Domestic Violence Courts


New York's criminal domestic violence courts build on a court model first established with the Brooklyn Felony Domestic Violence Court in 1996. These courts are characterized by a single presiding judge; dedicated on-site staff (including a court resource coordinator, victim advocate and representatives from defense and prosecution); and a coordinated community response between the justice system and community stakeholders.   Each component of the New York State domestic violence court model is designed to promote enhanced victim safety and offender accountability.

Currently there are over 35 domestic violence courts operating within Supreme, Criminal, and Justice courts in jurisdictions across the state, including the Bronx and Westchester County, the cities of Albany and Buffalo, smaller cities like Binghamton and Glens Falls, and the towns of Clarkstown and Fort Edward. 

How They Work

New York's Domestic Violence Courts include the following key elements:

Dedicated Judge: A single judge presides over cases from post-arraignment through sentencing and compliance.  This practice improves decision-making and ensures consistent and efficient case handling. 

On-going Monitoring: Intensive judicial supervision of these cases enables the court to hold offenders accountable by promoting compliance with orders of protection and other court mandates, such as program attendance, and to swiftly respond to violations.

Resource Coordinator: A resource coordinator collects and prepares offender and victim information for the judge, holds agencies accountable for accurate and prompt reporting, and is the court’s primary liaison with the community. 

On-Site Victim Advocate: The on-site victim advocate serves as primary linkage to services; creates safety plans, and coordinates housing, counseling, as well as other social services; and provides victims with information about criminal proceedings, and special conditions contained within their orders of protection.

Coordinated Community Response: A coordinated community response involves increased information sharing, communication and coordination among criminal justice agencies and community-based social services; a consistent and collaborative response to domestic violence; and more opportunities for continued education and training on domestic violence and the courts.


New York's 75 domestic violence courts--based on a model created by the Center for Court Innovation--handle over 32,000 cases each year, linking victims to counseling, shelter, and other services while strengthening the monitoring of those accused of battering.


Partners include the New York State Unified Court System, county district attorneys, victim advocates, probation, law enforcement, civil attorneys, and the matrimonial bar

National Projects

The Center works with courts across the country (including Alabama, Mississippi and Vermont) to improve their court response to domestic violence. Click here to see our technical assistance page.

Featured Research


Integrating Procedural Justice in Domestic Violence Cases

Integrating Procedural Justice in Domestic Violence Cases

This fact sheet explains the concept of procedural justice and offers a few simple strategies for courts and domestic violence stakeholders to enhance procedural justice and improve outcomes for both victims and defendants.


Promoting Compliance in Domestic Violence Cases: A Morning with Judge Jerry Bowles

Promoting Compliance in Domestic Violence Cases: A Morning with Judge Jerry Bowles

Monitoring compliance with orders of protection in domestic violence cases is crucial. Circuit Court Judge Jerry Bowles of Louisville, K.Y., takes a hands-on approach to monitoring civil protection orders by conducting regular compliance review hearings. This video takes you into the courtroom to see how he holds respondents accountable while promoting the principles of procedural fairness.


FACT SHEET: Erie Risk Assessment Pilot

FACT SHEET: Erie Risk Assessment Pilot

This document summarizes early results from a pilot program in Upstate New York that is testing the efficacy of the Domestic Violence Risk Factor Guide for Judges, a risk-assessment tool designed to allow judges to view language in a petition through the lens of risk factors, to gather additional information as needed, and to apply case law and remedies to address the risk indicated by the petition. 

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