Friday, October 24, 2014

Landlord filed false family offense petition to evict

Q:  My 67 yo female landlord filed a false family offense petition against me in court. She is claiming that I am her ex-boyfriend who has been living with her for years. She says that when we "broke up" I moved to the basement and converted it into an illegal apt. She is also alleging that I threatened her live-in boyfriend's life. She tried to have me arrested by filing a false police report stating same. I am a 49 yo male. I do not nor have I ever had a personal relationship with this person. Her son recommended the apt to me. She is retaliating because of the apt situation. What do I do? Thank you.

A:  David's Answer:  If she filed it in Family Court, then you should retain a lawyer to file a motion to dismiss the petition. There is precedent that a mere landlord-tenant relationship is not an "intimate relationship" such that Family Court would have jurisdiction to issue an order of protection under such circumstances. Schedule a consult with a Family Law attorney in your area for more info.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can my daughters attorney in a pins case file a neglect petition against me?

Q:  My stepdaughters attorney representing her in a pins hearing used statements made by her to file a neglect petition against me isn't this some kind of conflict.

A:  David's Answer:  Yes, she can file a motion for permission to file a neglect case against you. And no, it is not a conflict, as her allegiance is to the child, not to the parent. Schedule a consult with a Family Law attorney in your area for more info.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NY Family court - calling petitioner as witness for defense after petitioner's case in chief rests

Q:  Hi all, 

On the last court date the petitioner testified and was cross examined by respondents (my) council. 

I am now Pro se, whereas on that last trial date, I was represented by that council. Next court date is continuation of that trial. 

My council did not ask questions needed on cross examination. I would like to call the petitioner as witness for the defense, and requesting the court for the petitioner to be kept as hostile, on the day of the trial. 

Can the Pro-se party (respondent) ask any range of questions (for evidences sake) relevant to the case without objection from opposing council of the witness? I am thinking their attorney can object claiming this material has been covered already, as per the transcripts. 

I appreciate any help in advance.

A:  David's Answer:   You can ask to call the opposing party, but expect an objection if the issues were already covered. It remains in the discretion of the Judgment whether - and to what extent - to allow another examination of petitioner to take place. And even if your initial attorney was poor, I wouldn't advise to go through the process unrepresented - "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." Schedule a consult with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Friday, October 17, 2014

Is there a form i can fill out to put a hold on my NYS child support payments until the judge reaches a decision?

Q:  Its been over 4 months and ive over payed thousands at this point.

A:  David's Answer:  You'd need to file an order to show cause requesting a stay of the order pending a decision. Bear in mind these are rarely granted. Schedule a consult with an Orange/Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

What can I do in reguards to the situation with my child?

Q:  I placed my teen on PINS about a yr and a half ago and the judge decided to place her in placement non-secure detention center for 12 months in temporary care of social services due to her non compliance she was a saftey issue. Recently,I have had an issue with the agency where she is residing at the supervisor told verbally me my child cannot come for home visits and i cant see her because legally i am married but not living with my spouse at this time (hes not the bilogical parent of my child but raised my child for well over a decade) because he has an old case convicted as a Jo/Yo which requires him to register but there are no stipulations. I dont know what to do

A:  David's Answer:  You'd need to file a petition for visitation & serve it on the Facility/agency. The Judge would then need to decide whether this is an issue or not. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

NY Family court defending against an order of protection from Ex wife.

Q:  I am now pro se - removed former attorney after incompetence across 8 months. No funds for a new attorney, and make enough to not warrant public defender. We are mid trial with next date in three weeks. Her side has not rested. During the last session, cross examination of Ex wife regarding her petition items, my (now removed) lawyer failed to ask the questions that would greatly help my case (many inconsistancies in her filings that were not addressed by him). Being Pro se now, I would like another opportunity to raise these questions. Can I call her back on the stand for cross examination? What is the formal procedure for this? Can I call her as my witness when I present my defense? If so, do I need to notify the court in advance of her as a witness, or is her presence enough? Thx

A:  David's Answer:  You can possibly call her as a witness on your case, but unless you're well-versed in how to properly conduct a cross-examination, don't expect the Judge to cut you slack merely because you're not a lawyer. You may wish to look into credit sources and/or legal financing to afford a lawyer. At the least, it may behoove you to at least schedule a consult with a White Plains Family Law attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

How do i file for custody?

Q:  I live in VA and my 13 yr old son and ex wife live in Yonkers NY. My son wants to come live with me, He feels he is old enough to make his own decision but mom will not allow this, Do i need a laywer or can i file for petition for custody myself. What form do i need?

A:  David's Answer:  You can certainly file a custody petition - the forms are on the court's website: That said, I'd advise you to at least consult a lawyer, if not hire one. Merely having the child say he wants to live with you doesn't mean you automatically get custody. Call a Westchester Family Law attorney to schedule a consult.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pending CPS case. My husband is not named and yet they keep contacting him. I am living in nyc, not orange county but case here.

Q:  Charge is "neglect." Nothing specific as the charge is bogus. Children are beyond well cared for, nutrition, school, medical dental etc. Call was made from probation, fact not speculation. I have already written to Albany and hearing on November 12. Legal Aid advice is comply for one year. Basically accept terms as if I was guilty but I will not be charged. Is this the best advice?

A:  David's Answer:   By "pending CPS case," do you mean they just have an investigation pending, but nothing's been filed in court? If your Husband isn't being charged, does this imply that you are the one who's being charged? What are the exact charges - i.e., in what way do they say you neglected the children? As for whether you should "accept service for 1 year," this advise can really only be given after a full assessment of the case. Thus, schedule a consultation with an Orange/Westchester Family Law attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Friday, October 10, 2014

Is filing a petition in family court a violation of a criminal court restraining order ?

Q: My ex and I share a common child. She moved with the baby to north Carolina without my knowledge in the midst of an active restraining order against me. I have to stay away from her not our child. Does filing a petition against the mom constitute a violation of the restraining order? And do I have 90 days or 6 months before the child's home state loses jurisdiction?

A: David's Answer: Filing a violation petition constitutes only your allegations - it does not prove your case as she's entitled to a trial on the issue. Moreover, if there were no prior orders of custody or visitation in NY, then 6 months is the rule for home state jurisdiction. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

If after 3 years the court determines that I only have a 1% increase in income, and my ex waives the right to a 1% bump in

Q: child care, does that allow him to take me to court again next year to try to get a bigger increase -- or does he have to wait 3 more years (or for a 15% change in income or an unanticipated change in circumstances)?

A: David's Answer: As the order was not modified in any way (presumably), then yes, your ex can file a motion next year based on either a "substantial change of circumstances" and/or a "15% increase of income." - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Judgment of Divorce (JOD) is stapled to another document called Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Is that considered

Q: ...part of the JOD? And if not, Is it more important or less important than the JOD?

A: David's Answer: Yes, it's considered part of the Judgment, as the "Findings" provide the rationale for the orders made within the Judgment. That said, for most non-court purposes (such as changing your name with DMV), you only need the Judgment itself.  - David Bliven, Westchseter Family Law attorney (

A parent coordinator and a forensic psychologist was assigned to my case. Most recently, there is an order of protection.

Q: In place for me and our toddler. What advice can you please give me since now there are extra people involved? I just had my pre-trial and instead of trial the judge wants to have another conference again. I am in Supreme Court in white plains.

A: David's Answer: You should definitely consult a Divorce attorney - and I strongly urge you to retain one. What advise is then given to you depends on the individual facts of your case - particular what issues are being contested. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (