Monday, March 28, 2022

Kyra’s Law: reforms proposed to address domestic violence, protect children

A proposed law to reform New York State’s divorce and Family Courts to protect children and families at risk of domestic violence, is moving closer to passage.

"Kyra’s Law," currently in committee, would amend Domestic Relations Law 240, adding a number of requirements and presumptions in any custody and visitation proceeding involving allegations of child abuse or domestic violence by a parent, regardless of whether the allegations involve the subject child.

The provisions include:

• A requirement that the court must first consider allegations of child abuse or domestic violence before considering any other best interest factors and hold a hearing on the allegations within 60 days of the filing of a petition.
• If the court finds a pattern of domestic violence or child abuse, then the court must award sole custody to the “non-offending parent” and must suspend visitation, or only award professionally supervised visitation, without court discretion.
• In any custody and visitation proceeding where such pattern is found, concerns regarding parental alienation are not admissible and may not be considered in a best interests determination.

The proposed law would also mandate domestic and child abuse training for state judges and other court officials.

For the complete text of the proposed law, click here.

Monday, March 21, 2022

2022 National Domestic Violence Prosecution Conference Announced

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Domestic Violence (DV) Prosecution Committee will host the Fourth National Domestic Violence Prosecution Conference on May 23-25, 2022 in Villanova, Pennsylvania:
The conference is meant to bring together practitioners to provide a forum for deeper learning of enhanced strategies for the
investigation and prosecution of DV-related crimes. Consisting of various presentations, group discussions, and resource-sharing opportunities, the convening will provide attendees with a chance to strengthen their understanding of the intricacies and data-driven approach to DV investigation and prosecution over the course of two and a half days. Topics will include the connection between DV and violent crime, how to handle victim recantation, and special considerations for virtual hearings.

This conference is intended for prosecutors and victim advocates involved in the prosecution of DV-related crimes.

Learn more and register here.

Monday, March 14, 2022

New York State Judicial Conduct Commission Releases Annual Report of Activity

In the 2022 Annual Report of its activities for 2021, released March 3, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct reported the following:
• 1,938 new complaints were received and processed.
• 375 preliminary inquiries were conducted.
• 302 full-fledged investigations were undertaken: 125 new ones and 177 carried forward from 2020.
• 13 judges resigned and publicly agreed never to return to judicial office.
• 10 other judges resigned while complaints were pending, where it had not been determined permanent departure from office was warranted or appropriate.
• 4 judges were publicly censured or admonished.
• 20 judges were issued confidential cautionary letters.
• 191 matters were pending at year’s end.
The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is the independent state agency that reviews complaints of ethical misconduct against the 3,500 judges and justices of the State Unified Court System and, where appropriate, renders public disciplinary Determinations.

The 2022 annual report is available here.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Second Amendment Legal Update: March, 2022

A monthly update, prepared for the Schuyler County Chapter of S.C.O.P.E. NY, a statewide 501(c)4 organization dedicated to preserving the 2nd Amendment rights for the residents of New York State.

For a complete PDF copy of this month's update, click here.