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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer
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Hi. I have a daughter that will turn 18 this Friday. She

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I have a daughter that will turn 18 this Friday. She curre tky lives with her biological father and his wife in New York. I live in Florida. Recently, I was unanle to reach my.daughter for several months, as were other family members. I texted her father asking if she was ok and got no reply. I then texted her father and step mother and stated that if I didn't hear from her I would have the police check in on her the next day. I did not hear back from anyone. I asked the police if the area to do a eelfare check the next day, they did so. She was ok and caled me the folowing day. A few days later I texted them.both stating I had ordered something for her and it woild be delivered to their house. The next thing I know I was served with papers stating that they are each filing an order of protection against me and I am not allowed to contact them. It also states I am tk appear in court IN NEW YORK in two weeks. The alligations in the dociments are greatly exaggerated,if not untrue, alledged and unproven and even so not falling under any definition of harassment in family court. What do I do?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Unfortunately, the only way to defend yourself against the allegations is to go to New York. Since they are alleging that you harassed your daughter while she was living there, the NY courts have jurisdiction. If you do not show up, the judge will listen to their lies and exaggerations, assume that is what happened, and enter the order. You could try to hire a lawyer to represent you (or at least to see if the hearing can be moved to another date), but the judge really is going to want to hear what happened from you. The lawyer cannot testify as to what happened.

If it is physically impossible to get to New York by the hearing date, you can also try filing a Motion to Continue Hearing. Essentially, that just means typing up an explanation as to why you cannot make the hearing, putting it on pleading paper, and mailing it to the court, with a copy to your daughter and her father. Just keep in mind that until a judge signs off on the request and agrees to continue the hearing, you still have to be there. If the judge denies the request, you may end up having to buy last-minute tickets to NY.

In the meantime, any attempts to contact your daughter would likely be used against you at the hearing.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you and good luck. I hope it works out.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.
However, it is not my.daughter that is asking for the order. It is her step mother and father. Woukd I be able to have a.conference call in leiu of physically going to court ? Also, do I have any way to ask for them to refund the fees amd costs incurred by me if this is dropped?
You can ask the judge to allow a conference call, yes. But you have to file the request and see if it is approved. You could also combine that and ask the judge to either allow a teleconference or continue the hearing. A person who doesn't have a physical presence in the courtroom is at a bit of a disadvantage, though. If you want to go that route, you may still want to see if a lawyer can go and physically argue the case for you.

The only way to get costs and fees refunded if it's dropped is if you can prove that they knowingly and maliciously filed a false restraining order against you when they were aware that they had no legal basis for doing so. It's not enough that the matter is dropped - you'd have to show that they had a malicious intent in seeking the order in the first place.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. One more thing. I was served by a process server last night. Is what I received a temporary order of protection? If so did this have to be approved by a judge or are they able to.just.fill this out and send it through the.courts.
It is possible to get a temporary order of protection by going before the judge, telling your side of the story, and asking him to restrain the other party from contacting you to until the full hearing.

Without seeing it, it's hard to say that's what you have. Look for language saying something like "You are ordered...." Or, if you're looking at an Application for Ex Parte Restraining Order, then it would have the judge's signature on it somewhere, and say something like "So Ordered." You may want to ask a local attorney to read it over for you. But, again, any attempt to contact someone who is the subject of a restraining order will be used against you in court. So, even if that isn't an order (and I can't say that it's not, because I can't see it). keep that in mind.
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