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Family Offense Petitions in New York

Family Offense Petitions are governed by the New York law known as the Family Court Act.

The Family Court Act provides that an Order of Protection can be sought by members of the same family, and by parties who have a child in common, in the New York State Family Court. There are two kinds of protective orders: Stay Away orders and Refrain From orders.
A Stay Away Order of Protection protects the party who obtains the Order from any contact by the party who is ordered to Stay Away. A Refrain From Order of Protection protects the party from certain dangerous and offending behavior that puts them at risk of physical and emotional violence.
In July 2008, the New York State Legislature amended Article 8 of the Family Court Act, Section 812 by expanding the definition of "members of the same household" to include people who are or have been in an "intimate relationship". Given the recent legal amendment, the legal definition of "intimate relationship" has yet to be defined and is likely to be litigated for years to come. The legislative intent of this law is to expand who can seek an order of protection in the Family Court because of a domestic dispute. The caselaw has devloped more guidance for practioners and litigants since the amendment in July 2008. However, who has standing to seek an order of protection based on the "intimate relationship" creiteria is ever changing and depends on the facts and details of an individual's circumstances.
Many legal scholars and law makers would argue that the amendment was designed to protect non-married couples, heterosexual and homosexual, as well as other people who have more than a fleeting or intermittent relationship. This clearly broadens who can seek an Order of Protection in the Family Court, rather than going to Criminal Court and starting a criminal proceeding with potentially serious criminal consequences. The New York State Legislature wanted to give people in these "intimate relationships" a less intimidating manner to protect themselves and a non-criminal venue in which to do so.
If you believe that a member of your family presents a danger and that you are in danger of physical or emotional harm, or if you are (or were in the past) in an "intimate relationship" with a person who is physically and/or emotionally abusive, you should consult with an attorney to advise you of your rights.
If you live in Nassau County, Manhattan or in the New York metropolitan area, please call Peretz Family Law & Mediation, P.C. today.

Please contact Peretz Family Law & Mediation, P.C. for a free consultation.

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