With the help of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer attorneys, DV LEAP along with 16 other national and regional DV and protective parent non-profits were able to file a groundbreaking brief with the NY Court of Appeals (their highest court) for one of our clients. This is the FIRST documented collaboration between domestic violence and child maltreatment professionals on an issue that is destroying thousands of children’s lives: parental alienation.
A huge thank you to the list of Amici sign-ons: The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, Battered Mothers Custody Conference, Battered Women's Justice Project, California Protective Parents Association, Center for Judicial Excellence, CHILD USA, Jaya L. Connors, Margaret B. Drew, Human Rights at Home Clinic at the University of Massachusetts School of Law, Family Violence Appellate Project, Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, The Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence, Legal Momentum, National Association of Women Lawyers, NOMAS - National Organization for Men Against Sexism, New York Legal Assistance Group, Sanctuary for Families, and Women's Law Project.
A deep thank you goes to Freshfields attorneys: Aryeh Kaufman, Karen Wiswall and Elena Hadjimichael.
Unfortunately, the NY Court of Appeals denied the leave to appeal, ending the case.
The case concerned a court’s ordering a teenage boy to spend time with his father who had battered his mother and who had been emotionally abusive to the boy. The boy had suffered psychologically his entire life, due to his father.
Even though the court rejected the appeal, the process of developing the brief and recruiting other amicus organizations to join onto the brief was invaluable: First, the brief updates our understanding of the scientific research on parental alienation and its harmful impacts; the brief summarizes this succinctly and powerfully in a form many others are already using in their advocacy against parental alienation. Second, we were able to bring on board not only 16 national and regional DV and protective parent non-profits in support, but most importantly, for the first time, the leading child maltreatment group, American Professional Society on Abuse of Children (APSAC), partnered as well. This marks the first time the DV field and child maltreatment field have expressly and powerfully joined together to attack what is going wrong in family courts. As a result, additional joint advocacy efforts are in the works (including publishing the brief in an Open Source journal on child abuse).