Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: July 8, 1999

Seal of the Unified Court System
DomesticViolence Court Officially Opens in Buffalo
BUFFALO, NY - Court and local officials will inaugurate the official opening of Buffalo's first domestic violence court tomorrow, Friday, July 9, at 12 noon. The specialized court, which is a division of the Buffalo City Court is located at 50 Delaware Avenue, Part 16 (7th floor) and will handle all stages of a domestic violence case originating in the city of Buffalo.

To ensure continuity and close monitoring of cases, the Buffalo Domestic Violence Court will have a single presiding judge handle all stages of a domestic violence case, as well as a dedicated prosecution team from the Erie County District Attorney's Office and victim advocates from the Erie County Medical Center. The court will serve as a hub for interagency collaboration and information exchange among numerous criminal justice and social service agencies, including the Buffalo Police Department, Erie County Probation Department, the Erie County Consortium of Substance Abuse Providers, Haven House and the Batterers Intervention Program.

New York State Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman said, "The sensitivity and potential volatility of domestic violence necessitate a more focused strategy on the part of the court system in the way these cases are handled. The opening of the new court represents a step forward in providing victims of domestic violence the special attention and support they so critically need."
"Domestic violence is an unfortunate reality in Buffalo, as it is throughout the nation, and therefore a court of this kind is long overdue in our community," said Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Thomas P. Amodeo. "Under the watchful eye of Judge Margaret Anderson and the cooperation of the District Attorney's Office, I am confident that this new court will help to ensure an effective response to domestic violence."
The Domestic Violence Court, which was partially funded by a grant from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Programs, will promote: 

  • immediate, certain and consistent response to domestic violence crimes, including both punishment and intervention programs 
  • intensive monitoring of defendants' compliance with court orders of protection so that violations result in swift response 
  • oversight of victim safety through regular calls and contact by a victim advocate, and access to housing, counseling and other social services 
  • continuous judicial supervision of cases 
  • use of technology in information gathering and coordination with agencies, such as the New York State Orders of Protection Registry 
The Buffalo Domestic Violence Court will be equipped with customized technology that links the court directly to key off-site partners, speeding the transfer of crucial defendant and victim status information directly to the judge and court staff, including information on defendants' attendance at batterer intervention programs and compliance with court orders of protection.

The new court will be overseen by Eighth Judicial District Administrative Judge Vincent E. Doyle and Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Thomas Amodeo, and presided over by Buffalo City Court Judge Margaret R. Anderson.

It is estimated that the court will adjudicate over 3,000 cases during its first full year of operation (an average of 60 cases a week).

Web page updated: August 16, 2006