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Fourth Department — Family Court: Shehatou v. Louka

Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Family Court

Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine — Appeal

Shehatou v. Louka
CAF 13-02031
Appealed from Family Court, Onondaga County

Background: The family court issued an order based upon the respondent’s default in which it determined that the respondent was in willful violation of a prior support order. The respondent was ordered to six months of incarceration and an arrest warrant was issued. The respondent filed an order to show cause why the orders should be vacated and the court refused to sign the order to show cause holding that the fugitive disentitlement doctrine applied to the respondent as the respondent, a California resident who is now subject to an arrest warrant, was attempting to evade the law while simultaneously seeking its protection.

Ruling: The Appellate Division held that the court properly determined that the fugitive disentitlement theory applied to the judge’s application. The Appellate Division further held that the doctrine applied to his instant appeal.

Craig D. Chartier of Dibble & Miller for the respondent-appellant; Edward B. Alderman of Alderman and Alderman for the petitioner-respondent; Susan Basile Janowski, attorney for the children