A mother went before the Family Court in Richmond County in New York on a petition asking the family court to declare that her fifteen year-old son is a person in need of supervision (PINS). A New York Custody Lawyer said that during the fact-finding hearing, the Family court found that the fifteen year old did not need supervision but protection. It appears from the testimonies of the boy and his mother that the boy’s father would regularly come home drunk. And during his drunken rage, he would verbally abuse and assault the fifteen year old boy. The most recent episode was when the father attacked the fifteen year old with a baseball bat.
The Family court issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the father of the fifteen-year old. The police arrested the father and brought him to the family court so that he can be within the jurisdiction of the court. While the father was in the Family Court, the judge apprised the father of the petition of the wife in behalf of their fifteen year old son. He explained to him that he was issuing a temporary order of protection in the boy’s favor while the Family court was conducting a hearing on the mother’s petition. The Family court explained to the father that he cannot strike, menace, harass or recklessly endanger the boy during the effectivity of the temporary order of protection. The Family court ordered the father to leave the house and to stay away from the house and his fifteen year old son until the Family court has decided on the mother’s petition. In the meantime, the Family court also ordered the Child Protective Service to conduct an immediate investigation to see if a child protective proceeding should also be brought before the Family Court.
A New York Family Lawyer said that after the temporary order of protection was issued by the Family court, the father returned to the family home and barged into the bedroom of his fifteen year old son and threatened the boy. He yelled at the boy accusing him of being the cause of his expulsion from his own house. The mother called the police and the Family court issued a warrant of arrest against the father. The Family Court also ordered the Special Services for Children to file a neglect petition against the father.
After the father was arrested by the police, he was brought before the Family Court. The judge informed the father of his rights, warning him of the consequences of making admissions against his own interest. The judge then asked him if he had violated the temporary order of protection and he admitted it. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said that upon his own admission, the Family court sentenced the father to imprisonment of six months for his willful violation of the temporary order of protection issued by the Family court against him.
The father came to the Supreme Court assailing the first warrant of arrest issued by the Family court. He alleged that the Family Court had no statutory authority to issue a warrant of arrest or a temporary order of protection against him when he was not a party to the petition filed by his wife in behalf of his son.
The Supreme Court ruled that the warrant issued by the Family court for the arrest of the abusive father was proper under Article 7 of the Family Court Act because an order of protection may be issued in behalf of any minor against his parent even if the parent is not a party to the proceeding. And this very article provides that the natural parent who violates an order of protection issued in favor of a minor child may be sentenced to imprisonment for six months.
The Family Court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered the arrest of the abusive father. The arrest of the father put his person under the jurisdiction of the court. He was apprised of his rights and of the factual allegations against him. The Family Court also ordered an investigation of the home. That is to say, the warrant of arrest was a mere mechanism by which the Family Court subjected the abusive father to court processes so that an investigation of the home situation may be conducted for a final disposition of the case by the court.
The order of protection did not include with it any finding of negligence, wrong doing or fault of the father. It was just ordered to protect the minor child against any threat of domestic violence. The order of protection’s purpose was to maintain the tranquility and safety of the home.
A Queens Family Lawyer said that the Court notes with approval the six-month prison sentence passed by the Family court on the abusive father for his willful violation of the temporary order of protection. A day less than the full six-month prison term allowed by the statute for willful violations of orders of protection would give boldness to other abusive fathers to trifle with future orders of protection.
Perhaps you are like the mother in this case, at wit’s end, looking for a way to protect your child from the abusive wrath of your spouse or partner, afraid of the escalating domestic violence that might harm your child irreparably. You need not suffer in silence. You can consult with a licensed and trained lawyer for you to know what legal protection you can apply for in behalf of your child. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, their legal team is ready, willing and able to help you get the order of protection you need for your child and for yourself.