Simple Assault Charge Dismissed in West Orange Municipal Court

After months of negotiations with the state, justice was finally achieved when the prosecutor recommended a dismissal of the simple assault charges against my client, and the judge accepted that recommendation. The facts of the case were unusual. My client was charges with simple assault against his mother who resides in a nursing home. The alleged victim made no complaint and told the police that nothing had happened. The allegations were made by two employees of the the facility, neither of whom appeared to be familiar with the alleged victim’s treatment history or medical needs. My client has been responsible for the care and needs of his mother for years, with very little assistance from anyone.

It was difficult, especially because the court had ordered no contact between my client and his mother. His mother had been accustomed to speaking with her son and seeing her son on a daily basis. We had hired a third party advocate to interview and report on the mother’s condition, and from the report it was evident that she felt abandoned and did not understand why her son had stopped seeing and speaking with her. On two separate occasions, I made motions to have the no contact order lifted prior to today’s trial date, but with no success.

We subpoenaed medical records in  an effort to show that some of the allegations regarding things that were said by the mother were simply the result of geriatric psychiatric issues, well documented, and misconstrued by the staff. In addition, someone finally took the time to look at the report of the third party agency, and speak with the alleged victim. In addition to this documentation, it was evident that there had never been any reported or unreported instances of any sort between the parties. It was simply a matter of convincing the court that it just didn’t add up. Also, it was important to show the court that some matters are not suitable for court adjudication, but once the process is started, it can be difficult.

Ultimately, thing worked out well, but it was not easy, and the family was torn apart over the process. It is difficult for most who are embroiled  in these types of situations to accept the fact that once the complaint is filed, the defendant must go through the process. Although it may be clear to the family what the truth is, the court must abide by the rules of court and the procedures to protect all those involved. Sometimes it does just the opposite, but it still remains the best and most fair system in the world. But both me and my client were happy with the result.

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