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Domestic Violence Courts: What Are They and How Should We Manage Them?

NCJ Number
Juvenile and Family Court Journal Volume: 50 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 1999 Pages: 75-84
Date Published
10 pages

This article examines changes in court systems and procedures to address the problems encountered by domestic violence victims, perpetrators, and their families.


Three major challenges to establishing effective case management systems for cases involving domestic violence are: jurisdictional limitations; lack of capacity to identify, link and track cases; and the need to coordinate the court's operations with the initiatives and resources of other agencies and the community. A growing number of courts have instituted a variety of special systems and procedures to address these challenges, including centralized intake processes, separate calendars for civil protection order petitions and criminal domestic violence cases, and domestic violence units. This trend toward specialized court management of domestic violence cases has been accompanied by the designation of these courts as domestic violence courts. The article discusses the potential benefits of domestic violence courts; developing domestic violence courts within an integrated systems model; components of the integrated systems model; and the role of the judge in promoting a fair and effective case management system. Notes

Date Published: January 1, 1999