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Family Court Act, Article 3, Juvenile Delinquency Part 5, § 355.1: New Hearing; Staying, Modifying or Terminating an Order

A juvenile delinquency case has two major parts: the fact-finding hearing and the dispositional hearing. The fact-finding hearing is the phase during which the presentment agency presents evidence to a Family Court judge indicating that the minor committed acts that if committed by an adult would amount to a crime. Should the Family Court judge conclude that by a preponderance of evidence the minor did in fact commit a crime, the next step is the dispositional hearing. The dispositional hearing involves a determination of the treatment the minor should receive. However, even if a Family Court judge issues an order related to the juvenile delinquency case, the judge may modify or vacate that order should there be a substantial change in circumstances. Under New York Family Court Act, Article 3, Juvenile Delinquency, Part 5, § 355.1, if there is showing of a substantial change of circumstances, the Family Court is permitted to grant a new fact-finding or dispositional hearing, or stay the execution of, set aside, modify, terminate of vacate any order issued in a juvenile delinquency matter.


A petition was filed in Family Court alleging that Amber F. and two accomplices engaged in an unprovoked assault upon a woman resulting in physical injury which included bleeding in and swelling to one of her eyes. Amber F. entered an admission to having committed an act which would constitute the crime of assault in the third degree as charged in the petition. The dispositional hearing was conducted and at the conclusion of the hearing, the Court determined that Amber F. required supervision and treatment. Accordingly, the Court directed that she be placed under the supervision of the Department of Probation for a period of 12 months, pursuant to New York Family Court Act, Article 3, Juvenile Delinquency, Part 5, § 353.2. Conditions imposed by the Court included that Amber complete 200 hours of community service, that she commit no further criminal or delinquent acts, that she obey her grandmother's lawful commands, that she attend school regularly and obey all school rules, and that she have no contact with the victim or her accomplices during the period of probation. The Court's order also provided that she could move to reopen the hearing upon proof of her compliance with the conditions of probation for a minimum of 9 months and proof of her promotion to the next school grade.

Pursuant to New York Family Court Act, Article 3, Juvenile Delinquency, Part 5, § 355.1, filed a motion to set aside the order of disposition and the underlying fact-finding order, contending that she has been promoted to the 11th grade, is passing all of her classes, has completed over 200 hours of community service, has not been arrested again, has complied with her grandmother's rules, and has otherwise complied with all directives of her Probation Officer. Accordingly, the Family Court vacated the order of disposition. In the Matter of Amber F., 2009 NY Slip Op 50531 (N. Y. Fam. Ct., 2009)

Related Statutory Provision
  1. Order of disposition: New York Family Court Act, Article 3, Juvenile Delinquency, Part 5, § 352.2
Family Court Act, Article 3, Child Protective Services, Part 5, § 355.1: New hearing; staying, modifying or terminating order
  1. Upon a showing of a substantial change of circumstances, the court may on its own motion or on motion of the respondent or his parent or person responsible for his care: (a) grant a new fact-finding or dispositional hearing; or (b) stay execution of, set aside, modify, terminate or vacate any order issued in the course of a proceeding under this article.
  2. An order issued under § 353.3, may, upon a showing of a substantial change of circumstances, be set aside, modified, vacated or terminated upon motion of the commissioner of social services or the division for youth with whom the respondent has been placed.
  3. If the court issues a new order of disposition under this § the date such order expires shall not be later than the expiration date of the original order.
New York Juvenile Delinquency Lawyer

If your child is a respondent in a juvenile delinquency proceeding, it is important that he or she is represented by experienced counsel both during the fact-finding hearing and during the dispositional hearing. If the Family Court determines that your child is a juvenile delinquent an order of disposition will be issued. However, should your child's circumstances change such an order could be modified or vacated. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully representing juvenile clients who have been accused of committing misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those involved in juvenile delinquency matters in the following locations:

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