B.B. will soon have three cases pending in three different courts. Her custody and ACS case are before one judge in Family Court, while her divorce case is before another in Supreme. Now, she has just been served with a 10-day notice to quit by her in-laws, who are seeking to evict her from her home, necessitating another case in Housing Court. All the while, B.B. is caring for two young children while trying to enforce an order of protection against her husband, cooperate with ACS supervision, and find a job to support herself and her children.
At NYLAG’s Domestic Violence Law Unit, we seek to limit multiple jurisdictional issues when possible. If it is feasible, we always advocate for cases to be moved to the IDV part so that one jurist can preside over the entire case and clients do not have to run to two or sometimes three different courts. On average, cases in integrated parts, or presided over by one judge, are completed months faster than those where the issues are split up among different courts. Integrated courts also provide for more holistic representation by attorneys and legal providers on both sides of the table.