Order Of Protection - Abuse of Process

After filing 6 different applications in the Family Court for temporary orders of protection during a three year period none of which were ultimately sustained, without notice to the husband, the Appellate Division said no more one-sided applications. (Mueller v Mueller)

Orders of Protection when properly requested and granted serve a valuable purpose which is to protect a person from domestic violence whether from physical acts or threats. There are many different claims that can be alleged including, but not only, harassment, assault, menancing, threats, and stalking. The relief when granted temporarily is strong and fast and a person is directed by court order to refrain from the alleged offensive behavior and may also be ordered to stay away from the petitioner's home, school and place of employment.

When improperly requested and determined not to be a "family offense" the temporary order of protection is vacated. However, at what expense to the person who was wrongfully accused? More often than not the respondent has paid an attorney, missed work, been uprooted from day to day living and suffered emotionally as well.

Unfortunately, the process lends itself to abuse by a person who wrongfully plans and schemes to gain the upper hand in divorce or custody litigation. It takes a lot to get the court to bar a person from being able to come to court without notice to the other person and seek an order of protection.

Recently, the Appellate Division reversed the Suffolk County Family Court Judge who denied the husband's application to require his wife to obtain judicial approval on notice to him before seeking a temporary order of protection. The appellate court stated that the judge should have prohibited the wife from doing the same thing all over again after she had filed and received six different applications for temporary orders of protection between 2007 through 2010 that ultimately were all unsubstantiated.

The court noted that the wife could still receive police assistance in the event of an emergency but that court applications would be handled differently to protect the husband's rights.

If you are the victim of a false application for an order of protection, please call my office so that I may defend your rights. We are here to protect those that truly need an order of protection and to defend those that are falsely accused.