PINS PETITIONS in Valley Stream, NY

PINS - Person In Need of Supervision (S Petitions)
PINS Petitions are petitions that are filed against a child. Unlike juvenile delinquency petitions, PINS petitions are USUALLY filed by a parent against their own child. In actuality, the child's school district, a witness, as well as a victim of PINS activity may also file a petition but this is much rarer.
A PINS petition is filed when your child is “in need of supervision.” This is truly a petition of last resort and should only be used in the most extreme instances where you have completely lost control over your own child.
In order to file a PINS petition you must allege that your child:
  • Is Habitually truant (skips school).
  • Is incorrigible, ungovernable or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of the child's parents, guardian or lawful custodian.
  • Possessed marijuana.
  • Has engaged in Prostitution related offenses.
  • Has loitered for the purpose of engaging in prostitution related offenses.
Before you can even file a PINS petition you must first file a PINS complaint with the local child protective agency and seek “diversion services.” Diversion services are services meant to help you and your child receive an immediate response to whatever crisis or problems are occurring in your family life at that time. Diversion services can include finding temporary alternative housing for your child, family crisis counseling, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, anger management and alternative dispute resolution (mediation).
Only after diversion services fail may you then file a PINS petition. At that time, your child could be placed in a non-secure facility (such as a group home) pending the resolution of the PINS petition but ONLY IF there is a substantial likelihood that the child will not appear in court on the next date, there is no likelihood that the child and his family will benefit from any additional attempts at diversion and all available alternatives to detention (i.e. temporary residence with a relative) have been exhausted.
In order to prevail on a PINS petition you must prove the allegations in your petition beyond a reasonable doubt. If you prevail against your child, your child will be labeled a “Person in Need of Supervision.” As a result, the Family Court could order one or more of the following:
  • Simple discharge with a warning to the child not to repeat that behavior again.
  • Conditional Discharge (basically sending the child home but with specific conditions they must follow).
  • Placement of the child with a suitable relative (other than the parent who filed the Petition).
  • Placement of the child with the Department of Social Services for an initial period of up to 1 year which can then be extended until the child is 18.
  • Place the Respondent on probation.
  • Order restitution.
  • Community Service.
Although a PINS petition is intended to help your child, you are of course in reality also “prosecuting” your child in Court and seeking to potentially have your child placed on probation or ordered to live in a group home for some time.
Filing a PINS petition is not something to be taken lightly and Simon & Milner cannot stress enough how important it is that you consult with an experienced family law attorney prior to making any decision regarding initiating a PINS petition.
The law firm of Simon & Milner in Valley Stream, New York are here if you have questions about personal supervision. Call (516) 561-6622 or (800) 807-5616.