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S.B. v. U.B.

Supreme Court, Kings County

October 31, 2012

S.B., Plaintiff,
v.
U.B., Defendant.

Adam W. Schneid, Esq. Carol W. Most & Associates, P.C. Attorneys for Plaintiff

Joel Borenstein, Esq. Attorney for Defendant

Randi Karmel, Esq. Attorney for the children

Hon. Jeffrey S. Sunshine J. S. C.

Introduction

Plaintiff-mother moves by post judgment Motion, dated July 18, 2012, for an Order granting that (1) the courtroom be sealed when witness S. [1] testifies about the defendant-father's alleged abuse of her and (2) for such other and further relief that the court may deem just and proper. Defendant-father moves by Order to Show Cause, dated August 17, 2012, for an order: (1) directing witness S. to turn over her complete and un-redacted diary covering the period of time from when she first met the defendant-father through September 30, 2012, including the period of time from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2007; (2) or, in the alterative, precluding witness S. from testifying in the instant matter if she disposed of her diary; (3) directing witness S. to provide the full name, contact information, and licensing information of the mental health professional with whom she discussed the allegations against the defendant-father referred to in her Affidavit, dated April 11, 2012; (4) directing witness S.'s mental health professional to produce S.'s treatment records for review and inspection; (5) granting defendant-father leave to depose witness S.; (6) granting defendant-father leave to serve a Demand for a Bill of Particulars on the plaintiff-mother with respect to witness S.'s testimony; and (7) such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

The mother's counsel filed a Memorandum of Law on July 17, 2012. Father's counsel filed an Affirmation dated August 16, 2012. On September 6, 2012, the attorney for the children filed an Affirmation taking no position either in support or opposition to plaintiff-mother's request that the courtroom be sealed during witness S.'s testimony and such relief as the court deems just and proper. The attorney for the children filed a second Affirmation, dated September 6, 2012, requesting in full the same relief sought by defendant-father's Order to Show Cause, dated August 17, 2012. Father's counsel filed an Affirmation in Response, dated August 31, 2012. Mother's counsel filed a Reply Affirmation, dated September 7, 2012. Father's counsel filed an Affirmation, dated September 7, 2012.

Background

The parties were divorced on July 1, 2010, when a Judgment of Divorce was entered by this Court. The parties also entered into a Stipulation of Settlement, dated July 7, 2008, and an Addendum to the Settlement Agreement, dated February 25, 2010. The parties have two (2) children of the marriage, a boy and a girl who areeleven (11) and nine (9) years of age, respectively.

The Judgment of Divorce provided that the parties have joint legal custody of the minor children of the marriage, with the mother having physical and residential custody of the children. The parties stipulated in the Settlement Agreement that the father would have alternating weekend visitation and alternate holidays with the children.

On February 21, 2012, the mother filed an Order to Show Cause seeking permanent supervised visitation between the father and the children, as well as the interim relief of complete suspension of the father's visitation, pending resolution of the motion, based on allegations made by mother's sister, S., recently revealed, that in 2002, when she was ten (10) years old, the father sexually abused her and that the abuse continued for a period of three (3) years.

The Facts

Mother proffers that her sister, S., will testify that from 2002, when she was ten (10) years old, through 2005, the father touched her in a sexually inappropriate manner. The father denies the allegations. The sister submitted two affidavits that contain these allegations: an Affidavit dated April 11, 2012 in support of mother's Order to Show Cause, and an Affidavit dated July 17, 2012, in support of the mother's motion to seal the courtroom.

In S.'s Affidavit, dated April 11, 2012, she asserts that "for a period of approximately three years beginning when I was ten years old and continuing until I was thirteen years old, my older sister's husband, defendant [U.B.], sexually abused me." S. states that the defendant initially engaged the ten-year-old in a process by which defendant would ask S. if she wanted to play a game and then "tap [her] at various parts of [her] body and ask [her] to tell him where [she] felt it'". Mother's sister further asserts in her Affidavit that the father would try to pick up her shirt and rub her bare back and exposed breasts, despite her attempts to keep her shirt down ...


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