Legal professionals, courts, probation, and court personnel should be aware that, where there is a history of domestic violence, victims and their children should never be ordered to participate in mediation, couples counseling, or family counseling (see Guiding Principles, 1.i.). Probation adjustment or diversion services should not be utilized where there is evidence of domestic violence.
n.Family Court staff, law enforcement, and probation officers should routinely screen for domestic abuse in child abuse, child fatality, sexual abuse, juvenile delinquency, and PINS cases.
Legal professionals, probation, courts, and court personnel should be aware that truants and runaways are often victims, perpetrators, or child witnesses to domestic violence. Children exposed to domestic violence often suffer behavioral difficulties directly related to the reasons for their appearance in Family Court. Screening mechanisms should be developed for identifying and intervening in these cases. In addition, sexual assault cases, child abuse, and child fatalities, are often linked with domestic violence victimization, and this assessment should be made routinely in such cases.
a.Criminal justice, legal, probation and other community corrections professionals should advocate with the courts for prompt issuance, with clear and enforceable terms, of both temporary and dispositional orders of protection, orders of support, and orders for restitution.
Where the victim requests and circumstances warrant, temporary orders of custody (including safe and reasonable conditions of visitation) and temporary orders of support should be issued simultaneously with a temporary order of protection.
It is the responsibility of the court to inquire as to the existence of any other orders of protection involving the parties to help alleviate the problem of the issuance of conflicting orders (See CPL §530.12, 6-a). Before entering any order in a domestic violence-related case, the court should check both the NYSPIN Registry (for currently active orders of protection) and the Unified Court System's Domestic Violence System (which provides a historical record of protective orders). Only court staff can access this information through the Unified Court System at 800-266-9511 by phone or 800-266-7924 by fax. The Domestic Violence System can provide important information to the courts on existing