The mother's boyfriend tied the 9 year old child up with a belt around her hands behind her back, tied a belt around her ankles and dumped her on the couch and kitchen table. In addition, other threats were made. The father upon learning what took place called the police and also went to the Family Court to seek an Order of Protection to keep the boyfriend away from the child.
The Family Court dismissed the Order of Protection because the jurisdiction for a famiy offense is over people related by blood, marriage, with a child in common, formerly married to each other or in an "intimate relationship" and stated there was no "intimate relationship" between the child and the mother's boyfriend.
The Appellate Division reversed and found that the mother's relationship with the boyfriend was an "intimate relationship" that protected the child due to the unique facts. The court stated that the mother and boyfriend had dated for three years, that he resides with the mother, that the child spends substantial time with the mother in the home she shares with the boyfriend and that the boyfriend asserts "parental authority" over the child during those periods. The Appellate Court found that it was similar to a step-parental relationship.
The case was then sent back to the Family Court to determine whether an Order of Protection should issue based upon the allegations, as the prior dismissal was without consideration of the facts of the incident.
The father had custody of the child during the week and one weekend per month. Obviously, the mother should get rid of the boyfriend or the visitation should be modified to protect the child on the weekends with the mother.
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