Wednesday, May 26, 2010

News: Appellate Division First Department Adds New Rules

Effective immediately, the Appellate Division First Department (covering appeals in New York and Bronx Counties) has added email and searchable (.pdf) filing requirements for briefs, appendices, and records on appeal. The amendments are in Rules 600.10 and 600.11 and are in addition to the existing bound paper documents which are already required.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

News: Court of Appeals Rules on Same-Sex Relationship Cases

In two cases decided on May 4, 2010, Debra H. v Janice R. and Matter of H.M. v E.T., the State's highest court has issued pronouncements addressing same-sex relationships and their impact on children.

In Debra H,. the court found on narrow grounds that a child born after a Vermont civil union by artificial insemination of one of the parties is by "full faith and credit", entitled to be recognzied as the child of both parties. Accordingly, both "parents" have custodial standing, even where the child was not adopted by the non-biological party. The court declined to extend the ruling beyond custodial rights to recognition of same sex-marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Among other concurring opinions, Judge Smith stated that he would also have found that lesbian couples who have children by artificial insemination should both (except under extraordinary circumstances) have standing as "parents" under New York State Law. He suggests a departure from Matter of Alison D. v. Virginia M., 77 NY2d 651 (1991) in the definition of a "parent" under the circumstances referred to.

The link to Debra H. is as follows:

In Matter of H.M. v E.T., the court addressed whether or not the non-biological "parent" in a lesbian couple
who did not secondarily adopt the child could be deemed a "parent" for child support purposes. There was no civil union in this case. The biological mother (H.M.) was a Canadian citizen who sought a declaration of parentage as to her former partner who lived in New York. The court reversed the Appellate Division and found that jurisdiction was proper under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act since it was "alleged" that E.T. was a "parent". The court did not determine that ultimate issue. Judge Smith again issued a separate concurring opinion taking the position that a child born of such a union is the child of both and the modification of Matter of Alison D. v. Virginia M.

The link to H.M. is as follows: