You can go to court and file a petition for visitation as a grandparent. Either you and your daughter will work something out or there will be hearings and a judge will determine what action would be in the best interest of the child. Good luck.
I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: email@example.com. This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.
That's a sad situation, and as Mr. Schwartz says, you can ask for Family Court to intervene and require visitation. But keep in mind that grandparents don't really have rights to "visitation" or to be "part of a child's life" unless the Court finds that would be "in the best interests of the child".
What I'm suggesting here, as politely as I can, is that if the child's parents or guardian, especially your daughter, want you to have visitation (that is "consent" to visitation and help in facilitating it), your chances for having this work out for you as frequently and not awkwardly as you'd like would be greatly increased than if your daughter is opposed. The fact that "you were never really part of her life", as you put it, suggests to me there could be hard feelings on your daughter's part about you having abandoned her and not lived up to your parental responsibilities that at least she thinks may have been appropriate.
Amends and apologies and maybe some family therapy (or you seeing a therapist or clergy for some suggestion) here might be very helpful in repairing some of the damage that has probably been done and fixing what's broken in your family before asking strangers like a Judge to make things right when the parties are objecting and protesting.
That's my 0.02. There are some personal issues here as well as legal issues, and grandparents don't have many legal rights unless the parents are being abusive or neglectful of the child and there's a reason for the courts or Child Protective Services to intervene to involve the grandparents in the child's upbringing.
A family court lawyer could be helpful at a stage when there's been some attempts at reconciliation in your own parent-child relationship. Fortunately, people do change and attitudes can soften if there are attempts to express regrets, apologies and make amends. Most people would prefer to have good relations in their families, even if regrettable things happened in the past.
This answer is provided under the Avvo.com “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states that any information provided is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and me or any other attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. In particular, my answers and those of others are not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely solely upon Legal Information you obtain from this website or other resources which may be linked to an answer for informational purposes. You understand that questions and answers or other postings to the Site are not confidential and are not subject to attorney-client privilege. The full Avvo ToU are set forth at http://www.avvo.com/support/terms . In addition, while similar legal principles often apply in many states, I am only licensed to practice in the State of New York and Federal Courts. Any general information I provide about non-New York laws should be checked with an attorney licensed to practice in your State. Lastly, New York State Court rules (22 NYCRR Part 1200, Rule 7.1) also require me to inform you that my answers and attorney profile posted on the Avvo.com site may be considered "attorney advertising" and that "prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome".
Grandparents have no absolute right of visitation, and the survival of a petition for grandparent custody and whether it will be granted is wholly discretionary with a judge and a strong prior relationship with the child is a prerequisite.
If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.