Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Unrepresented Party — Refusal of Representation
Stearns v. Crawford
Appealed from Family Court, Erie County
Background: The father appealed from an order that granted the mother sole custody of the parties’ children. The father argued that transferring temporary custody of the younger child to the mother in the absence of an attorney for the father was in error.
Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court held that the record established that during two prior court appearances, the father was advised of his right to counsel and gave him a referral for assigned counsel. The temporary order of custody was granted upon the father’s third appearance without counsel.
Charles J. Greenberg for the respondent-appellant; David J. Pajak for the petitioner-respondent; Charles D. Halvorsen, attorney for the children