Matter of Tyriek K.H.
Judge Lillian Wan
Putative father Tyriek moved to reopen a fact-finding hearing to cross-examine a caseworker and present a defense to the petition in this termination of parental rights action. At a prior hearing, upon Tyriek's non-appearance, and no excuse for same, the court proceeded to inquest, and found the presentment agency established there was no male entitled to notice, or whose consent for the children's adoption was required, under the Domestic Relations Law. It also ruled that even if it found Tyriek's consent was required for the children's adoption, evidence established they were permanently neglected by him. The court found Tyriek failed to show a meritorious defense to warrant vacating the default. Tyriek conceded he was not entitled to notice, and the moving papers did not establish that his consent to adoption was required. The court stated even if found Tyriek raised a meritorious defense on the consent issue, it would find he failed to raise a meritorious defense to the permanent neglect claim, stating the fact a father was incarcerated for a time did not absolve him of his responsibility to support and communicate with his children. Thus, as any further delay in the proceedings was not in the children's best interest, Tyriek's motion was denied.