Judge John M. Hunt


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Father filed a petition under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to modify the parties’ custody order that awarded mother full custody of the children with 100 percent parenting time. He alleged it was necessary for New York to exercise emergency jurisdiction to protect the children from their stepfather who was allegedly physically abusing them, seeking a change of custody to himself. ACS was ordered to investigate the matter and provide a report to the court and an order of protection on the children’s behalf against mother was ordered. The court determined Florida was the children’s home state as they have lived there with mother continuously since 2013. It stated it was aware the Florida court, in which mother had a parallel proceeding, declined to take action but did not determine it no longer had exclusive, continuing jurisdiction. This court concluded it did not have jurisdiction to modify the parties’ Florida custody order and declined to exercise continuing emergency jurisdiction. It found ACS determined the claims against mother unfounded, noting a video father took appeared to be staged and the children were following a script, ruling there was insufficient evidence for this court to take any action.