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Family Conflict Results in Criminal Charges

Family Court deals with many issues that cross over from criminal court. It is not unusual for a criminal court issue to have family court repercussions. That was the case for a family on Mother’s Day 2003. A sixteen year old boy exposed himself and masturbated in front of a five year old female cousin. The incident occurred at a family gathering where most of the family was present. The boy’s Aunt and her brother, his Uncle found themselves on different sides of the argument surrounding this boy’s behavior. A New York Drug Crime Lawyer said that since the entire family split over the events of that day, this brother and sister continued to argue and ultimately began to file criminal and family court petitions against one another.

It appears that shortly after Mother’s Day of 2003, the Aunt confronted the five year old while she was at school. The Aunt was an employee of the school. The Uncle claims that the Aunt interrogated the child about the events of that day and that this encounter left the child frightened. The child told her father that she did not want to talk to or see her Aunt ever again. The Uncle confronted his sister about this incident and the situation went downhill from this point. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said another family member became involved and rumors amongst the family members increased. This family member told the Aunt that she had spoken to the Uncle and that he had gotten orders of protection against the Aunt.

The Aunt filed suit in family court alleging that the Uncle had defamed her and caused interference with her employment. On December 20, 2004, the Uncle filed a motion to dismiss the complaint filed by the Aunt. On March 18, 2005, the Family Court granted the Uncles motion to dismiss the Aunt’s entire complaint. The Aunt appealed this decision. The court reviewed the topics under discussion.

They consist of allegations from the Uncle that the Aunt filed a false police report against him. He maintained that on September 5, 2004, he told another family member that the Aunt had accused him of pulling a gun on her. A Nassau County Drug Possession Lawyer said the facts show that there is no evidence that a police report was ever issued and does not exist. Apparently, the Aunt repeated to another member of the family that she considered this allegation to be defamatory to her as well as the comments supposedly also made by the Uncle to other family members and to the Aunt’s supervisor at work that he had a court order to keep the Aunt away from his children.

The court determined that the comments made by both family members were short of anything that could be considered defamatory. This was decided because simply stating that the Uncle had a court order, was not enough to assume by anyone who had not read the court order that the Aunt had done anything wrong. A Queens Drug Possession Lawyer said it was also proven by a sworn deposition from the other family member that the insults had never happened. The court addressed this issue and the Aunt countered by stating that the other family member had told her about the conversation and that she had made the allegations that the Uncle had made the defamatory comments about her. The court found that under oath, the other family member had clearly denied that this conversation ever took place and maintained that the Uncle never said anything that could be defined as defamatory.

The court, as a result of hearing this information, determined that there was no issue in factual dispute between these parties that would require a trial. The alleged slander did not occur because there are many different interpretations that can be made regarding the comments. Since none of these comments were clearly defamatory, a case for slander could not be made even if as the Aunt claimed, the Uncle made them to her supervisor at an elementary school. She felt that the allegations, about a court order, was sufficient to create an issue for her at her place of business, the court disagreed. The court found in favor of the Uncle and dismissed all allegations granting a summary judgment.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, Domestic Violence Lawyers have convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Family Court issues are emotional. Our Family lawyers can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations.

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