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DecisionsFoster parent and bio parent apparently not in an “intimate relationship”

June 30, 2020

The case is Matter of Veronica C. v Ariann D. and the case is about a family offense petition. A family offense petition is meant to provide immediate protection for families in crisis – and specifically and intentionally to provide civil protection orders for victims of domestic violence. A prerequisite to family court jurisdiction is, therefore, that the parties must be family relations, part of the same household, or in an intimate relation (most obvious example is non-married romantic partners).

So it’s of no great surprise that the appellate division reversed the decision, vacated an order of protection, and dismissed the case – where a foster parent brought a family offense petition against a biological mother of the children temporarily in her care. Apparently, this was the extent of their relationship (it wasn’t a kinship placement), and the foster parent did not even know the respondent’s name – so they are not blood relations or part of the same family or household.

“Intimate” relationship is not exclusively for romantic partners, and is obviously a fact-intensive inquiry. However, since the parties here had only incidental contact at agency visits and other visitation exchanges – it certainly was not present here.

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About the author:

Founder and Principal Attorney at the Law Office of Bryan Greenberg LLC, Middlesex County, NJ. With an unwavering commitment to guiding individuals through the complex and emotional landscape of divorce and family law matters, Bryan stands as the founding attorney of Law Office of Bryan Greenberg. Backed by years of legal expertise and a deep understanding of Middlesex County's legal landscape, Bryan is dedicated to offering compassionate yet pragmatic solutions to every client's unique situation. Through insightful blog posts, Bryan shares valuable insights, tips, and advice on navigating the challenges of divorce and family law, helping individuals make informed decisions during these critical life transitions. For comprehensive legal guidance and empathetic support, turn to Bryan Greenberg and the team at the Law Office of Bryan Greenberg.

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