Integrated Domestic Violence Court

Hon. Brian D. Burns

Description – 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. 

Eligible Cases – 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.

Goals – 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.

Transfer of Cases – 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.