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Court Decides Jurisdiction Issue


This is a case that involves Hector G. as the petitioner versus Josefina P. as the respondent and Josefina P. as the petitioner against Hector G. as the respondent. This case is being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Bronx County.

Case Questions

A New York Family Lawyer said this particular case raises two different questions in regard to the application of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act. The father in this case argues that title three of the act requires that the court enforce the custody order that was made by the court in the Dominican Republic. The mother contends that this court may assume the jurisdiction over the parental custody case and modify or replace the order that was made in the Dominican Republic.

Family History

The children in question are the twin sons of the two parties. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said the boys were born in the Dominican Republic in 1997. The father obtained a default custody order in the Dominican Republic in April of 2002. The mother appealed this order, but it was affirmed by the court in October, 2002, this was a month after she left for the United States with the boys.

The Integrated Domestic Violence Court received a criminal prosecution case against the father based on an incident that occurred on the 8thh of November, 2002. The mother stated that the father had threatened to kill her. On the 12th of November, the father sought an enforcement of the custody order from the Dominican Republic. The mother filed a petition for the custody of the two boys on the fourth of December, 2002, alleging acts of domestic violence.

A law guardian was assigned to represent the children and reported an extensive history of domestic violence and based on this information the court issued a temporary emergency jurisdiction under the Domestic Relations law. A Nassau County Child Support Lawyer said the Administration for Children’s Services was directed by the court to interview both of the parents and the children.

Court Discussion

When reviewing the case proceedings from the Dominican Republic it is found that the couple separated in 1998. The father signed an agreement that stated he would not verbally or physically abuse the mother and he would leave the family home. He agreed to pay child support and was given regular visitation rights.

The mother left the Dominican Republic in 1999 and the children were left with her mother. The father then filed a claim of custody for the children while the mother was in the United States. The court granted custody based on the fact that the mother was physically and emotionally unavailable to the children at the time. A “friendly agreement” was signed. The mother states that she was not aware of this hearing until some time later. The father states that the agreement was mailed to her and that she accepted the arrangement.

Court Decision

When reviewing the facts from the case the court finds that there was a long history of domestic violence with the couple while they resided in the Dominican Republic. The court agrees and for this reason will assume jurisdiction over the case and modify the order that was made in the Dominican Republic. The court will hear more about the case before issuing a custody order for the children.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates to speak with an expert New York Attorney regarding any legal issue that you may have, whether you need have a custody issue or need an order for protection. Our offices are located in New York City for your convenience. You may contact us any time to set up an appointment for a free consultation.

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