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Failure to Stay Away From Abusive Father Causes a Neglect Finding Against Mother

Posted on October 2, 2019

In Jayce J. vs. Jaquana J., NYLJ August 16, 2019, Hon. Michael R. Milsap of the Bronx Family Court made a finding of neglect against the respondent-mother due to her failure to protect her children from witnessing acts of domestic violence perpetrated against her by her husband. The respondent arranged contact between herself, her husband, and the children in violation of a temporary order of protection. The husband punched her in the face, and then during a second incident he threw a phone at her causing her lip to bust. Both incidents occurred while the children were present.

There was never a final order of protection or any findings of neglect or abuse against the husband because the mother refused to testify as to the details of his abuse in a prior proceeding where she was a non-respondent witness.

This case serves as a warning and reminder to victims of domestic abuse. If a parent is victimized by another person due to voluntary contact with that person when a full stay away order of protection is in effect, the victim parent can be charged with neglect if the abuse takes place in the presence of the children even if the abuser himself has not been found guilty of anything.