As a Family Law Attorney practicing on Long Island, and a parent, I know that any parent in Nassau County or Suffolk County, and especially the parent of a teenage child, would likely admit that parenting is one of the most challenging endeavors in life. Most parents are at some point faced with a degree of rebellious and defiant behavior as their children naturally begin to explore ways to establish their own identities separate and apart from their parents.
PINS Helps ‘Out of Control’ Juveniles in Nassau, Suffolk, Long Island
Unfortunately, for some families, the typical rebellious phase of a teenager can extend to dangerous or “out of control” behavior in their children. Instead of refusing to clean their bedrooms or put away their cell phones at dinnertime, these parents must deal with children who are disobedient of their parents or other authorities in many ways, such as skipping school, refusing to abide by a curfew, or are abusive and volatile at school or at home. Children who are “beyond their parents control” may require court ordered supervision under the Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) program in New York.
What Is PINS on Long Island
The PINS Program provides court supervision of children who are a risk of danger to themselves or others. Examples of such behavior include running away from home, refusing to attend school when required by law, staying out late at night, stealing, using drugs or alcohol, and refusing to abide by their parents’ reasonable rules. The PINS diversion program was developed as a way to reduce serious legal consequences for juveniles by instead providing counseling, supervision, mental health services, and different education options. The PINS legal proceeding is not a criminal proceeding, and will not affect the criminal record of the child into adulthood.
How To Get PINS Help in Nassau County and Suffolk County Family Court
In order to open a PINS case, a petition is filed in Nassau County or Suffolk County Family Court by a parent or guardian, a peace officer or police officer, a school representative, or a person who has been injured by the child. The petitioner, or the complaining party, will present his or her case to the Family Court judge assigned.
2 Steps to PINS on Long Island
There are two steps to the hearing: (1) the fact-finding hearing and (2) the dispositional hearing. In the fact-finding hearing, the petitioner describes the child’s behavior, presents evidence to support the petition, and asks the court to order supervision of the child. If the judge determines that supervision is not required, the judge will dismiss the case. If the judge determines that the child’s behavior warrants a PINS case, he or she will set a date for a dispositional hearing to determine what type of supervision is required.
What Kind of Supervision is Possible in PINS in Nassau or Suffolk?
Possible outcomes of the dispositional hearing include supervision by a probation officer, transfer to protective custody, or placement in a group home or other residential care facility. The court may institute curfews and order mental health treatment or counseling for the child and/or the family as a whole. A probation officer may supervise the child’s compliance, perform regular visits with the child, and conduct drug testing. It is also possible that a court would temporarily place a child with a relative or in a foster care setting if it appears that family dynamics are at play in the child’s behavior. The child must comply with the court order at this time or risk more restrictive placement or further, more serious litigation.
Family Courts in Nassau and Suffolk Look At Parents Roles Too
In addition to the child’s responsibility to follow the court order as well as his parents’ rules, it is important – and the law – that parents actively create rules, structure, and a safe environment for their children. If a court suspects that the parents are neglectful or abusive, a child neglect or abuse investigation can also be commenced in order to ensure a healthy home environment.
Long Island Family Law Attorneys Can Help with Nassau County and Suffolk County PINS Cases
As you might imagine, deciding whether to file a PINS petition for your own child can be a very difficult decision to make. A seasoned Long Island family law attorney familiar with PINS in Nassau County or Suffolk County Family Courts can provide advice and support as you make important decisions and navigate the process in Family Court on Long Island. In many cases, children are also entitled to representation by an attorney in Family Court PINS cases. Since parenting and family matters are personal and often sensitive, it is important that you find a Long Island family law attorney in whom you can confide and trust. The attorneys at the Office of Robert E. Hornberger, P.C. are experienced with all aspects of family law in Nassau County and Suffolk County, including PINS cases. Contact us at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page for a complimentary consultation.
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