Family Court Survey

1) 2010. Early Neutral Evaluation evaluators should make it a best practice to be knowledgeable and informed of any and all information available on the parties involved in the process before beginning the process.
2) 2010. Encourage Judicial Officers to ask about domestic violence at Initial Case Management hearing, particularly in cases where the parties are unrepresented.
3) 2010. Encourage Judicial Officers to err on the side of not allowing a parent against whom there are allegations of domestic violence from making parenting time exchanges at the victim’s home.
4) 2010. Increase screening of the Early Neutral Evaluation cases at intake for domestic violence related issues, including modifying the pre-Initial Case Management questionnaire to ask parties if they are afraid of the other party and perform individual intakes regarding Early Neutral Evaluation process to ensue that domestic violence victims are fully informed about the process prior to participation. Emphasize that Early Neutral Evaluation is voluntary and parties can withdraw at any time.
5) 2010. Put a protocol in place so that statements about threatening behavior on the part of one of the partners, in any setting, should prompt further questioning and/or evaluation by the person interviewing the victims.
6) 2010. Train all Early Neutral Evaluation evaluators to identify language and behaviors associated with domestic violence and battering and develop a protocol to refer parties for appropriate services while maintain neutrality.
7) 2011. Develop a protocol for educating child support workers regarding the dynamics of domestic violence, how to ensure that petitioners receive and understand information about safety planning, and how to make referrals for community resources if domestic violence is a concern.
8) 2011. Establish a committee, possibly though an existing entity like the FVCC, to develop a process to allow petitioners to be granted a 2 year OFP for basic relief (including on behalf of children) without the necessity of multiple court appearances when respondent has avoided service of the Order or has failed to appear at hearings.
9) 2013. Include information about technology stalking, and physical stalking, and methods to address it when issuing Orders for Protection, Harassment Restraining Orders, or other protective orders in Civil or Criminal Court.
10) 2015. The Team encourages judicial officers to begin by asking parties permission to check background via the courts database at the first meeting.
11) 2015. The Team urges that the current data sharing systems be used to facilitate ongoing, real-time, information transfer to all interested parties on case progression and orders in family and criminal court cases.
12) 2017. Encourage adoption of best practice to incorporate periodic review hearings into process for Orders for Protection.
13) 2017. When a petitioner files a motion to dismiss an Order for Protection, court may inquire as to whether that person has had a chance to meet with an advocates and offer time for the petitioner to do so before ordering the dismissal.