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What is Elisa's Law?


Elisa Izquierdo was six-years-old when her testimony became a symbol of child abuse and a deciding factor in an important American court case. The little girl was a tragic victim; she was beaten to death by her mother in New York City in 1995. The mom was a drug addict who was reported but never inspected by the New York City's Child Welfare System. The media termed the story a modern-day version of Cinderella. Sweet little Elisa was her father's crowning glory, but was hated and abused by her mother. When she was killed, her story was featured on Dateline NBC, and her funeral drew almost 300 mourners. Not long after the tragic death, the Governor of New York at the time, Mr. George R. Pataki, signed into legislation a mandate that has come to be known as Elisa's Law. The law is supposed to enhance the requirement for increased accountability among welfare workers.

At the same time, Elisa's law adds the necessity that courts be sensitive to requests for privacy from individuals who are involved in a child protective services case. There is a delicate balance between an open hearing in a child abuse trial and being empathetic to the people involved, who may not want to open their lives up to the public. Still, many judges believe that by holding open trials, they are able to keep welfare workers accountable. Had the welfare workers intervened in Elisa's case, the little girl might be alive today. If you have more questions about how Elisa's law applies to your family law case, then you need a knowledgeable attorney to help you. Contact someone at Hutchinson Law today if you want a lawyer who cares about you to help you in your case. We are dedicated to assisting you through the issues that come with a domestic abuse charge.