A New York appellate case illustrates that courts, especially appellate courts, often do not think like ordinary people or, more particularly, share their sensibilities.
In that case, Father doesn’t pay his court-ordered child support (of $50 per month) for Baby, and Father argues and tussles with Mother at her home.
The trial court rules that Father’s behavior constitutes child neglect.
Many ordinary people would agree wholeheartedly.
But, on appeal to the intermediate level appellate court, the higher court reverses.
The appellate court explains that there is no evidence that Baby was harmed by Father’s failure to pay support, and no evidence that the disputes between Father and Mother harmed Baby in any way.
The appellate court does not condone Father’s conduct, of course, but it can’t say Father’s conduct amounted to neglect.
Don’t misunderstand, the Mother and/or Guardian and the child welfare agency do have other legal remedies against Father that they can pursue in court. But an action for neglect is not one of them.