Niagara Falls Police Department Refusing to Enforce Orders from Family Court

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The Niagara Reporter has learned a truly sad story of a West Virginia father attempting to regain custody of his nine-year-old son.

Having spent more than $17,000 in legal fees fighting for sole custody of his child, the father, Shannon Smith, took a Final Order granting him sole custody from Berkeley County Family Court in West Virginia to Niagara Falls where the child had been taken by the mother.

Upon arriving in Niagara Falls, Mr. Smith went to the police and asked for their assistance in enforcing the court order.

Police, however, said that they would not.

“That is a civil matter,” said one officer. “[It] needs to be handled in family court.”

However, Mr. Smith had already went to family court, spent $17,000 on legal fees, and obtained a final order granting him sole custody of his child. That was still not good enough for the Niagara Falls Police Department as they told the father to try contacting child protective services.

This is not the first instance of Niagara Falls Police not enforcing court orders. The Niagara Reporter has learned of numerous occasions where police refuse to enforce orders of protection, stay away orders, or enforce custody orders when one or both of the parties are in family court; even when they are issued in Niagara County. The favorite line from officers being, “that is a family court issue.”

According to local Niagara Falls attorney Nicholas D. D’Angelo, Esq., the stance of the Niagara Falls Police Department when it comes to enforcing such orders could not be more incorrect.

“It is the role of the court to issue orders and, if they do, they need to be enforced by law enforcement,” said D’Angelo. “Going through the court process is time consuming and stressful as it is and to turn people around after obtaining orders of sole custody and to tell them to go back to Family Court, Supreme Court or other court that issued the order is wrong.”

Going on day four, Mr. Smith continues to run from agency to agency attempting to gain access to his child while the mother keeps him locked in her home.

As of today, Mr. Smith has availed himself to the resources of Niagara Falls Police (who have said they won’t help), Child Protective Services (who have said they will look into it), New York State Police (who say they do not have jurisdiction in Niagara Falls), and Niagara County Family Court.

Yet, his son still sits locked in the mother’s home – not being sent to school or allowed out of the house – as she attempts to prevent the father from exercising his custody over the child.


  1. Frank Lesneski says:

    Yes niagara falls and my state is the worse place to be a single father. They will not enforce a court order child’s mother assaulted me with a ball bat and broke 2 of my ribs in front of our daughter. And she was not arrested on the spot and I was refused medical treatment from the Niagara fall police. Dept. . had I not gone to the hospital. I could have died. At the neglect of NFPD this has to stop and they need to be held accountable.

  2. Suzanne McIntyre Smith says:

    I am the Mother and this is nothing but lies

  3. Prove it Suzanne as I am sure your ex showed the court order to the news and the LEO..

  4. He obviously has proof! And why would you keep a child from his dad/mom! You my dear are an a**hile for doing so! Kids need both their parents! Even if you hate the other parent so what you child does not! Let them be apart of their life!

  5. SEPTEMBER 13, 2018 AT 4:53 PM
    He obviously has proof! And why would you keep a child from his dad/mom! You my dear are an a**hole for doing so! Kids need both their parents! Even if you hate the other parent so what you child does not! Let them be apart of their life!

  6. I am the Aunt and this is nothing but total lies. He has financially assisted (don’t want to call it …pay offs/ bribes) my sister to exaggerate and fabricate total lies to assist him. He hasn’t said $17000 in legal fees… He doesn’t want work LEGALLY ON THE BOOKS because he won’t pay child support and has not in over 10 years . His girl friend. A social worker who knows how to work the system is his sugar mama.
    They have been separated. Living apart. All this time.
    He was charged and proven he raped the mother… She fled to relatives in New York because he promised his son … If he was going to jail for years it would not be for rape. It wasn’t the first time he threatened to kill the mother . During the time together he was on meth and often beat her. Thus the break up. After she left (& moved numerous times) He often tormented her and the children. Breaking in while they slept and killing their birds. Smoking her cigs and leaving the ash tray full….

    Also. A petition has been filed to review the judge in West Virginia… Whom held 3 false hearings… Not giving the mother …. Who lives on disability … Proper notice with ability to appear.
    The mother had her children in a safe home … Had them seeing counselors. Had their medical and dental caught up. Her eldest suffers PTSD caused by the father whom has now brain washed and bribed him. She also put off her own necessary radiation treatments to care for her boys. The youngest is terrified to leave his mother in fear his father will grab him. That’s the truth !
    YOUR judgements are based on total lies.
    Shame on the newspaper for not getting the other side… This is only a FRACTION of it … And publishing the truth.

  7. Tiffany Pawlukovich says:

    You guys sound rediculous sticking up for this man. He is an abusive, manipulative rapist who deserves to be in jail. He violates his probation (which he is on because he is a sex offender) and gets away with it because he knows the higher authority in west virginia personally. He brainwashed their older son into bribing one of the friends of the younger son saying “if you walk him down the street we will pick him up and give you 100 dollars”. What type of “man” bribes a 9 year old with money? This article makes HIM look like the victim because he paid the reporter to make this article obviously using his(Shannon’s) own words.

  8. Notasocialworker says:

    Facts are facts and I truly feel sorry that she has manipulated others as she did her ex husband. He is a hard working father (years of tax records to prove) who has been used, maliciously attacked as well as ousted from his childrens lives just so that she could have the excuses/lies you see above. She is psychologically challenged (medical records to prove) and has continually used the children as pawns and her “disability” to get assistance that we as tax payers are accountable for. There was never any stalking, rape charge nor abuse..she slammed her own head off walls …then blamed him, cheated and lied continously to him as well as a theif. Better know the truth before spilling such utter BS in a public forum. Court records to prove his innocence and years of documented facts of her neglect. He would not be where he is today if it wasn’t for persaverance and lots of prayer to give his children what she would never allow him to..a better life and chance to become successful in life.

  9. My name is Deborah West I am the aunt that is being referred two in the above text let me make it perfectly clear I was not bribed or paid in anyway for what I testified to the mother lived with me for approximately eight months I testified only to watch my self and my husband witnessed in our home and I would say how do the people in previous comments know what happened in my home when they live 5 to 7 hours away and all would not help the mother when she illegally took the children and moved to New York every bit of evidence submitted to the courts was verified by the lawyer and the court The problem is people who do not know the truth and where not at the court should not comment without getting the facts and seeing the proof themselves the facts are mom should not have moved out of West Virginia without the courts consent and when you are ordered to appear in court you need to show up the judge wasn’t bias he gave her several chances to do the right thing and allow visits with dad which she wouldn’t do and then refused to appear for the final hearing if she isn’t happy with the court order she could have done the right thing and turned her son over and went in and appealed the decision but then that would be the right thing to do I guess another mistake she made was to accept the help of the only family member who offered to help her but is also the only aunt who had no tolerance for BS ,lying and breaking the laws I apologize For my families uninformed reaction

  10. iamasocialworker says:

    Didnt you take her in because she left the state of west virginia after her life was threatened? didnt she go to a home for battered and domesticly abused wives and children after leaving your “help”?!?! I dont believe just anyone can walk right into those places and recieve help without proof that domestic violence was occuring?!?!?!
    so sad when your own family who claim to want to help turn on you and fall right into the lies and manipulation of the abuser….but thats what they do, right? tell people what they want to hear? get people to feel bad about for them? get people to believe their not lying and they ARE the victim?!?! you should have experience with this, right?? believing the abuser and not the victim??? look in the mirror and reflect on your life… should be ashamed….more than once.
    so sad this reporter didnt get the other side….thats poor reporting… used the wrong storyline to make your point about law enforcement not getting involved in family court matters. you should find a situation that doesnt involve domestic violence, assults and use young innocent children caught in the middle of lies and manipulation to make your point. shame on the reporter and this paper for recording and documenting such crap! #uneedanewreporter #shittyjournalismatitsfinest #domesticviolenceawareness #knowthewholestory #protectwomenandchildren #manipulationatitsfinest #goodjobshittyreporter

  11. Sorry – but all a woman needs to do is claim domestic violence and the man is presumed guilty. I’ve seen it happen multiple time to my husband by his ex wife (after we moved out of state to get away from her). We’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money defending his innocence when he did nothing wrong.

  12. For I am a social worker if you were truly a social worker familiar with all the facts in this case you would not be allowed to post anything pertaining to it . so thank you again Suzanne for the lies you continue to spew ,just know in the end the truth will prevail

  13. All I can say is I know this man personally and he is not what these other people are saying he is.. I do know the time him and his crazy ex where together he worked to support her… he made sure that her and boys had what they needed.. and Suzanne would make sure she would spend the money on herself.. kids always got hand me down… because I use to give the kids clothes and shoes..she never cleaned there house kids always lived in filth, and hardly made the older son take a bath when he was little…she didn’t use the money Shannon had gave her for bills, they had been evicted from numerous home because she didn’t pay.. But all the time while Shannon was on the road making money for them she was blowing it..not to mention she has cheated on him while they married.. and not to mention the one time she borrowed his mother car and didn’t want to return it so we had to go get it and she had her father there standing behind a tree with a gun… so Suzanne is no saint…. so she really needs to stop acting like she is..

    And as for the older son he isn’t being brided to stay with his father or being brainwashed… he is the one that finally told the courts the truth about a lot of stuff, he called wanting to come live with his dad.. The only person that is doing the brainwashing is the mother… she has kept them boys from his aunt and uncles and told them we want nothing to do with them when that isn’t that case… what kind of mother tell there kids that there family doesn’t want nothing to do with them. Suzanne is the liar in this whole situation.. and she thinks she doesn’t have to listen to the courts… she lies about everything. She lives off the government that our tax dollars pay for.. and she always has….. she is a con artist… she use to drive her car and never had a license and she would have her kids with her…

    Shannon has done nothing but fight for these boys and our legal system is failing him.. he is doing all the right legal steps and still nothing… and I find it crazy.. he loves his boys and they need to be with him and both sides of the family..Shannon works hard everyday and provides for his son…and I’ve never seen the older son so happy…

    And it broke my heart when the older son told me yeah Mom told me you guys wanted nothing to do with me, and mom blocked all you guys from me…I felt so alone. I mean who does that… and who doesn’t send there kids to school so they can get an education and be around other kids… I mean if you
    Look at those two boys school records you would be like OMG….and the only reason the little one is scared is because the mother is telling him all kinds of crazy things…

    So you all need to bashing Shannon… he is a great father and is doing everything he can the right and legal way to get his sons… he loves his boys unconditionally and it’s definitely the right place for the boys. It’s definitely a better place for the boys…

  14. iamasocialworker says:

    for deborah west……i didnt write anything pertaining to this case. i wrote about you and your involvment in a case thats not about you….but some how u make it your business and about you……i question your motives…..and again, you blame the victim! GOOD JOB!!!!
    emily ronan, your right, this reporter should have wrote about your story, because it does happen….but not in this case.
    its a matter of public record… a little research. if the reporter did a little research he/she would have seen the battery and assult charges… prolly would have chosen a different storylinento prove a point. but, unfortunatly, we live in a world with a very flawed legal system. and very flawed reporting as well…

  15. iamasocialworker…. thank you. your absolutely correct and again what was written … is misrepresented and fabricated at best. The counselor saw the taking advantage of her and the children and abuse and assisted in getting them into a safe(r) environment.

    Also. D.West was the one that got her to go to the hospital after the rape in W.Va.. they photographed the bruises, took dna sample etc. He swore he never touched her… it was proven. and plea bargained down with the atty the girlfriend provided.

    There is so much more harm has done to them, including by my sister whom bragged how she “disciplined” (aka abused) the eldest.

    She fled to NY to be safe, the Counselor helped her, her children were doing good, getting counseling, caught up on medical, dental, they didnt have much money , but they were doing good at home and in school.

    Then He … started helping “Aunt Debbie” … her van needed repairs, Plus any other ” favors” …
    Expense was no problem, he can afford it, he has not paid child support IN YEARS!!; every time it caught up with his payroll, he quit/changed jobs/worked off the books. Support payments also documented through the child support unit. It was clever how he had hand written “support payment receipts” without any official logo … photocopied … to “prove to his son he paid support”. Sad.

    The whole truth will come out, hopefully in protection of New York Courts. The New York Counselors can attest in court to the above, as can the medical and dental and school records.

    Noone in our family is misinformed, unfortunately, my sisters exaggerated fabrications have a LONG history.

    It is unfortunate they managed to MANIPULATE the newspaper towards their cause. The newspaper should have been more diligent … Instead of being a PAWN with / in the opportunity to slam the police force. Poor reporting.

  16. Suzanne McIntyre Smith says:

    If he were so innocent, he would not currently be in probation for Domestic Battery.

    The police will not forcibly remove a child with an out of state order. That means my son himself REFUSES TO LEAVE. He is terrified and you people act like this is entertainment !

    I invite this newspaper to provide any factual evidence to support these lies. Nobody contacted me or I’d show then YEARS of paperwork showing his refusal to comply with court orders, NOT MINE.

    My oldest son has PTSD and left New York when the public school on Niagara Falls reported to the police that he’d strangled his little brother and had been putting his hands on him.

    I have no fear of the truth being told. I don’t even care about these lies. The truth will be replacing these lies soon enough. Ask where he gets all this money he said he’s spent on lawyers.

    His sister in law who embezzled over $50,000 and was just sent to prison . The CPS even know Deborah West, who until she started getting paid was regularly talking despairing notes about this “man”. and reported HIM just last year for abusing his kids!!

    This is the newspaper people line their trash cans with. HERE in NFNY

  17. somebody should sue the niagra falls police department for neglect of thier duties…or just give them stupid bastards some doughnuts and they might do something

  18. I cant believe you people on here spewing your damn lives about Shannon, all this man wanted was to get his son out of harm’s way in this case the mother. The mother of his two children is the one who doesn’t work, she has mentally and physically abused her children for years. The younger child of the two missed 70 days of school last year and has only been couple days this year. Sallie has beat on both kids, hince why the older child now in his late teens begged his father to get get him away from his abusive mother. If she was abused by Shannon why did she not show up for multiple court dates to plead her case. She held Shannon’s son away from him because Shannon left her because he couldn’t handle her bipolar and mental illness. The judge here in W.V gave her more than enough chances to plead her case, she refused to answer Subpoenas from the judge. Sallie is not the victim in this case, its Shannon and his son’s. I’ve had conversations with her oldest son about how bad it was living with her and I will tell you no child should have to live that way. He once was beat and kicked out of her home in the middle of winter with no jacket for talking to his own father on the phone. You tell me is that not abuse. I will tell you this also, her oldest son could not be happier now . When he came to live with Shannon he was failing in almost every subject I. School due to his attendance. He now has a perfect attendance and passing every class. He is a well adjusted teenage boy with parents who give him a stable life with Structure, accountability ,love a well balanced diet. Regardless of the lies being spewed in here it’s a shame the state is not locking her up in jail. She is breaking the law, she is not fit to take care of herself let alone a 8 old child. This child still has a chance in life and those who know her or are related to her, do the right thing here. She is mentally disturbed and a child abuser. When you sit back and let it happen you are just as guilty as her. Shannon never once said he wouldn’t let the kids see their mother, in fact he wants them to see their mother, but he wants to make sure they are safe around her. You all defending her actions I hope to God you don’t also treat your children the way this poor little boy is treated by his mother.

  19. Suzanne, if you are the victim here why didn’t you show up in court? Why did Sam do everything he could to get away from you? Why is it your children missed 75% of the school year? Why did you beat Sam for talking to his father, why would Sam say you beat on him and his brother? As for Shannon’s girlfriend, she is not a social worker so get your facts straight, and as far as Shannon helping fix your aunts van as a bribe shannon does body work not mechanical lol his brothers and friends work on his car because he doesn’t know how. So spew some more lies. Smh.

  20. I have had the pleasure to meet shannon and his future wife, I have also have had the honor of meeting both sons and I can tell you as a mother myself shannon is a very caring father and a very understanding person, his love for his sons surpasses many that call themselves fathers these days. His future wife is a very giving, nurturing, and passionate woman that is all about family. The boys being separated like this is sickening the bond of brothers and family is being destroyed by the woman that is suppose to want the best for them. I dont know the whole story so I will not pretend that I do. But I can honestly say my children have been around Shannon and his future wife and I had no question in my mind that if there was any danger they would be one of the first one the line to protect my children. Their house is a house of love and hope. I pray that this situation comes to its end so that healing can begin for these boys I have seen the love these boys have for their father with my own eyes and its heart breaking that anyone especially in today’s world would want to damage that.

  21. Amm your white people and western families issues and western judges have no family values .

    It is in fact both adults are childish and had a baby.

    Mothers who alienate and act in bad faith as such do all the allegations to prevail
    And abuse tax payers income .

    Western famiky law and judges are really corrupted . Money schemes!!

  22. Pissed off local says:

    The real problem here is law enforcement’s refusal to enforce the law. It’s not just Niagara Falls, either. For years I battled with my ex, who had custody of our daughter. Every time I would show up for COURT ORDERED visitation, I was met with “she’s sick; she’s not going anywhere”, or “She’s at my mother’s; I didn’t think you were coming”; or “Just go away; I made plans with her for this weekend”. I carried my court order with me at all times, but none of the local law enforcement agencies would enforce the order. What’s the use of a court order if the police aren’t going to enforce it?

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