Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) Courts

What is an Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) Court?

IDV Courts are specialized Supreme Court Parts developed to better serve families in crisis. Our current court structure often requires domestic violence victims and their families to appear in multiple courts (in front of multiple judges) to address their criminal, family, matrimonial and other legal problems. IDV Courts, by contrast, are dedicated to the idea of "One family-One judge," allowing a single judge to hear related cases involving domestic violence victims and their families. The goal of the court is to change the way the justice system treats families and children by promoting more informed judicial decision-making, creating consistency in orders of protection and reducing court appearances, as well as providing enhanced services to victims and ensuring defendant accountability. 


What cases are included in the IDV Court?

Related criminal, matrimonial and family court cases filed in the same county which involve a single family may be eligible for the IDV Court. Allegations of criminal domestic violence form the threshold requirement for entry into the IDV part, with related cases in at least two of the three areas of law. Although the cases will be heard in the IDV Court part, each case will retain its individual integrity and will not be consolidated with each other.


How do IDV Courts operate?

The goal of the IDV Court is centered around the coordination of related domestic violence cases, victim safety, defendant accountability and addressing the needs of families affected by domestic violence. IDV Courts are unlike Drug Courts where the focus is on rehabilitation of the criminal defendant. In IDV Courts, judicial monitoring of offenders is a cornerstone of the IDV Court and there is a Compliance Part component to the IDV Court to address the issue of defendant accountability. In addition, IDV Courts also assist families in accessing community services and resources in a coordinated team manner.


How will the transfer of cases into the IDV Court part occur?

An administrative order is issued identifying eligible cases that can be transferred to the IDV Court part. Cases that are eligible for the IDV Court are identified through the contributing courts, along with the cooperation of attorneys, law enforcement, victim advocates, and other community service providers. The ultimate determination as to whether the cases will be transferred to the IDV Court is made by the IDV Court Judge who issues the Transfer Order that is sent to the originating courts, counsel or parties.


IDV Court Locations

Allegany County
Hon. Thomas P. Brown, Presiding IDV Judge

Heather Kunz, Resource Coordinator

Chautauqua County
Hon. Stephen Cass, Presiding IDV Judge

Michelle Little, Resource Coordinator
Supreme Court - Chautauqua: 716-753-4595
Jamestown City Court: 716-483-7651

Erie County
Hon. Deborah Haendiges, Presiding IDV Judge

Colleen Gibbons, Resource Coordinator

IDV Court Liaison

Genesee County
Hon. Eric Adams, Presiding IDV Judge

Sarah Lacapruccia, Resource Coordinator
585-344-2550 ext. 2402

Niagara County
Hon. Matthew Murphy, Presiding IDV Judge

Lisa Elibol, Resource Coordinator

Jessica Brown, IDV Court Liaison


Orleans County
Hon. James P. Punch, Presiding IDV Judge

Sarah Lacapruccia, Resource Coordinator

Wyoming County
Hon. Michael Griffith, Presiding IDV Judge

Heather Kunz, Resource Coordinator

Contact Information

For more information about the IDV progarm please contact:

8th District IDV Project Coordinator
Sheila W. Schwanekamp, Esq.
[email protected]