Articles Posted in Orders of Protection

The names and places may be interchangeable, but the questions regarding how to get a Family Court order of protection or restraining order in Rockland County, New York all come down to the same thing. I need a restraining order against my ex-husband in New City, what is a petition? Where do I get a restraining order against a former girlfriend if I live in Nyack? I moved from Orangeburg to Nanuet, how do I get either a restraining order or an order of protection if I still reside in Rockland County, but my ex-boyfriend lives in Westchester County?

Assuming you reside in Rockland County or incidents transpired in Rockland County that violate the New York State Family Court Act (generally certain crimes found in the New York Penal Law), a victim of certain otherwise criminal acts can file a petition in Rockland Family Court requesting that a Family Court Judge issue a temporary order of protection in your favor and against a family member. These family members can include a current or former spouse, boyfriend or other person with whom you have had an intimate relationship. Additionally, the other party can be of the same sex, a cousin or parent as well as any other immediate relation.

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New York Blackmail and Extortion comes in different “flavors” and “sizes”. These cases are often as unique as the circumstances, victims and perpetrators. Often, when there is an extortion, threat of embarrassment, demand for money or mere harassment, a victim is hesitant to go to the police even when the law is clearly on his or her side. Similarly, there are situations where the harassment, emails, calls, threats, demands, stalking or other conduct may actually skirt violating the New York Penal Law. Call the police anyway? Risk your business, name or family relationships? Are there other options that can potentially put an end to this misery? Simply, when does a victimizer’s actions violate the New York Penal Law and what if anything should, or can, you do?

This blog entry will not serve as a substitute for an in depth analysis of your particular case. In fact, it in no way will address your case but instead identify potential issues and how you can take control of a situation that may derail your life if you let it fester and grow.

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New York Penal Law 215.50, Second Degree Criminal Contempt, is a crime that prosecutors are quick to charge and often for good cause. However, regardless of the subjective view of an Assistant District Attorney or a police officer with the NYPD or any police department outside New York City, cases must still be proven beyond a reasonable doubt whether you’re in Westchester, Rockland or Gotham. At earlier stages of litigation, the accusatory information – the complaint – must be legally sufficient or your case should not “pass go.” Therefore, mere allegations must be supported by some form of evidence or alleged facts. Tying this back to Second Degree Contempt, an “A” misdemeanor punishable by as much as one year in the county jail (can you say “Rikers Island?!”), the four corners of the accusatory instrument must legally support that there was a valid order of protection, the parameters of that order and how you violated the order. In a recent case out of White Plains, New York, the a court rendered a decision giving a broad interpretation of an order of protection and a defendant’s conduct that is worth reviewing and directly on point with the title of this blog entry.

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In New York City and throughout the State of New York from Manhattan to every municipality both big and small, domestic violence rears its ugly head. Sometimes individuals seek protection from the police and prosecutors while other times individuals pursue orders of protections or restraining orders in New York’s Family Courts. The reasons vary just as much as the people who pursue an order of protection or restraining order. It may be that a complainant (in the Criminal Court criminal context) or petitioner (in the Family Court civil context) doesn’t want the other party arrested or does not want to cede control of their personal life and the trajectory of a case to a prosecutor. Whatever the reason or choice of venue, it behooves a petitioner who seeks a Family Court order of protection to speak with an attorney or lawyer versed in the Family Court Act before taking the steps to try to secure a restraining order. If your need for an order of protection is not immediate (ie, you don’t need to call 911 for example) and the person who you are seeking protection from is a “family member” then taking seeking counsel is likely a smart move for the long term viability of your order of protection.

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