Grandparents Did Not Have Standing to Bring a Petition for Visitation
The Second Department determined Family Court properly dismissed the grandparents’ petition for visitation with the grandchildren without a hearing. Family Court properly determined the grandparents did not have standing to bring the petition because no triable issues of fact were raised in the submitted papers. The standing question is determined by applying equitable principles re: the nature of the grandparents’ relationship with the children and the nature and basis of the parents’ objection to visitation:
When a grandparent seeks visitation pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 72(1), the court must make a two-part inquiry” … . “First, it must find that the grandparent has standing, based on, inter alia, equitable considerations” … . “If it concludes that the grandparent has established standing to petition for visitation, then the court must determine if visitation is in the best interests of the child” … .
“In considering whether a grandparent has standing to petition for visitation based upon circumstances show[ing] that conditions exist which equity would see fit to intervene’ (Domestic Relations Law § 72), an essential part of the inquiry is the nature and extent of the grandparent-grandchild relationship,’ among other factors” … . Additionally, the court must consider ” the nature and basis of the parents’ objection to visitation'” … . “A hearing to determine the issue of standing is not necessary where there are no triable issues of fact raised in the submitted papers” … .
Here, the Family Court properly denied the grandparents’ petition for visitation and dismissed the proceeding, without a hearing, based on their lack of standing. The Family Court, considering all of the relevant circumstances of this case, properly found that this is not a matter in which it would be equitable to confer standing upon the grandparents … . Matter of Moskowitz v Moskowitz, 2015 NY Slip Op 04490, 2nd Dept 5-27-15