June 23, 2016 by Ruth Reichard
Unless they are there for a wedding or an adoption, people rarely come to court for a happy, positive reason. Judges who handle criminal cases involving allegations of spousal or child abuse, sexual assault, or other violent crimes can count on seeing people who have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetimes.
April 26, 2016 by Ruth D. Reichard
What is 20 years old, confidential, never stops working, and saves countless lives? The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Established as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-322), the Hotline originated from the Violence Against Women Act, which authorized the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award a [...]
February 25, 2016 by Ruth D. Reichard
The Power of the Pen: What happens behind the scenes
Judges wield tremendous power, often literally with a stroke of their pens as they sign their names on orders and findings. When the cases involve family violence, routine decisions—whether to check the “Brady box” on a protection order, or whether to make the domestic violence determination [...]
January 25, 2016 by Ruth Reichard
What is behind it and what judges can do about it
In Part 1 of this article in the September/October issue of Court Times, we considered research on the high victim attrition rate in criminal domestic violence cases, as well as some laws that judges can use to help ensure the integrity of the proceedings. In [...]
November 20, 2015 by Ruth Reichard
What is behind it & what judges can do about it
A judge presiding over a criminal docket will quickly conclude that family violence cases are different.
In an auto theft case, for example, the victim is usually cooperative: she wants to help the police and prosecutor bring the perpetrator to justice for his crime. But in [...]
July 14, 2015 by Ruth Reichard
Ordering respondents to surrender firearms is not always easy for courts—it can mean more work for staff, extra hearings to ensure compliance, and negotiations with local law enforcement about storing the weapons and ammunition. But the power to order surrender of firearms as part of issuing a protection order is a vital means of reducing [...]
The words “teen dating” usually bring to mind awkward silences, shy smiles, and high school proms. But for some adolescents and teens, dating also involves behaviors that the court system would recognize as stalking, battering, or worse.
Research into teen dating violence is ongoing—the National Institute of Justice is currently sponsoring a very large study in [...]
February 24, 2015 by Ruth Reichard
While technology is not inherently violent, people who engage in intimate partner violence often employ technology as a means of obtaining and maintaining coercive control. Various technologies equip offenders with very efficient means to commit the crimes of stalking, intimidation, and harassment, while also enabling them to pinpoint their victims’ physical locations. Although it is [...]
October 3, 2014 by Ruth Reichard
If you are a judicial officer reading this, chances are you’ve issued an order or two in your career. You did so with the belief that the parties involved would obey those court orders, right? One way to find out if someone is complying with an order is to wait for the filing of notices [...]
June 26, 2014 by Ruth Reichard
I once heard a judge compare her civil protection order docket to an emergency room—especially the ex parte cases. What an apt comparison!
Judges and court staff often deal with people who have been physically, mentally, and emotionally traumatized when they consider ex parte protection orders. Violence of any kind is traumatic to human beings, and [...]