Secured reversal of custody order obtained on default
Matter of Johnson v Lee, 89 AD3d 733 (2nd Dept. 2011)
In an appeal by my client, the mother, from an order denying her motion to vacate a default order of custody to the father, I secured a reversal, and the custody order was vacated, and matter remitted for a hearing on the merits. In reversing, Family Court adopted my arguments that the general rule with respect to opening defaults in civil actions “is not to be rigorously applied to cases involving child custody” and that under the circumstances presented, and recognizing that the law favors resolution on the merits in child custody proceedings Family Court should have granted the mother’s motion to vacate the custody order entered upon her default in appearing.