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Adoption in New York State

In New York State, most adoption petitions are filed in the county where the adoptive parents live. Depending on the county, the Family Court or the Surrogate’s Court decide adoption cases.

A Family Court or Surrogate’s Court Judge must approve all adoptions. This is done by signing an Order of Adoption.

There are two kinds of adoptions in New York, agency adoptions and private placement adoptions. The procedure is a little different between the two types of adoptions.

Most adoptions are of children under the age of 18.

Name Change In New York State

In New York State, you have the right to adopt any name you wish by using that name for everything in your life. This does not apply to children or prison inmates. But, it may be better to legally change your name because most government agencies will not accept your name change without a court order.

You can ask the court to legally change the name you were given at birth, adoption or marriage

Name Change Basics

To ask the Court to change your name or your child’s name, you need to give the Court the following:

  • court papers asking for the change, this includes: Name Change Petition and Proposed Order. The petition must be filled out and signed in front of a Notary Public. You may need additional forms to change a child’s name. You may also need to give a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to the Court
  • proof of birth
  • court fee ($210 in Supreme and County Courts; $65.00 in New York City Civil Court)
  • in Supreme Court you must also submit a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) to have a Judge assigned to the case. There is no fee to file this form.
  • depending on your situation there may be additional papers that you need to give the court.

NEW YORK STATE COURT ADMINISTRATION CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD SEARCH

The New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA) provides a New York Statewide criminal history record search for a fee of $95.00. You can submit a criminal history record search request via our on-line Direct Access program or by mailing in a CHRS application form. The search criteria is strictly based on an exact match of Name and DOB (variations of Name or DOB are not reported). Background checks for companies are also part of the criminal history record search program. The search results are public records relating to open/pending and convictions in criminal cases originating from County/Supreme, City, Town and Village courts of all 62 counties. Sealed records are not disclosed. 

INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO REMOVE A CRIMINAL CONVICTION IN NY

 

STEP 1: Complete the Request for Criminal Certificate of Disposition for CPL 160.59 Sealing Application and submit it to the appropriate clerk of the court.

Note: Complete a separate request for each case you will be asking the court to seal.

STEP 2: Once you receive your criminal Certificate of Disposition from the court, complete pages 1 and 2 of the Sealing Application (i.e., Notice of Motion and Affidavit in Support).

STEP 3: Serve the Notice of Motion and Affidavit in Support (i.e., pages 1 and 2 of the Sealing Application) upon the District Attorney of the applicable county. You can look up the address for each District Attorney’s office in the List of District Attorneys Offices.

Note: If you are asking the court to seal more than one conviction and convictions occurred in different counties, you must serve the District Attorney of each applicable county with copies of your papers.

STEP 4: Once the District Attorney has been served, complete page 3 of the Sealing Application (i.e., Affidavit of Service).

Note: If more than one District Attorney has been served, and the service was performed on different dates or by different people, you must complete a separate Affidavit of Service (i.e., page 3 of the Sealing Application) for each one.

STEP 5: File all pages of your Sealing Application and any supporting documentation with the appropriate court.

STEP 6:  If you want to confirm that the change was appropriately made to your criminal history record, complete the Request for CPL 160.59 Seal Verification Form  to receive verification from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services that a CPL 160.59 Seal has been applied to your New York State Criminal History Record.

Note: A copy of the signed court seal order must be mailed along with the verification form.

For information on serving legal papers, contact undisputedlegal.com or (212) 203-8001. Representative are ready to assist you, we serve all legal papers, call now!

HOW CHILD SUPPORT WORKS IN NEW JERSEY

What are child support services? Child support services include: locating the parent who has a duty to support your child(ren), legally determining if a person is the biological parent of your child, obtaining an order for child support and medical support services (if available at a reasonable cost), collecting support payments, keeping accurate records of payments and enforcing the support order.

Who provides these services? In New Jersey, the Department of Human Services (DHS) – Division of Family Development (DFD) – Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) (the State Title IV-D agency), County Welfare Agencies (CWA), the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the County Family Divisions of the Superior Court, and County Probation Division work together to provide support services to your family.

What does the Office of Child Support Services do? The DFD/OCSS is responsible for ensuring that the state’s child support program is operated properly, efficiently and effectively, and that all of its agents are in compliance with all aspects of the Federal Law.

What does the County Welfare Agency Child Support Unit do? The CWA locates obligors and files non-support complaints on active Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) with the Family Division.

THE FORECLOSURES PROCESS IN NEW JERSEY

The foreclosure process in New Jersey is a two-tiered system involving both Superior Court General Equity judges and the staff of the Office of Foreclosure. The Office of Foreclosure is a unit in the Superior Court Clerk’s Office. The Office of Foreclosure handles seven types of foreclosure actions: (1) residential mortgage foreclosure; (2) multi-family/ commercial mortgage foreclosure; (3) in person am tax certificate foreclosure; (4) municipal in rem tax certificate foreclosure; (5) condominium lien foreclosure; (6) strict foreclosure (to remedy foreclosure action errors) and (7) Fair Foreclosure Act optional foreclosure procedures.

Foreclosure actions are filed in the Superior Court, Chancery Division, General Equity Part. All Foreclosure pleadings are filed with the Office of the Superior Court Clerk, Foreclosure Processing Services in Trenton. The types of liens that can be foreclosed are mortgages, municipal tax liens and condominium or homeowner association liens for unpaid assessments.

THE LANDLORD TENANT EVICTION PROCESS NEW JERSEY

Residential tenants in New Jersey have certain rights. They cannot be evicted (thrown out or locked out) without a judgment from the New Jersey Superior Court.

Some reasons a landlord might file a complaint in the Landlord/Tenant section of Superior Court:

  • The tenant failed to pay rent.
  • The tenant is often late in paying rent.
  • The tenant has repeatedly acted in a disorderly manner.
  • The tenant has caused destruction or damage to the property willfully or through gross negligence.
  • The tenant has violated the terms of the lease or other document.
  • The tenant has been convicted of a drug offense.

HOW THE CRIMINAL COURT SYSTEM WORKS IN NEW YORK STATE

Arraignments

The arraignment is the first time you go to court in front of a Judge. At the arraignment, you are told what the charges are against you and what your rights are, like the right to a trial and the right to have an attorney appointed for you if you don’t have the money to hire one. After you have been given an attorney, you then answer the charges. You answer the charges by telling the court if you are guilty or not guilty. This is called the plea. Before the plea, your lawyer and the prosecutor may talk about settling your case without having a trial. This is called Plea Bargaining. If you plead not guilty, you will get a court date for a hearing or trial. If you plead guilty, the court will decide your punishment. This is called the Sentencing.

Plea Bargaining

Plea bargaining is when your lawyer and the prosecutor talk about settling the case without having a trial. This can be done at any time during the case, from the arraignment up until a verdict in a trial. You can ask for a plea bargain, but the prosecutor can choose not to plea bargain with you. If you agree on a plea bargain, it must be approved by the Judge. Only the Judge can decide your sentence. For example, you may agree to plead guilty in exchange for the prosecutor’s promise to ask the Judge for a sentence with no jail time, just probation. Or, you and the prosecutor may agree that you will plead guilty to a lesser charge that has a lower range of punishments for the Judge to choose from at your Sentencing.

HOW THE COURT DEALS WITH VISITATION/CUSTODY IN NEW YORK STATE

In most cases, the court wants the child to have a relationship with both parents. When one parent has sole custody, the court will let the parent who doesn’t have custody have visits with the child and spend time with the child unless there is a good reason for the parent not to have visitation.

Custody and visitation are two separate matters but they are usually decided during the same hearing. A visitation petition can be filed as a separate case.

The court will order visitation if it is in the best interest of the child. Visitation is also called “parenting time”.

Best Interest of the Child

When there is a court case that affects a child, like custody, parental rights, or adoption, the court will consider the “best interest” of the child when making its decision.

How To File For Divorce in District of Columbia

You can file for divorce in District of Columbia (“DC”) if either you or your spouse has been a resident of DC for six months before the date you file the divorce papers with the court. It does not matter where you are married. Only one of you has to meet the DC residency requirement. One can only ask for alimony and distribution of marital property in your divorce case. You will lose your opportunity to obtain alimony and distribution of marital property if you do not ask for them in your divorce case.

One may include requests for child custody and child support in a divorce case. You also can ask for child custody and/or child support in a separate case from the divorce case. In some instances a divorce can be filed in the District of Columbia but child custody and/or child support must be filed in another state. There are two grounds for divorce in DC