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«Battering and Extreme Cruelty: Drawing Examples from Civil Protection Order and Family Law Cases 1 By Leslye E. Orloff, Brittnay Roberts and Stefanie ...»

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Ditmars v. Ditmars, 18 Neb. App. 568 (2010).

–  –  –

ii) Exploiting Existing Vulnerabilities

• Domination and invalidation of spouse 34

• Physical and verbal intimidation without explicit threat 35 U.S. Department of Justice, Interim Guidance on Verification of Citizenship, Qualified Alien Status and Eligibility Under Title IX of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1998, AG Order No. 2129-97, Vol 62 No.. 221 Federal Register 61344, 61369, 61370 (November 17, 1997 describes “battering or extreme cruelty” for purposes of prima facie determinations and access to benefits in VAWA self-petitioning, VAWA suspension of Deportation, VAWA Cancellation of Removal, Battered Spouse Waivers and Family Based Visa Petitions in which a spouse or child is eligible for public benefits as: “The phrase “battered or subjected to extreme cruelty” includes but is not limited to, being the victims of any act or threatened act of violence, include an forceful detention, which results or threatens to result in physical or mental injury. Psychological or sexual abuse or exploitation, including rape, molestation, incest (if the victim is a minor), or forced prostitution shall be considered acts of violence. Other abusive actions may also be acts of violence under this rule. Acts or threatened acts that, in and of themselves, may not initially appear violence may be part of an overall pattern of violence.

This is a broad, flexible definition that encompasses all types of battery and extreme cruelty. The acts mentioned in the above definition should be regarded by benefit providers as acts of violence whenever they occur… It is not possible, however, to identify all behaviors that could be acts of violence under certain circumstances, and this definition does not contain an exhaustive list of acts of violence that will constitute battery or extreme cruelty. Many other nonenumerated abusive actions will also constitute an act or threatened act of violence under this definition…The benefit provider should consider any credible evidence proffered by the applicant. Evidence of battery or extreme cruelty … includes but is not limited to, reports or affidavits from police, judges, and other courts officials, medical personnel, school officials, clergy, social workers, counseling or mental health personnel, and other social service agency personnel; legal documentation, such as an order of protection against the abuser or an order convicting the abuse of committing an act of domestic violence that chronicles the existence of abuse; evidence that indicates that the applicant sought safe-haven in a battered women’s shelter or similar refuge because of the battery against the applicant or his or her child; or photographs of the visibly injured applicant, child, or (in the case of an alien child) parent supported by affidavits. An applicant may also submit sworn affidavits from family members, friends, or third parties who have personal knowledge of the battery or extreme cruelty. Additionally, an applicant may submit his or her own affidavit…describing the circumstances of the abuse, and the benefits provider has the discretion to conclude that the affidavit is credible, and, by itself or in conjunction with other evidence, provides relevant evidence of sufficient weight to demonstrate battery or extreme cruelty.

The benefit provider should bear in mind that, due to the nature of the control and fear dynamics inherent in domestic violence, some applicant will lack the best evidence to support their allegations (e.g. civil protection order or a police report). Thus, the benefit provider will need to be flexible in working with the applicant as he or she attempts to assemble adequate documentation. In determining the existence of battery or cruelty, it is important that the benefit provider understand both the experience of intimate violence and the applicant’s cultural context. The dynamics of domestic violence may have inhibited the applicant from seeking public or professional responses to the abuse prior to applying for benefits needed to enable the applicant to leave the abuser. For many cultural groups, going to outsiders for help is viewed as disloyalty to the community and an embarrassment to the family. In some cultures, for example, women have been conditioned to accept authority and control of their husbands. Thus, there may be little independent documentary evidence of the abuse; the benefit provider should be sensitive to the needs and situation of the abused applicant when reviewing allegations and evidence of abuse. Many applicants will have had an I-130 petition filed on their behalf by their spouse or parent, in which case the spouse or parent will have ultimate control over the disposition of the petition. If the spouse or parent is the abuser, he or she can nullify the petition either by withdrawing it or by divorcing the alien before the alien is able to obtain a green card.

Conner v. Conner, 1984 Ohio App. LEXIS 12284 (1984); Muhammad v. Muhammad, 622 So. 2d 1239 (1993); Reed v. Reed, 130 Mont. 409 (1956);

McDuffee v. McDuffee, 169 Mich. 410. (1912); Mackenzie v. Mackenzie, 366 Mich. 632 (1962), Waldbaum v. Waldbaum, 171 Neb. 625 (1961), De Burgh v. De Burgh, 39 Cal. 2d 858 (1952), McFall v. McFall, 58 Cal. App. 2d 208 (1943), Andrews v. Andrews, 120 Cal. 184 (1898), De Cloedt v. De Cloedt, 24 Idaho 277 (1913), Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super. 52 (1955).





Frank v. Hawkins, 383 Ill. App. 3rd. 799 (2008); Hamilton ex rel. Lethem v. Lethem, 125 Haw. 330 (2011); In Re N.A.J., file AXX-XXX-XXX, Seattle, WA. (2001) Attachment A.

Clagg v. Clagg, 2009 Ohio 328 (2009); In re CA. S., 828 A.2d 184 (2002); Ankenbruck v. Ankenbruck, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 5757 (2000);

Hamilton ex rel. Lethem v. Lethem, 125 Haw. 330 (2011); Jarvis v. Jarvis, 2004 Ohio 1386 (2004); Tortorello v. Tortorello, 113 Haw. 432 (2007); Morris v.

Stonewall, 1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 5356 (1999), In Re Marriage of Stewart, 133 Wn. App. 545 (2006)..

McFall v. McFall, 58 Cal. App. 2d 208 (1943).

Tortorello v. Tortorello, 113 Haw. 432 (2007).

–  –  –

• Physical abuse 52

• Neglect 53 Markowitz v. Markowitz, 2006 Ohio 5932 (2006), Ditmars v. Ditmars, 18 Neb. App. 568 (2010).

Jarvis v. Jarvis, 2004 Ohio 1386 (2004), In Re N.I., File A#XX-XXX-XXX, Denver, Colorado (2006), Attachment B; In Re P-S-L- File A#XXXXX-XXX Denver, CO (2008), Attachment D.

Ennis v. Ennis, 83 R.I. 64 (Ohio 1955).

Buess v. Buess, 89 Ohio App. 37 (1950); Mackenzie v. Mackenzie, 366 Mich. 632 (1962); REDACTED File A#XX-XXX-XXX, El Paso. (2008), Attachment E.

Waldbaum v. Waldbaum, 171 Neb. 625 (1961).

Waldbaum v. Waldbaum, 171 Neb. 625 (1961).

Krull v. Krull, 105 Cal. App. 2d 56 (1951).

Conner v. Conner, 1984 Ohio App. LEXIS 12284 (1984); Muhammad v. Muhammad, 622 So. 2d 1239 (1993); Reed v. Reed, 130 Mont. 409 (1956);

McDuffee v. McDuffee, 169 Mich. 410. (1912); Mackenzie v. Mackenzie, 366 Mich. 632 (1962), Waldbaum v. Waldbaum, 171 Neb. 625 (1961), De Burgh v. De Burgh, 39 Cal. 2d 858 (1952), McFall v. McFall, 58 Cal. App. 2d 208 (1943), Andrews v. Andrews, 120 Cal. 184 (1898), De Cloedt v. De Cloedt, 24 Idaho 277 (1913), Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super. 52 (1955).

Frank v. Hawkins, 383 Ill. App. 3rd. 799 (2008); Hamilton ex rel. Lethem v. Lethem, 125 Haw. 330 (2011);

Clagg v. Clagg, 2009 Ohio 328 (2009); In re CA. S., 828 A.2d 184 (2002); Ankenbruck v. Ankenbruck, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 5757 (2000);

Hamilton ex rel. Lethem v. Lethem, 125 Haw. 330 (2011); Jarvis v. Jarvis, 2004 Ohio 1386 (2004); Tortorello v. Tortorello, 113 Haw. 432 (2007); Morris v.

Stonewall, 1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 5356 (1999), In Re Marriage of Stewart, 133 Wn. App. 545 (2006); De Jesus Paiva v. Aljets, 2003 WL 22888865 (D.

Minn. 2003).

Ditmars v. Ditmars, 18 Neb. App. 568 (2010).

Tortorello v. Tortorello, 113 Haw. 432 (2007).

Thomas v. Morris, 224 W. Va. 661 (2009); In Re Marriage of Stewart, 133 Wn. App. 545 (2006).

Buess v. Buess, 89 Ohio App. 37 (1950); Mackenzie v. Mackenzie, 366 Mich. 632 (1962).

Conner v. Conner, 1984 Ohio App. LEXIS 12284 (1984); Pfalzgraf v. Pfalzgraf, 1979 Ohio App. LEXIS 9252 (1979); Mackenzie v. Mackenzie, 366 Mich. 632 (1962); Arnold v. Arnold, 76 Cal. App. 2d 877 (1946), Waldbaum v. Waldbaum, 171 Neb. 625 (1961).

De Cloedt v. De Cloedt, 24 Idaho 277 (1913).

Muhammad v. Muhammad, 622 So. 2d 1239 (1993).

Conner v. Conner, 1984 Ohio App. LEXIS 12284 (1984); Muhammad v. Muhammad, 622 So. 2d 1239 (1993); Reed v. Reed, 130 Mont. 409 (1956);

McDuffee v. McDuffee, 169 Mich. 410. (1912); Mackenzie v. Mackenzie, 366 Mich. 632 (1962), Waldbaum v. Waldbaum, 171 Neb. 625 (1961), De Burgh v. De Burgh, 39 Cal. 2d 858 (1952), McFall v. McFall, 58 Cal. App. 2d 208 (1943), Andrews v. Andrews, 120 Cal. 184 (1898), De Cloedt v. De Cloedt, 24 Idaho 277 (1913), Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super. 52 (1955).

In re CA. S., 828 A.2d 184 (2002);

American University, Washington College of Law 6

B) Coercive demand

• Insistence on having sex every day 54

• Children witnessing parent’s abuse 55

• Waking spouse up in middle of the night to fight about finances and toys left in living room 56

• Insistence on spouse to work 57

• Refusal to allow spouse to work 58

• Withholding correspondence 59

• Full control and domination over spouse 60

• Refusal to file immigration papers for non-citizen spouse 61

–  –  –

• Monitoring phone usage 66

• Accusation of adultery and checking bed sheets for evidence of sexual activity with children present 67

• Showing up to school or work unannounced 68

• Contacting spouse’s place of employment (military) about separation/divorce matters with purpose of humiliating spouse 69

E) Delivery of threatened consequences

• Physical abuse 70 Ditmars v. Ditmars, 18 Neb. App. 568 (2010).

In re CA. S., 828 A.2d 184 (2002); Frank v. Hawkins, 383 Ill. App. 3rd. 799 (2008); Tortorello v. Tortorello, 113 Haw. 432 (2007), Katsenelenbogen v. Katsenelenbogen, 365 Md. 122 (2001), Abriani v. Abriani, 2007 Ohio 3534 (2007), In Re Marriage of Stewart, 133 Wn. App. 545 (2006). In Re N.A.J., file AXX-XXX-XXX, Seattle, WA. (2001) Attachment A; REDACTED File A#XX-XXX-XXX, El Paso. (2008). Attachment E.

Richter v. Richter, 2009 Ohio 3828 (2009).

Ennis v. Ennis, 83 R.I. 64 (Ohio 1955); Ormachea v. Ormachea, 67 Nev. 273 (1950); REDACTED File A#XX-XXX-XXX, El Paso. (2008).

Attachment E. (Insisting that immigrant spouse work unlawfully) Robertson v. Robertson, 73 Okla. 299 (1918).

Muhammad v. Muhammad, 622 So. 2d 1239 (1993).

Ennis v. Ennis, 83 R.I. 64 (Ohio 1955); Veach v. Veach, 87 Idaho 237 (1964); Muhammad v. Muhammad, 622 So. 2d 1239 (1993); Krull v. Krull, 105 Cal. App. 2d 56 (1951).

REDACTED File A#XX-XXX-XXX, El Paso. (2008), Attachment E.

Clagg v. Clagg, 2009 Ohio 328 (2009); In Re N.A.J., file AXX-XXX-XXX, Seattle, WA. (2001) Attachment L Reed v. Reed, 130 Mont. 409 (1956); Keenan v. Keenan 361 Mich. 123 (1960), Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super. 52 (1955).

Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super. 52 (1955).

Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super. 52 (1955).

Ditmars v. Ditmars, 18 Neb. App. 568 (2010).

In Re Marriage of Stewart, 133 Wn. App. 545 (2006).

Hamilton ex rel. Lethem v. Lethem, 125 Haw. 330 (2011); Thomas v. Morris, 224 W. Va. 661 (2009);

Shaw v. Shaw, 122 Cal. App. 172 (1932).

Conner v. Conner, 1984 Ohio App. LEXIS 12284 (1984); Muhammad v. Muhammad, 622 So. 2d 1239 (1993); Reed v. Reed, 130 Mont. 409 (1956);

McDuffee v. McDuffee, 169 Mich. 410. (1912); Mackenzie v. Mackenzie, 366 Mich. 632 (1962), Waldbaum v. Waldbaum, 171 Neb. 625 (1961), De Burgh

–  –  –

3. Additional Behaviors that Can Constitute “Extreme Cruelty”.

This section provides examples of other forms of conduct by an abuser that family law courts have

found amount to or contribute to findings of extreme cruelty:

• Adultery with a minor 76

• Neglecting spouse’s need for medical attention 77

• Spouse’s attempted rape of babysitter and publicity stemming from the resulting trial. 78

• Accusations of adultery 79

• Objections to procurement of proper medical treatment 80

• Indifference towards spouse 81

• Using children as a tool toward other parent 82

• Unreasonably critical of spouse’s child or children 83

• Being penurious within the marriage and family but a lavish spender outside the marriage and family. 84

• Telling others about accusations/ accusing others of partner’s infidelity 85

• Notifying the media accusing spouse of adultery 86

• Spouse moved out and lived with mistress 87

• Fraudulently taking wife’s real property 88

• Unjustified accusations of mental and emotional disturbance 89

• Seeking to destroy spouse’s credit.

v. De Burgh, 39 Cal. 2d 858 (1952), McFall v. McFall, 58 Cal. App. 2d 208 (1943), Andrews v. Andrews, 120 Cal. 184 (1898), De Cloedt v. De Cloedt, 24 Idaho 277 (1913), Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super. 52 (1955).

Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super. 52 (1955).

Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super. 52 (1955).

Waldbaum v. Waldbaum, 171 Neb. 625 (1961).

Ormachea v. Ormachea, 67 Nev. 273 (1950); Reed v. Reed, 130 Mont. 409 (1956); Arnold v. Arnold, 76 Cal. App. 2d 877 (1946), De Burgh v. De Burgh, 39 Cal. 2d 858 (1952), Tompkins v. Tompkins, 83 Cal. App. 2d 71 (1947).

Ginn v. Ginn, 112 Ohio App. 259 (1960).

Marko v. Marko, 2012 SD 54 (2012).

De Cloedt v. De Cloedt, 24 Idaho 277 (1913).

Fleming v. Fleming, 95 Cal. 430 (1892).

Bierie v. Bierie, 348 Mich. 440 (1957); Keenan v. Keenan 361 Mich. 123 (1960); Robertson v. Robertson, 73 Okla. 299 (1918), McFall v. McFall, 58 Cal. App. 2d 208 (1943), Andrews v. Andrews, 120 Cal. 184 (1898), Carpenter v. Carpenter, 30 Kan. 712 (1883), Friedman v. Friedman, 37 N.J. Super.

52 (1955).

Keenan v. Keenan 361 Mich. 123 (1960).

Ormachea v. Ormachea, 67 Nev. 273 (1950); Keenan v. Keenan 361 Mich. 123 (1960); Robertson v. Robertson, 73 Okla. 299 (1918).

Waldbaum v. Waldbaum, 171 Neb. 625 (1961), Marko v. Marko, 2012 SD 54 (2012).

De Burgh v. De Burgh, 39 Cal. 2d 858 (1952).



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