Understanding the Integrated Domestic Violence Courts

Anyone involved in a case in the Integrated Domestic Violence Courts needs to understand the goals of the court, the attributes of the cases and the process of the transfer.

In the state of New York, domestic violence cases are tried in a hybrid criminal-civil court. The Integrated Domestic Violence Courts are dedicated to one family, one judge model, according to the NYcourts.gov. This system makes it easier for families involved in domestic violence cases to have all of their criminal, matrimonial and civil issues squared away with a unified decision. Because of the hybrid nature of the IDV Courts, it can be hard to understand the unique procedures used, which is why fostering a better understanding of this system is essential.

Looking at the goals

To better understand this hybrid court system, anyone accused of domestic violence needs to consider the goals of the IDV Courts. Before the IDV Courts were introduced, a family could have been required to appear before one judge for a domestic violence case, another judge for divorce proceedings and a third judge for custody cases. If three different judges are involved with one family, the family unit may get clashing orders.

For this reason, the hybrid system was introduced to provide the following:

  • Access to community services
  • Better uniformity in court orders
  • Reduced number of court appearances

This branch was created to coordinate abuse cases to make the legal system a little easier to traverse for the family unit. Even those accused of violence can be better served by the single-judge system.

Considering the cases

Not all family cases are taken before the IDV Courts. If a single-family has multiple cases filed in the same county, they may be eligible to have all of their cases taken before one judge. Almost all of the cases taken to the IDV Courts have an underlying allegation of violence as well as a case in either the matrimonial courts, family courts or both.

Preparing for the transfer

Not all domestic violence cases start out in the IDV courts. However, eligible cases may be identified by victim advocates or attorneys to start the transfer process. In the end, the IDV Court Judge must decide whether or not a case is eligible to be transferred. Families whose cases are going to be moved to the IDV Courts will receive a transfer order that goes over the change in court as well as the new date and time of the first appearance.

If a husband or wife is accused of domestic violence in New York, there is a good chance that he or she will have to appear before a judge in the IDV Courts. Anyone accused of this type of crime should seek the help of a knowledgeable attorney to ensure his or her case is handled in the best way possible.