Staten Island, NY asked in Child Support and Family Law for New York

Q: Is there a time limit for NY magistrates to make a decision on motions ? (Motion to Vacate Default Child support Order)

At the hearing, magistrate reserved the case for decision, then nothing happened for almost 2 months now. I call the court every week and there is nothing released.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Article 22 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) in §2219 requires a court to enter an order on motion on or before sixty days after submission of the motion. "Submission" means the motion, opposition, and any reply are filed, and the court says the motion is "submitted." However, child support court is special.

The state obtains a matching fund for child support enforcement which means the court will not lightly vacate an order of support. This suggests the court is conflicted between dispensing justice and watching out for the court's best interests. The asker must expect tricks: the motion was not fully "submitted," there are defects in the motion (missing notarization of the asker's signature), the motion was not "submitted," the arguments required for the motion (reasonable excuse and meritorious defense) are missing, and so on. These reasons for delay/denial all sound so legal, but in fact reflect the court's entanglement with federal requirements for payment.

A retained lawyer could have explained this to the asker in confidence so we would not have to on this public forum.

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