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DecisionsLegal responsibility for child by non-parent upheld (again)

June 22, 2020

The case is Matter of Leilia O.W. (Khalifah A.K.) and the appellate division upheld a trial’s court’s finding that, in a child protective proceeding, an uncle residing in the house who assumed childcare and household responsibilities was a “person legally responsible” for such children, under the law.

Family Court Act 1012 (g) defines this “person legally responsible” category, that essentially allows non-parents (who are also not legal custodians or guardians) to be charged civilly with child abuse or neglect. The rationale for this is child protective – to allow orders to be entered against such persons on behalf of children (and findings against such persons – which can have a wide collateral impact). The case law cited in Leilia O.W. – Yolanda D. is oft-cited as the Court of Appeals decision that probed and explored this issue. It comes down to this – if there is abuse or neglect by someone acting in a caretaking role regularly, or at the time of the abuse or neglect – the family court will likely find jurisdiction over that caretaker as a respondent.

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About the author:

Founder and Principal Attorney at the Law Office of Bryan Greenberg LLC, Middlesex County, NJ. With an unwavering commitment to guiding individuals through the complex and emotional landscape of divorce and family law matters, Bryan stands as the founding attorney of Law Office of Bryan Greenberg. Backed by years of legal expertise and a deep understanding of Middlesex County's legal landscape, Bryan is dedicated to offering compassionate yet pragmatic solutions to every client's unique situation. Through insightful blog posts, Bryan shares valuable insights, tips, and advice on navigating the challenges of divorce and family law, helping individuals make informed decisions during these critical life transitions. For comprehensive legal guidance and empathetic support, turn to Bryan Greenberg and the team at the Law Office of Bryan Greenberg.

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