orders and their conditions or whether the order has been vacated or has expired.
There should be communication between the courts should there be a need to issue an order of protection that conflicts with an existing order of protection, visitation, and/or custody. This may be necessary to provide for victim protection such as a criminal court issuing a stay-away order that conflicts with an existing visitation order. When such circumstances arise, the court should explicitly state on the order that, due to new circumstances, it is issuing the order with knowledge of a prior conflicting order. This will help clarify the situation for law enforcement when faced with enforcing two differing orders of protection.
Similarly, courts should give due consideration to structuring visitation orders that are consistent with the safety needs of both the mother and the children. Visitation orders should not conflict with more stringent terms of existing orders of protection. Orders establishing visitation should set forth a specific plan of visitation, with pick-ups and drop-offs at a neutral location, and, if necessary, a designated supervisor.
b.When petitions for temporary orders of protection contain allegations of aggravating circumstances, the Family Court should exercise its authority to issue a warrant for the immediate arrest of the respondent.
c.Criminal justice agencies and courts should develop mechanisms to ensure that there will be timely issuance and expedited execution of warrants in cases where a suspect has left the scene of a domestic incident, and there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed.
Whenever possible, the law enforcement officer should initiate the necessary paperwork for the warrant, rather than require the victim to do so. In cases where the victim's signature is required, a mechanism should be developed to obtain this signature at the scene, rather than require her to come down to the station or the court. This avoids unnecessary delay in the warrant process, as well as the problem of cases "falling through the cracks" when victims are unable for whatever reason to come down to the station or the court. This helps ensure a consistent response and accountability for abuse in all cases, whether or not the offender is at the scene.
d.Criminal justice agencies and courts should develop mechanisms to ensure timely arraignments of suspects.
Domestic violence involves a pattern of coercive conduct,