A: In New York, there are a number of harassment laws. Generally such laws prohibit a wide array of activities intended to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm people.
If this 19 year old is threatening and engaging in behavior that would cause a reasonable person to feel annoyed, then at the very least, one of the less serious charges of harassment would apply. It is difficult to determine which level of harassment applies to this situation because of the lack of facts. For instance, aggravated harassment in the second degree occurs when, with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person, one communicates with a person anonymously or not, by telephone, mail, or other written communication in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.
If this 19 year old has been engaging in this conduct over a longer period of time, or has faced harassment charges in the past, it is possible she could fall into second degree harassment without additional aggravating circumstances.
Bottom line, the situation you have described is concerning. At the very least, call the police, express your concerns, and inquire about the possibility of filing charges. This would lead to an order of protection likely being granted and, hopefully, some peace of mind for you and your daughter.
This sounds like a very stressful situation. I hope everything works out and you are able to focus on more pleasant things. Again, this is not legal advice and I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney who can provide you with advice after hearing more facts about your case.
A: It is difficult to answer this question without a little more information. When you that you gave your sister custody of your child, I am curious as to whether a court order was involved. For instance, did you both come to an agreement and was the agreement then made formally part of a court order? Or, on the other hand, was this more of an informal arrangement between you both which worked out for a period of time, but perhaps the situation has changed?
Bottom line, if there is no court order, then to add clarity to the situation it is probably best to petition family court for an order which could include some visitation time for your sister, if you both wish to go that route. If there was already a custody order in place, which provided your sister with custody of the child, then you will need to modify the court order. If she no longer wants to care for the child, this would certainly be a substantial change in circumstances which could warrant providing you custody of the child. Again, I would need more information to really provide much help here. Many slight facts could drastically change the analysis. It's important for you to consult with an attorney about this situation. I wish you the best of luck going forward.
A: tough to speculate without more facts, but with a history of dv and with any recent incidents, you could attempt to obtain a type 1 order of protection. But this probably would not prevent the father from being granted at least some visitation. The age of each child will be relevant to the final determination, and if the children are old enough, the judge will consider their perspective through the Attorney for the Child. Although more facts are needed to make a determination, it is very possible the father could get visitation. That being said, it's difficult to imagine how he could get full custody of the children given his lack of involvement.
One final caveat to this analysis is that there is some case law, depending on the jurisdiction of your case, that permits a parent to deny the other parent visitation where he or she fails to pay child support. However, this is not a clear cut rule.
The final point I would make about the Child Support issue is that you could file a contempt of court to try and compel the father to pay child support. If he cannot pay and a court finds his failure to be willful, then he could be sentenced to jail time.
I wish you the best of luck