Family Court Act 1024
FCA 1024: Emergency removal without court order
Family Court Act 1024
Emergency removal without court order
(a) A peace officer, acting pursuant to his or her special duties, police officer, or a law enforcement official, or a designated employee of a city or county department of social services shall take all necessary measures to protect a child's life or health including, when appropriate, taking or keeping a child in protective custody, and any physician shall notify the local department of social services or appropriate police authorities to take custody of any child such physician is treating, without an order under section one thousand twenty-two of this article and without the consent of the parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care, regardless of whether the parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care is absent, if (i) such person has reasonable cause to believe that the child is in such circumstance or condition that his or her continuing in said place of residence or in the care and custody of the parent or person legally responsible for the child's care presents an imminent danger to the child's life or health; and
(ii) there is not time enough to apply for an order under section one thousand twenty-two of this article.
(b) If a person authorized by this section removes or keeps custody of a child, he shall (i) bring the child immediately to a place approved for such purpose by the local social services department, unless the person is a physician treating the child and the child is or will be presently admitted to a hospital, and
(ii) make every reasonable effort to inform the parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care of the facility to which he has brought the child, and
(iii) give, coincident with removal, written notice to the parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care of the right to apply to the family court for the return of the child pursuant to section one thousand twenty-eight of this act, and of the right to be represented by counsel in proceedings brought pursuant to this article and procedures for obtaining counsel, if indigent. Such notice shall also include the name, title, organization, address and telephone number of the person removing the child, the name, address, and telephone number of the authorized agency to which the child will be taken, if available, the telephone number of the person to be contacted for visits with the child, and the information required by section one thousand twenty-three of this act. Such notice shall be personally served upon the parent or other person at the residence of the child provided, that if such person is not present at the child's residence at the time of removal, a copy of the notice shall be affixed to the door of such residence and a copy shall be mailed to such person at his or her last known place of residence within twenty-four hours after the removal of the child. If the place of removal is not the child's residence, a copy of the notice shall be personally served upon the parent or person legally responsible for the child's care forthwith, or affixed to the door of the child's residence and mailed to the parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care at his or her last known place of residence within twenty-four hours after the removal. An affidavit of such service shall be filed with the clerk of the court within twenty-four hours of serving such notice exclusive of weekends and holidays pursuant to the provisions of this section. The form of the notice shall be prescribed by the chief administrator of the courts. Failure to file an affidavit of service as required by this subdivision shall not constitute grounds for return of the child.
(iv) inform the court and make a report pursuant to title six of the social services law, as soon as possible.
(c) Any person or institution acting in good faith in the removal or keeping of a child pursuant to this section shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of such removal or keeping.
(d) Where the physician keeping a child in his custody pending action by the local department of social services or appropriate police authorities does so in his capacity as a member of the staff of a hospital or similar institution, he shall notify the person in charge of the institution, or his designated agent, who shall then become responsible for the further care of such child.
(e) Any physician keeping a child in his custody pursuant to this section shall have the right to keep such child in his custody until such time as the custody of the child has been transferred to the appropriate police authorities or the social services official of the city or county in which the physician maintains his place of business. If the social services official receives custody of a child pursuant to the provisions of this section, he shall promptly inform the parent or other person responsible for such child's care and the family court of his action.
This section of the Family Court Act is provided as part of a free educational service by J. Douglas Barics, attorney at law for reference only. Statutes and codes such as FCA 1024 are frequently amended, and no representation is made that the above version of FCA 1024 is current. Updated statutes and codes may be available at the New York State Legislature Website. No statute should be relied on without understanding controlling case law which may further interpret it. An attorney should be consulted for legal advice.
J. Douglas Barics, Esq. – Divorce, family, matrimonial, trial and appeals lawyer in Long Island, New York.