Matter of NYC Administration for Children's Services v. Dominique J.
Judge James d'Auguste
New York City's Administration for Children's Services began this proceeding against father Dominique alleging he directly abused and neglected the subject child, NC, and derivatively neglected AJ. A physician, an expert in child abuse and neglect, testified that it was impossible for NC to have sustained injuries in the manner Dominique asserted, including a broken femur, concluding it was likely the result of blunt force from an object. NC's facial burn was consistent with Dominique's explanation of using frozen meat to treat a bruise after AJ and NC were playing around, but the doctor opined that the father neglectfully left the meat on NC's face for a prolonged period of time. The court noted it was entitled to take a negative inference given Dominique's failure to testify because of pending criminal charges. It ruled evidence supported a finding NC's fractured femur resulted from abuse, which Dominique failed to rebut. Thus, after an evidentiary hearing, the court concluded the city agency proved father abused and neglected NC, and derivatively neglected AJ.