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littleredridinghood~nyreblog.JPGIn Karr v. Black , Melissa Black and her husband, Mark, denied Gabrielle Karr contact with her grandchild.

In 1996, after she "engaged in bizarre and threatening behavior toward her co-workers," Gabrielle was placed on disability leave from her job with the New York City Human Resources Administration. Starting in 2002, Gabrielle entered a string of mental institutions and, in 2006, both Melissa's father and husband were issued temporary orders of protection after Gabrielle allegedly harassed them.

In 2007, Gabrielle supposedly wanted to "share with her grandchild the family history ... and establish a bond with this child prior to making final decision on whom to leave [a] substantial estate." When the New York County Supreme Court found against her, Gabrielle appealed to the Appellate Division, First Department.

The AD1 was unwilling to "intrude on the family relationship against a fit parent's wishes." Since the child was in the "care of an intact family," and the Blacks had "a sound basis for their objection to visitation, and [Gabrielle] has no existing relationship with the child or the family," the denial of Gabrielle's request was upheld.

From the appellate court's perspective, the Blacks were trying to protect their child from a woman described by mental health professionals as "psychotic, volatile, unpredictable, bizarre, threatening and confrontational."

Fade to Black.


To download a copy of the Appellate Division's decision, please use this link: Karr v. Black