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Court says inmates can keep child visit rights

ALBANY — New York’s highest court says parents don’t lose child visitation rights in prison.

The Court of Appeals says Shawn Granger is entitled to periodic four-hour prison visits with his 4-year-old son.

Granger’s attorney sued after the child’s mother refused to bring him.

A Family Court judge found that Granger, imprisoned at Clinton Correctional Facility on drug charges, was involved in the child’s life “in a meaningful way” before.

A unanimous court ruled Tuesday that New York law presumes parental visits are in the child’s best interest. That can be rebutted with evidence showing a visit would harm the child.

The judges say Granger’s subsequent transfer to a prison farther away could be addressed in a petition to Family Court petition to reconsider the visitation schedule.