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Family Offense Petition
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NYS Bar Association
Rockland County Bar Associaiton



A family offense petition is a protective tool available in the Family Court for victims of domestic violence and other related threats. Simply put, the petition will outline several details of the event which took place, the relationship between the victim and the accused, the type of offense committed, whether or not the parties have children in common, what form of relief the victim is seeking, etc. The most common relief sought is an order of protection. An order of protection can range anywhere from complete non-communication/contact or permissible contact/communication so long as a crime is not committed. 

It is imperative to note that several key details must be captured within the petition for it to be valid. As such, it is advisable for you to contact our firm, which has extensive experience drafting family offense petitions. This will allow your voice to be heard and the accused held accountable for his/her actions. In the alternative, should a family offense petition be brought against you, it is advisable for you to contact our firm immediately to protect your rights and insulate you from potentially significant exposures. Without an attorney by your side, you may make statements in Court which can lead to a criminal case being brought against you. 


We Can File A Petition In Family Court For An Order Of Protection if:


1) you are related to the respondent by blood or marriage;

2) you are or were legally married to the respondent; 

3) you have a child with the respondent; or 

4) you are or were in an intimate relationship with the respondent. 


Factors the court may consider in determining whether a relationship is an "intimate relationship" include but are not limited to: the nature or type of relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature, the frequency of interaction between the persons, and the duration of the relationship. Neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute an "intimate relationship". 


What Our Firm May Ask For In The Petition:

Most temporary orders of protection say that the respondent must not assault, menace, or harass you, but we can ask for additional terms by addressing the Court. Examples of what we may seek:

  • Stay away: The court can order the respondent to stay away from you, your home, your job, your children, your children's school or any other place or person the court finds necessary.

  • Refrain from certain acts: The court can order the respondent to stop abusing or threatening to abuse you or your children. The order can be specific, such as, ordering the respondent to stop calling you at work.

  • Collect your belongings: If you do not want to return home, we can ask the court to allow you to enter your home with the police to collect your personal belongings at a certain date and time.

  • Exclude the respondent from the home: If the respondent is dangerous to you or your children, we can ask the court to order the respondent out of the home ("excluded") while the order of protection is in effect. It may not matter that the home is not in your name.

  • Temporary child support: The court can order temporary child support based on the needs of the child. You do not have to show how much money the respondent has or earns. Since the child support is only temporary, we will still have to file a separate petition for child support. 

  • Revoke or suspend firearms: The court can revoke or suspend respondent's license to carry firearms or order surrender of any or all firearms owned or possessed by respondent.

  • Five-year order: Generally, Family Court orders of protection are for two years. Our firm can obtain a five-year order of protection if there are "aggravating circumstances", or if the court finds there was a violation of an order of protection. Aggravating circumstances exist where there is physical injury, the respondent used a weapon or other dangerous instrument against you, there is a history of repeated violations of prior orders of protection, the respondent has been convicted of crimes committed against you in the past, there is exposure of any family or household member to physical injury, or other behaviors that pose a danger to you, your family or other household members.


What If The Respondent Violates The Order of Protection?


It is a crime to violate a temporary or final order of protection. If the respondent does not obey the order, then you can call the police. The police may then arrest the respondent for violating the order of protection. The respondent does not have to hit you to violate the order. If the respondent comes to your home and the order says he can't, then you can call the police. We also have the right to file a violation of the order in Family Court on your behalf. 


Although the commencement of a family offense petition may seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Our office will stand in for you and handle the Court’s process, ensuring your interests are protected. Not only will you have a team to support you, you will have an advocate who will fight for you! 


As stated before, this office also represents clients who are the subject of a family offense petition. Whether the statements made against you are false or they are true, our firm can step in immediately. The first and most important aspect of a client-attorney relationship is trust. As such, we always ask our clients to be honest with us so we may provide the best legal representation possible. In the event that the accusations are false, we will make all efforts and use all tools available to have the petition dismissed. In the worst-case scenario that you are charged with a crime stemming from this matter, our office can defend you on this front as well. 


Should you require the services of an experienced Family Court attorney, look no further. Upon calling, you will immediately be scheduled for a consultation with Attorney Fried who will personally discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. Whether you are a victim or the accused, you deserve effective representation! Consultations are always FREE and our rates remain competitive. We look forward being your trusted advocates and getting you the results you seek!

"Mr. Fried and his staff were impeccably professional and knowledgeable. They were patient and answered all of my questions, and I received prompt responses to all calls and emails. I also appreciate how well they explained the legal proceedings of my case to me. Thanks to their efforts, my case was resolved with a favorable outcome. Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of service I've received and would absolutely recommend this firm."

—  Y. Chun


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