CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New York)
Citation769 N.Y.S.2d 353,196 Misc.2d 434
PartiesIn the Matter of CAROL PITKEWICZ, as Guardian of the Person and Property of STEVEN CIMINO, an Incapacitated Person.
Decision Date23 July 2003

196 Misc.2d 434
769 N.Y.S.2d 353

In the Matter of CAROL PITKEWICZ, as Guardian of the Person and Property of STEVEN CIMINO, an Incapacitated Person.

July 23, 2003.

Randazzo & Randazzo, L.L.P., Huntington, for Linda Cimino.

Haley, Weinblatt & Calcagni, LLP, Hauppauge, for Carol Pitkewicz.



Pending before the court is an application by Linda Cimino,

[196 Misc.2d 435]

the former wife of the incapacitated person, Steven Cimino, for an order expanding the guardian's powers. The specific authority sought is:

"1) to provide for the educational support of STEVEN CIMINO'S children, namely Stefany and Joseph Cimino, including payment of one-half of their college tuition, retroactive to their respective first semesters of college; 2) to discontinue payment of health insurance coverage for MR. CIMINO'S children based upon such payments being assumed by Linda Cimino; 3) to discontinue claiming Joseph Cimino as Dependent with respect to STEVEN CIMINO'S Income Tax Returns, based upon such claim being assumed by Linda Cimino; 4) to include STEVEN CIMINO'S children—namely, Anthony Cimino, Stefany Cimino and Joseph Cimino as interested parties herein entitled to receipt of all further reports and accountings herein and notice of all future proceedings with respect to this guardianship."

The guardian has cross-moved for an order "amending the Steven Cimino Supplemental Needs Trust to authorize the Trustee to provide for the educational support of Steven Cimino's children, namely, Stefany Cimino and Joseph Cimino, by paying one-half (1/2) of their college tuition, provided that such amendment will not adversely affect the Medicaid benefits that Steven Cimino presently receives."

Steven Cimino and Linda Cimino were divorced pursuant to a judgment dated March 27, 1992. In accordance with that judgment Steven Cimino was obligated, inter alia, to "keep and maintain hospital and medical insurance coverage as presently provided, or better coverage, for the benefit of the children, so long as he is obligated to make child support payments." The judgment further provided that Steven Cimino "shall claim the child JOSEPH CIMINO as an exemption on his personal income tax returns for income tax purposes so long as he complies with the terms of the Stipulation of Settlement herein executed * * *." Nothing in either the judgment of divorce or the referenced stipulation of settlement refers to an obligation to pay college tuition.

Carol Pitkewicz was appointed as the guardian of Steven Cimino pursuant to an order and judgment dated September 4, 1998. The need for a guardian stemmed from injuries sustained by Steven Cimino subsequent to the divorce action. That order

[196 Misc.2d 436]

and judgment authorized the establishment of a supplemental needs trust for the benefit of Steven Cimino out of which certain expenses could be paid including child support, premiums for health insurance for Steven Cimino's children, life insurance premiums, medical expenses for the children and "[o]ne-half (½) of the annual college education costs at any State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) for STEVEN'S son, ANTHONY CIMINO, should he attend such S.U.N.Y. facility."

The duties and obligations of Steven Cimino owing to his former wife and his children, and his rights arising out of the divorce action, are defined by the stipulation of settlement of such action and the judgment of divorce. By her application to modify those duties, obligations and rights by an expansion of the...

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