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New York State Family Court Act Article 8 establishes a civil proceeding to protect certain classes of individuals from violence. Family Court Act §812 specifies those individuals who may file for an order of protection in Family Court as (1) persons related by consanguity or affinity, (2) person legally married to one another, (3) persons formerly married to one another, regardless of whether they still reside in the same household, (4) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether such persons have been married or resided together at any time, or (5) person who have been or are in an “intimate relationship.”

Family Offense proceedings are designed to “stop the violence, end family disruption and obtain protection.” See N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act §812(2)(b). The court has several dispositional alternatives after a finding is made that a family offense has occurred. N.Y. Fam. Ct Act §841. The court may dismiss the petition, suspend judgment for up to six months, place a respondent on probation for up to one year with certain conditions, enter an order of protection on behalf of the petitioner, and direct restitution up to $10,000. Id.

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