The Second Department, reversing Family Court, determined a hearing was necessary on whether the court had subject matter jurisdiction for the petition seeking an order of protection:
… [T]he petitioner commenced this proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 8 seeking an order of protection against Cynthia J. Brock. The petitioner alleged, inter alia, that she and Brock were in an intimate relationship in that the petitioner was the paternal great grandmother of Brock’s child, and that she and Brock had “lived together in the past.” The petitioner further alleged that although her grandson and the child had moved out of her home a month earlier, Brock continued to routinely drop off the child at the petitioner’s home after Brock’s parental access time with the child, and used these opportunities to threaten, abuse, and annoy the petitioner. The petitioner also alleged that Brock telephoned the child on a daily basis, and verbally harassed the petitioner on the phone. Subsequently, Brock made an application to dismiss the petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the relationship between her and the petitioner did not qualify as an “intimate relationship” within the meaning of Family Court Act § 812(1)(e). The Family Court granted the application and dismissed the petition.
The Family Court is a court of limited subject matter jurisdiction, and “cannot exercise powers beyond those granted to it by statute”… . Pursuant to Family Court Act § 812(1), the Family Court’s jurisdiction in family offense proceedings is limited to certain proscribed criminal acts that occur “between spouses or former spouses, or between parent and child or between members of the same family or household” … . For purposes of Family Court Act article 8, “members of the same family or household” include, inter alia, “persons who are not related by consanguinity or affinity and who are or have been in an intimate relationship regardless of whether such persons have lived together at any time” … . Expressly excluded from the ambit of “intimate relationship” are “casual acquaintance[s]” and “ordinary fraternization between two individuals in business or social contexts” … . Beyond those delineated exclusions, what qualifies as an intimate relationship within the meaning of Family Court Act § 812(1)(e) is determined on a case-by-case basis … . Relevant factors include “the nature or type of relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature; the frequency of interaction between the persons; and the duration of the relationship … . Matter of Hamrahi v Brock, 2019 NY Slip Op 07781, Second Dept 10-30-19