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Online Relationship No Basis For Order Of Protection

father's rights order of protectionJudge Heppner, who sits in Brooklyn Family Court, recently ruled an online relationship which ended in a contentious business relationship was not sufficient to meet the standard of an “intimate relationship” requiring the issuance of an Order of Protection by the Family Court in New York. Judge Heppner found the case law establishing an intimate relationship in New York could not be met by a casual online relationship. Judge Heppner found there was not a basis for granting an Order of Protection.

The Relationship

The parties met online and exchanged emails over a period of several months. Shannon and Michael had numerous conversations involving a variety of subjects including Michael’s carpentry skills. Shannon had asked Michael to make several small repairs at her residence. Shannon eventually filed a Family Offense Petition requesting an Order of Protection.

New York Family Court Act section 8.12(e) states “Family offenses which give rise to Orders of Protection can be applied to persons who are not related by consanguinity or affinity and who are or have been in an intimate relationship regardless of whether such persons have lived together at any time.” Judge Heppner found the internet communication between Shannon and Michael rendered them “casual acquaintances” and “ordinary fraternization between two individuals in business social context” did not give rise to a relationship envisioned by the legislature related to Orders of Protection in the Family Court.”

Judge Heppner kept the temporary Order of Protection in place for two weeks at the end of the case. She took this action to give Shannon an opportunity to go to the District Attorney’s office for the purpose of pursuing a criminal action against Michael. It should be noted when the Family Court lacks jurisdiction because the parties are not related or they do not have an intimate relationship between them, an individual can still go to the District Attorney’s office and request criminal charges be brought against the other individual and an Order of Protection be granted by the Criminal Court related to these criminal charges.father's rights help

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 30 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.