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Matter of Veronica P. v Radcliff A.,

___ NY3d ___, ___ NYS2d ___, 2015 NY Slip Op 01300 [February 12, 2015]

The Court of Appeals holds here that an order of protection from the Family Court, based on a finding of a family offense, is not rendered moot and unappealable solely because it has expired. The continuing consequences to the respondent, both in legal proceedings and to his reputation, require the availability of appellate review.

Even though the terms of the order do not contain an explicit finding of guilt, the issuance of the order itself implies a finding of a family offense, which may work against the respondent in future proceedings. The underlying oral decision, containing the explicit finding, is likely to come to light and have adverse consequences. The existence of the order may be used to impeach his credibility. The order remains in police databases, and increases the likelihood of his being arrested in the future. Moreover, the order carries with it the stigma of a family offender, and adversely affects the respondent both socially and in the job market.

Therefore, the Court reversed the order of the Appellate Division dismissing the appeal for mootness, and remitted for a consideration of the merits.

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