Ramapo, NY – A County Court judge rejected a prosecution request to issue an order of protection for a woman embroiled in a five-year battle over a Ramapo house.
The prosecution wanted the court to prevent Michael and Chaya G. from having any contact with Venera Held, but County Court Judge Victor Alfieri wasn’t convinced it was necessary.
John Edwards, representing Chaya G., told Alfieri that orders of protection were overused by prosecutors.
Kenneth Gribetz, representing Michael G., said that Michael and Chaya had gone through five years of civil court litigation with Held but without such an order.
Michael had contacted Held on only a couple of occasions, Gribetz said, in an attempt to settle their dispute in state Supreme Court.
Executive Assistant District Attorney Gary Lee Heavner saw things differently. “The people believe it is more than reasonable without any prior acts by the defendants,” Heavner said, citing in part Held’s age, 75, and the seriousness of the charges against the G’s.
An indictment unsealed last week charged the G’s with the felonies of second-degree attempted grand larceny, forgery and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Donna Held, a daughter of Venera Held, said after the court session that over the course of the dispute, vandalism was a frequent problem at the house, which is occupied by tenants including Venera Held’s other daughter, Marie.
The Helds filed complaints with the Ramapo police, some about anonymous phone calls and one about tenants being told to leave the property by a group of men.
Edwards said that instances of harassment alleged by the Helds couldn’t be linked to the G’s.
Alfieri said he would not tolerate inappropriate behavior. “If anything happens in the future,” Alfieri said, “and I take these matters very seriously, I will issue an order of protection.”
On another front, Alfieri permitted the G’s to travel within the country, in response to a request by Gribetz.
The G’s, freed without bail, have surrendered their passports. At their arraignment, they were ordered to remain in the state.
Gribetz said they had a home in Florida, and Michael had business elsewhere.