An Appeal of An Order of Protection May Continue After The Order Expires

father's rights attorney Long IslandThe New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York, recently ruled that the appeal of an Order of Protection which was issued by the Family Court can continue even after the Order of Protection expires. The Court of Appeals unanimously rendered this decision because they held the order, even after it expires, can carry “significant enduring consequences.” The decision by the Court of Appeals allows individuals who are unfairly named in an Order of Protection to have the opportunity to move forward with their appeal even when the Order of Protection has expired. Court of Appeals Judge Abdus-Salaam wrote in the Court’s decision “the appeal is not moot if an appellate decision will eliminate readily ascertainable and legally significant enduring consequences that befall a party as a result of the order which the party seeks to appeal.”

The Actual Case

The name of this case is the Matter of Veronica P. v. Radcliff A.. Veronica P. filed an application in 2009 for an Order of Protection against her nephew Radcliff A. She claimed he grabbed and pushed her in her apartment located in Manhattan. They were both living in the apartment at the time. The Family Court in New York County ruled Radcliff’s actions constituted second degree harassment and it gave Veronica a two year Order of Protection. This Order of Protection required Radcliff to stay away from her and not assault, intimidate or threaten her. Radcliff brought an appeal. Unfortunately, during the pendency of his appeal, the protective order expired. This was due to the fact the protective order was only for two years and appeals can take much longer than two years to be heard by the Appellate Courts. Judge Abdus-Salaam wrote, in the Court’s decision, the very fact the Order of Protection was taken out against Radcliff may lead another Court to readily discern Radcliff committed the offense. In addition she stated “armed with that information, the Court in a future case may increase the severity of any applicable criminal sentence or civil judgment against respondent [Radcliff].”

Long Term Impact of Orders of Protection

Judge Abdus-Salaam also stated in her decision the unchallenged presence of the Order on Radcliff’s record might lead an opposing party in a future lawsuit to use this protective order to impeach Radcliff’s credibility. The protective order is also likely to increase the chances that Radcliff would be arrested if he is accused of similar conduct in the future. In addition, it also may cause Radcliff to receive harsher penalties in the future if accused of similar conduct.

Orders of Protection can create “severe stigma. It can impact on business contacts, social acquaintances and other members of an individual’s family.”

Judge Abdus-Salaam went on to state “perhaps more importantly, potential employers may ask respondent whether an Order of Protection has ever been entered against him, and he may be ethically or legally bound to answer in the affirmative, significantly curtailing his chances of getting a job.”


Many Family Court judges in the Metropolitan New York area grant Orders of Protection to women based on either false allegations, flimsy allegations, or greatly exaggerated allegations against men. The Court of Appeals’ ruling now gives men an ability to purge their record long after the Orders of Protection have expired. This is an excellent decision protecting men’s rightsfather's rights advocate on Long Island

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.