Houston, TX asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for New York

Q: Judge who signed order was my attorney for a different case and knew the both parties involved. Conflict? Invalid order?

My daughter’s grandmother filed for custody and was granted temporary relief many of reasons given in petition were false. The judge who signed the Show For Cause granting the temporary reliefs, including custody of my daughter, was previously my attorney as a district attorney who represented me as a victim of an assault. My child’s grandmother was also known previously to this judge because she was a witness. I moved to Texas in February 2022 and allows my daughter to finish her school year and then it was planned and understood that I would bring her to Texas with me after Christmas because she does horse barrel racing from summer into winter. My daughter has been doing homeschool online and I have been doing her school with her remotely from Texas to allow her to finish her horse racing season. My daughter’s grandmother went behind my back and filed for custody of my child and was given temporary orders for physical custody preventing me from bringing my daughter home to Texas.

1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: There are many convoluted questions here on Justia that give answering attorneys pause, and this is certainly one of them. The call of the question is whether the judge's order is ineffective given the facts of the question. Let's unpack the facts.

The asker's mother lied on a petition for custody and beat out the biological parent asker. The asker asserts that the judge entering the order disfavoring the asker was the asker's attorney as a district attorney. The asker wants to know if the order granting temporary custody to the asker's mother is invalid if there was a conflict of interest in the asker's representation by the former district attorney judge.

First and foremost, the district attorney does not represent the victims of crimes; instead, the district attorney represents the people of the jurisdiction and not any victim. So, there is no issue about any conflict, and the temporary order is therefore unsullied by an accusation that the judge engaged in a conflict of interest.

As for the rest of the facts, there is not enough information to respond to the various assertions made here. There is no mention made of the father of the child. There is no explanation how the asker managed to leave one state to go to another a significant distance away. Assuming answers to these may or may not lead to an explanation of why the New York judge ruled in favor of the asker's New York mother.

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