Judges and Court Personnel
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The Witness Who Recants: How Domestic Violence Plays a Role
A Webinar for Common Pleas Judges
September 9, 2014
Noon - 1:15 pm
Please join the Honorable Diana Anhalt, who serves on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and Assistant District Attorney James Carpenter, Chief of the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, to explore domestic violence witness intimidation and strategies for creating a safe and effective courtroom.
Domestic violence intimidation threatens not only the victim, but also undermines the criminal justice system. Offenders know that if the victim does not testify the case is likely to be dropped. When the offender is someone the victim has loved and trusted, the offender knows intimately the best ways to control the victim through fear.
Offenders employ a variety of behaviors and tactics both in and out of the courtroom to intimidate victims and prevent them from testifying. Identifying and combating victim/witness intimidation can help ease a victim’s fear of testifying so that a domestic violence case may move forward.
Judges and court personnel are invited to call with questions regarding:
the PFA Act, procedure, forms, enforcement, state and federal firearms law, child custody and domestic violence, domestic violence information and statistics, domestic violence fatalities, court interpreters, compliance with the Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and other domestic violence statutes and case law.
Recent questions include
- Custody modification in PFA orders
- Violation of no-contact PFAs through social network web sites
- VAWA prohibitions against posting PFA records on government web sites
- ICC when defendant does not relinquish firearms as ordered
- Filing of out-of-state protection orders
Contact us about customized training for your county, region or professional conference. Recent training topics:
- Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act and Case Law
- Stalking and Technology
- State and Federal Firearms Prohibitions
- Responding to Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Abuse and Stalking in Schools and Through the Justice System
- Strangulation Prosecution and Evidence
- Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL)
- Working with Victims, Vicarious Trauma and Burnout
Tools from PCADV
Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Benchbook
Written under the direction of a group of judicial leaders from across Pennsylvania, the Benchbook addresses evidence, pro se litigants, emerging practices in addressing domestic violence, criminal court concerns, teen dating violence and a variety of civil court issues including PFA and custody cases. The Benchbook is intended to provide substantive legal information and tools for trial court judges, and to be a concise and thorough compilation of statutory and case law related to domestic violence. Revisions as well as new chapters are written to keep the Benchbook current with Pennsylvania and federal laws. The Benchbook is not available electronically, but is provided to Pennsylvania trial and appellate court judges upon request. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse Act Annotated
The PFA Act Annotated contains the full text of the Act, 23 Pa.C.S. sections 6101 - 6123, and appellate case law annotations within the applicable sections. The PFA Annotated also describes cases relevant to the PFA Act's relationship with other proceedings: custody, divorce, dependency. Cases are also indexed by relevant section.
Court Access keeps key workers in PFA offices, court administration, judicial support, and domestic relations offices informed about working effectively with domestic violence victims and PFA litigants. Court Access is distributed to email subscribers twice yearly at no charge.
The Jurist is tailored to Pennsylvania's judges with latest case law and precidential decisions, research about domestic violence, national and local training opportunities, and helpful tools such as judicial bench cards and web resources. Published quarterly at no charge.
The STOP Newsletter contains articles about the Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act, technology and safety advocacy, stalking, firearms, primary aggressor and related issues.PCADV provides training and technical assistance to STOP team members, including law enforcement, prosecutors, courts and victim services providers.
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If you fear for your immediate safety, call 9-1-1 or your local police.
Contact the domestic violence program in your area for free and confidential help.
Other victim programs are available to help you and your family.
Any attorney helping a domestic violence victim may contact the PCADV legal department at 888-235-3425 for information on law and legal procedures. (This is not a helpline for victims.)
The information provided on this website is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided under this topic is not legal advice, does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is not a substitute for contacting an experienced attorney. Read our full legal disclaimer.
- Internet Records Confidentiality under the 2005 Violence Against Women Act PCADV, 2010.
- Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges National Institute of Justice, June 2009. What the research tells us about domestic violence, its perpetrators and victims, the impact of current responses and the implications for day-to-day, real-world responses to domestic violence.
- Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation: Research Reviews by Joan S. Meier, VAWnet, 2009. Overview of PAS and PA, offers guidelines to improve courts' treatment of these issues.
- Categories of Permissible and Impermissible Assistance by Court Personnel/Domestic Violence Advocates in PFA Matters57.36 K | 8/21/2014
- Judicial Checklist
American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. Judicial Considerations In Domestic Violence Cases, Perpetrator Tactics of Power & Control, Firearms, Custody and Visitation, Mutual Orders, Language Access, Due Process, Mediation & Therapy, Anger Management vs. Batterers Intervention Services, Danger Assessment204.82 K | 7/17/2014
Bilingual Court Forms
Judicial Benchcard for Court Interpretation in Protection Order Hearings informs the court know what to expect from an interpreter and how the court can assist communication in interpreter proceedings
Bilingual Protection From Abuse documents translated into the eleven most commonly encountered languages in the Pennsylvania court system
Bilingual Criminal Protective Order documents are translated into five languages for Pennsylvania courts
Firearms Law - PA and US Especially for Judges
Safety In and Beyond the Courtroom
For judges, court personnel, sheriffs, hearing officers, guardians ad litem and others working within the court
Understanding & Responding to Stalking in the Court of Common Pleas For judges by experts from the national Stalking Resource Center, informs courts how to identify stalking and respond to it with appropriate sanctions and monitoring.
Working with Victims of Domestic Violence in Later Life Identify ways to enhance access to justice for victims of domestic violence in later life
- Judicial Checklist