Persons in Need of Supervision FAQs Answered
For parents, children displaying disobedient behavior is normal. However, for some parents, that disobedience in their children can reach a level that necessitates State involvement.
What is a Person in Need of Supervision?
In New York a child under the age of 18 can be considered a Person in Need of Supervision (PINS) if they:
- Do not attend school
- Behave in a way that is dangerous or out of control
- Often disobey his or her parents, guardian or other authorities
- Are suspected of drug abuse
- Require supervision or treatment
Children under the age of 18 who display these behaviors may be categorized as a Person in Need of Supervision (PINS). On Long Island, NY, all PINS proceedings occur in Family Court.
Who Initiates a PINS Proceeding?
On Long Island, a PINS case begins by the filing of a petition in Family Court in Nassau County or Suffolk County. The petition may be filed by any of the following:
- A parent
- A person legally responsible for the care of the child
- A person who has been injured by a child
- The child’s school
- Other authorized agencies
The PINS petition will contain a description of the child’s behavior and will ask the court to find that the child needs supervision.
What are Fact-Finding and Dispositional Hearings?
Once the petition and summons have been served, the complaining party testifies as to the behavior of the child and presents other evidence that supports a need for supervision.
During trial, or the Fact-Finding Hearing, the parties may testify and present evidence and witnesses. If the judge finds that the child committed the acts set forth in the petition, the judge will set a date for a Dispositional Hearing.
At the Dispositional Hearing, information is presented to the court to assist the judge in deciding whether the child is a Person In Need of Supervision. Witnesses with information about the child testify and present evidence.
What Happens after a Dispositional Hearing?
If the judge decides the child doesn’t need supervision, the judge may dismiss the petition. Alternatively, if the child needs supervision, or even treatment, the judge can place the child into a foster group home or a social service facility for up to 18 months, or, send the child home under the supervision of a probation officer. If the child is at least 10, the judge can order the child to pay for any damage done to someone’s property, or, require the child to perform community service. The judge could also put the case “on hold” for up to 6 months in order to decide whether the case should be dismissed, or, may discharge the child with a warning. The judge then signs a dispositional order.
What if the Child Disobeys the Order?
If the court finds that the child is not obeying the terms of the Order, the probation officer or placement agency could file a violation petition. If that is the case, a new dispositional hearing may be held. If the violation is then proven, the court may change its Order to any order it could have issued at the original Dispositional Hearing.
Have More Questions About How PINS is Handled on Long Island? Contact Us
If you believe you need to institute a PINS proceeding, or your child is the subject of a PINS proceeding, we can help. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631-629-2545 to set up your free consultation with one of our experienced Family Law attorneys.
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