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Mother Loses Support, Custody for Interfering With Father's Rights
NY Law Journal ^ | 12/09/11 | John Caher

Posted on 12/08/2011 7:59:52 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines

A mother who "deliberately and unjustifiably frustrated" a father's attempts to visit his child was appropriately stripped of child support and primary custody, an appellate panel in Albany has held.

The Appellate Division, Third Department, unanimously affirmed a Schuyler County Family Court judge in a case where the custodial mother had repeatedly hindered her estranged husband's efforts to establish relations with his daughter, even though the father made no attempt to enforce his visitation rights for six years.

Luke v. Luke, 510880, centers on a child born in 2001 to Melvin W. and Heidi L. Luke.

The Lukes, who are still married, separated before the child's birth. After a 2003 DNA test confirmed Mr. Luke's paternity, the parties stipulated to joint custody, with the mother retaining physical custody and the father entitled to visitation on alternate weekends. A support order also was entered against the father.

Records show that the agreed-upon visits occurred for only one or two months. After the father moved to New Jersey, the Family Court issued a default order awarding Ms. Luke sole custody.

Mr. Luke moved back to Schuyler County in 2007, and in 2009 sought the Family Court's help in locating his child and wife, who had moved several times.

After a hearing, the court awarded the parties joint custody, with the child spending four nights with the father, and terminated the father's support obligation.

The Third Department noted that while this matter was pending, Ms. Luke moved four times without informing Mr. Luke. At one point she moved into a safe house to escape the domestic violence of a boyfriend that was witnessed by the child, repeatedly violated visitation orders and assigned custody of the child to her boyfriend's adult daughter without consulting Mr. Luke. The court observed that the boyfriend's daughter failed to bring the child to visits and even kept her out of school on Fridays, when Mr. Luke was supposed to pick her up for weekend visits.

"At the time of the hearing…the child had not seen her mother for almost two months, and the mother testified that she called only when she had minutes on her phone," the panel said in an opinion by Justice William E. McCarthy (See Profile). "Despite this constantly changing situation, the mother denied that she made any poor choices that caused instability in the child's life."

The court said that while the father "lost contact with his daughter for several years and did not adequately explain why he took so long to re-establish a connection," by the time of the hearing he had been working for more than a year to connect with his daughter.

"The record supports the finding that the mother deliberately and unjustifiably frustrated the father's visitation, moving without notifying the father and attempting to informally transfer custody to another person…without informing the father," Justice McCarthy wrote in an opinion joined by Justices Karen K. Peters (See Profile), John A. Lahtinen (See Profile), Leslie E. Stein (See Profile) and Elizabeth A. Garry (See Profile).

Appearing were Martha N. Hertzberg of Ithaca for Mr. Luke; Lisa K. Miller of McGraw for Ms. Luke; and Steven J. Getman of Ovid for the child.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; US: New York
KEYWORDS: anthonyloses; attorney; conservatism; county; divorce; father; fatherhood; fathersrights; feminazi; feminazimom; feminazism; feminism; getman; hertzberg; lisa; martha; miller; realfamilies; rights; romanticism; schuyler; steven; traditional; victimology
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1 posted on 12/08/2011 8:00:02 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
There are no winners here and just ONE loser: the daughter, in being used as the couples' punching bag and having their DNA.
Poor girl, she is doomed.
2 posted on 12/08/2011 8:08:04 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Back to the future, one way or another. If policy doesn’t go that way (traditional, old fashioned) before the default process has run its course, it will soon afterward. The breaking of so many families turned out to be, more than anything else, a way to prevent potential business competition from rising (whole, real families). Secondarily, it was a way to entice them to be robbed through their weakest links.


3 posted on 12/08/2011 8:08:11 PM PST by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), Army National Guard, '89-' 96)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
Good. My ex wife put me through Visitation Hell almost until the day she died. It got so bad I called the cops before I even went to her house to pick him up.

If I showed up without them she would simply refuse to let me see him and dare me to do anything about it, all in front of a 5 year old child. It's been over a decade and he still hasn't recovered from the damage that evil bitch did.

4 posted on 12/08/2011 8:10:07 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

This is good news as far as father’s visitation is concern. But I never knew that court can issue visitation rights, etc., for still married couple.


5 posted on 12/08/2011 8:14:35 PM PST by paudio (0bama is like a bad mechanic who couldn't fix your car - he just makes it worse. Get somebody else!)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

BTW, the divorce/anti-family regime cannot be continued without big, socialist government.


6 posted on 12/08/2011 8:15:49 PM PST by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), Army National Guard, '89-' 96)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Not sure why this is particularly newsworthy. Sounds like a pretty routine custody decision, and one that’s pretty obvious with such a fact pattern.


7 posted on 12/08/2011 8:17:27 PM PST by Cincinnatus
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Surprising this is in NY.


8 posted on 12/08/2011 8:17:36 PM PST by wastedyears (Not too long you devious little parathyroid. Soon I'll be rid of you and I'll be free.)
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To: Lurker

I’m so sorry this happened to you, but why’d you marry such an evil b****?!


9 posted on 12/08/2011 8:18:37 PM PST by Shimmer1 (National Procrastination Day has been postponed until tomorrow.)
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To: Shimmer1

She wasn’t that way when I married her.


10 posted on 12/08/2011 8:23:33 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Cincinnatus
Sounds like a pretty routine custody decision,

In your fantasy justice world, perhaps.

But in the real world, men are at fault as the default position.

This is a man bites dog story, so it is newsworthy.

It's rare enough that I clicked on it, because I've seen this crap firsthand.

And 98% of the time, the crack-head whore wins if she shows up.

Prayers up for the child.

/johnny

11 posted on 12/08/2011 8:27:17 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (gone Galt)
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To: Shimmer1
but why’d you marry such an evil b****?!

They never start that way. Ever. Voice of experience.

These days, I stay single, celibate, solvent, and sane. Having seen the other side, I'm cool with a monastic lifestyle. Especially the local cheese and hand-crafted beer, and no-one bitching at me.

/johnny

12 posted on 12/08/2011 8:31:27 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (gone Galt)
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To: Shimmer1

People come without warning labels and some people are really good at hiding.


13 posted on 12/08/2011 8:36:17 PM PST by desertfreedom765
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To: paudio
Yes, Family Court can. Some states have a 12 month deal before the divorce papers can be signed. Mine is 90 days before the divorce can proceed. What happens to the kids durning that time depends on how nasty the seperation is going leading up to the actual divorce.

BTW, I find "Family Court" disgusting on many, many levels.

14 posted on 12/08/2011 8:40:38 PM PST by Michael Barnes (Obamaa+ Downgrade)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

“even though the father made no attempt to enforce his visitation rights for six years.”

G, do you think that might have had something to do with the Mother’s interference?


15 posted on 12/08/2011 8:41:37 PM PST by stilloftyhenight
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To: Michael Barnes

Ah, thanks for the explanation.


16 posted on 12/08/2011 9:05:31 PM PST by paudio (0bama is like a bad mechanic who couldn't fix your car - he just makes it worse. Get somebody else!)
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To: Lurker

The “family” court system makes good and decent men slaves. The bad men don’t care and aren’t the ones there fighting for anything.

With my folks divorce, and what my dad went through, I vowed I would never let myself be put through what he went through.


17 posted on 12/08/2011 9:08:00 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Lurker

I bet that’s supposed to be your fault, too. ;)


18 posted on 12/08/2011 9:09:11 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: desertfreedom765

And people can change over time. Stepdad was a decent guy at the beginning, by his 20th year of marriage to my mom he was cheating on her for over a year. Mom was a “burden” now.


19 posted on 12/08/2011 9:11:11 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Michael Barnes

In WI it’s at least six months for simple no fault, on average it’s at least a year.


20 posted on 12/08/2011 9:12:53 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: cloudmountain

Wrong. When the kid is grown, she will figure out what was what.

Generally a party who worked to keep the kid disconnected from the other parent tends to get left alone in a nursing home as retaliation.
Law of unintended consequences that bitter parents refuse to see until they find themselves alone and still bitter.


21 posted on 12/08/2011 9:13:33 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Cincinnatus

I’ve gotten primary or sole custody for plenty of men... Same rules apply as for women.


22 posted on 12/08/2011 9:52:18 PM PST by jackal7163 (If you are not willing to achieve victory at any cost, you are doomed to defeat!)
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To: Lurker
Good. My ex wife put me through Visitation Hell almost until the day she died. It got so bad I called the cops before I even went to her house to pick him up.

If I showed up without them she would simply refuse to let me see him and dare me to do anything about it, all in front of a 5 year old child. It's been over a decade and he still hasn't recovered from the damage that evil bitch did.

Good for you. I mean it. I know on a personal level of which you speak. I too agree with the end results in the case as highlighted in this news article. Difficult choices but still the correct decision. Perhaps and hoping the minor child will finally receive some love and have a stable environment at last.

23 posted on 12/09/2011 2:31:27 AM PST by Ron H. (Be ready and look to the heavens for He is surely coming back, soon!)
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To: Lurker

Well I’m really sorry that happened to you. That’s awful. Some of these women give us others a bad name. ack!


24 posted on 12/09/2011 4:51:28 AM PST by Shimmer1 (National Procrastination Day has been postponed until tomorrow.)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

I am seeing a lot of people here bashing mom, but are missing the fact that DAD moved away, to another state, and lost custody of his child.

At that point, support should have been dropped, and dad should have had no further rights. Once mom obtained sole custody, she had no further obligation to dad, and no further expectation to support either.


25 posted on 12/09/2011 5:00:58 AM PST by ican'tbelieveit (Washington,DC is FULL of people with Political Experience... How's that Working out for you??)
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To: Lurker

This reminds of that old joke about Bill Gates going to Hell.


26 posted on 12/09/2011 5:11:05 AM PST by beef (Who Killed Kennewick Man?)
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To: MrEdd

>>Generally a party who worked to keep the kid disconnected from the other parent tends to get left alone in a nursing home as retaliation.<<

Unless said other parent is a lying, dangerous, manipulative, murderous sociopath.

In which case, the children are protected until they’re old enough to make that visitation decision on their own.


27 posted on 12/09/2011 5:21:22 AM PST by ItsOurTimeNow ("Go now. Run along and tell your Xerxes that he faces Free Men here...not slaves.")
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To: ItsOurTimeNow

True.

As I said, the kid will figure out what was what.


28 posted on 12/09/2011 6:04:11 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Lurker
She wasn’t that way when I married her.

Yup. Some of the psychotic ones are good at hiding it. For a while. 

Been there.

29 posted on 12/09/2011 7:17:13 AM PST by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: ican'tbelieveit
At that point, support should have been dropped, and dad should have had no further rights.

I find this statement a little naive.
Why do you and the courts feel that just because a man doesn't pay child support he should lose custody of his child?
First of all, maybe the father doesn't have a job, maybe the father moved to another state to get a job? Or to get away from his crazy wife? Or maybe he can't afford to pay the crazy amount the court has set?
I have two sons who've gone through this hell. They tried to do the right thing, but the girls and the courts couldn't punish them enough.
The courts don't care if the man lives on the street because the only thing he can afford to pay is child support. Maybe, just maybe, this is one reason so many men run.

30 posted on 12/09/2011 8:58:17 AM PST by beachn4fun (Remember the troops during the Holidays.)
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To: zeugma
Been there.

Exactly.

31 posted on 12/09/2011 10:12:08 AM PST by Ron H. (Be ready and look to the heavens for He is surely coming back, soon!)
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To: beachn4fun

Men in a family district court all too often are seen as just a wallet and a ongoing source for $$$ for the attornies involved.


32 posted on 12/09/2011 10:15:44 AM PST by Ron H. (Be ready and look to the heavens for He is surely coming back, soon!)
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To: beachn4fun
That is not what I am saying. In the article, it states that Dad left the state, and lost custody

After the father moved to New Jersey, the Family Court issued a default order awarding Ms. Luke sole custody

It doesn't state this is due to non-payment of child support. What I am saying is that he chose to leave the child's life, and at that point, the court chose to give sole custody to the mom. I feel if sole custody is awarded to any parent, I do not feel the other parent should be required to pay child support.

And if you are going to walk away, there should be final consequences to that. You can't walk out during the hardest years in child rearing, and hope to come back when it is all fun and games. What right does he have to do that?

33 posted on 12/09/2011 10:22:19 AM PST by ican'tbelieveit (Washington,DC is FULL of people with Political Experience... How's that Working out for you??)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines; RogerFGay

thanks for posting this.


34 posted on 12/09/2011 10:24:48 AM PST by sauropod (Ann Coulter does NOT choose my presidential candidate!)
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To: Drumbo; Behind Liberal Lines
No mention of false abuse allegations, but wait until he's actually had a chance to see his kid outside of court. *sigh* He'd best keep a detailed journal of every moment of every day with his daughter because this beotch is just getting started.

Heck, he might as well hire a string of off-duty cops to accompany him & the child everywhere, including bed and bath. They need wirnesses to nothing happening.

Marking for later reference, whatever purpose that may serve.

35 posted on 12/09/2011 10:24:48 AM PST by Titan Magroyne (What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.)
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To: Titan Magroyne
Oops.

"witnesses"

36 posted on 12/09/2011 10:27:34 AM PST by Titan Magroyne (What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.)
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To: Lurker

My brother’s ex tried to do the same. Fortunately, the court called her on it, and awarded my brother primary custody by the time the divorce was final. We owe that judge a huge debt of gratitude for refusing to fall for her shananigans.


37 posted on 12/09/2011 11:06:24 AM PST by Ellendra ("It's astounding how often people mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness." --Thunt)
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To: ican'tbelieveit

I think the point was that the father moved but so did the mom and, in the moms case, never told the dad where to.


38 posted on 12/09/2011 12:57:08 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Dad already lost custody. Why should mom be required to keep up with him? He moved and lost custody, too bad, so sad. Move on.


39 posted on 12/09/2011 1:08:27 PM PST by ican'tbelieveit (Washington,DC is FULL of people with Political Experience... How's that Working out for you??)
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To: Lurker

I’m with you, brother. Some women can be extremely abusive, and it doesn’t show up for a long while.

However, just to give you a smile on a grim subject:

Q: Did you marry your wife for her looks?
A: Yeah, but not for the looks she’s been giving me lately.


40 posted on 12/09/2011 1:40:29 PM PST by redpoll
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To: ican'tbelieveit
Dad already lost custody. Why should mom be required to keep up with him?

It's the law.

41 posted on 12/09/2011 5:06:14 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Ok, I know you are missing the point here. BUT HE SCREWED UP AND LOST CUSTODY! I say that the law, in that case, should not penalize the mom because dad is a deadbeat loser. That goes for either parent in this situation.

Then, after mom has struggled for years doing this on her own, whether she was good about it or not, he decides to show back up. Give me a break. He is a loser and when he lost custody, he should have no rights, ever again, period. This is one of those situations that should have permanent consequences.


42 posted on 12/09/2011 5:41:37 PM PST by ican'tbelieveit (Washington,DC is FULL of people with Political Experience... How's that Working out for you??)
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To: ican'tbelieveit

In pretty much all fifty states, when two parents split up (either separating or divorcing), a decision has to be made regarding who gets custody of the kids. The parent who “loses” custody doesn’t lose all his or her rights. Barring some serious reason otherwise (such as abuse) he or she is awarded visitation with the children. That is a legal right under the law and is also designed to give children the right to know and have contact with both parents. The law presumes that contact with both the custodial and non-custodial parent is in the best interest of the child.

When the custodial parent decides to unilaterally terminate the visitation (including by moving and not telling the non-custodial parent), he or she has violated the rights of other parent and of the child. The court then has to decide what the appropriate remedy is to insure the child’s best interests.

In this article neither parent is perfect but, according to the article, the mother demonstrated that she was actually less fit than the father. Not only did she deny her child visits with the father (even keeping the kid out of school in an attempt to frustrate the father), not only did she take up with an abuser but she gave the child away to a non-relative.

Try reading the article a little more carefully. If anyone turned out to be a ‘deadbeat loser’ it was the mom.


43 posted on 12/10/2011 9:51:19 AM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Why don’t you try reading the article a little bit closer. Dad left the state and lost custody. He did it first. He then moved back, and was around for 2 years before he “finally” decides, oh gee, maybe I should be a dad. Give me a break, for EIGHT years he was a LOSER! He did nothing to contribute to helping the mother of his child in making sure this child had a good life. He walked out... because it wasn’t convenient. After 8 years, he finally decides oh gee, I should grow up. LOSER... get it, LOSER... EIGHT YEARS OF BEING A LOSER when the child needed him most.


44 posted on 12/10/2011 10:03:40 AM PST by ican'tbelieveit (Washington,DC is FULL of people with Political Experience... How's that Working out for you??)
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To: ican'tbelieveit

You still don’t get it. A parent who “loses” custody still has visitation rights. In this case, however, after the dad moved, the mom stopped giving him court-ordered visits and moved herself without telling the dad where to.


45 posted on 12/10/2011 10:08:52 AM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

You don’t get it. He left her for 8 years! He walked out. What right does this scumbag loser have to anything. He is a LOSER!


46 posted on 12/10/2011 10:10:51 AM PST by ican'tbelieveit (Washington,DC is FULL of people with Political Experience... How's that Working out for you??)
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To: cloudmountain

Yea, one parent should never use a child to hurt the other parent...going through it right now


47 posted on 10/11/2013 9:15:51 PM PDT by TarynGiro (what a tool)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Divorce attorneys love their clients, after all they pay to send the lawyer’s kids to college instead of their own!


48 posted on 10/11/2013 10:29:25 PM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !!)
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To: TarynGiro
Yea, one parent should never use a child to hurt the other parent...going through it right now

That is HORRIBLE. That will come back to your (ex)spouse. What goes around ALWAYS comes around. Maybe you'll be allowed to see it when it happens.

49 posted on 10/12/2013 5:49:10 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: MrEdd
Generally a party who worked to keep the kid disconnected from the other parent tends to get left alone in a nursing home as retaliation.
Law of unintended consequences that bitter parents refuse to see until they find themselves alone and still bitter.

WELL put.

50 posted on 10/12/2013 6:00:30 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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