The Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida created a specialized Domestic Violence Division, comprised of seven judges and support services to deal exclusively with family violence issues and effectively addressing this type of crime through the justice system. The Domestic Violence Division hears protection (restraining) order cases, violation of injunction cases, and criminal misdemeanor cases involving family violence. The court mandates accountability, punishment and meaningful treatment. Case managers assist the judges with preparation of injunction orders, time-sharing schedules and child support when the parties have minor children in common, specialized court orders and case management. The Division Judges and support personnel are located at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, however some injunction cases are filed at three Branch Court locations. Seven judges in the Branch Court locations hear these cases in addition to their assignments in other divisions.
The Domestic Violence Division Judges hear civil injunction for protection order (restraining order) cases.
The goal of the Domestic Violence Court is to prioritize misdemeanor domestic violence and injunction violation cases based on the prevalent risks factors involved.
The Domestic Violence Division has one of the few judicial review calendars in the country dedicated to the review of cases dealing with monitoring domestic violence and substance abusing batterers through a specialized calendar known as Domestic Violence Drug Court (DV Drug Court).
The Domestic Violence Division’s Mental Health Court (DV Mental Health Court), scheduled every Thursday morning, was developed to dedicate additional judicial time and resources to domestic violence defendants with mental health issues.
Programs and Services