Law Office of Bruce A. Young

press - news

News articles violations of family rights regarding videotaped evidence of child sexual abuse brought against City of New York and Manhattan District Attorney. New York Newsday news article, 12/8/93, Judge Sprizzo grants plaintiff’s right to sue Manhattan District Attorney. New York Law Journal front page article on Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision removing Manhattan District Attorney absolute liability. National Lawyers Guild, Feb. 1995, news article.

Controversial Clients:

New York Daily News, 11/14/04, article regarding Dyandria Murray, arising from my representing her before Judge Sturm in Manhattan Family Court as assigned counsel.

New York News Day, 1/14/04, article regarding Diane Loncar, a mother’s fugitive status from Michigan.

New York Daily News, /11/96, article regarding Diane Loncar.

New York - When the Foster Care System Forgets Fathers By NINA BERNSTEIN May 4, 2000 New York Times - Page 1
Daniel H. was 3 and Dawn was 4 when their mother took them and disappeared. Her estranged husband, a New York City limousine driver, searched obsessively for his children. He posted rewards, enlisted help from a retired police officer and hired a private detective, all to no avail. As six years passed, he took to driving slowly through residential neighborhoods, looking for two blond children who looked like him. ''I never gave up hope,'' the father, Hardaway H., said in a recent interview. ''But it was as if they were dead.'' Instead, they were in New York City foster care. In 1991, the authorities had found the children alone in their mother's Bronx apartment. They were emaciated and had evidently been abused. But for three more years, through 33 court hearings, multiple foster placements and the children's complaints of new abuse, the city's foster care system failed to tell their father. The notification that finally reached him in 1994 was part of a routine effort to free the children for adoption. Daniel H. v. City of New York, a 1996 federal lawsuit filed by Mr. H. -- the surname was withheld under the terms of the case -- is the first of five similar cases brought by fathers who contend that their parental rights, and their children's rights to protection, were trampled by a foster care system biased against men. These cases, the most recent filed only two months ago, underline how hard it can be in practice for fathers to assert their parental claims. City officials have not admitted wrongdoing in any of the cases and will not comment because of pending litigation. But they have returned children to four of the five fathers so far, and this year the city paid settlements of $135,000 and $275,000 in two of the lawsuits. Steeper damages are at stake in the others. ''I've been trying to get policy makers to change what is going on,'' said Bruce A. Young, the lawyer handling the cases as a kind of cumulative class action. ''In this day and age, when you could hop on the Internet or the parent locator service used for child support, there's no excuse for not notifying the father. It's a basic human right.'' Mr. Young acknowledges that in a nation in which only 5 percent of single parents raising children are men, fathers who want custody are still exceptional. He said that concerns about domestic violence could make the system suspicious of fathers seeking their children, and that in ordinary divorce proceedings, many fathers use custody demands to frighten an ex-wife into accepting a lower financial settlement. But in foster care cases, he contended, children are hurt when fathers lose their chance to be heard. Daniel H.'s lawsuit charges that after he was placed in a foster home, his signs of emotional trauma brought beatings, not therapy. Separated from his sister and transferred at age 9 to a group residence where bigger boys routinely abused him, he began openly longing for his father. But he says a caseworker at the foster agency, St. Dominic's, told him, ''Don't think your father is going to come and rescue you, because your father's dead.'' In fact, the father was living in Queens with a listed telephone number all along. Officials at St. Dominic's, based in Westchester County and the Bronx, declined to comment. In legal papers, the agency said that caseworkers had tried and failed to find Mr. H., and that after concluding that the boy's complaints of abuse were unfounded, they returned Daniel to the same foster home. There, the lawsuit contends, the boy experienced a new round of beatings ''with a sense of helplessness so severe that at times he considered suicide.'' In recent years, promoting fatherhood has become a mantra of public policy, but foster care practices toward fathers are little changed, Mr. Young said. One of the two cases he filed this year concerns a divorced Navy p
 Times Page 1

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