The Family Court Bureau of the Department of Law prosecutes juvenile delinquency proceedings and cases against caretakers and parents who abuse or neglect children. In addition, the Family Court Bureau represents parents in proceedings to obtain child support.

The Family Offense Prosecution Unit, within the Family Court Bureau, was established pursuant to a grant from S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women to address the serious problem of domestic violence.

Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings
New York State law mandates that, with few exceptions, juveniles over the age of seven and under the age of sixteen, who commit criminal acts, shall be charged in Family Court. The County Attorney’s Office, in its capacity as the Presentment Agency, prosecutes these juveniles. Each year, the County Attorney’s Office initiates in excess of 1,000 juvenile delinquency proceedings. The County Attorney’s Office regularly prosecutes offenses from the very serious-- such as attempted murder, rape, sodomy, robbery, arson, weapons possession, burglary and assault-- to those acts which are relatively less serious including larceny, criminal mischief, trespass and graffiti.

Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings
Annually the County Attorney’s Office, on behalf of the Westchester County Department of Social Services, initiates in excess of 2,000 child protective proceedings against parents and other caretakers who abuse and/or neglect children. Cases commonly brought on behalf of the Department include those in which allegedly responsible adults intentionally inflict physical injury upon children, inappropriately engage them in sexual activity, use excessive corporal punishment against them, or fail to provide for the children’s basic nutritional, educational and medical needs. The County Attorney’s Office works closely with the Department of Social Services throughout all stages of a child protective matter.

Child Support Proceedings
The County Attorney’s Office provides representation at child support proceedings to the Westchester County Department of Social Services and private petitioners under both the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ("UIFSA") and Section 111-g of the New York State Social Services Law. In this capacity, each year the County Attorney’s Office initiates in excess of 15,000 proceedings against non-custodial parents who fail to meet child support obligations owed either directly to the County or to individual custodial parents. These proceedings include those to establish paternity, to seek initial support orders, to modify existing support orders, or to prosecute non-custodial parents who willfully fail to meet their support obligations.

Bertina Capuano
Assistant Chief Deputy County Attorney
Westchester County Attorney's Office
148 Martine Avenue
White Plains, N.Y. 10601
(914) 995-2660