqueline Deane in King’s Family Court a fact finding hearing took place regarding child neglect allegations brought against a Mother. ACS alleged in their petition the Mother had failed to provide adequate supervision or guardianship for her children. After hearing all of the evidence Judge Jacqueline Dean dismissed the petition by ACS. She ruled that ACS failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the Mother had actually neglected the children.

Mother Was A Victim Of Domestic Violence

Judge Dean took note the Mother was young and a victim of domestic violence on multiple occasions. She was also subjected to controlling behavior by the two older Fathers of the children. She lacked independent family or financial resources to help her in this situation.

Mother Left Children With Family Member

The Mother was forced to leave her children with other family members because she was trying to create a better life for them by earning money to provide a stable home situation. Judge Dean took into consideration there was nothing wrong or neglectful with the Mother modifying the parenting time schedule with one son’s Father, or relying on another son’s grandparent at a time when she needed more coverage to take care of her children because of work, school or simply coping with the aftermath of domestic violence.


This is an excellent decision by Judge Dean. In numerous cases, the Mother is a victim of domestic violence and the victimization of the Mother by ACS also victimizes the children. In these situations, the Mother is often incapable of creating an atmosphere at her home conducive to maintaining the children in a well-rounded environment. So, in this case, the Mother sought help. ACS took the position the Mother seeking help to take care of her children was avoiding her responsibility. That is the opposite of what happened in this case.

The Mother did what she needed to do to take care of her children during the time when she needed to reorganize her finances and get back on her feet. Congratulations to Judge Dean for writing an excellent decision. Unfortunately, there are many other cases involving victims of domestic violence where courts have gone the other way.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has been representing clients who have been investigated by CPS or ACS for more than 45 years. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or emailed at elliot@sdnylaw.com.

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