Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Can I request an order of protection for my mother?

Q:  My 80 year old mother was assaulted by my 27 year old niece who was drunk and on drugs. The police were called. My mother was hospitalized for 3 days. She is refusing to press charges because my niece has young children and doesn't want them to be taken by social services. Can I contact the courts and request that she be given an order of protection from my niece? Would the courts automatically issue this?

A:  David's Answer:  If you do not have guardianship or full power of attorney over her, then the Court will most likely not allow you to "petition on her behalf." You'd then be left in a situation of convincing her to file. Your other option is to call Adult Protective Services & file an abuse report and/or call the police. It may behoove you to schedule a consultation with a Dutchess/Westchester Family Law attorney & perhaps bring her in with you so she can hear from a lawyer what her options are. -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

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