Endangered Six-Year-Old Boy Brings Out the Best in Scaringi Law
Attorney Marc A. Scaringi is unequivocal when talking about his firm's priorities: Scaringi Law, P.C.'s child custody work is at the very top of the list for the diversified law practice. The firm never loses site of the fact that a child's welfare is always on the line.
And sometimes a child's very life may be at risk.
Scaringi recently had such a case in York County. Fortunately, the firm's years of focus on child custody work prepared him to act quickly and aggressively to rescue an innocent six-year-old boy from a desperately dangerous domestic situation. There wasn't time to lose - the boy's mother had already abused, cut and burned his half-sister.
While this kind of extreme case is certainly not the norm, it underscores why the attorneys at Scaringi Law place a special emphasis on this area of the law.
"That's how we practice," Scaringi says. "Custody cases are the most important type of legal cases. Children's safety and well-being are at stake. This is a child at stake. This is not a breach of contract case, where money or property are the issues in dispute. This is a child's life. That's our top priority."
A misguided mother loses it
The York County case began in the typical fashion last fall: A fractured family is trying its best under tremendous economic pressures. The father of a 13-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy leaves home for the Lehigh Valley in order to take a job and support the family. The mother of the boy and step-mother of the girl is ill-equipped to handle the household on her own. One day, the woman, who has mental health issues, loses it.
She strikes out at her stepdaughter with a knife sharpener. The blow opens a bloody, two-inch gash on the little girl's head. Instead of seeking medical assistance, the misguided mother attempts to cauterize the wound using a hot knife, only increasing the girl's suffering and injury. Eventually, Children and Youth officials learn of the incident.
The girl is immediately removed from the home and placed with neighbors. The father is informed and fears for his young son, who remains with the mother. He contacts Scaringi Law, and together with the paternal grandparents, Marc Scaringi files a joint emergency petition for special relief. The goal: to have the boy removed from the mother and allow him to stay with the paternal grandparents, who already have custody of the girl.
More than a court victory, a child's rescue
At first, it might not seem the strongest of custody cases. The father is living two hours away, trying to provide for his family but not in a position to offer day-to-day care. The biological mother hasn't harmed her son. Yet Scaringi's joint emergency petition on behalf of both the father and the paternal grandparents prevails.
"We were able to remove the 6-year-old boy and place him with the paternal grandparents," Scaringi says.
This is more than a court victory. It's a rescue. And this fact is not lost on Marc Scaringi and his firm.
"It's a wonderful feeling to be directly involved in ensuring the safety and well-being of a little boy who is unable to defend himself from someone who is supposed to be protecting and loving him," Scaringi says of the case. "The girl had been harmed, and the six-year-old boy, we were fearful, was next."
Indeed, a new family is now formed. The father is back home, living with his parents and his daughter and son. But while there are no custody issues surrounding the daughter, the fight for the son goes on.
A disgraced mother doesn't give up
The mother in question ends up answering for her crimes against the little girl. She faces multiple charges, including a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child and misdemeanor assault. Ultimately, she is convicted and sentenced to 3 to 23 months in York County Prison, where she remains. Yet her fight for her custodial rights to her son goes on.
Marc Scaringi recounts multiple court hearings over the course of the past year. The latest victory came only recently, when Scaringi Law is again successful in preventing the mother from renewing her custodial rights to the boy.
He persuades the court to impose a series of strict conditions on the mother, including her successful completion of anger management classes, behavioral therapy, parenting classes, among other requirements.
"We have been successful in keeping her rights suspended," Scaringi says. "She's going to have to get on the proper medications for mental health issues and comply with the medication and therapy regimen. She hasn't done that to date."
A hard-won happy ending
Meanwhile, the two children whose safety was once at stake continue to thrive in their new home.
"Both children are doing very well, succeeding academically," Scaringi says. "The boy is in Little League, Cub Scouts and Sunday school. It's been a real success story. The boy was directly in harm's way. We were able to move in and get him out of there."
While Scaringi is quick to credit the paternal grandparents' unwavering support, the high priority that Scaringi Law places upon child custody issues enabled a quick, sure-footed and aggressive legal response when it counted most.
"We were able to take quick and effective action," Scaringi says. "Thankfully, we had wonderful resources in the parenteral grandparents. They stepped up and saved the day. They are going far beyond what the typical grandparents do. This is not Sunday dinner, twice a month."
And this wasn't your ordinary case, either.
In truth, no child custody case ever is. Entire futures are at stake.
At Scaringi Law, safeguarding those futures is a priority.
To learn more about how Marc Scaringi can help you, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org