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IDV Frequently Asked Questions

Presiding Judge: Hon. Andrew A. Crecca

What is the criteria for eligibility in the IDV Court?
In order to be eligible for transfer to the IDV Court, there must exist a criminal domestic violence case as well as a Family Court case and/or a matrimonial case where at least either the defendant or complaining witness to the criminal case is also a party in the Family Court or matrimonial case. Litigants do not opt whether or not to go to the IDV Court. Potentially eligible cases are reviewed by the IDV Court and a determination is made as to whether transfer would promote the administration of justice based on Part 141 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator.
Are the cases merged?
Cases are not merged. They become Supreme Court cases and, with the exception of matrimonial cases, are assigned new docket numbers. Each family is assigned an IDV number in addition to the case docket/index number. The IDV number encompasses all cases for the family. Cases are handled separately and follow the substantive and procedural law that would have applied in the originating court. Cases are called into the calendar separately.
How are cases calendered?
Eligible cases are transferred from the originating part to the IDV Court at the earliest stage. When cases are initially transferred to the IDV Court, attempts are made to calendar the cases for one of the dates already scheduled in the originating courts. This is to allow for as little interruption as possible in the progress of the case and for the convenience of counsel and the parties who have already made arrangements for a court appearance. In some circumstances, a shorter appearance date is required in order to address potentially conflicting orders or to address situations of an immediate nature. Cases are scheduled to allow parties and counsel on all cases to appear at the same court appearance, in keeping with the goal of efficiency.
What procedure applies for new cases filed after a family is in the IDV Court?
Cases must be filed in the originating court and then transferred to the IDV Court. New cases filed in Criminal Court or Family Court involving an IDV family are transferred to the IDV Court and, in most instances, calendered for the next scheduled appearance in the IDV Court. If all cases are disposed for a family in the IDV Court and a new case is subsequently filed in either Criminal Court or Family Court, the case may still be eligible for transfer to the IDV Court. The decision as to whether or not to transfer the case would be based upon the time elapsed from the disposition of all IDV cases as well as on certain other factors relative to the case.
Do orders of protection issued in the originating courts remain in effect?
All orders of protection issued in the originating courts remain in effect until vacated by the Court. Generally, orders of protection will be reissued on the first appearance in the IDV Court under the newly assigned docket number. All attempts are made to have orders under the various cases be uniform and non-conflicting. Orders of protection are generated and served in the courtroom, and are immediately sent to the Statewide Domestic Violence Registry.
Will counsel be assigned?
A litigant is eligible for assignment of counsel in the IDV Court consistent with eligibility in the originating court. The IDV Court works closely with representatives from legal service agencies, assigned counsel programs, defense attorneys, legal aid agencies, and the Children's Law Bureau, to ensure representation for all litigants. Attorneys who have appeared in matters before the court are required to appear until such time that the case is disposed or until relieved by the Court. Counsel assigned to a matter will usually be reassigned to any subsequently transferred cases.
Is there a compliance calendar?
One purpose of the IDV Court is to hold offenders accountable. Offenders are often referred to probation or to one or more of the various programs with which the IDV Court is affiliated (see Resources). Offenders must comply with court mandated programs. As such, there is ongoing judicial monitoring of offenders; compliance appearances are calendered for this purpose. Program reporting is an integral part of the IDV Court as is compliance with all court orders, such as any orders of protection or custody/visitation orders which may be issued.
What happens to bail that was posted in the criminal court?
Any bail posted in the criminal court will be transferred to the Supreme Court and the new docket number will be assigned to the bail.
What happens with my support case?
Support cases filed in Family Court will generally remain in Family Court and be transferred to the IDV support magistrate part. The Support Magistrate and the IDV Court share information so there is ongoing communication concerning proceedings in each court. In some instances, a support matter may be transferred to the IDV Court when the interests of justice would be better served.
What programs and services are available to litigants?
The IDV Court has established liaisons with various agencies dedicated to serving families of domestic violence. Victims are given access to victim advocacy services at the earliest stage of litigation. The advocate offers support and information to victims, assisting in areas such as information regarding court procedures, crisis intervention, referrals to shelters, relocation assistance, and more. The Court may refer litigants and family members to counseling, batterer's programs, substance abuse programs or any of the other resources listed in the Resource Section.
Do confidentiality rules apply?
Transferred cases retain the same confidentiality parameters they had in the court of origin. Files are kept separate and are subject to the same guidelines as if they had remained in their respective courts. Where a party's address or identifying information has been authorized to be kept confidential before transfer to the IDV Court, the confidentiality shall be honored after the transfer as well. The address of any party or child residing in a residential program for domestic violence victims shall be kept confidential.
Will I have to pay fees now that the cases are in Supreme Court?
The only fees that would be incurred are fees that would normally be chargeable in the matrimonial or any Supreme Court civil action. The Family Court and Criminal Court cases resort to the same rules for fees applicable in the originating courts. There is no fee for assignment of IDV docket numbers.
How are appeals handled?
Appeals for IDV cases are processed as any other Supreme Court appeal. In the event of an appeal from a Criminal or Family Court case, a fee exempt index number will be assigned by the County Clerk for the purposes of the appeal.