Court Watch volunteers at court have recently overheard numerous bailiffs telling domestic violence offenders they could leave the courtroom two, three or five minutes after the victim left.  This is a very dangerous practice!  Staggered exits of at least 10 minutes are essential to keep victims safe on the way to their transportation following protective and peace order hearings.

Staggering exits also increases the chances that survivors will feel safe enough to return to court for later hearings or when problems occur.  The national standard, endorsed in the MD state guidelines, is for the respondent to be released from the courtroom a full 15 minutes after the petitioner.