DV prosecutor stands up for victims

A prosecutor handling criminal domestic violence cases implemented a terrific “best practice” this week. She didn’t just assume that bailiffs would hold defendants at least 10 minutes so victims could safely leave the building. (In fact, bailiffs rarely ensure safe exits in criminal court).  Instead, the prosecutor informed the judge that she had a victim present who needed […]

Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence in Montgomery County: Challenges and Opportunities with Protective and Peace Orders

In this report, Court Watch’s first, we examine data collected by our volunteer monitors in District Court
protective and peace order hearings between January and July of 2011. While we document the
behavior of judges and court employees and are concerned by the rudeness and dismissiveness of a
small number of judges and bailiffs, that is not the bulk of this report. Using the nationally recognized
“Guide to Improving Practice” as our reference, we identify several fundamental best practices that
impact the short and long-term safety of victims and the likelihood of their returning to court and assess
how often judges utilize them.