Kennedy Seeks Dismissal of Charges, Files Subpoena

Cites father Robert Kennedy's memory as making him appreciate being with son.

Douglas Kennedy is seeking to dismiss the charges against him in connection , his attorney announced at a Thursday Mount Kisco court appearance.

His counsel also issued a subpoena demanding records and details from the hospital in connection with the incident, the hospital's investigation of it and its policies. The request was filed on April 9.

The Westchester County District Attorney's office and the hospital, however, are seeking to quash the subpoena. Kennedy's atttorney, Robert Gottlieb, in response, told Village Justice John Donohue that the prosecution has no legal standing to do so. A prosecutor responded that it is within their right to oppose.

Responding, Gottlieb blasted the attempt to quash as delaying the receipt of "properly obtainable documents from the hospital."

After hearing the arguments Donohue laid out a series of procedural dates that will run before June 14, when he will make a decision on the dismissal request. He gave the prosecution until April 26 to reply to the defendent's filing from this week, May 10 for Kennedy's legal counterreply, and May 17 for a counterreply from the prosecution in turn.

The June 14 date will include another court appearance, this time at 2 p.m.

Gottlieb is also seeking for exculpatory information to be turned over from the district attorney.

Kennedy is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and harassment, a violation. The later is not a crime.

After they walked out, Kennedy and his wife, Molly, held a press conference and defended his actions during the Jan. 7 dispute with hospital nurses Cari Luciano and Anna Lane. The nurses accuse him of injuring them during a scuffle in which an attempt was made to retrieve Bo.

Talking with reporters, Kennedy explained that the loss of his father—alluding to the 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy—is what makes him appreciate being with his son.

He vehemently defended how he handled his son.

“I want to tell people that it is okay for a father to hold his son in his arms, and it is ok for a father to want to be with his newborn baby," he said.

“The only thing I wanted to do that night was to be with my son and to hold him in my arms," he added.

About the safety of carrying the baby, he said: “I do not think a father holding a son is dangerous. In fact, I think the safest place my son can be is in my arms.”

Gottlieb took over the press conference after the couple departed, and fielded a barrage of questions, some of which came with skepticism of his arguments about the incident and included whether assault was committed in the scuffle.

“There’s no assault. He was not even charged with assault. There was no crime here.”

When asked if a plea deal has been offered, Gottlieb replied that none has been.

"There’s nothing to plead to," he replied.

If the motion to dismiss is denied, Gottlieb stated that they are ready to have a trial.

“The truth is going to be heard in the courtroom. The facts will all come out.”

Gottlieb also accused Lane and Luciano of being out for money and lining their pockets. He claimed that in January a lawyer representing them sent a letter demanding that it be sent to an insurance carrier.

Before the court appearance began, a group of nurses from the New York State Nurses Association spoke out against Kennedy outside of the courthouse. They stated that nurses who have people taking their babies out without authorization could be held responsible if something happens, possibly getting fired.

When asked by a reporter who was posing a question from Kennedy's viewpoint about why he should not be allowed to take his baby out, DeBorah Briston, a nurse at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, stated that a baby is still under their care before discharge and permission was not granted.

Another theme that arose Thursday, which comes up in press coverage of legal troubles involving prominent people, is Kennedy's name and status.

A nurse present at the group's press conference felt that that someone else other than Kennedy been involved, the charge would be more severe, like a felony.

Regardless of Kennedy, Gottlieb argued that nobody deserves to be hauled through the process the way he has.

The court and prosecution appeared to adjust their normal routines in connection to the case.

The change could be felt in small ways, ranging from a more restrictive seating policy for the press, to an earlier start for the court. The district attorney also had a group from the office present at the prosecution's podium, in contrast to the sole official who normally handles misdemeanor complaints in village court.

For our previous coverage of the Douglas Kennedy charges, click here.

Buche de Noel May 17, 2012 at 01:05 PM
please remember that D. Kennedy was apprehended by hospital security guards (two men) and then had to be ESCORTED BACK to the same nursery, to the care of the SAME NURSING STAFF he had just kicked and shoved. Subsequently he was ARRAIGNED and the charges have NOT been dropped. Those assault charges STAND because the nurses were brutalized by Kennedy. Holding one's son and be safe in parental arms is NOT what this is about. Anyone familiar with nursery protocols in ALL JCAHO certified hospitals in the nation understand that GPS locators are NOT to be taken off by parents at their whim (or any other nursery visitor) and that these standard operating procedures are in place for very real reasons. Kennedy's behavior was off the rails and he will face the very real charges of assaulting the nurses. He could have avoided this by simply apologizing at the outset and giving voice to other internal stressors rather than invoking the non-sequitur of his late father's assassination. His lawyer's misguided hubris (assumed to be Kennedy's by association) will prove to be the undoing in this case as violence against women, and women in the workforce (nurses often are women), will retain high profile, gain much pathos, and is supported wholly by not just the NYSNA but all nursing organizations in the nation. A misogynist thug is still just a thug, by any other name.
Italian Mother1 June 06, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I understand your right to your opinion but normal fathers do not take a newborn baby outside for air in January...in a blanket, diaper and t-shirt...that is poor judgement. I think bringing his fathers name into it and for the sympathy vote. By the way PC it this happened to us we would have been charged with a felony.
aph47 October 24, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I agree with you. Hospital policy is not the law. He was a legal parent of that baby and had the right to take the baby out. The right to custody, care and control of our children is a constitutionally protected liberty interest under the 14th amendment. The Supreme Court has ruled that even a judge can't just override the decision of a fit parent because he disagrees with it. See Troxel v Granville 530 U.S. 57. Moreover the hospital admitted that mom could have removed the baby. So this is really about FATHERS rights. I do think that getting physical was out of had, but getting between a parent and child can be dangerous.
aph47 October 24, 2012 at 09:55 PM
It's nice to see someone standing up for this father's right to be with his baby.
Francis T McVetty October 26, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Buche de Noel, Absolutely right! Thank you for that post.


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