In People vs. Fernandez, Marcos Fernandez was accused of sexually abusing his female cousin, who was eight years old at the time of the alleged abuses. During the court case, covered by a June 29, 2011 New York Law Journal article, at the New York State Court of Appeals, the accused’s parents testified as witnesses for the defendants, both stating that the alleged victim had a reputation within their family of being untruthful. The People’s attorney objected to this testimony, but the claim was sustained. Thus, the court upheld the notion that families can act as a community for truthfulness reputation in New York State court cases.
In New York, testimony for a reputation for truthfulness amongst a community must identify the relevant community, establish the basis of the witness’s knowledge, and establish the nature of the key witness’s reputation for truthfulness during a set period of time.  This time constraint ensures that the reputation is pertinent to the case and not just an indication of a person’s past actions.
We at the law office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. (www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com) are closely following how the New York courts are deciding on family court issues. If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding a spousal maintenance, award of legal fees, or child support dispute, then please contact our law office at (800) 660-LAWYER or  (800) 660-5299 today for a free initial consultation.