Court Watch has many volunteer opportunities available. The majority of our 70 volunteers begin by observing and filling out data forms in protective order and domestic violence criminal dockets. This critical data is compiled and analyzed and is the basis for our findings and recommendations which we share with local and state courts, policymakers and the media. Monitoring at court is a core educational experience that will inform any work you do as a member of our other Court Watch teams.
Observe and collect data during domestic violence court dockets
Almost any day court is open, you can find Court Watch volunteers in each of Montgomery County’s three courthouses. Volunteers observe judges, interpreters, bailiffs and clerks in each case on the protective order docket and fill out a 4-page data sheet on each case.
A separate team of volunteers monitors domestic violence criminal cases twice weekly. Common domestic violence-related criminal charges include second degree assault, reckless endangerment, violation of a protective order, malicious destruction of property, and harassment.
Volunteers collect data on questions such as these:
- Do judges tell abusers to turn in their firearms once a protective order is issued against them?
- Are victims safe from their abusers when they leave the courthouse? (Do bailiffs hold respondents for at least 10 minutes after the victim leaves, so there is no possibility of harassment or assault on the way to their car or bus?)
- Are both parties treated with courtesy and respect by judges, bailiffs, clerks and interpreters?
- Data Entry Team
- Safe Visitation Services Team
- Research Team
- Advocacy Team
- Analysis and Writing Team
- Community Outreach Team
- Fundraising Team
- Volunteer Interviewing and Mentoring Team
- Volunteer Training Team