October 09, 1997 12:00 AM

Former “Law & Order” star Michael Moriarty, 59, returned to British Columbia Provincial Court in Canada on Thursday to face charges that he broke the law by slapping his common-law wife, Margaret Brychka, during an alleged argument in a restaurant in Vancouver, where he lives. Moriarty made a court appearance last week, immediately after he was charged. Police say that both Moriarty and Brychka had been drinking at the time of the actor’s arrest. On Thursday, a judge gave Moriarty’s lawyer more time to review the police report and ordered that the hearing continue on Jan. 10. Brychka also showed up in court, reports Reuters, but came and left separately from Moriarty.

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