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Home / Case Digests / Appellate Division, Fourth Dept. / Fourth Department — Parental Rights: Matter of Hannah L.

Fourth Department — Parental Rights: Matter of Hannah L.

Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Parental Rights

Children’s Testimony — Cross-Corroboration

Matter of Hannah L.
CAF 12-01012
Appealed from Family Court, Erie County

Background: The parents appealed from an order adjudicating that their seven children were neglected by them. The parents argued that the Family Court’s finding of neglect was unsupported as the children’s testimony was uncorroborated.

Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court found that a child’s out-of-court statements may form the basis for a finding of neglect as long as they are sufficiently corroborated by other evidence. The Appellate Division found that the three oldest children’s testimony adequately cross-corroborated one another and established that the parents engaged in acts of domestic violence in the presence of the children. Further, the evidence further established that the eldest child was allowed to discipline his younger siblings in the parents’ absence.

David J. Pajak for the respondent-appellant; Joseph T. Jarzembek for the petitioner-respondent; Charles D. Halvorsen of the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. for the children