Bill S7060-2013

Relates to a presumption of neglect against a child in certain circumstances

Establishes a presumption that a child's physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired when a newborn child's blood or urine tests positive for a controlled substance.

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  • Apr 23, 2014: REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

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BILL NUMBER:S7060

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law and the family court act, in relation to a presumption of neglect against a child in certain circumstances

PURPOSE:

To protect children from the hazards of early exposure to drugs by making it clear that a finding of neglect can be based upon a positive toxicology report in the blood or urine of a new born.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends subdivision 4-a of section 371 of the Social Services Law by adding a new paragraph (iii).

Section 2 of the bill amends subdivision (f) of section 1012 of the Family Court Act by adding a new paragraph (iii) in which each section establishes a presumption that a child's physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of being impaired when a newborn child's blood or urine tests positive for a controlled substance as such term is defined in subdivision 5 of section 220 of the penal law. The bill contains an exemption for drugs prescribed by a physician.

Section 3: Effective date.

EXISTING LAW:

New bill.

JUSTIFICATION:

A child who is exposed to controlled substances in the womb is in danger from a large variety of negative outcomes caused by such exposure. It is in the best interests of a child that a finding of neglect, when supported by additional credible evidence be made so that child protection services can inquire into the child's physical and mental health. It is also desirable that this bill be passed to help act as a deterrent to the use of controlled substances by a pregnant woman.

The New York State Court of Appeals considered this question in "In the Matter of Nassau County DSS 0/B/0 Dante," 87 N.Y.2d 73 (1995). The Court held that the Social Services Law as written did not allow a finding of neglect solely based upon a positive toxicology finding. It held that "a positive toxicology report, in conjunction other evidence, may support a neglect finding."

This is one in a series of measures being introduced to improve the provision of child protective services to New York's children and families.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Minimal.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7060 IN SENATE April 23, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sens. FELDER, GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families AN ACT to amend the social services law and the family court act, in relation to a presumption of neglect against a child in certain circumstances THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (ii) of subdivision 4-a of section 371 of the social services law, as added by chapter 782 of the laws of 1971, is amended and a new paragraph (iii) is added to read as follows: (ii) who has been abandoned by his parents or other person legally responsible for his OR HER care[.]; OR (III) IN THE CASE OF A NEWBORN, IF IT IS ESTABLISHED THROUGH TESTS OF SUCH CHILD'S BLOOD OR URINE OR THROUGH SIMILAR TESTS OF THE NEWBORN CHILD THAT SUCH CHILD WAS EXPOSED TO CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 220.00 OF THE PENAL LAW, THAT WERE NOT PRESCRIBED BY A PHYSICIAN, THERE SHALL BE A PRESUMPTION THAT SUCH CHILD'S PHYSICAL, MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL CONDITION HAS BEEN IMPAIRED OR IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF BECOMING IMPAIRED AS A RESULT OF THE FAILURE OF SUCH CHILD'S MOTHER TO EXERCISE THE LEGALLY REQUIRED DEGREE OF CARE. S 2. Paragraph (ii) of subdivision (f) of section 1012 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 666 of the laws of 1976, is amended and a new paragraph (iii) is added to read as follows: (ii) who has been abandoned, in accordance with the definition and other criteria set forth in subdivision five of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, by his parents or other person legally responsible for his OR HER care[.]; OR (III) IN THE CASE OF A NEWBORN, IF IT IS ESTABLISHED THROUGH TESTS OF SUCH CHILD'S BLOOD OR URINE OR THROUGH SIMILAR TESTS OF THE NEWBORN CHILD THAT SUCH CHILD WAS EXPOSED TO CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 220.00 OF THE PENAL LAW, THAT WERE NOT PRESCRIBED BY A PHYSICIAN, THERE SHALL BE A PRESUMPTION THAT SUCH CHILD'S PHYSICAL, MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL CONDITION HAS BEEN IMPAIRED OR IS
IN IMMINENT DANGER OF BECOMING IMPAIRED AS A RESULT OF THE FAILURE OF SUCH CHILD'S MOTHER TO EXERCISE THE LEGALLY REQUIRED DEGREE OF CARE. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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