Friday, March 3, 2017
WHEN PARENTS ABUSE THE COURT SYSTEM
MATTER OF SCOTT v. Powell, 2017 NY Slip Op 476 - NY: Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2017:
"Moreover, the Family Court providently exercised its discretion in dismissing the father's separate violation petition. While public policy generally mandates free access to the courts (see Matter of Pignataro v Davis, 8 AD3d 487, 489; Sassower v Signorelli, 99 AD2d 358, 359), a party may forfeit that right if she or he abuses the judicial process by engaging in meritless litigation motivated by spite or ill will (see Matter of Molinari v Tuthill, 59 AD3d 722; Matter of Pignataro v Davis, 8 AD3d at 489; Matter of Shreve v Shreve, 229 AD2d at 1006; Sassower v Signorelli, 99 AD2d at 359). Here, not only were both parties known to the court as "serial filers" who "commence [proceedings] by filing petitions on a continuous basis," the father also filed his violation petition a mere five days after his cross petition to modify the custody and visitation order, repeating many of the same allegations."