When a family in New York feels they need an order or protection, they will have to file a family offense petition. This is a court order that demands an individual stay a specified distance from a person’s work, home as well as children if necessary. Some can be written so a person is not permitted to have any contact with a petitioner.
A family offense petition is designed to provide an order of protection. This can be a good way a petitioner can protect themselves and loved ones from an abusive family member. A person who violates an order of protection could be sentenced to jail time. Family offense petitions have also been used improperly. Some have been utilized to obtain a better position in a custody dispute.
Family Offense Petition Reasons
Having an order of protection granted will require a person to prove a family offense has been committed. There are certain offenses in the state of New York defined as family offenses
*4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st-degree Stalking
*2nd-degree Aggravated Harassment
*2nd or 3rd-degree Menacing
*3rd and 2nd-degree Assault
*1st or 2nd-degree Reckless Endangerment
Respondent In A Family Offense Petition
A family offense petition can be filed in family court against specific relations. They will be considered a respondent.
*Individuals who are determined to have had an intimate relationship with the petitioner in the past. A New York Family Court is will determine what is and is not an intimate relationship. It’s possible the relationship with a roommate, close friend, or significant other could meet their criteria for being intimate.
*An individual with whom the petitioner has had a child
*A former Spouse
Limited Or Full
A limited order of protection doesn’t require the respondent to avoid all contract with the petitioner. It does require the respondent to not engage in any additional criminal activity involving the petitioner. In New York, a limited order of protection is often referred to as an order to be good. Its focus is to make certain a respondent behaves correctly when around the petitioner. A full order of protection requires the respondent to stay away from the petitioner and not have any communication. This will include everything from Facebook contact, phone calls, e-mails, text messages and more.
Filing Family Offense Petition
To begin the process of filing a family offense petition, a petitioner should have the respondent’s current address. They will be asked to provide a description of what happened in detail. Should there be a police report involved, copies of it should be provided. It is recommended a person get help from a New York family lawyer to make certain it is completed correctly.
Once the family offense petition has been filed, the petitioner will be sent to a judge immediately. This judge will have the authority to issue a temporary order of protection. They can do this right away. If the accusations are serious, the respondent does not need to be present.
Scheduled Court Date
Once a petitioner files a family offense petition, they can be given a court date and summons. On this date, they will be required to prove the respondent has been properly served. The petitioner and the respondent must appear in court. It’s important a petitioner understand their rights in these procedures.
In a child custody case, the petitioner in a family offense petition will be provided significant leverage. When someone is a true victim of abuse, it is a legal action designed to help provide protection for them and their children. Should it be discovered the petitioner falsely filed a family offense petition, an order of protection can be made against them. They would then be kept away from their children.
The last step in the process is to have the family offense case resolved. It can be settled or move forward to a trial. Many times respondents consent to the order of protection but don’t admit to the allegations made against them. It’s also possible for those involved to agree to an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. This is when the order of protection will remain in place for a specified amount of time. Should it not be violated during this time, a family offense petition could be dismissed.
A petitioner can try and obtain a family offense petition in Family Court or Criminal Court. It’s also possible to purse it in both. In a Family Court, a judge can issue an order of protection. In Criminal Court, a judge can give sentences that are much more serious. In either situation, the petitioner and the respondent have a right to be represented by an attorney. An experienced New York attorney will be able to provide the best possible outcome for either situation