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I was served a family court order of protection and have an exclusionary hearing. What do I need to prove to stay in the home?

Q: I was randomly served an order of protection from my sister in law for harassment. We live in the same house and it was a full order. The sheriff’s served me and I was removed. In anger I accidentally said something to her husband and they filed another police report saying I violated the order by third party contact. But now they set up a court date and I have to prove my case to stay in the home. What do I need to prove? What can I do?

I’m older, sick, and considered high risk for covid. My in laws told the judge I was a guest but it’s been 2 years. I have no proof that I pay anything, nothing is in my name, and it’s not my home so it’s a little against me. They did serve me a notice to quit a few months ago and I stayed passed the date so they started reporting me for family issues.

I told my in-laws that I can’t leave right now but they insist on forcing me out which makes me say things that gets me in trouble. I thought there was a moratorium so I wasn’t expecting this. What can I do?

A: First, one may attack the underlying Petition for the order of protection itself. If it does not state a legal cause of action (i.e., that domestic violence has occurred), the case may be dismissed. Second, one must be able to show the Family Court Judge that removal is “necessary” to effectuate the order itself (i.e., that a mere “refrain from” order would be insufficient). Schedule a consult with a Bronx Domestic Violence attorney for a full assessment.

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