Family Court is clogged with petty cases from spurned exes

New York Post, July 8th, 2018

Judge John H. Hunt is right that family court is busy, but not for the reason he states (“Queens court fatigue,” July 9).

The 2008 amendment to the New York State Family Court Act enabled non-married couples to obtain essential civil protective orders. Since intimate-partner violence is common in dating couples, this amendment was essential for public safety.

What did not change was the type of cases people could bring to family court. Before 2008, married people could seek an order of protection for verbal harassment, now dating couples can, too.  Courts must encourage people who feel unsafe to seek civil protective orders, and let judges determine the facts. So while I appreciate the burden faced by busy judges, the remedy is not to limit who can seek help, but ensure the courts help those who seek it.

Amy Barasch, Esq.
Executive Director, Her Justice

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