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New York Family Court found insufficient evidence to extend the final order of protection. C.K. v. J.D., 2024 N.Y. Slip Op. 50029 (N.Y. Fam. Ct. 2024)


In New York, obtaining a family court order of protection involves specific requirements for both temporary and final orders. For a temporary order, known as an ex parte order, the petitioner must demonstrate to the court that they have been subjected to or are in immediate danger of domestic violence or harassment by the respondent. This can be achieved through sworn testimony or evidence provided to the court.

Once a temporary order is granted, a final order of protection can be sought through a formal court hearing or by mutual agreement of the parties. To obtain a final order, the petitioner must present evidence of the alleged family offense, such as testimony, documents, or other supporting evidence. The respondent has the opportunity to present a defense and contest the allegations during the hearing.

For both temporary and final orders, the court will consider factors such as the nature of the relationship between the parties, any history of violence or harassment, and the current circumstances surrounding the request for protection. The court will issue the order if it determines that there is a sufficient basis to warrant protection for the petitioner.

C.K. v. J.D., 2024 N.Y. Slip Op. 50029 (N.Y. Fam. Ct. 2024) involves a motion filed by a petitioner seeking to extend a final order of protection against the respondent, along with a request to compel the respondent to permanently delete any intimate images of the petitioner in his possession. The petitioner alleges that the respondent harassed her through various means, including sharing explicit photos and defamatory accusations, leading to psychological distress and fear. The respondent opposes the motion, arguing that there have been no violations of the existing order and that the petitioner’s claims lack substantiation.

Background Facts
The petitioner initially filed a family offense petition in February 2021, alleging harassment and unlawful dissemination of intimate images by the respondent. A temporary order of protection was issued, followed by a two-year final order of protection consented to by the respondent in May 2021. The petitioner now seeks an extension of the final order and deletion of intimate images.

The petitioner and respondent were previously in a romantic relationship, which ended prior to the filing of the petition. The petitioner alleges that following the breakup, the respondent engaged in harassing behavior, including sending defamatory messages and sharing intimate images without consent.

The petitioner’s affidavit details instances of unwanted contact and dissemination of private photos, causing emotional distress and fear for her safety. The petitioner’s family and friends were also targeted with the defamatory content, exacerbating her distress.

Conversely, the respondent claims that the petitioner initiated contact with him after the breakup, leading to misunderstandings and disputes. He denies any intention to harass or harm the petitioner, stating that he believed their interactions were consensual.

The main issue revolves around whether the petitioner has shown sufficient cause for extending the final order of protection and compelling the respondent to delete intimate images. Additionally, the respondent’s claim of lack of violation of the order raises questions about the necessity of such an extension.

The court denied the petitioner’s motion to extend the final order of protection, citing insufficient evidence of ongoing harassment or violation by the respondent. However, the court granted the request to compel the respondent to delete intimate images, based on the petitioner’s evidence of dissemination.

The petitioner presented allegations of ongoing harassment and psychological distress, supported by exhibits of explicit messages and images. However, the respondent argued that there had been no violations of the existing order and that the petitioner’s claims lacked substantiation.

The court considered the nature of the relationship between the parties, frequency of interaction, and absence of violations since the issuance of the final order. While acknowledging the psychological impact described by the petitioner, the court found no ongoing threat to warrant an extension of the order.

Ultimately, the court balanced the petitioner’s allegations against the respondent’s compliance with the existing order and found no justification for extending it. However, recognizing the harm caused by dissemination of intimate images, the court granted the request for deletion, aiming to protect the petitioner’s privacy and well-being.

While the petitioner’s motion for extension was denied, the court’s decision highlights the importance of evidence and substantiation in seeking legal remedies, especially in cases involving protection orders and privacy violations.

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