Victory in Appellate Court for Domestic Violence Victim
NYLAG’s domestic violence Appellate Representation Project (ARP) recently won an important victory. Client Ms. A.’s request for a civil order of protection against her abusive ex-husband had been dismissed in the Queens Family Court because the judge found her case lacking in credibility. The ARP appealed the case to the New York Supreme Court, where the Appellate Division, Second Department, which held that the judge had incorrectly applied the prima facie legal standard. This standard is used when dismissing a case due to lack of factual evidence. Ms. A. had, in fact, provided all necessary evidence in the form of medical records and other documentation demonstrating each of her legal claims. In an unusual move regarding the judge’s ability to remain impartial in Ms. A’s case, the Appellate Division reversed the decision and ordered that Ms. A.’s case be heard before a different judge. This case marks the fourth time in 2010 that ARP has obtained appellate reversal of this judge’s decision in a domestic violence case.