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Court Claims Jurisdiction in Domestic Violence Matter through IDV Courts


A man was charged with the offense of harassment in the second degree. Subsequently, the court issued an order of protection directing the man to stay away from the complainant and refrain from harassing, intimidating, threatening her, or committing any acts of domestic violence. After that, a misdemeanor charge of criminal contempt in the second degree was commenced against the man alleging a violation of the order of protection. Consequently, the man initiated a matrimonial action against the complainant.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the court having been assigned to the related matrimonial action, determined that it would promote the administration of justice to transfer to the Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) part the charges pending against the man in the district court and by the order the district court, the matters were transferred to the IDV Part.

The man now moves for an order to dismiss the district court cases for lack of subject matter of authority. The man alleges that criminal procedure law mandates the dismissal of the cases transferred from the district court. The man’s motion is determined. A Westchester County Criminal Lawyer said the discussion of the man’s contentions begins with an assessment of the legal authority of the courts.

Based on records, the procedure law grants the superior courts, Supreme Court and County Court, trial authority of all offenses which includes the exclusive trial jurisdiction of felonies, the trial jurisdiction of misdemeanors concurrent with that of the local criminal courts, the trial jurisdiction of petty offenses, but only when such an offense is charged in an indictment which also charges a crime.

Moreover, it is noted that the chief administrative judge controls the practice and procedure of the courts. The chief administrative judge is specifically authorized to create special categories of legal actions and proceedings and may authorize the transfer of any action or proceeding and any matter relating to an action or proceeding from one judge to another in accordance with the needs of the court. The rules and regulations of the chief administrative judge have the force and effect of law.

Consequently, pursuant to the delegated authority, the chief administrative judge established an Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) Part in the county with the specific authority to transfer cases pending in a local criminal court to itself. Hence, the chief administrative judge has established a procedure by which the Supreme Court may transfer cases to itself as considered by article of the constitution.

The county’s new IDV Part is a response to the need for a single court to judge all the matters which might bring a family into the court system when the underlying issue is domestic cruelty. A goal of the new IDV part is to promote informed decision-making as well as proficient case management. If the procedural limitations set forth and were read as precluding, the IDV courts from transferring to themselves misdemeanors and petty offenses pending in the local courts, the objectives of the IDV courts established in different counties would be frustrated.

Although any provision of the criminal procedure law which has the effect of limiting the Supreme Court’s broad control is arguably unlawful, it is well settled that issues of constitutionality should not be reached unnecessarily. For that reason, given that the chief administrative judge created the IDV Part under authority granted by the legislature and that the Supreme Court possesses the constitutional control to accomplish the objectives of the IDV Part, it is concluded that the procedural provisions of the procedure law which limit a superior court’s trial jurisdiction over misdemeanors and petty offenses should not be read as applying to the IDV Part. The court decided with the foregoing reasons and the motion to dismiss is denied.

The scope of law is like a huge range of medical science. Its connections and complications always matter in every aspect. If you get involved in any matter regarding domestic cruelty, sex crimes, or child endangerment seek for assistance from the NY Domestic Violence Lawyers so they can provide you with sufficient know-how of your case. If you or any of your family members experience any illegal or unlawful action against other people, call and inquire from the NY Criminal Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis & Associates and feel protected.

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